Original Air Date 05.22.2017
In This Episode
Bo Dukes’s girlfriend finally tells story.
People in this Episode
Chief - Perry Police Department
Bo Duke's friend
Ex-Boyfriend and Former Police Officer
Ryan Alexander Duke
Rob: This episode of Up and Vanished contains explicit content that is not suitable for children. Listener discretion is advised.
New Intro: More than 40 GBI agents swarmed a pecan orchard in Benhill County this afternoon-
Not one but two former students from that school under arrest-
With the intent to and did cause serious bodily harm to the person of Tara Grinstead.
Charging Ryan Alexander Duke with the murder of Tara Grinstead.
Payne Lindsey: From Tenderfoot TV in Atlanta, this is Up and Vanished, the investigation of Tara Grinstead. I'm your host, Payne Lindsey.
In today's episode, I'll be playing my phone calls with Brooke Sheridan, Bo Duke's girlfriend. A couple months ago, she reached out to me on Facebook and one day I gave her a call. This is our first conversation together.
Brooke Sheridan: Hey, Payne, you coulda contacted me months ago. You have let people defame my character, my professional life, all over that discussion board. Now is that appropriate discussion board etiquette, especially if you were trying to solve a murder case? I don't think so. When are you gonna get your story straight, Payne? Do you want the true story or do you want what's gonna sell ratings? You want the truth? Here's the truth.
I found out on January the 10th what happened to Tara. Bo told me everything. My mother contacted an old friend of hers, who used to work for the DA, in order, because I'd known for a month, before I went forward to the GBI. Bo and I were broken up at the time, but he told me everything. When you're living with postpartum stress disorder and you know you have nothing to live for, and I see that, you know, I'm a medical professional, I can see that. People act like he's a pompous asshole. He's not. He's been living with this for a long, long time. The way that this affected him was not something I'd like to speak about or get posted on a podcast, because this is somebody else's life that I'm talking about, but let's just say that he was not in a good place. Okay?
Bo told me everything, he told me everything, took me out to the spot, everything. Bo's been telling people throughout the years exactly what happened. There was just things over the course of our relationship that I knew were off and basically he felt that he owed me an explanation because of the way that he had tried to basically shut me out of his life. He never thought anything good would come to him because of this, like he's tried to make himself pay over the years. I let it set with me for a couple weeks because, I mean, you have to digest something like that, that's not just something you say, "oh, here, let's go talk about it, okay."
And a couple weeks ... well, I guess a couple weeks, Bo and I broke up, well, less than a week later, I would say, you know, no relationship is perfect. And I then sat down with my family and I told them. I said, "Bo has told me something and I need to get it to the correct people." My mom had called her old buddy, that was a retired district attorney, to find out if there would be legal ramifications for me, having known for a month and not saying anything. So her district attorney buddy put her in contact with the GBI agents that had been on the case and she told the GBI when they contacted her, that Bo has told Brooke something about the Tara Grinstead case. I don't know exactly what she said to the GBI, but she stayed in contact with them and then, like I said, I told her, I said, "mom, you've got to get 'em to the house, do something" because I was at work, I couldn't talk to her.
A couple days later, Agent Shoudel contacted me, he came over to the house that day. I sat down with him for a couple hours, took him out to the orchard and I told him everything. And that, in turn, started the cycle of leading to Ryan's arrest.
The problem was, is I could not remember his roommate's name, being Ryan, I couldn't remember his name. I mean, there are text messages that, you know, I can show you between me and the GBI agent. Bo told me that, basically, the Sunday after she had gone missing, I guess she went missing on a Saturday night, the next Sunday, early afternoon, that Bo had been at home asleep, they'd had a get together at their house. And the next morning, Ryan comes to Bo and wakes him up and says, "I killed Tara Grinstead," and he's like, "what?"
And then Bo goes to the other roommate, who I'm sure you know by now, it's Ryan's brother, Steven. And then Bo goes and asks Steven, "did your brother tell you the same thing?" And he like "yeah." Well, they didn't think anything of it because, you know, they're like whatever.
