Lindon police Officer Joshua Boren had secrets.
In a green notebook police found in his bedroom in his Spanish Fork home in the days after he shot and killed his family and then himself, he numbered them:
“Secret 1. I live the typical normal person’s life.”
“Secret 2. I have a sex addiction.”
The list goes on.
“Secret 6. I’ve always hated sex offenders and their behaviors. I’ve publicly humiliated them.”
“Secret 7. I have been sexually abusing my wife for several years.”
While some of Boren’s secrets were known to the circle of family and friends who had watched his marriage to Kelly Boren unravel, everyone who knew the couple were shocked to learn that on Jan. 16 Boren had shot and killed his estranged wife, his mother-in-law and his two young children before turning his handgun on himself.
On Monday, Spanish Fork police Lt. Matt Johnson said the Utah state medical examiner’s office confirmed detectives’ initial conclusion that the deaths were a case of multiple murder-suicide.
Johnson also confirmed that the 34-year-old Boren used his department-issued Glock 40-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the slayings of his 32-year-old wife, Kelly; the couple’s two children, Joshua, 7, and Haley, 5; and Kelly Boren’s mother, 55-year-old Marie King.
“Toxicology tests reveal the absence of any drugs or alcohol in the bodies of the victims or Joshua Boren,” Johnson added.
In an investigative report obtained Monday through an open-records request, friends and family detailed to police the volatile relationship between Joshua and Kelly Boren, which centered around the man’s issues with sex, and apparently stemmed from when he was physically and sexually abused as a child.
Boren’s wife had confided to several friends that her husband had drugged her — putting Ambien in her protein shakes — then videotaped himself having sex with her while she was unconscious. She had discovered the tapes, friends told police, and had asked Joshua Boren to leave their house.
Investigators never found the video tapes, but the day before the fatal shootings, text messages show that Kelly Boren confronted her husband about them, telling him their marriage was over.
“You [expletive] raped me,” she texted him, following up with four more messages consisting of a single word: “Raped.”
Another text from the woman said, “You killed a part of me.”
Friends who knew the police officer through work told investigators after the shootings that they knew the Borens were contemplating divorce, but also that they had a very “up-and-down” relationship.
Buck Bufton, who met Joshua Boren through the Utah County SWAT team, told investigators that he urged Joshua Boren to seek professional help.
“Buck advised that Josh Boren needed help 20 years ago,” an investigator wrote. “With whatever happened to him as a kid, he needed help 20 years ago. Buck said Josh was able to fool a lot of us. Buck said Josh was a good officer and deputy. Buck said he knew Josh had problems, [but] he never imagined it was this horrible and that Josh was so far gone.”
Friends of Kelly Boren told investigators that she had been having an affair for a few months before her death with a man she met at her gym. That man told police that he didn’t believe that her husband was aware of the affair, and that his phone number was saved in her phone as “Jana.” They had exchanged nearly 13,000 text messages, he told police, and on the day before her death, he had exchanged messages with her throughout the day.
At one point, she texted him that “Josh is ‘starting crap’ again.”
“She follows up with another message that says, ‘I told Josh if he keeps it up, I won’t let him see the kids,’ ” the investigator wrote.
On the evening of Jan. 16, when Joshua Boren didn’t show up for his graveyard shift at the Lindon Police Department, Spanish Fork police arrived at the couple’s 37 N. 630 West home to conduct a welfare check. They found King deceased on a couch downstairs, and the rest of the Boren family lying on the bed in an upstairs master bedroom. Both children had gunshot wounds in their chests and heads, according to the report.
Joshua Boren sent his last text message the day of the shootings just before 6 p.m. It was for his mother: “I hope you are having a good day. Have a long and healthy life.”
His family later told police he had a deep hatred for his mother, because he felt she did not protect him from being sexually abused as a child, and did not provide a stable childhood.
State court records showed no history of violent crimes or domestic abuse involving Boren. Police also said they had not been called to the home on any complaint in the four years the Borens had lived in their Spanish Fork home.
“Investigators received information from interviews that there were marital issues in the past,” Johnson acknowledged Monday. “[But] none of [them] had been reported to authorities.”
Tribune reporter Bob Mims contributed to this story.