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  1. #1
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    RI - Camilla 'Cam' Lyman, 54, Hopkinton, July 1987

    I don't think there is another thread about this one...

    I was trying to find updates on this case, but there does not seem to be any info online.


    TV show yields possible clues in case of the murdered Boston heiress



    By Terrence Petty, Associated Press 07/09/99

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Ever since the skeleton of transvestite dog breeder Camilla Lyman was found in the muck of her septic tank nearly two years ago, detectives have struggled to find solid clues that would help unmask her killer.

    But now, important new clues may have been turned up after the bizarre tale was broadcast on the popular TV show "Unsolved Mysteries," says a private detective helping police.

    The daughter of a prominent Bostonian, Lyman vanished from her 40-acre estate in rural Hopkinton in 1987. No one immediately told police she was missing, not even her supposed friends. There was talk she'd gone to Europe for a sex change. There was no sign of Lyman until 1997, when her body was found in the septic tank by two men who had just purchased her house.

    "Unsolved Mysteries" recounted the story on June 11.

    Police admit they've had trouble turning up reliable evidence and witnesses that could lead to an arrest for Lyman's murder.

    But five people who knew Lyman have come forward with information about goings-on at the Hopkinton property that occurred before her disappearance, said Charles John Allen, a private investigator working for Lyman's relatives.

    One of the prospective informants called the TV show "and they passed her on to me," Allen said.

    Allen said he learned of the four others as a result of his contact with the caller and that he's spoken with them.

    One prospective informant in particular "appears to be a person with information very damaging" to certain people, said Allen, who spent nine years doggedly looking for Lyman before her corpse turned up in the septic tank.

    Allen says the information could also be helpful in his search for up to $4 million worth of missing antiques, jewelry and other assets that had belonged to Camilla Lyman.

    Allen said he couldn't go into details. But he said the new information -- if accurate -- could be a break in the case. He has given the information, and the names of the people who provided it, to police.

    Hopkinton Police Chief John Scuncio acknowledged the TV show resulted in "a few tips" but he refused to go into details.

    This has stirred hope among Lyman's relatives.

    "We need to bring the person who committed this unbelievable crime to justice," said Mary Margaret Goodale, one of Lyman's two sisters.

    Camilla Lyman was the daughter of Arthur T. Lyman, who before his death in 1968 had more than 30 years of public service in Massachusetts, including stints as commissioner of corrections and commissioner of conservation.

    The reclusive spinster moved into a large Victorian house in Hopkinton, not far from the Connecticut border, in 1984 after selling the Lyman family homestead in Westwood, a Boston suburb.

    She grew a mustache with the help of steroids intended for her dogs, sported a short haircut and tweed jackets, and changed her name to the more masculine Cam -- all the while becoming alienated from her siblings.

    A small circle of trusted associates living around Hopkinton took care of Lyman's practical matters, leaving the heiress to devote herself to her champion Clumber spaniels.

    George O'Neil, a fellow dog breeder and her best friend, paid Lyman's bills, picked up her mail, had power of attorney over her affairs and was the sole beneficiary in her will. Others also helped take care of the Hopkinton property.

    The 54-year-old Lyman vanished in July 1987, and no one alerted police.

    Lyman's siblings grew concerned when an elderly friend of the family said she had not received the customary Christmas card from Camilla. Goodale wrote to Camilla asking if she was all right. She got no reply.

    Allen was hired by the Lyman family in 1988 to find out what happened to Camilla.

    After six years of searching turned up no sign of Lyman, in 1994 her siblings filed a petition in Hopkinton Probate Court asking that she be declared dead. This was done to keep an estimated $2 million in family trust funds from falling into the wrong hands.

    A probate court judge declared Lyman legally dead in June 1995.

    After the body pulled out of the septic tank was identified as Lyman's, family members at least knew she was no longer alive.

    The question is, who killed her? Detectives have questioned a number of people, including O'Neil, who says he was Lyman's friend, not her murderer.