Well, then Monday, when she goes missing, that's when Bo was like, "holy crap, what happened?" You have to remember that Ryan did not have a vehicle at the time, he was using Bo's vehicle.
The following Wednesday, Ryan says, "hey, man, you know, come with me", they're gonna take a ride. And that is where Ryan pulled up onto Tara's body with Bo in the truck and it was on the orchard that his family owns. I mean, what else do you want to know?
Payne Lindsey: So, you were saying that Bo was having a get together at his house. Where was Ryan?
Brooke Sheridan: Ryan was there, but when they all passed out, that's when Ryan had taken Bo's truck and left.
Payne Lindsey: How many people were there?
Brooke Sheridan: Let's see, one, two, maybe about seven or eight.
Payne Lindsey: Okay. Do you know people's names?
Brooke Sheridan: I would have to ... I'd have to get back to my memory book, Payne, because honestly, I'm not from Ocilla. I don't know these people. I know that it was Ryan, Bo, Ryan's brother, and then some other people that were there. After they had all passed out, you know, apparently that's when Ryan had taken her car and done whatever he did. To this day, Bo cannot tell you what Ryan's motive was. Nobody knows, unless Ryan has-
Payne Lindsey: Bo didn't ask him, "why did you do this?"
Brooke Sheridan: Oh, he asked him several times, several times.
Payne Lindsey: And what was Ryan's response?
Brooke Sheridan: You would have to take that from Bo's mouth, but he's not gonna talk to you. But he would never say a thing, but, honestly, that's what has, that's the big thing, nobody knows but God and Ryan himself.
Payne Lindsey: It's not odd to you that-
Brooke Sheridan: It is very odd, it is very odd.
Payne Lindsey: I mean, you would think that, if you were to go to the lengths that Bo did to help cover this up, he would get some sort of definitive answer out of him.
Brooke Sheridan: And he said, well, one, he used my truck. I mean, it was definitely gonna pin it on me, so I don't know if Ryan said something that day to Bo or not, saying basically "look it’s get pinned on you, man. I don't know. The thing that, you know, and I've tried and I've tried and I've tried, I'm like, "why do you think he did it, why do you think he did it?" And he seems to think it was, to Bo, from him knowing Ryan as well as he did, I mean, because they were best friends. You never saw one without the other, and that's true, you didn't. Bo basically thinks that it was some kind of sexual thing, or it was he wanted to see what it would feel like. Now, as far as what happened the night that Tara was killed, I don't know, Bo doesn't know, and that's the truth, that is the God honest truth.
Payne Lindsey: Did Ryan use Bo's truck to take her body to the pecan orchard?
Brooke Sheridan: Yes, yes.
Payne Lindsey: What time did they pass out that night, Bo and everybody else?
Brooke Sheridan: Probably, I would say, 1:00-ish, 12:00-ish, I mean, I don't know, I wasn't there, but I would say, maybe 'cause, if there had been a football game that day, I'm assuming they had probably been drinking all day, I mean, so I don't know.
Payne Lindsey: This seems odd, that Ryan would sneak out, presumably, sort of early and be unnoticed.
Brooke Sheridan: Well, I mean, I don't know what time he left, but I know that he didn't come back until later that next day. Now, I do know that ... I mean, what all have you been told and I can just tell you yes or no.
Payne Lindsey: Okay, when Ryan shows him the body, is Bo by himself? Is someone else with Bo? What's going on there and how does it-?
Brooke Sheridan: It's just Bo and Ryan, it's just Bo and Ryan.
Payne Lindsey: And then what happens?
Brooke Sheridan: Apparently ... now, I don't have finite details on this, but I'm gonna give you the best synopsis that I can, and this is all going from my memory of what I've been told, and also what has been backed up by the GBI. She was ... when I took the GBI out to the orchard, there was a back corner that he took me to, but apparently she had been moved, back in the cut, like off the path where the orchard, like, it wasn't out in the middle of the orchard, if that makes sense. So, and where I led the GBI agent to the first, you know, that day that I took him out there, so Bo told me that she was there, that she had been there for a couple of days, because you could tell, you know, without going into gory details, I mean, if you know the difference better liver mortis and rigor mortis, I assuming, they moved her and they disposed of the body.
