« S-Town

Chapter IV

2020-02-13
“If anybody could find it, it would be me.”
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Chapter four. My first visit Alabama Johns Bed room when he was still alive. Go go, go, go, get at climate change now, standing in front of Johns Computer, which its eye level a top, a large professional, great sound system, his prolific collections of cds and unopened Furbish on the shelves behind us, John Scrolling, through showing me a manifesto he's really how many pages as us out of here it's fifty three police. The document is filled with charts, graphs, images of violence and porno of Westboro Baptist Church protesters and of Lady Gaga, getting vomited upon by a so called vomit artist, as well as paragraph after paragraph all Lange. but a MAC Memorial, unified theory of economic, environmental and sidle decline, and oh at one point as you showing me this material John quickly and casually pulls up this document
Oh yeah, I have this on file at all times the cases and didn't you never know, you're suicide, no work, the call it out loud, but you did well we're looking at it through her keep it wouldn't have a camera big mouth He doesn't linger on the suicide, no long enough for me to read it. He claims he doesn't want to talk about it, but he's the one. brought it up and as a day goes on, and he continues to tool around on his computer moving onto other topics heaps mentioning it, I'm not sure why. What exactly John is trying to tell me but after a while I tell him what I think I would like it. If you, when kill yourself efforts after a pretty good mood This is what it was like to talk about suicide with John. He was so who cavalier about it. He dismiss your concern, laugh it off and try to change the subject affair.
I better video that describes the entire history of the fossil fuel industry and about seventeen seconds, but we may want to go back to this cause you dump in a lot of mere. Why do you have to kill yourself turn away from the computer? Could it getting distracted awaiting seriously think about this? Doesn't everyone, it's not distract, and this is another reason every day ass. The away resolving systemically forget that This year, beer are changing the subject. There was a very good, chance and may not being alive at the time you got out here, so I tired in a way that I can't put into words tired, tired. I wasn't. The only one jot showed a suicide note, two apparently docile email it to Town Hall and my lawyer over there to keep on file
MA am elder suicide. Note the town hall on your lawyer yeah. I actually mild. I e mail to the town of peoples, it up female and read the information. Sent them away, dogs ahead, the white identify them and the fear that list. Paypal, a contact in case I said blow my damn: hair off. For some of the money is hurting, but not all of it. That is, where some but not all of Johns money, is hiding, he did not discloses details to me. There's thanks a lot guess what that thing turned out now, but I'm on bite, and you can make as much as you want to make a flat. John did tell me that if he died that afternoon, a hundred thousand dollars would go to Peter. He also said this. I've often felt lacking continue to live in a foreigner. My site
or I could donate it to someone that might need it more. The children whose life is ahead off of Tyler and Jacob I want to leave Kids, ship pot full of money instead of neighbouring arab staying alive. from cereal and this american life, I'm brain. We, this ship, Where- although the fit as man it's more than two weeks since John died. And in the absence of a will, Peter was not bequeathed a hundred thousand dollars and Tyler goods and was not bequeathed a ship are full of money,
factors, not even money for John's on Dog's Tyler's, taking care of a couple of them here at the tiny trailer he's living in with his girlfriend and two of his daughters and he's had to scrounge together cash to cover their vet appointment this morning. But the more important appointment has preparing for today, is that the Big County Probate Court, the court that handles matters involving estates of the deceased at ten a m Johns cousins from Florida have a hearing scheduled to request permanent guardianship over Johns mother Mary Grace, which, does, John D have, a will would mean the cousins control over the property and all of Mary, Greece's and Johns belongings and assets, so Tyler's gonna go as well to petition the probate, judged, intervene and try to get with his. He says he has a hundred things over at Johns that belonged to him and the cost won't let him on the property to get them. They ve put a gate across.
Strive way with no trespassing signs around it. Tolerance meets the total value for all of his stuff conservatively and more than twenty five thousand dollars. He stepped up a list with the dust corruption, location and value of each item at very thorough. Yet a case of black scraping large glass, jugs extension cords, a copper teapot toys. Tyler tells me John Buffers, kids. Even the swing set his on their plus or a lot of tools which Tyler says, particular problem for him right now, because he's had a falling out with his partner in the tattoo parlor. So he no longer has that business.
