Boo Radley did not kill his father. When Boo and his friends are brought into court for driving backwards around the square and imprisoning Mr. Conner in the courthouse outhouse, they were sentenced to the state industrial school. The other boys attended that school and did quite well. However, Mr. Radley promised the judge that if Boo was released to his custody, he would assure that Arthur, Boo’s real name, would give no further trouble to the community. The judge agreed, and Boo was imprisoned in his own home. No one saw or heard from him for fifteen years.
Then one day, there was a commotion at the house. Boo had been cutting out some articles from the newspaper when Mr. Radley walked by. Boo casually stabbed his father in the leg and then returned to cutting out articles in the newspaper. Mrs. Radley overreacted.
“Mrs. Radley ran screaming into the street that Arthur was killing them all, but when the sheriff arrived he found Boo still sitting in the livingroom, cutting up the Tribune. “ (pg 11)
They wanted to send him to an insane asylum, but Mr. Radley, again, intervened and said no Radley was going into any asylum. So they imprisoned him in the basement of the courthouse by himself. Finally the town council told Mr. Radley that he would have to take Boo back home.
“Boo could not live forever on the bounty of the county.” (pg 11)
No one knew how Mr. Radley controlled Boo and kept him at home, but somehow he did. Miss Stephanie Crawford, the neighborhood gossip, told the children,
“From the day Mr. Radley took Arthur home, the house died.” (pg 12)
Finally, there came a day when Atticus told the children to be quiet around the Radley home. Mr. Radley was sick and dying.
“Dr. Reynolds parked his car in front of our house and walked to the Radley’s every time he was called.” (pg 12)
Mr. Radley died, not from anything Arthur did, but from illness.
“….. we watched from the front porch when Mr. Radley made his final journey past our house.” (pg 12)