Glamorous socialite lived the high life before she was stabbed to death by her scorned lover

Dec 07, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership

A socialite who partied at star-studded events with a smile on her face battled with bipolar and borderline personality disorder which made her suicidal, before she was murdered by her lover.

Former model Maureen Boyce spent her days rubbing shoulders with Queensland's elite with a happy disposition and a glass of expensive champagne in her hand.

Married to successful doctor Graham Boyce and living in a $3.5million waterfront penthouse on Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, the mother-of-two turned heads wherever she went.

Thomas Chris Lang, who eventually stabbed her as she slept after he found a text message from another man on her phone on October 22, 2015, told police he thought she was a 'movie star stepping out of her car' the first time he saw her.

Former model Maureen Boyce was stabbed five times while asleep in her bed. The attack was so savage that the kitchen knife went all the way through her abdomen and pierced the sheets

Behind Ms Boyce's glitzy facade, the 68-year-old struggled with extreme mental health disorders that lead to depression, mania and suicidal tenancies,

But behind the glitzy facade, the 68-year-old struggled with extreme mental health disorders that lead to depression, mania and suicidal tenancies, The Courier-Mail reported.

Witnesses said she had spoken about jumping from her 20th floor apartment, and was once found stepping on a chair which was leaning on the railing of her balcony.

Ms Boyce's infidelity was also a source of contention within her family right up until she died.

Her children Angelique and Zachary vocally disapproved of her rekindled romance with Lang, now 68.

The pair had a fling 30 years earlier in the US before she was hospitalised with mental health issues and brought back to Australia by her husband.

Maureen Boyce (left) pictured with daughter Angelique at the 2002 Melbourne Cup

Maureen Boyce's family outside court in 2017. Pictured: husband Graham (centre), son Zachary (right) and and daughter Angelique Pennisi (left)

The pair got back together in 2013 when Ms Boyce told Lang she was pregnant with his son, whom she raised with her husband.

A teary-eyed Angelique told Brisbane Supreme Court during Lang's murder trial last week that she had a falling out with her mother over the affair and wrote in a text message that she didn't want anything to do with her.

Had Ms Boyce not been murdered, her distraught daughter said the relationship would have been repaired like it had after previous arguments.

Her husband was also deeply saddened by the betrayal and wrote a furious message on Facebook when he realised she had travelled to New Zealand to see her lover.

Thomas Chris Lang pictured in 2017. The former doctor has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of Ms Boyce's murder for a second time

They met in the 1980s when Ms Boyce was modelling in the U.S. and Lang was a young doctor in Texas

Lang's defence lawyers argued the relationship breakdowns in Ms Boyce's life, along with disappointment because her apartment would not sell, drew her to take her own life.

Ms Boyce was found dead the following day with a 19cm blade sticking out of her abdomen, embedded so deeply the tip of the weapon pierced the mattress beneath her.

She had three separate exit wounds and five track wounds, indicating the knife had been repeatedly removed and reinserted.

The jury deliberated on the case for two days, before they unanimously found him guilty of murder.

Socialite Maureen Boyce was found in her Kangaroo Point home with a cooking knife so deeply embedded in her stomach she was impaled to the bed

They restarted the affair in 2013 when Lang was working in New Zealand and regularly visited her - as he was on the night of her death

Lang has always flatly denied he killed the 'love of his life', insisting the pair were in love and planned to marry before Christmas in 2015, despite the fact that she was married to Mr Boyce.

However, prosecutor Todd Fuller told the court the pair were each tormented with jealously at the the idea that the other was cheating.

He said Lang was 'driven to the brink' when he scrolled through her phone and realised another man was messaging her, claiming the scorned lover 'saw

'He stood there somewhere near that balcony with that phone in his hand... That's what drove him, that's what's caused him to leave the balcony we know what he's walked past – the kitchen where that knife has come out of the knife block, that short walk through the lounge room to where Maureen Boyce was lying in bed,' Mr Fuller said.

Maureen Boyce's son Zachary (left) and husband Graham (right) pictured in 2017 outside court

Thomas Lang (pictured) will be eligible for parole in 15 years having spent five years in jail already

As the verdict was read aloud, Lang spoke for the first time: 'I didn't do it.'

It marked the second time he was convicted for the stabbing murder after the last case in December 2017 was quashed when the Court of Appeal found there was a 'real possibility' that misleading and irrelevant evidence was used.

Ms Boyce's and her children told the court that the former model was thrilled to learn she was about to become a grandmother.

They told of their heartbreak that she was killed before the arrival of her first grandchild.

Justice Ann Lyons sentenced Lang to a maximum life sentence, saying the circumstances of her death had caused great and continuing distress to her family.