He doesn't have John anymore, to employ em, and now we can even drama Bob jobs. He says because it Cancun to his tools has lawnmower and his welder and his masonry stuff for law. These items Tyler doesn't proof of ownership, though, for a few, the big ticket once he does, he showed me a couple short receipts handwritten a notebook paper and signed by the sellers. What is this is the bill assail fulfils for them school buses or slow down our own slab to both as a nightingale trawler. Those years John showed me. These buses Took me around his property ones: yellow and one's blue there's also a big eighteen, Wheeler Trailer, it's all really old the buses don't run anymore, but their chock full of wood and building materials and antique appliances. John Dene mention that stuff was Tyler's You say you mean job and firearm build uncertain. there for a while. Now we just been accumulating outbreaks in the lumber and stuff like that
I got just better blind entered about housework and that allows it off so long it down, but hopefully this little bit approval of the probate cord sits on the town squares, Centerville, the bid canny seat in a drab annex building across from the main courthouse. It's not even a traditional courtroom So you just awaiting area and reception desk like the empty as people come inside, they go under a sign hanging over the front entrance that says elaborate font through these doors pass the most important people on earth, the citizens of big county. When I arrive Tyler sitting after the side, stoical, his teeth to speaking down his wrists. I followed him here and let him go and on his own because I have my own reason for coming to court today. I want introduce myself to Johns cousins and ask it will do an interview with me
and I don't want them to get the wrong idea- think I'm working for Tyler or something the cousins or standing there not far from Tyler the Middle aged couple. I remember from the funeral, turn. The other names are Rita and Charlie Lawrence. There huddled with two other people I don't recognize Rita like Tyler, is holding some papers. She have glasses and short graying hair. I walk over to her. Excuse me ma'am, I say: are you Rita? Yes, she says I'm Brian Reed nice to meet you. I tell her I'm sorry for her loss that I'm very sad about what happened with John, I explained who I am where I work, how John got in touch with our radio show and then I started investigating some local going
with him. She seems well surprised and confused by me, which is completely understandable. Your cousin drink cyanide and then a reporter shows up at court afterwards, sang he'd been investigating potential crimes and corruption and wrong doing with him. For more than a year southernmost normal sequence of events sortie alive she s New York. I tell her. Are you serious? She says you come down here from New York for this I grade of school meet with me. I want to tell her more about the story I've been doing with John. I would ask her about him his family history and find out what's going on with his affairs. She seems ok with it and for sure. After the hearing we can go somewhere and talk, and then we stand there awkwardly waiting for the judge to call the back to his chambers. We make small talk which
Are you staying at? How long are you in town at that suddenly Rita, leans in very close to me and whispers we're leaving tomorrow? Why are you whispering asker? Do you know that guy there she s stoner breath twitching arise towards Tyler is right behind me. Tyler I say yeah. She says her voice gets even quieter we're leaving tomorrow, but I don't want him to know that really He's been causing nothing but trouble soon judge Jerry POW will summon Rita and her husband, Charlie. As well as the two Others there here with an Johns lawyer, Boozer downs into his chambers to have a private meeting. Tyler will go in with them to make his final plea to spy
John. Having said that, he wanted to leave money and gold Tyler, despite John Texting, Tyler minutes before he died that he could have anything in this house that he wanted all Tyler will ass. The judge for today is the stuff that he says with his to begin with that he's documented neatly on his list. Tyler does not like going to court. He feels the courts and cops and lawyers have done nothing but victimize them since it became a teenager, but here it will suck it up and make this one last effort to do things the proper way within the system and the system will not be sympathetic. Judge POW will explained Tyler that this hearing isn't about his stuff. It's about signing guardianship over Rita, he's about to do that. He'll say at once. He does show of control over the MAC, more property and everything on it.
today we have to work things out directly with Gaeta or take the matter across the street to civil court. Tyler will try to protest, but reader will sell everything before have a chance to bring a suit. He'll, say and judge power will tell him that if someone gives you something, he advises that you take it home with you and that will be the end of it. Dejected Tyler will walk the chambers to his car, underneath the sign reminding him that he is one of the most important people on earth. I wait for Rita in the reception area and is she in her husband leave? I ask where she'd like to go so we can have our conversation, but now she says she can't have too much to get done before they head back to Florida. The next day we chat for a bit, though, and before she goes out the door. She does ask me a question
John quote: did he tell you? Whereas money was head on quote Where did you get really less than a week after the cousins gain control of the macro? More property teller tells me they ve got the damn place and even though, is not supposed to he's been over the property. Not now are you know how I got on our Czech and almost refined and John shops gone all the toolbox is an arab dying by them. but it can then they're probably bowed at all when you know different clocks that alone, the Ah, here my wilder and all that stuff go voices goin now when you ve been over there. If you ve been poking around for the further buried treasure for the goal of the cash
whenever there is war years later here before you strike out, we'll get the ban, Rita suspects are John, had money or gold hidden somewhere, but others orbit certain of it. He says when they would. Purchase, is around town John used to say well got to go, dig up some more money and Tyler says he knows for a fact. John was buying thirty thousand dollars worth of gold John even showed him some of that. Once a small box out of which John pulled a single, tiny gold bar that was clear, the box was filled with others, Tyler says, I strongly implied that there was much more gold where they came from. So where have you looked? He might tell me among occurred Bay,
you're. Doing like you could be anywhere, but I think out of the damn dog house or something here's Tyler's theory about where the hidden treasure might be the dog houses near the human house, and you can see it from the kitchen window where John spend a lot of time. Talking on the phone brewing, highly caffeinated tea pissing in the sink Tyler thinks John would have stashed. Measure a spot where he could always see it from the kitchen up, like all the dolls projected. haven't. What have you have you poked around on that? Yet Well, I don't have one out of looking in the doghouse and seeing things happen, Parliament fail to find what now I've been up. Under the house, and I've been out and flower bed. the Hell Brown opponent John varies House. They had met welder these levels, metal doorways.