  2. #2
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    As far as I know Crime Library is the only online resource with any substantial info on the case. Unfortunately the story is part of their so-called "Premium Content" section which requires subscription for access.


    http://www.crimelibrary.com/premium/...?link=CLbdhpWH

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlK
    As far as I know Crime Library is the only online resource with any substantial info on the case. Unfortunately the story is part of their so-called "Premium Content" section which requires subscription for access.


    http://www.crimelibrary.com/premium/...?link=CLbdhpWH
    There are quite a few articles in NewspaperArchives.com about this case. I have a subscription, and will try to summarize what the articles have to say. I should have that done by Monday.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa
    There are quite a few articles in NewspaperArchives.com about this case. I have a subscription, and will try to summarize what the articles have to say. I should have that done by Monday.
    Any luck?

  5. #5
    There's an excellent article published here:

    http://www.caninechronicle.com/featu...lyman_404.html

  6. #6
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    New developments ??

    I came across this story at the crime library and I would like to know if there any further developments or leads.

    Camilla Lyman had a very sad life and I think there should be a little justice for her in the end.



    (Sorry, if my English is a little odd. I’m from Germany)



    Mischa

  7. #7
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    Interesting tidbits from the RI court's decisions from 2002:
    http://www.courts.ri.gov/superior/pdf/00-2683.pdf
    On or about July 20, 1987, Lyman disappeared. Her remains were eventually discovered in the septic system of her home some ten years after her disappearance. However, for several years after her disappearance, O’Neil and Ragosta continued managing Lyman’s affairs and preserving her property with the expectation that she would return. O’Neil and Ragosta insist that they believed Lyman merely traveled to Europe to obtain a sex change operation. In the fall of 1988, the trustees of a trust established in Massachusetts for Lyman’s benefit (Massachusetts Trustees) announced their intention to cease distributions to Lyman due to her disappearance. (Ragosta Dep. on 1/19/01 at 45-46.) Ragosta and O’Neil contacted Defendants in their effort to compel the Massachusetts Trustees to continue making distributions. The Massachusetts Trustees sought instructions from a Massachusetts Court regarding their decision. Id. at 47. In addition, the Massachusetts Trustees brought an action in Massachusetts naming Ragosta and O’Neil as party respondents. Id. A motion to compel production of certain financial records or to produce an accounting of their expenditures of funds on behalf of Lyman was directed to Ragosta and O’Neil. Id. at 48. However, these documents were never produced and eventually Ragosta and O’Neil entered into a settlement agreement with the Massachusetts Trustees that ceased any distributions to or on behalf of Lyman. 3 Late in 1988, the Massachusetts Trustees ceased distributing funds to Lyman.
    -----------------------------------
    June 1992, Ragosta and O’Neil sold the remainder of Lyman’s Hopkinton property, including the house and kennel, to the Unitrust in exchange for the Unitrust’s payment of $490,400 to the IRS for Lyman’s personal tax liability. (Dog Museum Litigation I at 4.) Also, in 1992, Ragosta and O’Neil cashed certain mutual fund assets to pay the IRS for Lyman’s personal tax liability. Id. at 4-5. They redeemed $304,594 from Keystone 100, $110,025 from Kemper funds, and $108,441 from Seligman funds. Id. at 5. If these funds had remained invested at a reasonable rate of return, the Unitrust would have earned significant income. Id. Instead, the Unitrust sustained a gross loss from the Hopkinton property transactions of approximately $1,257,400. Id. In August 1992, Ragosta executed a check payable to the IRS using Unitrust funds. (Ragosta Dep. on 1/19/01 at 118.) It was not until October of 1992 that Ragosta informed Defendants of this action. Id. at 139-40.
    In addition, there was another trust administered in Massachusetts that was scheduled to terminate and distribute substantial assets to its beneficiaries, including Lyman. Id. at 133. However, a provision in the trust provided that if Lyman died prior to the termination of the trust, then Lyman would not be entitled to any distribution from the liquidation of the trust. Id. The Lyman family instituted an action in the Hopkinton Probate Court to have Lyman’s date of death declared as of July 20, 1987. Id. at 99. Ragosta and O’Neil retained Defendants to oppose this action. Id. at 100. On June 6, 1995, the Hopkinton Probate Court officially declared Lyman’s date of death to be July 20, 1987.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for your answer, bykerladi.

