Twenty five years later, Betty Boyer has recanted her testimony that convicted Rita Nitz of murder.

rita nitzOn April 9, 1988, the decapitated body of Michael Miley was found in an abandoned car in the woods near Carbondale, Il.  The State of Illinois later convicted, in separate trials, Rita Brookmyer Nitz and her then husband Richard Nitz of first degree murder for the “shooting death of Michael Miley.

The centerpiece of the State’s evidence against Brookmyer was the eyewitness testimony of Betty Boyer, who testified that on the night of the murder, she witnessed Richard Nitz repeatedly strike a young man in the head with a baseball bat.  Boyer also testified that as Nitz assaulted the young man, she witnessed Brookmyer not “doing anything but standing there being quiet.”  According to Boyer, after the man was lying on the ground, Brookmyer helped Nitz load the body into the trunk of a car and left the scene in the car with the body in the trunk.  Rita was never found guilty of participating in the crime.  She was charged with accountability — being present and not doing anything to avoid the crime, and for helping load the body into the trunk of the car.  For this she received life without parole.

Fast forward to February 2013 when Betty Boyer, now known as Betty Lindsey, signed an affidavit recanting her testimony in the trail that convicted Rita Brookmyer Nitz of murder.  “I was forced by prosecutor Garnatti to testify against Rita Nitz,” said Boyer.  “The police and the prosecutor questioned me at least 7 or 8 times.  Each time I was questioned, Mr. Garnatti put pressure on me to implicate Rita Nitz in the homicide of Michael Miley.  The detectives and Mr. Garnatti told me I would lose my children if I did not testify against Rita Brookmyer Nitz and Richard Nitz.  The detectives and Mr. Garnatti told me I would be charged with the homicide if I didn’t testify.”  The affidavit reads on as Boyer lists parts of her false testimony.  Rita’s appeal is in its early stages, and the end result is anyone’s guess.

By recanting her testimony, Betty Boyer’s fate is now open to the judicial system.  Is it possible that Boyer could be subjected to perjury, and Rita lose her appeal?  I spent three years of my life investigating and writing Rita’s story.  Nothing would surprise me.  After 25 years in prison, this might be Rita’s last hope for freedom.

For more information read, “The Rita Nitz Story:  A Life Without Parole” by Larry L Franklin

Boyer’s affidavit can be found in the circuit court of Massac County, Illinois.



Published by llfranklin12

Larry L Franklin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. He performed in the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington, D.C. from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he taught music at Southern Illinois University. In 1976, he completed requirements for a certified financial planner designation and maintained a successful investment business until 2007 when he retired to devote his energies to writing. In 2003, he received an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin is the author of “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory,” published by Xlibris; “The Rita Nitz Story: A Life without Parole,” published by Southern Illinois University Press; “Cherry Blossoms & Barron Plains: A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell,” published by Chipmunka Publishing Company; and “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” published by History Publishing Company. He currently resides in southern Illinois with his wife, Paula.

6 thoughts on “Twenty five years later, Betty Boyer has recanted her testimony that convicted Rita Nitz of murder.

    1. Related to one of them many young men that were there, his best friend who,was involved and committed suicide it was this other person who was in control. I am anxious to read the book, for many,of the men involved have died with great guilt over this, but this,one person who,likes to talk about what it’s like to watch someone’s head explode, has never shown guilt

  1. Thank you for helping keep hope alive. Hope more people will pray for my cousin Rita. The sentence was a travesty of justice to start with.

  2. I just this week read your book. I believe all trials should have all evidence entered. The jury needs to hear everything. I hope the truth finally comes out and all the false witnesses and liars and wrong doing prosecutors are charged and convicted of their crimes.

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