These are the gates. Tyler once told me about that. He built for the dungeon like tunnels and Johns basement. Therefore another I've been Alice. I learn all the servants firework in rats and snakes, and I am saying this first sign of anything. You know why so many projects around my cat could be. Some were in wanted them projects that wave down. You know somewhere that if anybody could find it it would be made, then you know they probably left my some topical featherstone cuts out for a second but you, Saint John, probably left him some type of clue. Yeah, I'm sure. Let me sum up the boy in other sites like another,
in one of her phone conversations. John did say this to me. A wise man has his money where he can. Surely they ask? Did not a wise man does not have a lot promoting would frame house a wise man, some hard ass it the hard assets mean different things to different people. To some people at moving children go a wise man. They have some of them out the fucking, I mention this to Tyler, partly because didn't feel like it was my place to encourage treasure hunting on Johns property, but also because I have No idea, if John is literally just saying stuff plus there are like a hundred acres of woods anyway, something that tothers very aware It is all the more important
I'm going to have to get a metal detector and go over the backyard. The next time I see Tyler, he tells me he has procured the metal detector and it's been using it to scour John's place every night for two weeks straight fuse the police scanner app on his phone to keep an ear out for cops. While he's there one of his most promising clues were the pages he found of coordinates done it written down, latitudes and longitudes for the town of Woodstock or should town is, it was labeled on the document, along with the coordinates for real under the trailer park. Tyler lives in as well as, naturally, the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl among those were Corbett's on Johns property. One sentence for parents house and another set when Tyler let them into Google brought him to the maize, though just a little bit to the side of the maize wishing promising. In that spot we saw an old plastic tub upside down on the ground.
he kicked it over and wave the metal detector over the ground. It have been covering it started, going off, beeping teller dug and he found a bunch of bottles just a bunch of old glass, models. He asked me if I've ever seen the movie holes, because that's what it looks like over there at draws digging The hum continues in a minute when Tyler cleared out all that paperwork from Johns House in the days right after he died, he did find something else that was curious. It's a list John ROW on a sheet of yellow nope of paper titled at the top people to contact totter semi a photo of it and fake gamble. The town clerk Tommy, the Johnson a copy to her as part of his instructions before he drank cyanide. There are fifteen names and phone numbers on the list. Tyler's name is not one,
a handful of people are local to bid county quitting Johns lawyer, who I've talked to the number for Woodstock Town Hall, his that his cousin from Florida real Lawrence is on their but there's a whole group of names at the top who are all from out of town and in a number of cases out of state or country in each of those names is a mystery to me and my very first phone conversation with John. He had told me that all of his friends had died off. He use that word. All it here's this list and the strange thing about it- is that not one of these people, these first seven names at the top, not one of them, showed up at Johns funeral. So this list, maybe it's a clue of a bomb in all the years of Labour law.
This law closure on an early Saturday afternoon I mean a man named Alan Beard and at his clock repair shop in the back of an Antique mall near the interstate impel City Alabama he's the first of these names of genes list that I contact pale about an hour east of Woodstock on the other side of Birmingham and the vibe hears different bib county in situ. but on the coups river, which has all these backs and detours that make it look more like a smattering of lakes and river. The place feels livelier them better It was a big rodeo, going on votes on the water families, vacationing islands in his fortys and athletic towards a guy who makes time for me after a fly fishing lesson he gave him
he's a clock restore like John, was though he says he works in the quote: whore illogical field, which is a term I've never heard until talking now and harassed. Jean Paul GI is the study of time that makes Alan and John Parallel jests or more precisely because they fix old clocks, antiquarian herself. Just studies on tells me Harare, experienced a kind of Haiti in the nineties, particularly as anti collectors took to Ebay, but that boom has been over for a while and especially with time so easily. decibel now on our appliances and cell phones. It's definitely a dying. Trade John saw that coming out says, and by the time he met him around two thousand and twelve John, it largely gotten out of horology, except for the odd job here there they met, because Allen was he.
problem with an Elliot grandfather clock he was trying to fix. It was a very important place. It was, it was in a cloth. Did you saying every day on the clock, it actually come out of a jewish, torn laundered, all traffic squire. the clock, was driving Alan nuts guarantee configured proper fix for it or friend of yes to harass. Just friend of his for advice and his friend said you should call this guide John, be macro more. A member called him up one day in the shop right here I got him on the phone was Lord: oh, my gosh you should call this guy John Makko, more Amr called him up one day in the shop right here and I gotta on the phone was like. Oh my gosh, I heard a cacophony of dogs marking on the other end of the line. and a man shouting obscenities at them and I've been warned. You know, Johns Lothar. Average person expect a lot of profanity I expect a lot of strong and bulbs statements, how unexplained John
but he was having trouble with rare clock and John said: whelps boy bring it by which I'd never Woodstock Alabama laugh- was very hard to find its place. I had a fiscal address from a gps. He had made to three miles down the road. I've been there You know when I pulled up there was locked out went back in time. weird sensation. This man, I've just met seems to me. Describing to me inexperienced at I once had came Let me draw what it is. ITALY get it fixed by daddy trip around here and what religion, and it's really welcome, Ernie I would like you know. You know me carefully on loneliness plot movement and to his shop. What do you got here? Nothing now tell them as earlier this year.
