Son of Oklahoma City firebomb victims reflects on family memories

Son of firebomb victims reflects on family memories. Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma medical examiner, said the deaths of Boyd Haynes, 87, and Doris Haynes, 86, have been ruled homicides.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON tgibson@opubco.com Modified: July 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm •  Published: July 14, 2011

Boyd Haynes and his wife, Doris Haynes, were spending one last night in the Oklahoma City home they had shared for 45 years when it was firebombed Wednesday morning, their son said.

“They were inseparable,” the son, Terry Haynes, said. “It has to have been 40 years since they have not spent a night together.”

Both died of smoke inhalation, the state medical examiner's office reported Thursday. He was 87 and she was 86.

Their son said his parents were scheduled to move into the Meadow Lake Retirement Center, an assisted living facility, at 10 a.m. Wednesday. They were asleep in their home at 7608 S Miller Blvd. at the time of the fire.

A neighbor, Tristan Ryan Owen, 15, was arrested Wednesday on complaints of murder and arson. He denied starting the fire but admitted to playing with firebombs in the area, police said.

A man who identified himself as Owen's grandfather, but declined to give his name, said the boy lives with him and his wife. Police have identified the grandfather as Bob Owen.

“We love our grandson. We hope this turns out to be a mistake for him,” he said. “We're real sorry about the tragedy that happened to the two elderly people.”

Spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said the medical examiner ruled their deaths homicides on Thursday.

Pair married in 1943

Terry Haynes said his parents met at a track meet in Oklahoma and were married in March 1943.

Boyd Haynes, a World War II Army veteran, worked as a salesman for many years before he found a job with B&B Hearing Aid Services in Oklahoma City, Terry Haynes said. Soon after, Doris Haynes joined him at the company. Eventually, the couple bought the business.

Terry Haynes said some of his most fond memories of his parents include family golf tournaments. He said the winners would receive a trophy with their names on it and get to keep it until the next tournament.

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There's not a way in the world either of them could have gotten out of that house.”

Terry Haynes

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