April 02, 2022
I was pretty excited when I saw an update on this case in the news. Although it seemed fairly obvious to anyone reading who the main suspect was, the culprit was never actually charged with a crime at the time.
I also believe that the Doe network profile for one of the victims (which you can visit by clicking here) was one of the most interesting I’d ever seen at the time.
I must apologize in advance for the quality of the images, but there really aren’t a lot of visuals out there for this case.
Let’s begin with the story of a man named James “Jim” Albert Boyd who disappeared from his hometown of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County in Florida in 1987.
Boyd was 48 years old at the time, Caucasian, with blue eyes and dark hair, standing at around 5”7 - 5”8. He lived in Shore Acres in a house with no windows that was rigged with an intricate alarm system. Although described as a loner, he was by no means a hermit; in fact, he traveled the world extensively in search of rare and exotic items for his business. This would explain why the man lived in what seemed to be such an impenetrable fortress. After all, his abode was brimming with precious metals, the finest of wines, ivory carvings, exquisite jewelry, and priceless art objects. Despite dealing in items so recherché, he lived a simple life.
An old newspaper article (here) details Jim Boyd’s criminal history. The article states that he had been in prison once before for the murder of his wife's lover, a man named Francis J. Veard, in 1968. I managed to find a text on the case (here) which is essentially the transcript of Boyd vs. the state.
Apparently Jim had been staying in South America when he got word that his wife had been having an affair. He found her at her lover’s home, where she had been visiting Veard while Boyd was away. Boyd had picked up a pair of .45 pistols and a Luger (presumably from his Nazi war memorabilia collection) and fatally shot Veard. He went on the run and was finally caught in Kentucky.
So back to the year he went missing. Jim Boyd was due to fly to South Africa and stopped off at local bank on the 6th of February to purchase $1500 in traveller’s checks. This would be the last time that anyone would see the man again.
James Albert Boyd simply vanished off the face of the Earth. He did not make it to South Africa and his car (a Chevrolet El Camino) disappeared along with him.
Several days after Boyd went missing there was activity on his bank account in the form of an attempted withdrawal from a branch in Tampa. A man had walked into the bank, presenting Boyd’s identification documents with his own photograph affixed, and had tried to withdraw $35,000 in cash and refinance Boyd’s truck.
The tellers at the bank contacted the local police and informed them of the suspicious activity, which resulted in officers paying a visit to Boyd’s residence. Although the house was usually locked up tight, this time the door was ajar, and they discovered the place had been ransacked. Not only had items of value disappeared, but spent ammunition from what was later identified as a .25 caliber pistol was found scattered around the house.
Blood was also found in various places around the home; where, exactly, is not specified.
It’s quite easy to see that the motivation for the murder in this case was financial gain. We can assume that Boyd was most likely shot and injured, possibly fatally, but he is still classed as a “missing / endangered” person as we simply do not know what became of him.
Suspicion fell on a friend and lover of James Boyd, a man called Steven Wayne White.
The pair had become acquainted when White contacted Boyd displaying an interesting in purchasing his home. All was not as it seemed, as White had connections to Boyd’s ex-girlfriend, a French woman named Janina Koziej Meylheux. There is pretty much nothing about Meylheux online, other than a couple of articles that mention her name.
Because of this connection, police believed that the murder of Jim Boyd was premeditated and probably a plan that had been in the works for several months prior to the missing man’s disappearance.
Perhaps White and Meylheux were in a relationship together, and she possibly got talking about her ex-partner, Boyd, and how wealthy he was and that he was a dealer of rare items. Maybe Steven White then befriended the man and began a relationship with him with the intention of eventually robbing him of everything he owned. White wouldn’t have been able to access the residence without Boyd actually inviting him in, as it was a highly secured home, so it wouldn’t be a simple case of breaking and entering.
Four months later both White and Meylheux were arrested.
Jim Boyd’s missing vehicle and a .25 caliber gun was found in their possession. The FBI also connected the pair to a storage unit they had rented that contained the missing man’s stolen possessions.
Although it seemed quite clear that White had done away with Boyd in order to steal his money and collections, his defense offered a different theory in court. The defense argued that James Boyd was in fact alive, and he had faked his own murder in order to run away and get a sex change to start a new life as a woman.
White was charged with the murder of Jim Boyd and sentenced to life in prison.
Meylheux was charged with theft and was eventually sent back to France.
More recently White has been charged with yet another murder, which police say he admitted to in 2015. He has claimed responsibility for the murder of a man in his late seventies / early eighties named Cedric Horn. Cedric went missing early March of 1986, just a year before Boyd.
The semi-retired dentist was due to take a trip north from Santa Ana for business on the 7th of March that year and promised his daughter in a phone call that he’d drop by her home in Oregon on the return journey. For one reason or another he called her to cancel and informed her that he would be returning directly to his home in Santa Ana. He never made it.
His car was found in Texas with what was identified to be the missing man’s blood soaked the passenger seat. He is still classed as a “missing / endangered” person and he / his remains have never been found.
Steven Wayne White was also suspect number one in this case. Just as with Boyd, he knew Mr. Horn through “business” and following the man’s disappearance attempted to cash a $60,000 check in his name.
Despite all of this, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute, but that all changed in 2015 when he was officially charged with the murder of missing man Cedric Horn for making “incriminating statements” regarding Dr. Horn’s missing status.
According to an article in the OC Register this month, White pleaded guilty and was given 15 years onto of the life sentence he is already serving.
Thanks for reading and feel free to check out the other blog posts for more current cases and cases with recent updates.
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