it's about right and then setup for your, so we set it up on his rack. Then nothing thought he was just going to meticulously start looking over it first thing: he did. He got a pair of pliers very drivers are stirred him, maybe just yanking stuff off clock. We don't need it We don't need there were not made there and they were throwing these pieces were come on up. flying over the table- and I was just like Tulsa now I mean I'll, just like it to myself. Oh my god, I've made a horrible mistake. This guy's, not absolutely certain viable crazy Has this morning aftermath about this, that about Clark and how horrible the clock had been. Trade Flowers must have been only is competent, clockmaker own army, he wouldn't triplet. All about Labour
John was referring to the other urologist over the last hundred years, who, judging from the witness marks, he was observing holes and impressions and discoloration had subjected the clock to sloppy workmanship over the course of its life. Alan knew what the problem with the clock was that he'd been able to diagnose on his own. It was an issue with peace called the gathering palette, he's, as he probably could, a machine to replace meant that would have made. The Run, but that would have a quick fix, not a restoration, never work, the kind of urologist Alan is and John was. They are trying to simply make the clock work again with their goals to preserve and reconstruct the original craftsmanship as much as possible One but Allen had never restored Anne Elliot Clock before, so he never seen this type of gathering power and working order, and when you look for diagrams of it, find me John knew at the top of his head with a gathering pilot actually looked like this on his years experience what it should have looked like
what it should look like and what did He took a piece of steel and hand file that thing up my hand, got it fixed and got it put it down there, He did that in front of you that day he did it that day it took him almost about three and one slash. Two hours base at their hand fall that out saw. I was just totally amazed just a file something Blankly are the top you're here with some later files and not having dog leonards. Anything like I'm ahead is filed it out and started fit to the club. Where were you thinking when you launched it? that this is a master. Alan says was the beginning of his Johns friendship. Will the emailed often talked every few days
I once a month Alan would go visit and they troubleshooter clock together, wander around Johns Yard, get lunch at the local grocery store Alan try to get down to come to his neck of the woods. You wanted to take em up voting in the week, but John never came. He said he couldn't leave us. For that want Ellen, told me something I had known about John John. Had an impressive reputation for working on world class high in time places some of the finest clocks in the world. It was just Whistler genius online. If you wanna know some are had a problem, cloth need girls, they don't matter more. Really, that's like that was known throughout most likely known Robert. I no longer eastern seaboard would have people down from La Massachusetts, drive in their power to Woodstock, Alabama, together bracket, clock fix and stuff like that, because he was the closest unless they can. Finally we're not the coins are the closest possible
In his earlier years, John used to travel to England, where he visit with fellow neurologists, he wrote about urology consulted on her ology books, and he was known for doing elements of restoration. The very few people still do, such as an ancient process for making things gold known as fire gilding. That is very dangerous and illegal in some places, because it requires burning, mercury, Hawkins could be, and another thing Alan tells me that I wanted to find
John me, good money, John Paul II in the nineties, could set on his book and worked to three days a week or might harmful felt larger. Easy is no tell how much money he might in the clock. Train and John is public pact that money away, I mean who knows, but that sounds to me like the type of money that could potentially amass too about the full hidden treasure becomes a point. Our conversation when Alan has a question for me, but a forged Johns. We should you found out through taller his sister in law, his sister in law, that is as far as John Suicide. The wound doesn't speak. The word I guess
was alone. A long ago I was able it I went to the funeral. I was able to go the funerals right before worthwhile you you're better off now was I found out too weak and a half later we'll have a chance to say goodbye to him. Sorry Allen had been out of town for watching clock invention shortly before John died and had talked him for a while
when he got back hinge on email, the bed, the day John were going to kill himself Allen Road him tell him. You wanted to come visit that week. That night, while Allen was teaching vacation Bible school, he saw a call coming from John. He silenced it and then call them back when he got home. No answer call them the next day. No answer, as the week went on it was the same Allen got in touch with a mutual friend of his and John's a mechanic in Birmingham who is also on John's contact list and ask him. If he'd heard from John, he hadn't wanted to drive to John's place to check on him, but his wife was pregnant and sick. He decided to give it one more day and if neither he nor the other friend heard from John he's going to call the Bibb County Sheriff's department,
he knew John hated cops and authority and might not forgive him for it, but he also John had talked about suicide, so he was ready to risk it. You know. Sometimes I had away that out my ear was it will lose them your friend to to suit him get help, and I try to get John Hale Monarch trod as, like John, you know let mercury to a doctor, Songless Gucci, also medicine or somethin. You know also we're not gonna, know Sarka, attrition and Martha, and also we discuss your regular practice doctor and see if we can get you on some kind of antidepressant some kind of mood. Stabilizer meds, like I don't know, I ain't taking no medicine, and I'm not doing this. My doing that the bookstore and got up herbal book of more holistic and Helen staff. That would help with depression and mood, swings and jeered at tat was here ready for years have been get somebody s report. I have this
the guard, not tat. He would take on that century. Now he locked horticultural. Maybe he couldn't that's a good idea to help or he'll himself holistically, but but this sector is partly sit narrative this bonus shop, while I had no sense talking to him that he had people in his life like you who are trying to help in this way. I don't thank John rule out any people cared for and not other stylish, really sad, because I think he died taken. He was born. though I'm not sure, there's much of a difference between being lonely and thinking. You are Alan, never got to the point of asking the sheriff to check on John. because the night before he was planning to do that, he was driving home from church with his family and got a call from fake gamble, the town clerk. John had called as he drinks cyanide and to whom he had given his final instructions and contact list,
answer ass soon, ass. She told him she was with Woodstock Town Hall. He knew he mediately pulled over the side of the road he was devastated. His whole body was shaking, but then they told him when John had actually died and to the sorrow read its mother. Emotions are found out when it happened. Long hours are right. I find out Alan says he pressed Faye on it asked her why she was notifying him after the funeral, and he says she acted kind of weird about it. She drug issue, at all she tried to call why she was notifying him after the funeral. They said she acted kind of weird about it, the giant I'm gonna, let em I let you seem like a pre waiting excuse for money, a phone numbers, love com,
measuring thing. I'm gonna, let em. I led the same like a pretty weak excuse for motor car, say you are tried United and get you on the phone and not leave a message or anything like that, and if not what she had to dig up his information or so They don't send it to her. What lot forth on the left? Rather this would be like this is her unit, Contact a fund, that kind of that kind stirred it disturbed down, not only because it caused him to Missus friends funeral, but because its pushing his mom into some unpleasant places. The day before I met with Alan, he actually spoke with Tyler for awhile, the whole low down on the cousins Rita the cousin is so halfway down on Johns Contact List Alan? it's a questionable that Faye or someone else managed reach her get here. These other names or all the top of the sheet, and somehow he was skipped over.
