Boyle promoted GothCorp as "the People Company", creating an image of a softer, more compassionate corporation than people expected. He was even nominated for Gotham City's Humanitarian Industrialist of the Year.
It was, however, all an act: underneath, Boyle was greedy, ruthless, and cold-hearted. A year before his nomination, he became infuriated when Dr. Victor Fries, a GothCorp scientist, was using company equipment without authorization (or as he later put it to Bruce Wayne, "wasting [his] money"). Boyle confronted Fries in his lab with two security guards and ordered him to shut down his unauthorized "project". Fries pleaded that the "project" was actually a stasis tube preventing his terminally ill wife, Nora, from dying, and that shutting it off would kill her. Boyle was not moved in the slightest, and ordered his guards to disconnect the equipment. In desperation, Fries seized a gun and ordered them to stay back. Boyle, exercising some of his old charm, appealed to Fries to be reasonable, and promising that they could work things out without violence—causing Fries to lower the gun, just long enough for Boyle to kick him in the chest, sending him crashing backwards into a table of unstable chemicals. Boyle and his guards fled the scene, and presumed that Fries and his wife had both died. He gave a mental shrug, and went on with the business of running his company.
In fact, Fries had survived, though his body chemistry was radically altered. Believing Nora dead, Fries began a campaign of vengeance against GothCorp and Boyle, culminating on an attack on the building where Boyle was to accept his humanitarian award. Boyle was shocked to recognize his assailant as the presumed-dead Victor Fries. Boyle was reduced to begging for his life as Freeze slowly froze him in ice from the feet up, until Batman arrived and subdued Freeze. Having saved Boyle from being murdered, Batman then handed over to Summer Gleeson a videotape of the tragic accident, and didn't bother to free Boyle from the ice.
Although the tape would technically be incontrovertible proof of Boyle's crimes, it is unknown if it actually did send Boyle to prison, since Batman would later state that any evidence found by him had no legal providence.
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