“NO ONE SAW HIM GET UP”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 20, 2016) — On June 19, 2012, former U.S. Marine and 30-year veteran retiree of the Chicago Police Department Thomas J. Boyle, Jr. died while deployed with the U.S. Army Reserve Unit 303rd Jackson Michigan as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan. His passing was broadcast on the local news, as he was well-known for his long career in local law enforcement and his success in capturing the Strickland brothers, who murdered a Wheeling, IL police officer in 1985.
Nearly four years later, Boyle’s widow, Pauline, has not been told definitively by the Defense Department how he died, which she believes is a result of fratricide resulting in insurance fraud facilitated by the DOD. Several online obituaries do not state the cause of his death. On June 21, 2012, The Chicago Tribune reported that Boyle “apparently died from gunfire.”
“I have three death certificates that have three causes of death,” Boyle’s wife Pauline told The Post & Email in a recent interview.
Mrs. Boyle’s husband served two tours of duty in Vietnam in the Marines, in which he enlisted directly after high school and where he earned numerous awards. He was a fourth-generation Chicago police officer.
Of his career, Mrs. Boyle told us, “He had caught two cop-killers who had carjacked a grandfather and tried to escape to Chicago,” a feat for which Boyle is remembered by those who worked with him at the department.
In 2000, Boyle retired but continued to serve the public, working as an investigator and training police forces in areas of the world devastated by terrorism, war and other disasters.
“We retired and moved out of the city. To take a city guy and put him in a country setting was a bit of a culture shock for him,” Mrs. Boyle said.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Boyle’s desire to serve was renewed again, Mrs. Boyle explained.
When 9/11 happened, he really wanted to go back to work and do something. He was a very patriotic person with strong military ties and respect for the soldiers, which makes all this more heartbreaking as to what transpired and how he was treated. Tom does not deserve this.
Of course, he was too old to sign up for the military, but he started doing peacekeeping missions or training the police in war-torn areas. He worked in Kosovo for two tours, Iraq for two tours, and Afghanistan, where he was killed.
In Iraq, he earned several awards – the Order of the Spur and the Civilian Commanders’ Award for the prosecution and conviction of eight terrorist bomb-makers. Tom felt very productive and that he was doing something very positive for our country.
This was to be his last contract. He was in Kandahar only about a month and a half before he was killed. Tom loved children, and wherever he was stationed he would always ask me to box up toys and teddy bears. We had done that over the last 12 years. He had just requested a teddy bear for a little girl, and that morning I had gone to the post office to mail it.
When I returned home, I was met by three men who came to the house and informed me of Tom’s death. They were a representative from MPRI, David Smith; the chaplain from the City of Chicago Police Department; and a City of Chicago policeman who I think had worked for MPRI at one time, which is now Engility, a subsidiary of L-3 Communications, so we’re talking about a really large corporation.
When I finally got my wits about me, they started asking questions, and I asked them how my husband had died and was told they didn’t know the circumstances; they thought the cause was a suicide bomber. At that time, you’re not quizzing people, but to be honest with you, I got an uneasy feeling from the very beginning. Being a policeman’s wife, you read people, you read body language; I knew they were lying to me.
They asked me to sign a document giving my permission to do an autopsy. In retrospect, I would advise no one to allow the military to do an autopsy.
It was ten days before Tom’s body was returned home. I still had uneasy feelings. We planned the funeral; my husband is buried in Wisconsin in my family plot. I waited, and as time goes on, you have more time to think about what is wrong…you don’t want to come across as a crazy person or a conspiracy theorist.
I waited until Tom was buried and came back home. The whole thing was just a feeling in the beginning. Then I called the office of the military medical examiner in Dover, Delaware who performed the autopsy and asked for the photos. I got every excuse why I shouldn’t have them: “You’re crazy;” “They didn’t come out;” “Why would I want that?” I signed the papers and sent it to them with my documentation and said, “I want the autopsy photos.”
They put me off for four or five months, but when I did get the photos, clearly, my husband was not killed by any suicide bomb. I had to go through all that to get to the truth, and it’s pretty awful. I don’t think anyone should have to go through what I did.
After they gave the photos to me, I contacted the medical examiner and I said, “There obviously was no suicide bomber there.” Everything between AFME (Armed Forces Medical Examiner) and me was done by phone even though I was sending emails and faxes. They were reluctant to put things in writing. The medical examiner would call me – his name was Dr. Mazuchowski; his signature is on the death certificate – and say, “I only went on what was reported.” So I said, “Well, why do an autopsy?” It made no sense. He said, “The manner of death was still war-related” – so in his mind it didn’t matter.