They re Irish to love, you know, but other people, one by one. They I should go just me. the top people have contact list. I think they knew that these people knew John best, and I think we probably have to try to keep us from the situation from raising really there. I thought I made dust from talking all our livestock played out in this, This is a little fish, Alan ten years in this mood, tiptoeing toward something I'm trying to figure out what would it benefit a partial lot to try to contact the person. I don't know I just but people down errand to assist. I was under control, the weather wounded boy. Maybe somebody
to take control of something. First. They will know that Johns close, close friends will know what I'm talking about. I can tell Alan being purposely vague here. I think maybe he's not sure what I know already or maybe he knows I know so. He knows he doesn't say it out loud, but I'm actually sure I do know what he's talking about, though maybe I do know anyway. He is now making weird eyes at me, you're. Looking at me like a coded way, I could tell you MA theory on the sultan, but I'm not gonna. Do it on the air
do you think I should call the other people on the list thought it would be a good idea to further investigate and efforts of our guy. Like a person, I know, you'd be doing John a favour is surely he would want and people alone or There would be on the list and for the second time, and myself embarking on an investigation at the behest of albanian urologist. I'm calls him sad news that maybe you are aware of the he passed away earlier the summer who did John on ECHO more yeah. I don't know where you mail to overly S father like way earlier the summer, who did John Hackamore yeah
lower value email to overly s inter responded, I call them. I think the worry from. He actually committed suicide. I'm sorry to say I got up to his mother, though Meyer Number seven on Johns list. Clearly he wasn't called bill, was a friend and clock customer of jobs for decades He was an outta in a house. He described as being more like a museum and house. He drive from you taught Alabama, sometimes to visit. John John have made a global challenge of living.
those sad to hear that it finally did it. It just makes me so incredibly sat alone. You have reached my group. and the great will make her. This is the ensuing machine overall adjust friend of Johns in a small town in the Pacific Northwest who s that I not uses name because he's very private. He picked up, as I was leaving a message he says fade did tell him John died, but only after the funeral, John men have a lot to many, a man and then another brick from the list Duncan Grieg. At the moment I got a whole load of photographs which also now that he is
our respective clock, restore from Tunbridge England who never met John in person, but over more than a decade, spent many late night hours, developing a friendship with him on the phone and veal letters. I was the one who informed Duncan of John stuff here, as you can probably tell a very sad about it, should have gone on to be too much in the old gentleman survived the ravages of time, the Enigma they John Maximum war was, and Tom, more Johns chemistry, Professor in college now university, Chancellor, who went on to become a lifelong friend, one of the most in our cry. I can't help it so TAT, one of the most incredible people I've ever known, like with others. Tom says the town clerk Faye did column
John Suicide, but only after he'd been buried after talking to the seven people at the top of Johns list alone than that none of them were at Johns funeral because none of them were contacted in time and some not at all. It was interesting. So these men to know each other beyond may be having interacted once or twice in horror, logical circles. Over the years the men talk to me for hours without batting an I, even if I just called them cold and inform them that their friend had committed suicide, which at first I was pretty remarkable. But then it occurred to me that they were all friends of John, be MAC Lamar's, which means you are predisposed to having long run
when conversations on the phone of these friends, the one who knew John the longest since he was a teenager, was Tom, more Johns college. Professor John showed up in Times general chemistry course as a freshman at Birmingham. Southern college in early eighties walk into a class of eighty five to ninety five students and look around and boy. What's that kid doing here, Birmingham Southern is a small private, liberal arts college there's been around since the eighty hundreds as at the time when John was there. The soon body was made up largely of children of professionals, doctors and lawyers. They were present, John was not bushy red hair, unkempt clothing from a dick Socio economic background. He was clearly different. Thompson John didn't make any friends, Birmingham Southern and you didn't live there every night he drove back to his parents house back to his childhood bedroom back to
County and Tom could tell that as much as John didn't fit in a college. He didn't fit in back home either Tom got the sense of John had been picked on a lot over the years growing up. He would do things as a college student to bring ridicule on himself. I want to say he would be wearing a red wig or a green wig to class sure enough time says the other kids would laugh at him, and that was the point I took to be out of this history that angle, made fun of man. I can't stand being made fun of joy By being who I am so I'll do some things that enable me to understand why people making fun of me- and it's not just me being me- this is pretty tragic. I saw that in him and that's part of wire reached out time. John be Makko Moors. Education is the source of some gossip and Woodstock. I have heard that he held multiple degrees in chemistry in
