Joanna Mullin, a sweet little 6-year-old, was strangled on Aug. 4, 2007, by a man who broke into her grandmother's house in Weymouth. Police charged her 20-year-old cousin, Ryan Bois, with the killing. Even at a time when sensational crimes and wall-to-wall news coverage have dulled the sense of shock, this murder is one that many people just can't get off their minds.

Joanna Mullin
Click image to view all photos

Ryan Bois 'wanted to get some drugs' and sought advice on disposing body
Terrence Gandy of Dorchester, a friend of the man charged with killing 6-year-old Joanna Mullin, testified that the defendant was looking for drugs and asked about how to get rid of a body.

Friend says Bois went from good-natured to suicidal in a day
A host of people who interacted with Ryan Bois the day he allegedly killed his 6-year-old cousin painted a picture of a 20-year-old who transformed from good-natured to suicidal in the course of one day in August 2007.

Grim evidence, tears mark opening of trial in slaying of 6-year-old from Weymouth
The horrific rape and killing of Joanna Mullin was described in opening arguments in the trial of Ryan Bois who is accused of murdering Mullin, his 6-year-old cousin.

'We are going to see things... that may haunt us for years'
The horrific rape and killing of Joanna Mullin was described in opening arguments in the trial of Ryan Bois who is accused of murdering Mullin, his 6-year-old cousin. Prosecutor Robert Nelson displayed photographs of several locations relevant to the case and a graphic image of Mullin's body, which the judge asked be taken off the screen after a few moments. "The defendant was, for lack of a better word, sane prior to going into that house that night,” Nelson said.

Photos from the opening day of the Bois trial
The scene in court on the opening day of the murder trial of Ryan Bois, the 22-year-old Weymouth man charged with killing 6-year-old Joanna Mullin, his cousin, in 2007.

Bois trial to dredge up painful memories in Weymouth
Opening arguments in the trial of what a former police chief called “one of the most heinous crimes this community has faced” are set to begin today, and Weymouth is bracing to relive the details of an episode that still puts residents on edge. Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the trial of Ryan Bois, who is charged with killing his 6-year-old cousin Joanna Mullin.

Jury selected in Bois trial; Bois' sanity may be a key issue
Judge Janet Sanders is  individually interviewing jurors from a pool of about 100 people, who now fill the courtroom in Dedham. Ryan Bois stands accused of murdering and raping his 6-year-old cousin in their grandmother’s Weymouth home in 2007.

Jury selection begins in Weymouth child murder trial
Judge Janet Sanders is  individually interviewing jurors from a pool of about 100 people, who now fill the courtroom in Dedham. Ryan Bois stands accused of murdering and raping his 6-year-old cousin in their grandmother’s Weymouth home in 2007.

Snow delays jury selection in Bois murder trial
Jury selection in the trial of Ryan Bois, the 22-year-old of killing his 6-year-old cousin in their grandmother ’s Weymouth home, was delayed until Tuesday because of the snowstorm Monday morning.

Jury selection begins Monday in Weymouth child slaying case
Legal experts say the defense lawyer of Ryan Bois – who is charged with killing his 6-year-old cousin, Joanna Mullin – will likely revolve around whether Bois understood what he was doing at the time of the crime rather than whether he committed the crime.

Joanna Mullin motorcylce run draws hundreds
Despite the scorching heat Saturday, about 500 bikers piled onto their motorcycles to honor the memory of Joanna Mullin and raise money to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.

Tributes to Joanna
See the messages friends and relatives of Joanna Mullin and sympathetic strangers have left on a memorial page on, and leave your own.

More psych tests for Bois
Ryan Bois is back at Bridgewater State Hospital for more psychological testing. Sept. 14

Ryan Bois indicted on charges of murder and rape
A grand jury has indicted Ryan Bois, the 20-year-old accused of breaking into his grandmother’s home and killing his 6-year-old cousin, and for the first time charged him with rape in connection with the murder.
Aug. 30

These days, grandparents raising grandchildren have special concerns
Intruders and home invasions. Kidnappings. Break-ins during the night. And now a murder. As a grandmother caring for two young grandchildren, Joanne Tavares has thought about all the possible dangers out there these days.
Aug. 23

Murder suspect's court appearances on hold;
Court proceedings for Ryan Bois, the 20-year-old accused of murdering his 6-year-old cousin, are on hold while he continues to undergo psychological evaluation.
Aug. 23

Family that's no stranger to heartache is torn apart by child's death
Sisters Heather and Maureen Daley grew up in the same modest home on a quiet street in South Weymouth. They were products of a father known for his laugh and work ethic and a mother respected in town for her graciousness. Now there is pain, unimaginable horror and a wound so deep between the sisters that family members wonder how it will ever heal.
Aug. 11

Joanna's killing fits no pattern, experts say
What drives someone to sexually assault and kill a little girl? Is it an act of revenge? Anger? Or even intentional?
Aug. 11

Ryan Bois, 20, Weymouth
is charged in the death
of Joanna Mullin.