    I've read, that the police tries to drag down several items that belonged to Camilla Lyman and vanished with her. (Such as jewlry and antiquities). Has anybody heard something about this investigations?

    Greetings from Germany

    Mischa

  9. #9
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    Mischa, your English is wonderful. There is a site called "Stolen Jewelry".
    http://www.stolenjewelry.org/

    and a similar site:
    http://www.jewelry1.com/STOLEN/STOLENJW.HTM

    I haven't been there because I haven't had a reason to but I wonder if the investigators in the case have put photos of her belongings online anywhere.

    If someone were to recognize a piece of jewelry online that they have seen on someone's person, that could possibly lead to a suspect.

  10. #10
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    Thank you very much, itsreenw (and thanks for the compliments). I will try this links.

    Greetings

    Mischa


  11. #11
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    07-20-1987

    Today it is 19 years that Camilla Lyman vanished. She probably was murdered the same day.

  12. #12
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    How do you run a kennel?

    Thinking this case over once again I can’t get over one special point. All sources state that Camilla lived alone on her property with her 62 (or even 68 dogs?), but how can anyone take care of such a number of pets on his own?

    Even if she had a state-of-the-art kennel for them the animals needed to be fed, the kennel had to cleaned, the show dogs had to be groomed and combed every day. Too much work for one person. Especially for a person who had allegedly the habit to drop out of sight for days and weeks.

    Who helped Camilla caring for her pets? George O’Neil? As far as I understood he had his own dogs to care for.

    Where there any other persons living with Camilla? Where there Servants, housekeepers, perhaps a handler for the dogs? Where there children and teenagers from the neighbourhood earning their pocket money by walking the dogs? What did these people tell about Camilla’s disappearance and the weeks and days before she went missing?

    These are questions I would like to find answers for, but searching the web I found that although there are many people – like me – fascinated by this case there is little or no information aside from that given with the links above.

  13. #13
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    Another year gone by without any progress.

  14. #14
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    I'm bumping this, for I continue to be profoundly curious about Cam's life and death. I'm very surprised that this case hasn't been more thoroughly investigated, discussed and reported. It's quite fascinating and ultimately, it's so tragic. I'd love to read a book or see a film detailing the life and death of Camilla/Cam Lyman.

  15. #15
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    Here's an article from 2012:
    http://hubpages.com/politics/Camilla_Lyman

    Detective's Cold Case: Camilla Lyman's BACKGROUND

    Detectives are trying to solve the cold case of Camilla "Cam" Lyman - maybe you can help.

    Camilla Lowell Lyman was born in the wealthy Boston suburb of Westwood, Massachusetts on September 4, 1932. Cam Lyman died in Hopkinton, Rhode Island sometime during, or after, the year 1987 but was not declared dead until the year 1995. Cam's body was found floating in the septic system of her 40 acre rural estate in September, 1997.

    Camilla's story begins in Westwood, Massachusetts on a 100 acre estate called Ricefields. Camilla was born into a wealthy Boston family and by all accounts Camilla's father was a gentle man with whom she developed an extremely close bond. Arthur T. Lyman was an important man in the Boston area during his time and served more than 30 years in public service positions, including as the Commissioner of Corrections and the Commissioner of Conservation. Arthur doted on Camilla and when he died of lung cancer in 1968 she felt an extreme loss which she carried with her for the remainder of her life.

    In 1984 Camilla moved to Hopkinton, Rhode Island and purchased an old Victorian home on a 40 acre rural estate where she had kennels built for a dog breeding operation. The eccentric heiress became more and more isolated from family and neighbors, preferring instead to spend her time hidden behind the stockade-like fence surrounding her property.

