Wellesley Richard "Dick" Boynton, a longtime local newsman for station KBEE, died September 6, 1986 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 61.
Modesto Police Lt. Dennis Puthuff said the victim was staying at the Chalet Motel when he shot himself in the head with a .22-caliber pistol. Boynton died some two hours later at Doctors Medical Center without regaining consciousness.
Police said the shooting occurred as he was talking on the telephone with his estranged wife, Maureen Robello- Boynton, shortly after 2 pm. She rushed to the motel were she and the motel manager found the victim slumped over a nightstand, unconscious. A second gun, a .45- caliber pistol, was found on a nearby nightstand. Maureen Boynton said the victim had been despondent, being unable to find employment since being layed-off by KBEE management. Mackenzie Atkins, manager of the motel where Boynton had been staying for the past month, said that Boynton thought " it was a simple case of age discrimination."
Boynton had worked as news editor for KBEE for nearly a decade, under then managers Roy Swanson and Ed Boyle. His deep, resonant voice was also heard on the airwaves at KWG in Stockton. Boynton had also worked as a newsman for radio stations in Salinas and San Diego.
Boynton first joined KBEE in 1967 and left in 1961. He was rehired in 1979 and left the station in 1984. In the interim, he worked as a parts manager at Noble Auto Parts in Modesto.
Boynton was also known among racing fans, as a winning driver of dragsters and super-stock cars.