First it was a suicide bomber, then five gunshot wounds, and then it was changed to multiple gunshot wounds. I had to exhume Tom’s body to learn there were 13 gunshot wounds.
I received Tom’s personal effects four or five months later. That’s another ordeal, but when I received the pallet here in Chicago finally, it was ransacked. The pallet arrived that way because I had contacted Customs and asked that they secure it for me. When the pallet was taken off the plane, the customs agent took photos and sent them to me.
Prior to shipping, David Smith of MPRI tried to get me to sign a power of attorney over to MPRI for Tom’s personal effects. This, too, made no sense, and I refused to sign the POA document. I asked that they ship his things to O’Hare from Afghanistan. I was told there were no direct flights to O’Hare and the pallet had to go to Atlanta first. OK; I’ll give you that, maybe. I didn’t have time to check. That was when I told him, “OK, I have it all set up with Customs here to expedite things,” which in hindsight was a mistake.
What happened in the end is that there were last-minute flight changes and my husband’s personal effects were sent to Dulles airport in Virginia, blocks away from the offices of L-3/MPRI. My husband’s personal effects sat in Customs over an entire weekend – or so I was told.
I have the bill of lading where MPRI shipped half-bottles of laundry detergent. My husband wasn’t in Kandahar two months; he would not have purchased two bottles of laundry detergent; he wasn’t taking in laundry to make extra money, and they were half-filled bottles. I talked to a DEA agent who said, “That’s how they ship drugs, Pauline. They put bags of drugs inside the laundry detergent containers and the smell throws off the dogs.”
I did have additional suspicions as I went through my husband’s things. When we received his private computer among his personal effects, it was completely wiped. There was nothing there. No contacts, no emails. It wasn’t even receiving spam — nothing. This was not the work computer the company provided; it was his private computer to which no one should have had access.
If you look into L-3 Communications, that corporation does all kinds of things – surveillance and related stuff – they had the capabilities, and I’m pointing the finger at them right now for doing this.
Each MPRI employee has his own portal to purchase and indicate insurance coverage. Tom made insurance policy coverages on this site and shared with me his link and password. The day he died, later that day, I tried to access it and I was locked out. MPRI had already taken precautions.
On his way to Afghanistan, Tom had called me from somewhere in Maine, I think Bangor, and he said, “I’ve just taken out additional insurance on the employee site. When I get to Afghanistan, I’ll let you know everything and how much and provide copies, but I want you to know I just did it at the airport so in case anything should happen, everything will be OK.” Tom had done this for so long that it wasn’t a red flag, and I just said, “Fine, call me when you get to the base.”
I never received the insurance information because he never had the opportunity to send it. Tom had his personal computer mailed to himself from Maine to the Army base in Afghanistan so he would not have to carry it with him. His immediate supervisor, Al Pineda, who worked for MPRI, had taken physical possession of it to hold for Tom. The computer was still in the mailing box and Tom had never picked it up from Al. When I took possession of the pallet the box addressed to Tom was opened. Upon his death his property became mine. No one had the authority to open that package. Someone accessed that computer without permission.
There were several insurance policies involved. MPRI human resource employee Pearl Mihara, under the guise of helping me, forwarded information to the insurance companies, acting as a liaison. I was never privy to what documents she held. The company would never give me complete copies of the insurance policies or other documents, either. I received from an Aetna company-based policy – which means MPRI paid the premiums – a payout on an accidental death policy. Well, how could they do that if Tom died by an insurgent? It wouldn’t have been an accident. I questioned it but I could never get an answer: “How did you arrive at this conclusion? Give me the documents that confirm this,” and MPRI or Aetna would say, “We don’t have anything; it’s closed; we can’t do anything.” Pearl would send emails and state the documents were in the attachment but there never were any attachments. Finally, by accident, an employee released an email from the Aetna administrative file indicating “the act of war limitation does not apply. Death due to accidental bodily injury.” This email was dated 8/02/2012; Tom died 6/19/2012.
There’s another policy with Metlife that had an accidental death rider which the insurance company denies exists. Again, an email from the Metlife administrative file dated 7/9/2012 states “per DOD 6/19/2012 was accidental homicide in Afghanistan. 6/19/2012 was accident.” I never received that accidental policy payout so one would question why Metlife had this information at all. The only logical reason that these two insurance companies would have this same information about accidental death/accidental homicide would be that it had to come from MPRI since I was not privy to this information and you can rest assured they profited.
Accidental homicide equals fratricide. My husband was shot by two U.S. Army soldier(s). The true cause of my husband’s death was kept from me for several reasons, one of which was that the embarrassment that two different soldiers shot my husband accidentally points to extreme negligence. That unit was ill-trained, to say the least.
