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Boyd tries to go straight

It's the early 1950s, and banks are popping up all over "Toronto the Good." So too is a daring group of villains (or heroes, depending on who you ask): the bank-robbing, jail-busting "Boyd Gang." Warring newspapers and budding television stations race to break any news of Toronto's most infamous gangsters, and capture the imagination of the public.

Edwin Boyd has been behind bars 10 years, and is a model prisoner. He makes such a good impression on the parole board that they decide to set him free. Boyd says he's found God, and is grateful that "the years straightening me out were not in vain." But when he returns to Toronto, he has a lot of explaining to do to the relentless media that are waiting for him.
. Four months after his release, Boyd was back in jail for parole violations.   He had changed his address without telling his parole officer, and had "associations" that the parole board disapproved of. It was later revealed that this involved a relationship with a 16-year-old girl named Adele. Boyd insisted the relationship was strictly platonic.

. Boyd was 48 when he was first released from Kingston Penitentiary. In prison he worked in the canvas shop and became a welder. He says he read the Bible and tried not to think about his activities with the Boyd Gang. Boyd made two unsuccessful attempts to saw through the bars, but otherwise he had a perfect record.

. Despite the parole board's pleas for media restraint, there was a huge surge of publicity when Boyd was released. Reporters were relentless and made Boyd's return to the community very difficult. He was already estranged from his wife and kids, and was constantly followed by police.

. After violating his parole, Boyd spent four more years in Kingston before being released again, this time to British Columbia under an assumed identity. He was under strict orders not to communicate with the press. A Toronto Star reporter tracked him down a year later, but in general Boyd managed to live anonymously from the time he was paroled until his death.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 3, 1962
Guest(s): Edwin Boyd
Reporter: Paddy Gregg
Duration: 1:50

Last updated: June 26, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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