Dennis Boardman, Fort Bragg Homicide Victim: He Beat His Devils Only to Be Murdered by One

Posted with permission from Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser:

DennisBoardmanDENNIS BOARDMAN lived in the Anderson Valley for about a decade of what might be called his lost years. The late Homer Mannix gave Dennis a place to stay in the old Mannix Building, and some nights Dennis would sleep up on the hill west of town on property Homer owned and walk all the way into town from up there. I picked him up one rainy night as he staggered westbound past the high school. He was on his way up the hill. And he would have made it, too.

A tall, handsome man, Dennis was a tough old boy. He’d been a star high school athlete at Fort Bragg, and even in middle age he had the upper body of a weight lifter although the only weight he lifted was his own.  It’s no discredit to Dennis’s memory to say that he drank heavily and was often drunk in public. But drunk or sober he was a man of enormous personal charm. We all liked him, and we all wanted to see him stop drinking. And then he did, and everyone who knew Dennis rejoiced.

With the steady help of the Philbrick family, among others, Dennis soon had his own place in his Fort Bragg home town, and the years passed and Dennis passed them sober, so thoroughly sober he got his driver’s license back. He was proud of himself, and we were proud of him for pulling himself together. It was positively inspirational to see Dennis drive up in his new red pickup with his old dog as road company. A skilled wood worker, Dennis built a unique, hand crafted camper on the back of his truck, and everywhere he went his dog Bugsy went with him.

Most of us had thought Dennis wouldn’t survive his years at the bottom of the bottle, but that one magic day he got into one more rehab of the many he’d been through and darned if he didn’t sober up and darned if he didn’t stay that way.

To know that he’s died would be sad enough, but to know he was murdered is way past disgusting. And the killer will be someone he was good to because he was good to everyone, and it will be twice as disgusting to know that he died because he was good to people. To beat all his devils only to be murdered by one is not the way Dennis Boardman should have gone out.

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33 comments

  • That’s a lovely eulogy. He sounds like he was a kind soul.

    • Mercy Me, Mabel!

      Upvote ☝︎

      • Well written , more than likely true, and sad as hell. R.I.P. MISTER. AND TO THE FAMILY and friends all I can say is he must be in a better place.

    • Susan Radakovitz

      This makes me very sad. My Dad knew him in school , my kids & I lived near a park he would sleep in when he was homeless and hungry. Because we knew who he was from my Dad, my kids & I would take him food & blankets. Then he turned it around, we were all so happy for him. To be beaten & killed, breaks my heart and my daughters heart that would always ask if she could take him supplies. R.I.P. Dennis.

  • Lovingly written

  • a beautiful soul I wish I had met.

  • Sandra Liljeberg

    Thank You so much…

  • I’ve not often seen eye-to-eye with Bruce Anderson, but salute him for his stirring tribute to a man I never knew. Thank you, Sir.

  • Very nicely said.

  • That is really sad to hear. I had many contacts with Dennis in my years with both the SO and PD and always found him an interesting and intelligent person. For him to be murdered after overcoming so much is sad. May he rest in peace and justice be served.

  • Very well said Bruce. Thank you. So Sad after all he’s been through & the struggles he conquered. RIP Dennis

  • Johanna Boardman

    Beautiful and well written. Thank-you, Bruce Anderson.

  • He came through my grocery line at Safeway many times. He was always a jolly happy go lucky gentlemen and will be missed. So very sad, that anbody would murder him. Jill G

  • I am so sorry to hear he has passed. Just the little bit I knew of him, I could tell he was a very loving man. I used to wait on him at the A-frame coffee shop for years and recently saw him walking Bugsy up the haul road. He stopped to talk to me and I was so happy to see all his progress in life. I could feel the love he had for Bugsy, he was always so kind and gentle with him. I’m sorry for his family and will be praying for strength for them during this hard time~

  • Dennis you did not deserve this. You were a good man. May you rest in peace.

  • I Knew Dennis through the good and the bad, and even in the worst and lowest times the fact that Dennis was a good and kind soul shone through. I hope whoever is responsible for his death suffer a fitting fate.

  • Denis graduated in the same class as I did. I will always remember him as a nice guy who will be missed by all who knew him. He will not be forgotten.

  • I hope his murder he or she gets all coming to them

  • I hope his murder he or she gets all thats coming to them

  • Huge respects to this man.

  • “alcoholism is a bitch” per Gene Duffy, ca 80’s! To get out from under that crushing weight it difficult, but rewarding. Great respect for Dennis and his day-at-a-time over his illness. As to the murderer, may the rest of your days, and long thereafter, be spent in less comfort that the first week of detox, your foul-bred excremental heap of soul-less batshit!

  • Rest in peace

  • Any news on bugsy he needs a new home I so hope he gets one

  • Thank u kym I’m a dog person I hope he is going to someone who loves him and will take care of him

  • Yeah I don’t even know the man and I’m disgusted!!! The senseless killing needs to stop in nor cal!! Its all danger all the time!!! I’ve been back living in sohum for the last 4 years and I felt safer in LA!! Wing nuts to spare up here!!! Spoiled by the pot dollar + zero education = methzombies with guns that don’t value human life!!! My heart goes out to Dennis’s friends and family!!! Sad sad story!!!!

  • This article was so well written that it made me feel the pain in a personal way. I did not know him, but God bless his memory and his family.

  • Very well written and a fine tribute to somebody who was a role model for those fighting addiction.
    May he rest in peace .

  • Good never exists without evil. R.I.P.

  • Sandra Liljeberg

    I went to school with Dennis and saw him at his worst and best and so grateful he got to have a best.I saw him about two weeks ago and he gave me a big hug and smile.I was so proud of him getting clean I prayed for him all the time…He has been though so much and for someone to kill him makes my heartbreak. RIP my friend I will never forget you….God Bless..

  • When I got married to my husband my mother in law thought it would be funny to have squint at my bachelorette party and we danced and laughed and danced and laughed I will never forget that man he was an awesome person rest in peace Dennis

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