    Camilla, by now a champion breeder of Clumber spaniels, was also undergoing a major, life changing transformation. She took to wearing ties and herringbone jackets, cut her hair extremely short and even grew a moustache with the aid of steroids prescribed for her dogs by her veterinarian. In 1985 the six foot Camilla changed her name from the feminine sounding Camilla to the more masculine sounding Cam.

    Missing

    Cam had few friends and would venture out only to participate in dog related activities. She surrounded herself with only a few trusted associates who would care for her day to day affairs which left Cam free to spend all of her time with her 58 dogs. One of these trusted associates was George O'Neil from North Kingston, a fellow dog breeder. In fact, Cam considered George to be her best friend and trusted him so much that she soon authorized him to pick up her mail, cash her checks and even gave O'Neil power of attorney over her affairs. George O'Neil also became the sole beneficiary in Cam's will written in 1984.

    Sometime In the mid 80's Cam's family became concerned when no one had received the annual Christmas cards from her - usually her only contact. Cam's sister wrote to inquire if she was alright but received no reply. In August of 1988 Cam's brother and two sisters hired a private investigator from Boston, Charles John Allen, to look into Cam's whereabouts. Cam's family went to the police and formally reported her missing in December of 1988. Probate records indicate that O'Neil was questioned and admitted noticing Cam missing sometime in July of 1987 but did not report her as a missing person. Meanwhile, O'Neil had continued taking care of Cam's dogs and household affairs. O'Neil stated he had not been concerned because it was not unusual for Cam to go off on her own for months at a time and vehemently denied having anything to do with her disappearance. He also surmised that Cam might have gone to the UK for a sex change operation. Allen asked his contacts in the UK transgender scene to ask around and find information on anyone who might have known Lyman but the contacts were unable to provide any leads.

    Eventually, the search into Cam's disappearance hit a dead end and the family went to Probate court to have Cam declared legally dead. They also fought to keep approximately $2 million in family trust funds set aside for Cam within the family. In June, 1995 Hopkinton Probate Court Judge Linda Erso formally declared Cam legally dead. Eventually Cam's family settled with George O'Neil and was able to keep the trust funds in the Lyman family, whereas, O'Neil would keep the Hopkinton property.

    Who Killed Cam?

    Not quite two years later, retired state police detective and now Hopkinton Police Chief John Scuncio, looked into the cold case and was quite determined to find out everything he could about the disappearance of Cam Lyman. Scuncio's department and the state police brought cadaver sniffing dogs to the Hopkinton property which by now had been purchased by dog breeders Greg Siner and Gardner Young. One September day, Siner who happened to be walking the property while Scuncio was also on the property searching for a body, was walking by the septic tank when he noticed a strong stench coming from the ground. Assuming the tank needed to be pumped, he lifted the concrete lid and there in the muck of the septic tank, saw a skull staring back up at him.

    It took over a year but the medical examiner, using dental records and other forensic techniques, finally concluded the remains found on the Hopkinton property on September 24, 1997 did indeed belong to Camilla "Cam" Lyman. Lyman had been shot and the body was weighted down with a cinder block.

    Lyman's murder remains unsolved 20 years later. The reclusive heiress left behind over 50 beloved dogs and an almost $2 million trust fund. Lyman was 54 years old when she died. Her will stated she wanted to be cremated and her ashes dropped over Madison Square Garden during the Westminster Kennel Club‘s "Best In Show" contest. Unfortunately, her wishes could not be fulfilled and in October, 1998 she was buried in a small poplar box in front of a headstone bearing her chiseled name and a carving of a German short-haired pointer, Lyman's first champion breed. Lyman is buried close to her parents' graves in Westwood, Massachusetts.

    Who killed Cam Lyman? And why?

    If you have any information regarding the murder of Camilla "Cam" Lyman please contact the Hopkinton Police Department in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

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