Payne Lindsey: Do you know how?
Brooke Sheridan: Burning. You also have to remember that it's during pecan season, they purposely do controlled burning, and behind there, there was like pine trees. When they took her off the beaten path and did what they had to do, I don't know how long it took. I didn't really want to know the gory detail. Bo stayed out there for weeks.
Payne Lindsey: What do you mean?
Brooke Sheridan: He slept in his truck and stayed out there for weeks, because he was, he had to come to terms with it and make peace with it because he couldn't believe what he had done, and he was trying to apologize.
Payne Lindsey: Why did he do it?
Brooke Sheridan: What, burn her body?
Payne Lindsey: Yeah.
Brooke Sheridan: I don't know, Payne. He was a kid, you know, he was a kid.
Payne Lindsey: Yeah, but kids don't do that.
Brooke Sheridan: Well, I don't know, I can't speak for what, you know, he was scared.
Payne Lindsey: That was my first phone call with Brooke. I still couldn't wrap my mind around the idea that Bo had no clue why Ryan had done this. That seemed incredibly odd. And the idea that Bo went along with his heinous act, because Ryan inadvertently threatened him, that sounded fishy, too. The next time I talked to Brooke, I asked her some more hard pressing questions and she started giving more details.
Because of the graphic and sensitive nature of the next part of this episode, I wanted to give you a heads up. This is not at all suitable for children, so please, use your best discretion.
Brooke Sheridan: Were you ever privy to actually what happened to her purse and her keys?
Payne Lindsey: No, I was not.
Brooke Sheridan: Okay. They were thrown in a dumpster in Fitzgerald, behind a laundromat.
Payne Lindsey: What laundromat?
Brooke Sheridan: Now, I don't know if when this happened, the laundromat was there because, from my understanding, the city of Fitzgerald, you know, that little strip, that highway or whatever is, you know, been more developed than it was back then. But, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that his aunt actually owns a laundromat there now. I don't know if it was there then, I know it's there now. From what I understand, that from what Bo has said, like he doesn't know if he tried to put her body in the dumpster and couldn't do it and he just tossed her purse and her keys there, and then took her to the orchard, but I don't know why he just ... I guess he just wanted to get rid of them. And that's what I'm thinking, that probably Bo made the connection, that he probably tried to dump her body there first and he couldn't, you know, because I would assume that lifting a body into a dumpster over your head would be quite difficult. And he used a credit card to get into her home.
Payne Lindsey: Was she asleep or something?
Brooke Sheridan: Yes.
Payne Lindsey: Why'd he go there?
Brooke Sheridan: Your guess is as good as mine.
Payne Lindsey: Her car would have been in the carport. It would have been pretty obvious that she was home.
Brooke Sheridan: That's why the burglary charges or the ... I don't think he went there, like I said, to rob her. You see what I'm saying? I think it was more of a sexual thing. I don't know, Payne, I don't know what his motive was.
Payne Lindsey: How did Bo not get any sort of an answer out of him, even if it was a lie or something? I can't imagine being in that position and accepting no for an answer.
Brooke Sheridan: Well, from what Bo told me a few months ago, I believe when he asked him, and I can't ... don't quote me word for word on this, but Ryan basically said, you know, "it's your truck, it's your family's land, what are you gonna do?" You know, kinda like, you know, "it's on you."
Payne Lindsey: Did Bo describe to you what Tara looked like?
Brooke Sheridan: Yes, he did. He said that she was laying face up, that she looked like bluish and she had bruises around her neck, that she did not have on clothes.
Payne Lindsey: She had no clothes on?
Brooke Sheridan: No.
Payne Lindsey: Where were her clothes?
Brooke Sheridan: I don't know, he never said.
Payne Lindsey: At what point did he say "okay, I'll help you out?"
Brooke Sheridan: Probably when Ryan said, "what are you gonna do? It's your truck, your land, your family's land?" You know, I mean, at 21 years old, if you think a murder's about to get pinned on you, you know. I don't know, I wasn't there, I'm not him, but I can imagine being a young, dumb, 21 year old, you just kind of act on ... I don't know, like I can't explain it, I don't know what he thought. And he was scared, I mean, if you were 21 years old and your friend did something like that to you, I think you or anybody, I would be scared to death.
