Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Christopher Boyce & Andrew Daulton Lee

Freedom Brings Fear — New Chapter

The man known as the "Falcon" to much of the world described how his love for that sport helped him cope in prison.  No longer able to falcon, he bought sixty books on the subject and claimed, "My memories of game hawking were a precious link to a long ago mind clung to falconry as a drowning man clings to a life preserver."

Perhaps most relevant to Boyce's present circumstances was a column he wrote called, "Parole brings freedom but much to fear." Boyce said he had seen many men freed and often speculated on whether or not they would return. He admitted, "If I played the odds, though, I would bet on none of them." He could have been thinking about himself when he noted that while convicts, "have languished for years in prison, their peers back home will have raised families and accumulated homes and cars and all those possessions that define a man's life."

Writing about a soon-to-be-paroled murderer to whom he had become close, Boyce said he believed the man's chances for a successful readjustment were promising because he was not a career criminal but "a typical son of Minnesota" when he committed murder in his youth. However, Boyce observed that the man's personal development was inevitably stunted by imprisonment, which was illustrated when he lapsed into "the teenaged demeanor that was his in the last year of his freedom." Boyce ends the article by saying that if the man should return to prison, "it will break my heart."

Photo: Boyce being transported
Boyce being transported

Six months before Boyce's own parole he received his first taste of freedom since his November 1981 capture. He was released from the Federal Correctional Institution at Sheridan, Oregon in September 2002 to go to the halfway house.  According to a Los Angeles Times article by Richard A. Serrano, Boyce's parents were allowed to pick him up at the prison and drive him to the Portland airport where he boarded a plane that took him to San Francisco.

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