Real Name: Joyce Marie McLain
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: East Millinocket, Maine
Date: August 8, 1980
Details: Sixteen-year-old Joyce McLain was a popular and well-liked high school student to her friends and family in East Millinocket, Maine. She was a skilled musician who played in the orchestra and composed her own music. She was also an honors student, a cheerleader, and part of the student body. She planned on going to college after graduating from high school.
At 7:30pm on Friday, August 8, 1980, Joyce went jogging behind her school; she went behind the soccer fields and was never seen again. When she didn't come home that night, her mother, Pam, became concerned. A search for her soon began. Two days later, she was found beaten to death in the woods behind her school. Her death came as a great shock to the community.
Several theories have came up in this case, but no one has ever been identified as a suspect. As the years pass on, the community of East Millinocket refuses to let Joyce's murder be forgotten. On the eight year anniversary of it, a candlelight memorial service was held.
Suspects: Several theories have came up as to who might have murdered Joyce. On the night she vanished, a softball tournament was in town and several teenagers were partying around the area that she went jogging. One theory is that she was harassed by locals who later took her to the field where she was found, attempted to rape her, and ended up beating and killing her. Another theory was that she was murdered by workers at a local paper mill. However, no suspects were named.
A detective who worked the case stated that he was certain he knew who killed Joyce McLain, but he also stated that he believed that the person responsible for her death is no longer in the position to harm anyone else in the general public.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 15, 1989 episode. Joyce's friends and family signed a petition to help get her story onto Unsolved Mysteries. It was also featured on People Magazine Investigates.
Results: Solved. For years, Pam had tried to have Joyce's body exhumed in order to find new evidence. Finally, in 2008, it was exhumed for a second autopsy and new evidence was uncovered. In 2009, her gravesite was vandalized repeatedly by unknown assailants. It is unknown if it has any relation to her murder.
After the case was reopened, new evidence was found and new witnesses came forward that implicated Phillip Scott Fournier in it. In 2009, he was officially named a "person of interest". In March 2016, he was arrested and charged with Joyce's murder. He had actually been considered a person of interest in the case since the time of the murder.
On the night Joyce was killed, Fournier, who was nineteen at the time, stole an oil truck and crashed it just a few blocks from the area where her body would later be found. Several witnesses, including his mother, stepfather, and priest, all stated that he confessed to killing her or being involved in her murder. He also had confessed to the crime to investigators during several different interrogations throughout the years. During these confessions, he claimed that other men were involved in the crime. However, all of these men were ruled out as suspects.
Several years after Joyce's murder, Fournier confessed to it to his supervisor. The supervisor asked him how he had gotten away with the crime. He told him that he purposely misled investigators by naming other men as being involved in the case.
Other witnesses stated that they had seen Fournier near the school around the time that Joyce vanished. They noticed that he had a bottle of hard liquor with him. In some of his confessions, he claimed that he had killed her by striking her in the head with the bottle. Two witnesses also stated that on the night she vanished, they had seen him running away from the area where her body would later be found. A few days before her death, he told his stepbrother that he had a "crush" on her. He also told his stepfather that he wanted to "take up jogging" which was an activity that she often did.
In some of Fournier's confessions, he accurately described certain parts of the crime scene, including a telephone insulator found next to her body (which he also claimed he struck her with), that her hands were tied behind her back, that she was lying on her stomach, that her hair was tied back in a ribbon, and that she was on her period when she was killed. According to police, the details about the insulator and her period were never released to the public. Also, he took an officer to the exact spot where her body was found.
Fournier had several previous convictions on charges of possession of child pornography, burglary, and theft. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and asked for a trial by judge. His defense claimed that his confessions were unreliable due to the injuries he sustained from the truck crash. They pointed to other suspects in the case, including Peter Larlee, the man who found Joyce's body; Joe Albert, a criminal who killed another young woman in 1983; and the men whom Fournier previously named in his confessions. However, all had already been ruled out by police either through alibis or other means.
Fournier's trial began in January 2018. On February 22, he was found guilty of first-degree murder. In April, he was sentenced to fourty-five years in prison. In February 2019, his conviction was upheld.
- Joyce McLain on Unsolved.com
- Unsolved mystery: TV show may help solve 8 1/2-year-old case
- Exhumation funds raised in Maine murder
- Police seek new clues in old murder
- A Cold Case Comes to Life
- Judge shocked convict's ex-wife
- No 'Cold Justice' for 33-year-old Joyce McLain homicide case
- Arrest made in 1980 homicide of Joyce McLain
- Maine police 'confident' arrest solves 1980 killing
- Mclain Affidavit
- Man charged in death of Joyce McLain pleads not guilty
- Judge says evidence against Joyce McLain murder suspect 'not overwhelming'
- 37 years after Joyce McLain's death, murder trial set to begin
- Joyce McLain's mother speaks of girl's final hours as murder trial begins
- Maine man found guilty in 1980 slaying of Joyce McLain
- Justice Ann Murray's full judgment in the murder trial of Philip Scott Fournier
- Justice for Joyce: The trial her family, community has waited 37 years for
- Joyce McLain's killer sentenced to 45 years in prison
- Maine high court upholds conviction of Joyce McLain's killer
- Joyce McLain on Find a Grave