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Billy Boy - The Kidnapped Child - Oakwood Cemetery in Sharon, PA

On March 18, 1909 at 9:20 am a man drove up to the East Ward Schoolhouse in Sharon, PA with a horse and buggy and took 8 year old Billy Whitla.

That afternoon, Mrs. Whitla, received a letter from the kidnappers asking for $10,000 for Billy’s safe return. The horse and buggy which was rented by Thompson Livery Stable in South Sharon was found in Warren, OH.

Mr. Whitla received another letter giving directions to drop off the money in Ohio. After one failed attempt Mr. Whitla finally dropped off the money. Bill was found on some sort of opioid by the police and returned to his parents. Billy said that Mr. & Mrs. Jones said that he was in their charge because his parents feared him getting the smallpox since his father was ill.

Eventually James H. Boyle and his wife, Helen, were captured and confessed to the kidnapping. After a court hearing Mr. Boyle was sentenced to life and Mrs. Boyle to 25 years in prison.

James F. Boyle died of pneumonia at Riverside Penitentiary in January, 1920.. (3/5/1874 - 1/23/1920) at the age of 45. James is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hermitage, Mercer County, PA. Helen was pardoned about 1926, remarried and moved to Chicago.

Billy grew up to be a lawyer. He died of pneumonia on December 28, 1932 at 31 years old and is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Sharon, PA.

Oakwood Cemetery is located at: 600 N Oakland Ave, Sharon, PA 16146

Additional burial plots to see in Oakwood Cemetery:

Burial plot of Gypsy Queen, Lena Miller:

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