algae I've heard that he quit school because he was smarter than the professors. I've heard that he had to leave after blowing up a laboratory. The reality less dramatic, he was beta school John. Was a college drop out? He leaped Birmingham Southern after three years, according to Tom, if John was studying a topic, he was interested in you, learnt exhaustively Tom spent many afternoons watching John scribble on the blackboard and his office. Obscure calculation some theories that were beyond even Tom's comprehension when it came to stop the professors, wanted him to focus on Gmos almost allergic to it. Tom thinks junk a d or maybe a sea in his car three class but John spent hours in the lab on his own outside of class figuring out techniques he could use in his clock. Restorations tumblr is getting in trouble and let on access the lab when he wanted. remember this when John Gold plated a dime for meat and his wife
Shop. One afternoon I might be dead and gone one day. You'll have a souvenir from shit. Ten Alabama bungled, let you die. I do still have the time by the way that electroplating process John worked it out as a student in Birmingham Southern as a way to gild clock pieces that doesn't require burning dangerous amounts of mercury. It uses potassium cyanide. Instead, sometimes in college. When John came in Office in the afternoon for one of their blackboard sessions, Thompson John would seem depressed to the point where Tom thought he might be trying to say good bye for good Tom says he recommended John to a school counselor and John our forbid, even when a medication, but according to Tom
John, don't like the way the medicine altered his personality and he chose not to seek anymore treatment timeframe, out that if he asked John to tell him about a clock, he was working on or some other topic he was studying. He could get John excited and redirect his attitude so that, by the end of the session he'd seen lifted out of his despair that this could take hours. Tom says he can vividly remember sitting in his office with John on a full day. Glancing at this. While it said outside his window, watching the sky turn colors over campus as he thought about his wife waiting firm at home, but looking back at John and think I'm not your ready to go yet then, listening to John go on as outside the sky turned dark. I really enjoyed my conversations
the guy's on Johns list, I learned a lot about John, but also about the people John kept. His friends I learned about leaves and dividing engines and double helix beers and tolerances and Siberia time, and also what an escape men is. The mechanism inside a clock or watch that actually does the ticking. Many of these courageous and clock collectors told me how they had become fascinated with Cox's children and how even aid
fifty seven or eighty, the fascination hadn't dwindled. One man told me the story of the clock that cemented his Injuns friendship, a clock. The man retrieved himself from a crypt near grilling, Germany, where it had been hurriedly disassembled by someone during World war, two and hidden amongst the bones and remains one friend told me about a clock that was so complicated. No one else could restore it and it took John seven years and another about a job. It was so difficult. The John started crying ass. He was hunched over in a shop and said I can't do this anymore. One man remember the time he started telling John about a weird story. He loved by EDGAR Allan POE called Baroness, but a man becomes obsessed with his wife's teeth, eventually digging them up from her grave and how is he was describing the story to John John suddenly became reciting passages from a story back to him from memory. One friend told me: how is co workers would tell him not to talk to John so much because it was a weirdo
and another told me people think I'm weird, like John, be as for the question of Johns assets, his friends had gotten different bits of information. Over the years John, it told some of them had been running down his savings after retiring from the clock trade a decade or so ago. Some thought, maybe he'd suffered some losses on his investments during the two thousand, a crash and others got the impression that he did have a lot of money. He'd mentioned, having pull it out of the bank having converted some to gold having hidden it. He also took clearly about putting together a will, so it was shocking to friends to learn that. Apparently there wasn't one that, coupled with the fact that they were kept in the dark about his death for a while, a number of them did find that suspect, but there's a lot of money. It is needed. I met with two of genes, friends in a restaurant one night and they hazarded theories to each other. Maybe it's. The cousins were up to no good one says, and if you know you talk about some real distant I said they show up when you ve got a piece of land but the others,