Maureen Boyce (left) with son Zachary Boyce (right). Zachary said her death caused great harm to the family, as his mother had two children and was soon to become a grandmother

'Her family have been deprived of her vibrancy and her love. It is a cause of great sadness that she will never get to meet her grandchildren,' she said.

'They clearly all miss her deeply, that was obvious in their evidence to the court. And it's the cause of great sadness that she did not get to meet her grandchildren.'

Lang has already served five years in prison since Ms Boyce's 2015 murder and so will be eligible for parole in about 15 years, taking into account time served.

Outside the court, family members embraced after the verdict that came more than five years after Ms Boyce's death - but not everyone was satisfied with the result.

A lifelong friend of both Lang and Ms Boyce broke down in tears and confronted detectives, saying they would 'rot in hell'.

'I am terribly, terribly disappointed. I met Dr Lang with Maureen... he loved her to bits. He was the love of her life. He is a lovely man, he wouldn't kill a fly,' Jocelyn Banks told AAP outside court.

'They were madly, madly in love. To think that anyone could believe he had done this is beyond comprehension.

'She was the one who tracked him down - it's a tragic second-time-around love story.'

PAP members call on party to embrace diversity and be open to opposing views

Nov 29, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
Two People’s Action Party (PAP) members have called on the ruling party to embrace diversity and listen to opposing views, with one Member of Parliament (MP), Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, going as far as to say that PAP has to fix its "empathy deficit and grow more comfortable with understanding views we disagree with".

The MP for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC) was among some party activists who spoke at the annual PAP convention on Sunday (Nov 28). There were about 2,000 party activists as well as members from the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) who attended the event both physically at Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre and online.

Ms Gho Sze Kee, branch secretary of the party’s Bukit Timah branch, also talked about how the party needed to introduce a diversity of perspectives to avoid the dangers of groupthink and being part of an echo chamber.

Addressing fellow party activists in her speech, Ms Nadia acknowledged that there is a tendency for people to live in “bubbles”, which refer to how individuals are often surrounded by others who look or think the same way as them, and that these “bubbles” have led to social divisions.

And these differences have played out online in the way party members have responded to opposing views as if they were threats.

However, she urged party members to be conscious of their own inherent biases and not view these differences as a threat, but as opportunities to have hard conversations.

“I hope we have them, and in listening, be at least open to the possibility of changing our minds,” she added.

“More than any trait during this time, I call for empathy that goes two ways. Empathy should drive us to amplify voices of others, to join forces for a shared cause, for our future.

“We have always been a party of action, and empathy is how we will continue to stay relevant, and continue to take meaningful action for our fellow Singaporeans.”

Recounting her own experience as a party activist since 2012, Ms Gho, 42, said PAP’s biggest pressing need is to ensure that it renews its members at every level of the party’s hierarchy, and not only in the candidates it fields during a general election.

Citing some branch-level statistics, she said that there are only 12 branch secretaries who are female, compared with 81 who are male.

“We need to ensure our party’s membership at the branch level truly reflects the diversity of Singapore. And we have to make sure that diversity counts when anticipating ground needs, giving inputs to policy formulation, and communicating our messages to our voters,” said Ms Gho.

When asked by reporters later if her point about PAP needing to embrace people from diverse backgrounds extends to people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Ms Gho agreed.

Recurring theme

The need to embrace people from diverse backgrounds and different viewpoints was a recurring theme at Sunday’s party convention.

PAP’s secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Singapore’s Prime Minister, made similar points in his speech.

He had said that the party must show that it is not afraid of opposing views or being challenged, and that voters today want to see more debate, contestation and questioning of established ideas.

“We welcome good ideas, regardless of who proposed them… We also have to rebut wrong views, if possible gently, but when necessary firmly,” said Mr Lee.

Speaking to reporters after the event, MP for MacPherson ward Tin Pei Ling said that embracing diverse viewpoints would strengthen trust.

“It’s not just me pushing things to you and you have to accept it, or I just say things that you like to listen. But I explain to you so that even if we may not see eye-to-eye 100 per cent on everything, you know where I am coming from, that it’s not self-serving,” she added.

“And so, it comes back to what are we in politics for? It’s about serving people. And if that’s the case, then, having that empathy, bridging those differences, listening to people and to willingly engage and see whether we can have a midpoint perhaps, and letting you know where I come from. I think that’s important.”

Also speaking at Sunday’s convention was Mr Ling Weihong, 40, branch secretary of Sengkang Central, which is currently under the Workers’ Party.

He talked about the difficulties operating in an opposition ward, but said that his team would continue to work to win back Sengkang GRC, though he acknowledged that it would be an uphill task.

Representing the trade unions, Mr Sanjeev Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, talked about the need to reinforce the strong ties between NTUC and PAP.

He said the collaboration between both organisations is mostly happening within the leadership level and that it needs to be extended to all members of both organisations.