Click image to view all photos
Bois' rap sheet includes robbery, assault, drug charges
Ryan Bois had a criminal history as a youth and was working on an adult record when he was accused this week of murder.
Aug. 11

OPINION: Some vicious criminals forfeit their right to live
Columnist JoAnn Fitzpatrick recalls when and why she changed her mind about capital punishment.
Aug. 11

Competency is key and complicated question in family killings
An unspeakable crime. A relative charged. A defendant's sanity questioned. That's been the pattern in several family murder cases on the South Shore in recent years. And now it is being played out in the case of accused child killer Ryan Bois.
Aug. 10

Family, strangers pay tribute to slain girl
Mourners streamed into Immaculate Conception Church, heads bowed and flush with thoughts of Joanna Mullin.
Aug. 10

Moving eulogy elicits tears and applause
Through the devastation and disbelief of the loss of such a sweet, innocent child, there were moments of celebration at the funeral for Joanna Mullin.
Aug. 10

Joanna's eulogy
The eulogy written by Joanna Mullin's aunt, Janet Mullin-Saucedo, and read at her funeral by her cousin, Nicole Mullin.
Aug. 10

Parents, teachers gather at girl's school to grieve, seek help
Teachers and parents have flocked to the Pingree School in East Weymouth this week, searching for a way to explain to students there what happened to one of their classmates.
Aug. 9

Suspect's family saw his dark side
Ryan Bois urged friends who dropped him off at his grandmother's house early Sunday morning to help him kill himself. ‘‘They were scared. And instead of dealing with it, they left him off and another horrific thing happens,’’ said Bois’ stepfather, Pasquale Tofani.
Aug. 8

OUR VIEW: Honor Joanna's life, not her death
Nothing feels so horribly awful as violence visited upon helpless children, whether our own, a neighbor's or a victim we never knew that we see in the news.
Aug. 8

Friend sets up fund for Mullin family
When Scott Hitchcock learned of Joanna Mullin's murder, he decided to start a fund in her memory - not because the family needs the money, but because it was the only way he felt he could help.
Aug. 8

Parents of slain girl talk of carefree, generous child
Joanna Mullin planted a garden this spring with her father. She liked to show off the giant zucchinis she grew, and asked everyone to call her Farmer Jo. She was an artist and athlete, a protective big sister to her two little brothers.
Aug. 8

SLAYING SUSPECT: Neighbors didn't see a killer in him
To neighbors in Weymouth, he was a menace, a young kid seemingly always in trouble with the law. But residents of the Framingham neighborhood where Ryan Bois lived for a short time with his mother, stepfather and brother, the 20-year-old, though never a model citizen, never seemed like a killer.
Aug. 8

'A little sweetheart'
Joanna Mullin could warm any heart - a girl who loved playing, loved her family, and loved life. But as her uncle James Mullin, a captain in the Weymouth Police Department, said, her murder has cast the 6-year-old in a new light.
Aug. 7

Weymouth residents try to comprehend, but the slaying of a 6-year-old girl leaves them baffled
The violent death of a 6-year-old girl, allegedly at the hands of her cousin, has shaken the town to its core, leaving residents to struggle for words to describe their horror and sadness.
Aug. 7

A suspect with a troubled past
A neighbor calls him a well-known troublemaker. An aunt described him as a person not to be trusted.'' His attorney says he is a troubled young man. Ryan Bois, who is accused of murdering his young cousin, calls himself Buddah.
Aug. 7

Heinous crimes rekindle debate over death penalty, but support isn't there
Joanna Mullin's killing has some lawmakers and law enforcement officials renewing calls for the death penalty in Massachusetts, but the prospect such a measure will pass seems slim.
Aug. 7

Cousin charged in girl's killing
Ryan Bois, 20, who stands accused of murdering his cousin at their grandmother's house, could also face sexual assault charges.
Aug. 6

6-year-old girl killed, man arrested
A 20-year-old man faces murder charges after police say he kidnapped a 6-year-old girl from a sleepover earlier today, killed her then led police on a chase into Quincy before crashing into a cab.
Aug. 6, 2007

View video of news conference following arrest of Ryan Bois

Click on images below to enlarge.
Once enlarged, clicking left or right side
of the image advances to the next one.