Maybe it's the good sense Tyler and his brother Jake wondered if they got the money. Could sinister. You never told me that they have these like they would holding. I can come up with the goods were involved in any of these. Maybe eight anymore. You are, I didn't even know anyone, that's probably true. It's not like Johns friends, think they're out anything from Johns well or want the goal for themselves at least now say to me. They just all share the feeling that some one might be taking advantage of the situation that some It's getting away with something they shouldn't, but who the someone and what is this? Something seems to build a figure that out if yes, Tyler
whose getting away with something they shouldn't. He says it's clear, Johns, cousins, Rita and Charlie. As the weeks go on, he keeps the updates coming about the steps there taking to get him out of the picture. We didn't Charlie recently tried to get his girlfriend arrested for theft for picking up a package of the post office that was addressed to John the nothing of it that. Also Johns lawyer Boozer downs attempted to hold an informal mediation session between Tyler and Johns cousins, but fell apart when Tyler tried to tell Johns mother Mamma is he calls or how much he misses her and she looked. Coldly and said, don't call my mobile normal tat is convinced that the cousins Redon Charlie, have brainwashed her against him. He says they ve gone to new loans, to secure all of John Assets, persons, China, take you down tv hearings thanking go its own way. What happened at the thought of you bother? You know. I have not heard anything about tat
bring removal. Apparently, this information came to Tyler from Boozer Johns lawyer Bowser said It's him rings in jars, duties, gold or something I was trying to take him out. Somehow. I doubt that the verbatim quote from Woodstock Town attorney, Boozer downs, but I'll Untilat paraphrase the cousins were physically trying. Who are they trying to get the more timid do mine? He told me the Kosovars, China take his tv rings at the more recent and thanking those go west now other brass silver, plighted Brass, I said I was thinking I go down and take a mile in its possibly true. I do not know one day. Tyler text me and says I'm reaping the buses and eighteen will a trailer. They pick up what he calls me while
doing it hangs his phone on his belt. So I can hear he tells me you wanted to get this stuff which uses his before the cousins had a chance. sell it look. He says they did with his lawnmower and some other things the bus, some trailer, don't run so he's hired a crew of guys with big trucks, told them out around the sight of Johns House and down his nine and ten foot driveway The buses are filled with lumber and there's a clawfoot tub and a wood burning, stove stuff. That Tyler says he was going to use to build a small house with a John's property. Now he wants to use it to build a house on his grandmother's property for him and his daughters. The cousins were home in Florida while Tyler did this, but they must have gotten wind of it because the next day, me- a warrant has been issued for his arrest for trespassing. Eventually, a grand jury will charge him with multiple counts of felony theft
it's not long before I realize follow any finger. That is being pointed in the aftermath of John Suicide, and their will another set of fingers on the other end, not only pointing right back, but in a bunch of other directions to everyone is pointing to everyone, one afternoon and my best western along the highway, I'm one, the elevator to go to my room when who should pop out of the stairwell but Johns cousin, Rita, but the timing? Registers, in my brain that it's her, we ve already move past each other and its too late and awkward to turn back and say something. This is weeks after I had met Rita Probate Court and she declined to do an interview. A whole separate trip. I had no idea should be in town and now I'm afraid you might think I'm stalking her so ass, the front desk which room she and her husband, her and forums down from mine and right or no, which I slip under her door. Explaining that I didn't know she would be here, but since we both are, which would be opened a meeting with me and by the way, sorry for creepy, leaving a note,
your door. The next afternoon we all sit around the table on the hotel common area, its Rita and two other women who introduced themselves his cousins of jobs as well as real husband, Charlie They don't allow me to record their livid with Tyler they're, saying he's. The person is getting away with something taking all sorts of stuff from Johns House that they say is not his the buses and trailer, but much more too. They call a con man. They show me Google MAPS, satellite images, Johns Yard with the buses and trailer in them data from two thousand ten.
which means there in his yard at least three years before the dates that are on Tyler's bills of sale, which are dated two dozen thirteen. This is proof they say. The tellers documents are bogus and I have to say it is suspicious, though Tyler is not the only target of their suspicion. There's vague amble, the town clerk Red asked me. If I spoke to her and tell her yes, that's interesting, she says kind of two or self. She says she didn't talk to you a region. Are they say, Faye hasn't passed, doing any instructions to them from John they feared she has a list of people to contact, but she hasn't given them that either then there's Boozer downs, Johns lawyer, they tell me he was supposed to take a written statement from of what John told her the night he killed himself but has been more than a month now and curiously he stalls and done that, and then there's me Charlie clearly thinks this meeting is a terrible idea. He keeps getting up from the table and pacing speaking to me sharply saying I just want them to get me.
