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Authorities Charge Man Killed Wife with Poisoned Eyeliner

October 9, 1991 GMT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ A man accused of killing his wife in retaliation for an extramarital affair put her through a slow, painful death by tainting her eyeliner with a toxic chemical, authorities charged.

Richard Overton, 63, a computer consultant and college lecturer, was indicted by a grand jury last week for the murder of Janet Overton, who died in 1988.

Her death had been attributed to cyanide possibly slipped into her coffee the day she died. But in documents unsealed Monday, investigators charged that Overton slowly poisoned his wife with selenium.


Her body sustained lesions and skin rashes, according to an affidavit by Orange County sheriff’s deputies.

Overton, who pleaded innocent and is awaiting trial, also is linked in the documents to an attempted poisoning of his first wife in the early 1970s after she angered him by suing for divorce.

Dorothy Boyer’s beverages and shampoo were laced with selenium, causing her to suffer the same symptoms that later afflicted Mrs. Overton, the affidavit says.

Ms. Boyer, 56, of Capistrano Beach suffers from cancer that she suspects was caused by the selenium poisoning years ago, her attorney said last week.

Ms. Boyer did not push for prosecution of her ex-husband and he was referred to county Mental Health Services, the document says.

After Mrs. Overton died, investigators re-examined the Boyer case. They also interviewed a married man who said that he had been Mrs. Overton’s lover and that Overton became suspicious in 1984.

The man, who was identified only as a confidential informant in the affidavit, said Overton tried to publicly humiliate his wife by distributing a flier about the affair.