Socialite’s secret lover found guilty of her gruesome murder
Thomas Chris Lang has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the stabbing murder of Australian socialite Maureen Boyce in her Brisbane apartment in 2015.
Boyce’s family broke down in tears when they discovered Lang’s fate on Tuesday afternoon, after a trial that ran for two and a half weeks during which intimate details of their private lives were aired in court.
The New Zealand-based doctor was accused of murdering his 68-year-old on-again, off-again lover by impaling her to a bed with a kitchen knife in October 2015. He pleaded not guilty, claiming the former model had become so distressed on the night she died that she had committed suicide.
However a Supreme Court jury in Brisbane took less than two hours to reach the guilty verdict, the Australian Broadcasting Company reports, deciding Lang stabbed the popular Brisbane identity to death in a “jealous rage” while she was sleeping when he realized she had no intention of leaving her husband and may have been having affairs with other men.
The mother-of-two was found in her Kangaroo Point apartment on the morning of October 22 with a 13-inch cooking knife deeply embedded in her abdomen.
Lang made phone calls to 000 — Australia’s version of 911 — that morning, where he told the operators he had found his “fiancee” dead in her bed. He said the stab wounds looked “self-induced.”
The court heard Lang told police officers that Boyce was “extremely distressed” the night of her death and threw her mobile phone off the balcony because prospective buyers did not make an offer to purchase her penthouse.
However, the jury rejected those claims and agreed with the prosecution that Lang had told a series of lies to cover up the fact that he stabbed Boyce in her bed.
Justice Peter Flanagan immediately sentenced the American citizen to life behind bars for the fatal attack on the “utterly defenseless” Brisbane socialite.
Maureen’s husband Graham Boyce fought back tears outside the court as he thanked the police and spoke about the impact his wife’s death had on their family.
“She lies today rotting away in a cold lonely grave at Dutton Park,” he said.
Boyce said his wife’s reputation had been “sullied in the media” throughout the trial when she was unable to defend herself.
“She was a wonderful person, mother and wife and not just a socialite,” he said.
“I loved Maureen. I understood her. I understood her illness and respected the marriage vows we took some 40 years ago.”
The court heard throughout the trial that the ex-model had struggled for many years with mental illness. She had spoken to her husband and a psychiatrist about taking her own life, the Brisbane Times reports.
“These are issues which we must address as a society, and Maureen’s suffering and legacy may help to rectify these issues,” Boyce added.
“Police have done a wonderful job. I thank the court for its wisdom, intelligence and dedication.””
The couple’s son Zachary Boyce said Lang’s “vicious fury” had greatly impacted the family.