Payne Lindsey: Who else knew about this over the years?
Brooke Sheridan: His ex-wife. And I know that there was ... he never told anybody in his family, I don't believe. He had told an Army buddy of his, he had told his best friend, he had told ... I can't, I mean, I don't really know all the people that he's told, but that's just the people that he's mentioned to me. And his ex-wife had threatened him, for years, of going to the ... she basically blackmailed him, you know, saying "if you leave, I go to the cops and I tell 'em everything." That's why they were together longer than they should have been.
Every time he asked Ryan about it or talked to him about it, it was a look of shame. He was shameful. It wasn't like, you know, "oh, I snapped" or, it was a look of shame. Which I think, and to me makes sense of why he went there with an intent to do something like sexual assault or rape or something like that, because he was ashamed to tell anybody that that's why he did it.
Payne Lindsey: So why didn't Bo just go to the cops back then?
Brooke Sheridan: He was scared it was gonna get pinned on him, you know, I guess he did it after, you know, it was put on his family's land, I mean, there was tons of things. His grandfather was a Representative, you know, it was just the backlash, I guess, would have come back and ... you know, I don't know, I don't know why he didn't. I can't answer that, but I can only say that, what he's told me, is that he was scared.
Payne Lindsey: Why'd he do it now, why'd he come forward now?
Brooke Sheridan: Because I made him confess.
Payne Lindsey: How'd you make him confess?
Brooke Sheridan: Like I told you before, you know, when I found out we were still together, we broke up shortly thereafter. I went, you know, and I found out January 10th and I'm ... like I was trying to go through text messages and stuff today, when I told my sister to come to my mom's house and, you know, I need to sit down and talk, of when that date was. I believe it was probably early February when that happened, when I told my family and my mom. And then my mom made the call, because I needed to know if there were gonna be legal ramifications for me, knowing for a month, you know, and didn't say anything. But when I found out, we were still together, you know, and I didn't know if he knew that I told, what the ramifications from him would be. I didn't think he would have done anything to me, but, you know, that's just the kind of thought that goes through my head. I had to make sure that I was away from there when all this came out.
So I told my mom, she talked to her district attorney buddy, he put her in contact with the GBI and she had talked to the GBI within, at least, it may have not even been a day from the time that I told her. She gave them my contact number, in order for me to talk to them, because I was at work when she had called them. Then the GBI agent came to my house and we sat down and talked. I took him out to the orchard.
Now all of my stuff was still, because Bo and I were living together when he told me, and all of my belongings were still at his place, most of my stuff anyway. And so I asked the GBI agent like what do I do, you know, I still have to go over there and get my stuff. And he said, I'd only had that Wednesday and Thursday off, and so he basically said by Friday, you need to make arrangements to go over there and get all of your stuff, because by Friday, it's gonna have to come out, like we're gonna go question Bo.
And he said would you be willing to wear a wire and go over there and talk to him or record a phone conversation, you know, what are you willing to do. And me thinking, as a woman, I didn't really see Bo in that kind of light, to where he would do something to me, but, one, he was upset over the breakup, two, there were other things that had gone on between us that led to why we broke up, so I don't know what kind of state of mind he was in and I didn't want to go over there wearing a wire, and me having to be moving stuff, getting stuff in my car and some ... you know, I'm just thinking what if it flips out of my pocket or, you know, because it's like a recorder and then, whatever, so. I said no, I told him I didn't need one, and then I went over there to get the rest of my stuff.
And I told him, basically ... I didn't bring it up right then, but I was just having conversation, you know, how have you been, are you doing okay, 'cause I had spoken with him on the phone before that, but I had called him to asked him if it was okay if I came over there to get my stuff and he was very upset. He was crying, he was just not ... he wasn't himself basically.