pissing match with Tyler. At one point I ask I thought harmlessly where Mary graces living now and Rita thinks on it for a moment and then tells me I'd rather not say. I also ask about text message. Tyler showed me from John, which said the Tyler If anything he wanted. The house Rita thinks TAT fabricated. It. She tells me it strange that it was sent from Johns Computer and not a cell phone. I tell her, I don't think that's all that strange and one of the other women cut me off Of course you don't. What do you mean by that? I ask we know you're, like friends with them. She says, on and on the accusations fly its head spinning one day, Tyler suggests to me that Boozer downs, Johns attorney might be in cahoots with the causes and anyway, suppress Johns will. So they could spell
the assets. Meanwhile, Boozer sends me an email asking if he can retract the interview he did with me, because the cousin suspect him of being Cahoots with Tyler. It got ugly and hearing He writes. I am concerned that I should not have spoken to you on the recording. Boozer says he did not hide Johns will because there was no will to hide. I also get an email from one of John's friends who I met in the restaurant you certain there must be a reason he wasn't contacted about. John's death includes the words. Maybe I knew too much, then I called back the first guy I met with John Stella Horologist Allen Bearden and tell him I've done what he suggested contacted the other friends on the top of John's list and indeed none of them was called in time for the funeral and a few not at all
she's on the third world, and then Alan clarifies this theory. For me, he thinks all the weirdness surrounding Johns death. The fact that he and other people on Johns list more contacted is because some one has taken Johns gold he's not exactly sure who, but what he suspects is that there is a potentially large conspiracy taking place within the local Woodstock town, government and police to cover it up. Go was, I thought you know somebody came and got that go online and public poppy step overturned body into a clear lead before they even their job, but who did that? I don't know, but I think it's on my do what inside that city hall. the whole point. It is this very suspicious wary very suspicious somebody Herbert gold. Finally, I make a second visit to the Woodstock town clerk Faye gamble
who, after seeming not to have done a very thorough job contacting the people on Johns list, has been the subject of much of the suspicion and, after some inscrutable response to my questions, did you call everyone analysed everyone that could get in touch with? Yes, fanciest. She called everyone. I promise you idea where they called before the funeral Yang Powerful, tell how he found faces most of the people. She did reach at first, but she claims she left messages. I tell her that, according to everyone, I've spoken to that doesn't appear to be the case. What I personally thought had happened was that may be. Faye was so traumatized by John killing himself, while on the phone with her it's possible. She just can bring herself to make these calls, which would make complete sense to me, and I think most people understand, but I ask Faye: if that's what happened and she says no, she called everybody in the first few days after John died,. She also says she since, given the list to Johns cousins and country,
Rita told me face etching proclaimed to them that she had spoken to me. Then I bring up the subject of the gold. Faye was the last person to take the John and I know he'd, given her instructions about his assets in the moments before he died. Did he tell her if there was gold? If so, did he say where it was the first time I interviewed Faye face been cryptic about all that, but this time. Can you tell me where he said it was? I understand you dont want to, but I'm if, if you feel come back in a towel in the Fraser Gold bars wrapped in a town in the freezer, did you say how much worth of good just go bars? Were there any other spots like outside, or anything like that after Johns phone call for Russia,
but was house along with the Woodstock police, but she says she didn't look in the freezer. She told the police officers that John said there was gold there, but she doesn't love, they looked either and she doesn't believe the cops would have taken it. They does happen, and now she says is that when Johns cousin Rita got into his house three days later and looked in the freezer, there was no gold there. So what do you think I was going on? Do you think there was golden someone's got to a defect? wasn't going to stay, there have not found it or that somebody had wrought in there, but who I mean like how much time passed between you being on the phone joining and arriving with the police? Well, I know that one read: it came up that that she went into the house and there was thinks it. She could not find things that were totally gone from over there. What's he saying is that someone was in the house before Rita, got in there and could have raided the freezer, because
the review that, when Rita gotten to Johns House, she couldn't find Johns mothers purse or a cheque book or Johns Laptop, which I know who has that born Ass Faye, who she thinks took that stuff phase purposely It starts moving her mouth without letting actual sound out. Eventual you shall reveal that, when Rita gotten to Johns House, she couldn't find Johns mothers purse or a cheque book or Johns Laptop, which I know who has that born Ass Faye, who she thinks took that stuff phase purposely vague. I think maybe she's not sure what I know already earls. Maybe she knows I know so. She knows she doesn't say it out, loud, etc, etc. Anyway, now she's, making weird eyes at me get a grip on your face and a knowing like IRA lawyer, I know probably who you think it is so like Do you think it like the running theory that it was Tyler? Do you wanna talk
that are now because I can come back. You know things you can talk I did eventually regions. Fifty three page Manifesto Johnny mailed. It It was the most important thing he'd ever sent me. It was this fifth revision any edit critical issues for the future, and if I had to distil its message, it would be there as we run out of affordable fossil fuels as key. change renders the places that we live more difficult to inhabit do not expect a great coming together. Instead, John Rights, prepare for the? U S to crumble, into a bunch of competing autonomous regions. A few of them may become a cohesive society, says John, but
Like many of them to descend into carnage to quote enter a new dark ages, a sort of new feudalism ruled by theocratic dictators, he goes on quote, expect public mutilations, executions and torture to make a come back in this region, flogging boiling burning hand, cutting hanging a reservation. Honour killings, gang rape due process will perish. He writes and confederates will betray each other for minuscule gains. That gain, maybe as mundane as a morsel of food or drink of water, goodbye I too civil liberties and minority rights, also that was another byproduct of the cheap oil economy. Civil rights are, consideration of the undernourished. I remember reading this into doesn't fourteen and thinking while John does not have a higher of modern, humanity's ability to solve problems. I also remember thinking, that's not really gonna happen, at least not anytime soon, which is the same thing. I thought when John told me
He was gonna commit suicide, the Soma is here at last. The sky is over
I am astonished produced by Julius. minor and meet with editing from our glass. Sarah caning and meal drumming Wendy Dangerfield is our You go editor. Starling kind is a story consultant fact checking research by been failing, settling director of Operations, Lyra Smith since the show maternity is our technical director. Yes, town staff includes Emily Condon Obese, Ferguson, Julie, Whittaker and Kimberly Henderson Music for the show is composed by Daniel.
Trade, Pollard Alot of Negro and Map Mckinley Music supervision by You mean grave or website is s town, podcast, DOT, Org, special links to David Raphael, Stephanie Camera, actually, clique, and all of Johns friends from over the years were so generous and thoughtful. Talking to me- and you tell me, morality to where, of course, on Facebook and we're on Twitter and also follows on Instagram S. Town podcast, where will be putting some photos of some weird cool clocks, John, worked on years s town is a production of cereal and this American Life
as the.