Michael Woodmansee

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Michael Woodmansee
Born 1959
Criminal penalty Imprisonment for 40 years
Criminal status Released after 28 years (time off for good behavior) with a voluntary commitment to Eleanor Slater Hospital in Cranston, RI in the fall of 2011
Conviction(s) Second degree murder

Michael Woodmansee is an American child murderer. He was a sixteen-year-old junior at South Kingstown High School in the state of Rhode Island in 1975 when he murdered Jason Foreman, a five-year-old who lived nearby, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.[1] He was not convicted of the murder until 1983, when he confessed to the crime upon questioning about the attempted strangulation of another child.[2] He was a large boy and preferred to spend most of his time alone.[3] He lived with his father Franklin Woodmansee, a police reservist, on Schaeffer Street in the village of Peacedale.[4]

Disappearance of Jason Foreman[edit]

In May 1975, on the day Jason disappeared, he had been out playing with his older brother and three other boys. After announcing to his playmates that he was going home, he ran toward the fire station located at the bottom of the hill. The street he lived on was not more than 30 yards from there; however, to make it to his house he would have to pass by the house where Woodmansee lived. Jason's mother, Joice Foreman, last heard her son's laughter through the open window, at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon. He never made it home.[1] It was her 25th birthday.[4]

Arrest and conviction[edit]

Jason Foreman's murder went unsolved until Woodmansee was apprehended in April 1982 for a different crime. He had lured a 14-year-old paperboy (surname Sherman) into his house, and plied him with alcohol.[3][4] After Woodmansee made an unsuccessful attempt to strangle him, the boy made it home and recounted the incident to his father, who became enraged, confronted Woodmansee, and then punched him. Woodmansee's father saw the police leaving from the Sherman home, waved the officer over, and complained to the police about the attack upon his son. The officer requested that they both come down to the police station to talk about the incident. During the interrogation with Woodmansee regarding the alleged attack upon the Sherman boy, the officers had a hunch that he might know something about the disappearance of Jason Foreman. Slowly they steered the interrogation that way and ultimately Woodmansee confessed to killing Jason Foreman. He told the police that when they searched his room they would find a journal but that everything in the journal was purely fiction. When police searched Woodmansee's room, they not only found the journal but also found Foreman's skull and several other bones on his dresser.[2] The bones had been picked clean of all flesh and shellacked.[1] Woodmansee pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 1983, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison as a result of a plea bargain.[4] The prosecutor negotiated the plea bargain to avoid the gruesome facts about the murder being exposed during the trial.[5]

Early release[edit]

Woodmansee was released from prison on September 11, 2011, after having served 28 years of the 40-year sentence. The "Good Time Law" in Rhode Island allows a prisoner to earn as much as 10 days off his sentence, every month, for good behavior. In the 28 years that Woodmansee was incarcerated he was able to earn back 12 years under the provision.[3][6][7] John Foreman, Jason's father, stated that he intends to murder Woodmansee after he is released.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Mooney, Tom (9 Mar 2011). "US: Killer kept boy's shellacked bones and skull on dresser". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Bosch, Torie (Mar 8, 2011). "Michael Woodmansee: 5 Facts About the Murderer and Alleged Cannibal". AOL News. Archived from the original on 2011-03-09. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Giannangelo, Stephen J. Real-life monsters: a psychological examination of the serial murderer. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-313-39784-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d McKiernan, Kathleen. "Woodmansee faces possible early release". Web Article. Rhode Island Central. Retrieved 26 August 2012. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Cox, Carmen (2011-03-08). "Victim's Dad Vows to Murder Child Killer Michael Woodmansee If He Gets Out - National News - ABC News Radio". Abcnewsradioonline.com. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Assembly OKs changes to 'good time' law". Press release. State of Rhode Island. May 30, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Child killer Woodmansee to get out of prison early". Providence Journal. September 8, 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Michael Woodmansee: John Foreman vows to kill son's 'cannibal' murderer". Daily Mail. March 9, 2011.