So I went over there, I don't remember if it was a Wednesday or Thursday that I went over there, but I went over there to get my stuff, asked him, you know, how are you doing, whatever, and I said, and granted, I was angry with Bo because of all this and because, you know, it was a little rough patch in our relationship. I was angry and that's when I was finally, I was done, you know, and I was mad because I had moved my life and my career down there. So I start boxing up stuff and I was like, Bo, I said, this is not, I said you can't hang on to all of this for the rest of your life, because I knew what it had already put him through and, you know, dealing with demon, it was awful.
And I went over there and I told him, I said you need to come clean about all this. I said you can't put this on my conscience, I said, and that family deserves to know. I said how would you feel if it was me and nobody'd talk and you knew that somebody knew that somebody knew what had happened to me. I said how would you feel, and he broke down and he started crying, and he said I know, I know.
And I said you have to confess. I said there is no option, Bo, I said because ... and I told him, I said look, I've already talked with the GBI, I said, you have to confess. I said you need to tell them everything. I said you made this decision a long time ago and, I said, and I understand that you were scared and I understand that, you know, whatever went on in your head, I said, but you have to come forward. I said because that family needs closure and the people that are innocent need to be ... their name needs to be cleared. And he said okay, okay. He said I know, I know.
I know what would have happened if he hadn't come forward and this hadn't all came out in the open.
Payne Lindsey: What's that?
Brooke Sheridan: He would have committed suicide.
Payne Lindsey: How do you know?
Brooke Sheridan: Because this wasn't the first, I mean, it wasn't the first time that he had talked about it or attempted it. I mean, if you deal with a demon like that for so long and it just grabs ahold of you and it eats at you and you think you don't deserve to live, but you can't ... I mean, and you had held onto it for years, and then you finally come forward with it. I mean, and he knew, he wasn't stupid, he said, you know, I'm a convicted felon, you know, this is gonna completely put me, you know, back up under the jail. I mean, all of that was just a snowball effect. He thought about all of it and I guess he just stayed quiet, and he, also, out of loyalty to a friend.
It had just all been coming to a head. He knew that I was over some of his behaviors, he knew that I was just over the relationship and I told him, I was like, what is it. And I said, whatever it is, I said you need to tell me, I said you have to tell me what it is. But I made him tell me everything. He showed me where Tara lived and just kind of drove me around.
He then took me out to the orchard. I mean, it's just kind of a scary place, it's very scary looking. He took me out there and then he showed me the path they had taken her down, that day that he and Ryan went out there, because it was basically timber and pine trees back there 'cause it's like the orchard ... if you went there at night, you'd get lost. You would have to kinda look at it during the daytime to go to that particular back corner. But I remembered it very vividly when I took the GBI agent back there. I took him to the corner and I said that's the path that he went down. He did not take me to the actual spot back in the back, 'cause I mean, I wasn't going back there, I was scared, I mean, I'm not the type to go trekking back in the woods in the middle of the night. And then he showed me that and that was pretty much it.
And I knew there was something about that orchard that he never liked because, you know, when he worked for his family's pecan company, he never liked to go out there, you know, when they spray the trees or when they mow, whatever, he never liked to be out at that particular orchard. And then it kind of made sense as to why after he told me.
Payne Lindsey: So what do you think should happen now?
Brooke Sheridan: What do you mean, like, legally?
Payne Lindsey: I don't know. At all?
Brooke Sheridan: I don't know because I don't ... I mean I hope that justice is served.
Payne Lindsey: And what is justice to you?
Brooke Sheridan: I don't know, Payne, like, I'm just ... I can't tell you what justice is to me because I'm in a really, really tough spot.
Payne Lindsey: But you can't be selfish about it either, though.
Brooke Sheridan: I'm not selfish about it.
Payne Lindsey: Put your feelings for him aside for a second and think about justice.
Brooke Sheridan: You know, Ryan is where he is supposed to be, in prison.
Payne Lindsey: What about Bo?
Brooke Sheridan: Do I agree that he got off with nothing? No, I don't, I don't agree. None of this would have of had to happen, had Ryan not done what he did.
Payne Lindsey: But think about how many more people it affected if Bo had just told the police what happened 12 years ago? How do you think people who were accused and had to change their names on Facebook for a decade feel about that?
