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Cold Case Cowboys, Douglas County, Oregon, Who We Are


Tom Hall | Syd Boyle | Al Olson | Lee Tyler

Tom Hall, Cold Case Cowboy

Tom Hall

Tom began his federal law enforcement career in 1973 after graduating on the Dean's honor list, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, from California State University, Sacramento. He spent the next 26 ½ years as a U.S. Postal Inspector. For the first 13 years, in Los Angeles, CA, he investigated a variety of Postal related cases to include mail theft and mail fraud. Later, as a member of the major crimes team he investigated robbery, burglary, and homicide, but specialized in mail bombs. As a 20-year member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) he has over 600 hours of bomb training and has qualified to testify in federal court as a mail bomb expert. He transferred to Phoenix, AZ in 1986 where he spent the next 6+ years. Investigations included internal Postal theft in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as credit card and "identity theft." He also performed the collateral duties of public information officer and postal facility security specialist. Tom completed his career as a supervisor, team leader, for another 6+ years, in Sacramento, CA. He retired in December of 1999 and moved back "home" to Roseburg, Oregon.

As a subject matter expert, (SME), Tom was an instructor for the Postal Inspection Service crime scene investigation, (CSI), and bomb scene investigation schools. He was also an instructor in threat management and violence in the workplace.

Tom rode in the annual Hashknife Pony Express re-enactment from Hollbrook to Scottsdale, AZ for 10 years. The 'Ride' takes place every January and is put on by the U.S. Postal Service and the Navajo County Sheriff's Office search and rescue posse.  After three days in the saddle, their arrival at the Scottsdale Post Office is the official kick-off to the Parada Del Sole, (Parade of the Sun). The Hashknife Pony Express is the only re-enactment where the participants are sworn in as mail carriers and carry live U.S. Mail.

Tom currently lives in Umpqua, OR with his wife Diane in the mountains up from the Main Umpqua River, famous for salmon and steelhead fishing. Diane doesn't care much for the fishing, but loves the peace and quiet of the mountains and the forest of Douglas fir. She says it's like living in a world of Christmas trees. Both love country music and dancing. After all, she found him in a country bar, and after a couple of turns around the hardwood she said, "yep, he'll do." … That was over 25 years ago.

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Syd Boyle

Syd was drawn to law enforcement at an early age because his father was a Special Agent for the Alcohol Beverage Control. He began his career in 1962, at 21, when he went to work for the Watsonville, CA Police Department walking a beat on skid row. He worked patrol, juvenile and Patrol Sergeant. (Syd started in Police work when, if you needed "back-up" to break up a bar fight, you threw the suspect(s) out into the street and hoped a patrol car would come by.)

In 1971 Syd was doing some bull riding and roping so he bought a small ranch
and took a job with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office in Modesto, CA. After a short stint in patrol, the jail and bailiff he accepted a position in the Identification Bureau as a finger print expert and crime scene investigator.

In 1979 Syd went to work for the Turlock, CA Police Department where he worked as a Crime Scene Investigator and Detective. Over the course of his career, Syd investigated over 100 homicides. He also taught CSI / homicides at the Police Academy in Modesto, CA. He was named Outstanding Officer of the Year twice in his career. He also was selected to attend the F.B.I.'s finger print/CSI academy in Quantico, VA. Syd retired in 1988 and moved to Oregon. Syd holds a "Grand Master" Police Combat Pistol Rating. He has many "Top Gun" trophies collecting dust in his shop.

Syd has always been a volunteer. He founded a Police Activities League, (PLA), in Turlock, CA 25 years ago that is still operating today. Syd spent 25 years with the Boy Scouts as a volunteer. His last position with them was District Chairman. He has been a volunteer firefighter with two departments. Oh yeah, he was also a cattle brand inspector for a year and a half. Needless to say Syd has always felt comfortable in a cowboy hat.

Syd, his wife Jenny and their 9 year old son "Gio", own a 300-acre cattle ranch in Roseburg, OR. They finished building a new log home on the ranch in 2008. Syd runs  100+ head of cattle and Jenny is the Senior Program Manager for the Oregon Human Services Department. However, the busy schedule doesn't keep Syd from enjoying hunting, fishing and riding four wheelers with their 7 grandchildren, who all live in Oregon.  Volunteering at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office with the cold case squad and participationg as a Cold Case Cowboy are things he does in his space time.





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Syd Boyle, Cold Case Cowboy

Syb Boyle

Al Olson, Cold Case Cowboy
Al Olson

Al has 30 years of law enforcement experience. During his career he served as a detective and later, for four years, was a lieutenant commanding the investigation division of the Laguna Beach police department in Southern, CA. He continued with 13 years as the chief of police in Morro Bay and Pacifica, CA. Al concluded his career with four more years as the director of a special joint law enforcement / prosecution unit dealing with felony child abuse cases in the state of Washington.

Al graduated with honors from the University of Redlands, CA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration. He holds a California teaching credential and has been an instructor on police subjects at Golden West Community College in Orange County, CA. He has also been an instructor of police management at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Al currently lives by the golf course in Sutherlin, OR with his wife Pat. They love the links and spend many happy hours together on "their" golf course. Both Al & Pat are also known for their devotion to their pets. It's been said, "if you want a really great pampered life, reincarnate as Al & Pat's dog."

When you see pictures of the four of us, Al is always the one without the cowboy hat. He considers it cross-dressing.

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Lee is the newest member of the Cold Case Cowboys, joining the group in March 2006. Lee always wanted to be a police officer. During his time in the Air Force he worked with Strategic Air Command as a Military Police Officer. After his tour of duty was over, he later worked as a Reserve Officer for the Pacifica Police Department, a small hamlet south of San Francisco known for its fog and scenic shoreline.


Lee became the first Reserve Police Officer to be hired as a permanent police officer in the history of the Pacifica Police Department. He rose in rank over time from patrolman to Detective when the call of the big city beckoned and he accepted a job as a District Attorney Criminal Inspector for the City and County of San Francisco. He worked trial preparation for major cases including homicides, robberies and drug trafficking. During his tenure at the SFDA Lee worked undercover with a Robbery Abatement Team. This team was one of the few police units, at the time, to witness seventeen in-progress robberies and capture all of the offenders. Lee also worked on cases involving international drug trafficking, Organized Crime and other high profile crimes. Four years later, Lee was ready to go back to small town police work and returned to Pacifica where he was promoted to Corporal. He retired as a Detective in 1994.


Lee’s extensive training includes Interview and Interrogation, Criminal Investigations, Gangs, Narcotics, Robbery and Homicide, Firearms instructor, Field Training Officer, Court procedures and much more, too many to list here.


After retirement, Lee and his wife Susan began traveling the country in their RV until 2000 when they settled in Bend, Oregon. Tiring of the desert, they moved to the Roseburg Oregon area and enjoy their time sitting by the creek and watching their trees grow. They rescue retired racing greyhounds and the occasional stray cat.







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