Once I Built a Railroad

This Minneapolis Star story about Boyd in October of 1977 demonstrates the quick ruination that befell him once he was connected to a 1 million dollar scandal publicly. It would be interesting to know who the sources were. Big time Democrats needed to have the story die and could have decided to tell reporters background information that was unflattering to Boyd. 

The FBI is probably an even likelier source of unflattering news. All police come under the gun when the press describes a crime which the public will hold them accountable for solving. The FBI had a very long history of preening for the press. The 1965-74 television series "The FBI" starring Ephraim Zimbalist Jr. was sort of the CSI Miami of its day. That image consciousness began in the 1920's when J Edgar Hoover took control. He posed for newspapermen holding a tommy gun and groomed his agents to be crisp and presentable to the public. He also was infamous for black mailing powerful public figures.

One of the weapons lawmen wield is the ability to craft a news story. The people they are investigating can be made vulnerable through the use of targeted bad news. One such unflattering item in this story is the dismissive "self taught" description of Boyd's engineering background. Boyd didn't get a college engineering degree. You could say the same thing of Abe Lincoln's law degree. . 

Boyd was from the Depression Generation and had to scramble after World War II. He took a fairly traditional correspondence course to become an engineer. He was employed as such by Republic Steel for fifteen years. Perhaps the best indication that Boyd's engineering deserved more than quotations around his occupation is his supervision of the building of a rail road. Don says it was one of the last two "built from scratch" railroads built in the United States. It connected the Babbitt Mine with the Republic Steel site on Lake Superior at Two Harbors.

I suspect that after these stories came out even the reporters had convicted Boyd in their minds. After all where there's smoke there's fire.