Brooke Sheridan: I'm sure they're angry, I mean, I'm angry for them. But like I said, I'm trying to put myself in the situation and have dealt, you know, and known this thing for over a decade. Like I said, I'd only ... it was just a news story to me back there, when I found out about it.
Payne Lindsey: Do you think Bo will issue an apology?
Brooke Sheridan: He's already said that he wants to speak with the family if he's ... you know, that's been something that he's thought about for a long, long time. But, you know, is it something that they want to hear, I don't know.
Payne Lindsey: I mean, it's just something that absolutely has to be done.
Brooke Sheridan: Yeah, I mean, this is something that he's thought about for a long time, that the day that I went over there and told him, he said, you know, he was upset about our family, I mean he always had been, and I think that, through the years, he's always felt that he deserved whatever shit storm came his way, you know, he was just waiting on something to happen to him and sometimes he would move into ... you know, he had a self destruct button all the time and I think that, without him coming clean about it, that was his way of paying his dues, if that makes sense. When I said paying his dues, he's never allowed anything good to happen in his life, since this.
Payne Lindsey: If he really, truly felt that way and was accepting the fact that he could live a terrible life and deserved to live a terrible life, then he should have just walked his ass into jail.
Brooke Sheridan: He was planning on it, but he, I mean ... I mean, when I told him, he was ready to go to jail, he was ready to.
Payne Lindsey: Yeah, well, at that point, he had to, you'd already told him.
Brooke Sheridan: I mean, it's not like he was oblivious to going back to prison, he had-
Payne Lindsey: But clearly he chose to live a free life versus pay for what he had done.
Brooke Sheridan: Free life as in free out of prison?
Payne Lindsey: He made a conscious decision, every day that he woke up, to not tell what happened to Tara.
Brooke Sheridan: That's correct, he did.
Payne Lindsey: He chose to be selfish.
Brooke Sheridan: I mean, he even thought about becoming a soldier for hire, like a mercenary, I mean, that's a death wish, a private contractor for the military, that's a death wish. You're not protected by the US military, I mean, that's what he wanted to do. There was a point in time when he was ready to go, like he was, had his passport, everything, ready to go, because that's what just ... I guess it was his way in paying, he was ready to pay with his own life because, you know, if it wasn't taken in the line of duty, or if it wasn't taken ... he would have taken his own.
Payne Lindsey: It's even more selfish. You kill yourself and not tell Tara's parents what happened to their daughter.
Brooke Sheridan: Well, I'm sure that he would have said something, I mean, I try to empathize with people. I see manifestations of PTSD in people all the time, I see manifestations of drug addiction in people all the time, and they make dumb mistakes. And then when they become sober again, they don't know who they were at the time, you know what I'm saying. I try to be an empathizer, you know, I don't look at somebody who has a drug addiction as, you know, oh, they're just an addict, that's all they are. It's a disease. I try to be an empathizer and, I guess, that's just who I am, I don't know, and it may make me an awful person. I try to empathize with people and all parties involved. I don't think that, because somebody makes a grave mistake, that they should be deserted for the rest of their life. I don't empathize with Ryan because what he did was out of malice, what he did was awful.
Payne Lindsey: If what Ryan did was awful, what Bo did, what was that? Just not as awful?
Brooke Sheridan: It's preservation, I mean, it's self preservation.
Payne Lindsey: Burning a body?
Brooke Sheridan: Okay, so if hadn't ... if it wouldn't have been burned, if it had been disposed of some other way-
Payne Lindsey: That's not the point. The point is that it wasn't disposed some other way. First of all, Bo burned her body, that's not self preservation.
Brooke Sheridan: But if Bo had gone back to the police back then, I guarantee you, the way that things have worked out this far, he would be on death row right now. Why would they believe, why would they believe Bo, or why would they believe Ryan over Bo? You're putting all your trust into the cops, into law enforcement, okay. Up until this point, they've gotten it wrong.
Payne Lindsey: Somebody hid it from them.
Brooke Sheridan: But back then, if he would have gone and said, hey, it wasn't me, it was my buddy, who was clean cut, all American guy, but yeah, it was my truck and yeah, it was put on my family's land, I know it doesn't make sense, but hear me out. You know, if you were Marcus Harper, if you were Heath Dykes, these people that had been accused of a murder for years and years and years, you're in your own hell. If you're presenting the evidence, like in a podcast like you do, people believe what you say. People believe the media. People believe what you say because you are their only source.