I believe MPRI took out “janitor” policies on my husband. These refer to policies paid for by the company, which is also the beneficiary of such policies. Tom would not have known about these policies and I sure did not. MPRI collected on accidental death policies but refused the payouts to me on the Metlife policy. There would be no other practical explanation as to the accidental homicide determination being sent to these insurance companies. Why risk putting this information out there? MPRI had to supply that documentation; otherwise, they could not collect their portion of the insurance monies. There could be no other plausible explanation – it was all for financial gain.
There was another insurance policy whose payout was also denied, using the “War Risk” exclusion as the reason for nonpayment, which brings up another issue: Why does L-3 Communications offer insurance policies to those they are well aware will be working in war risk areas? Simply put, they are selling insurance policies in bad faith knowing the purchaser can never collect. Both L-3 and the insurance companies are culpable here. I question that determination because if you go back to the Aetna email – it is stated the act of war limitation does not apply. That would be because the cause of death was accidental. Would that mean I would be entitled to that policy payout if the true cause of death was known? And let me emphasize the insurance company that is doing this is AIG. AIG – the very same insurance company we taxpayers bailed out. The web of corruption I have uncovered is unfathomable.
Mr. Boyle’s story has also been reported at Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, where there are five articles about Mr. Boyle.
As to the specifics of what she believes actually happened to her husband in Afghanistan, Mrs. Boyle continued:
There are several whistle-blowers I have spoken to who told me what transpired. These individuals, without the knowledge of one another, supplied the names of the two shooters of my husband, Scott Stanley and Justin Williams. There is more information in the Uncle Sam’s articles. I purposely named them because what they did was unthinkable. They moved and staged my husband’s body to cover up their ineptitude. In doing so they betrayed my husband, as did everyone else involved in the cover-up. Every soldier on base the day of the attack knows what happened, every one of them. It was a small FOB (Forward Operating Base) called Provincial Reserve. I heard from another intelligence official who stated to me that it wasn’t a FOB; it’s a “COB” (Combat Operating Base). Every time I talk to someone, it’s another little piece of the truth. The puzzle is almost 100% complete.
The insurance companies refuse to release or provide additional information regarding the emails I obtained. Of course MPRI refused to send any documentation – they even went so far as to deny Tom ever worked for L-3 Communications in a letter to me. This went on and on and on, back and forth, and I was getting nowhere. What I had to do is have my husband’s body exhumed and re-autopsied.
One significant determination was that more entrance wounds than exit wounds existed. Yet AFME denied ever doing any ballistic testing and insisted that no bullets or fragments were found and removed. Another magic bullet? Then why hold my husband’s body for ten days? Why was each bullet wound sewn shut? That sure indicated intervention on someone’s part.
Finally, I was forwarded a copy of the CT scan that was taken at AFME. In the ten days in which they held Tom’s body they took over 1,200 photos. Why would they do that? AFME was looking for bullets and fragments, all of which would indicate the type of bullet recovered.
The second autopsy said the bullets ricocheted around, which is what 5.56’s do. Insurgents carry 7.62 rounds in their AK’s, which behave differently. 7.62’s are powerful and just go right through you – they do not ricochet. What my independent autopsy revealed was five chest wounds in a downward trajectory, which coincides with one soldier named Scott Stanley. He was located in Tower 5 which several soldiers confirmed. The other eight bullet wounds, maybe more, were forward and back, originating in the left hip area and ricocheting back into the pelvis. This coincided with the position of Justin Williams, who was the roving guard as indicated by others present that day. The trajectory indicates that my husband was on the ground and the bullets ricocheted back into him. Tom was shot by two different U.S. Army soldiers. The chest wounds had a downward trajectory and the hip/side wounds had an upward trajectory.
You’ll see in the 15-6, which is the Army’s fabricated report, that there were soldiers giving false testimony. I have all of those documents where soldiers state they saw Tom having a cigarette; a fight broke out, and he was running toward the TOC (tactical operations center); that’s where some say he was gunned down by an insurgent. Anything these soldiers state is thrown out the window by the second autopsy. The independent autopsy documents that Tom could not have run anywhere after being shot. For all those soldiers who said they saw him running – they are lying. No one saw him get up after being shot. It was impossible.
Mr. Boyle’s story will be continued in a subsequent article. Mrs. Boyle has begun a foundation in her husband’s honor, The Thomas J. Boyle Jr. Memorial Foundation, to assist children, veterans, law enforcers, and members of the military who are facing extraordinary life circumstances.
Last week, The Post & Email submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Army for all documents pertaining to Mr. Boyle’s service as a contractor in Afghanistan and is awaiting a response.
Coverage of the story at Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children can be found in four parts: