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Woodmansee faces possible early release

March 11, 2011

Photo By Ray Clayton

Convicted murder Michael Woodmansee sits at his arraignment at the old South Kingstown police station in August 1982. He is facing an early release that could free him this August.

PEACE DALE--In 1982, South Kingstown thought it freed itself of the cannibalistic murderer who was sentenced to jail for killing 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975, but Michael Woodmansee would not remain behind bars forever.

The man who killed the young Foreman and kept the boy’s bones and skull on his bedroom dresser for seven years was not sentenced to jail forever- he only got 40 years.

Now, one of the most notorious killers in Rhode Island may get released 12 years earlier this August as a result of a prison award system that shaves 10 days or more a month off inmates’ sentences for good behavior.
It was May 1975 and Joice Foreman was celebrating her 25th birthday. Little did she know that on that same day, her son, Jason would disappear forever.

According to The Narragansett Times archives, Joice Foreman had last seen her son playing in along Schaeffer Street in Peace Dale at around 3:30 p.m. Although Michael Woodmansee, 16 at the time, lived with his father in a old, white, chipped painted house on Schaeffer Street, farther down the hill from the Foreman’s across the street, this particular neighbor was not the friendly kind.

Woodmansee, a heavy-set loner from South Kingstown High School who was known for carrying his books in a satchel and for lurking around town, spotted Jason as the young boy ran home and passed Woodmansee’s house.
After Jason’s disappearance, scours of Peace Dale neighbors and Rhode Island residents searched the neighborhood for the boy. From at least four states, 800 volunteers spread across the once quiet town village. Police had searched all the neighborhood houses, except for Woodmansee’s. The single house to not be searched, the one that held the boy’s remains in a metal cabinet, was not searched because it was home to Franklin Woodmansee, Michael Woodmansee’s father, a police reservist.
For years later, the town held hope that the boy was still alive and would return one day. Yet, on one day in April 1982, seven years after the disappearance of Jason Foreman, South Kingstown discovered what truly happened to the boy.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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