Today is a dark anniversary for the family of Judy Lynn Boyle, who was shot dead while working alone in a shop on U.S. 74 East between Rockingham and Hamlet
in 1980 at the age of 21.
But it’s all the darker for the fact that no one was ever arrested or brought to trial for her murder.
Boyle’s two sisters, Lorri Boyle and Frances Milligan, and her brother Edward Boyle visited their sister’s gravesite in the Marks Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery Tuesday and recalled the anguish Judy’s death brought into the family on that fateful day 35 years ago.
According to an article published in the Richmond County Daily Journal on the day after the murder, the shooting took place shortly after 3 p.m. at Alternatives — a store commonly known as a “head shop” in those days.
“They sold paraphernalia,” said Edward Boyle, Judy’s brother. “But they sold all kinds of other things.”
Boyle and the shop’s owner, Wayne Gilmer, had been dating for about five years as Lorri Boyle remembers it. Gilmer, like Boyle’s sisters, brother and parents, was devastated by her death and offered a $5,000 reward for information
leading to the killer’s arrest and conviction.
It was a reward that would be matched by the governor of North Carolina. But no one ever came forward.