Payne Lindsey: What's your point?
Brooke Sheridan: My point is you can paint a picture, however you see fit. If you're going to present, like, this is real life, you have to see both sides of the story. That is not easy to think that I don't have anything to fear because the people judging you and that are going to have your life and your fate in your hands, are just people. You know, we don't know ... you're not a prosecutor, I'm not a prosecutor, the evidence. Bo would of not known anything had Ryan not pulled up on her body that day. Did he make a grave decision? Yes, it was a heinous, awful decision. He said "it's your truck, it's your family's land, what are you gonna do?" Do you really trust, I mean, they don't ... they didn't know the ins, the outs, the ups and downs of law enforcement and the legalities. All he says is, "oh my God, he used my truck, oh my God, it's on my family's land, it's gonna look like I did it."
Payne Lindsey: Why not just do the right thing, and not worry so much about your damn self. That's been his problem for 12 years, constantly worrying about himself. Just tell the truth.
Brooke Sheridan: I have never agreed that he did not go to the cops, at all. But from a selfish person's perspective, because we're all creatures ... I mean, we're all about ourselves, you know what I'm saying, everybody is. Everybody is out for their own reason. You know, I could see, at 21 years old, I don't know what any of us would have done.
Payne Lindsey: I can tell you right now what I would have done, go to the cops.
Brooke Sheridan: But it's easy to say on the other side of the fence, it's easy to say.
Payne Lindsey: It's also easy to do. 9-1-1 is three digits.
Brooke Sheridan: It's calling laying the odds and he didn't make the right decision, he made the wrong one.
Payne Lindsey: That doesn't even matter. It's not even about Bo. He did something that was very wrong. Let's just agree with that and not even try to explain why he made this awful decision. It's only about Tara. And he can do the right thing by issuing a public apology.
Brooke Sheridan: He can't because he's under the gag order.
Payne Lindsey: Oh, well, that's just super convenient. He had about four or five days to do that before the gag order was in place.
Brooke Sheridan: How do you ... I mean, would it have hurt the family or helped them?
Payne Lindsey: Is that a serious question?
Brooke Sheridan: Yes, it's a serious question.
Payne Lindsey: Would an apology hurt or help them?
Brooke Sheridan: Payne, you have to understand, do you ... and how do you put 12 years of feelings on paper-
Payne Lindsey: I don't know, that's his job to figure out. He's had 12 years to figure that shit out. He's had 12 years to figure out how to apologize. If he doesn't know how to do it-
Brooke Sheridan: You don't think that he's been thinking about it for 12 years?
Payne Lindsey: I really actually don't.
Brooke Sheridan: But is a written apology, I mean, Payne, just because he didn't issue a written apology, a formal public apology-
Payne Lindsey: All I'm saying is that that's what he should do and you're giving me excuses of why he hasn't done it. How many excuses do we give him before we just say, wow, he's just not a good person.
Brooke Sheridan: Okay. If he's gonna write a public apology, how does he give that to the family and to the public?
Payne Lindsey: He has an attorney, doesn't he?
Brooke Sheridan: Yep.
Payne Lindsey: Look, I'm not even gonna talk about it. It's pointless for me to try to help you guys figure out how to apologize, that's so stupid.
Brooke Sheridan: It's not something that he hasn't thought about. You know, I can't say that he didn't start writing one.
Payne Lindsey: But you can't say that he did, either.
Brooke Sheridan: Yes, I did, I did see where he started writing letters.
Payne Lindsey: How far did he get? I am-
Brooke Sheridan: Two pages.
Payne Lindsey: Just a crying shame that he couldn't finish it in time.
Brooke Sheridan: Well, you have to understand how this has affected other peoples' lives. I am only doing, in my position, what I have prayed about, what I have soul searched about, because I wouldn't be able to handle on my conscience, knowing what happened to Tara, and also knowing that I deserted ... me, Bo's brother and his mom are really the only people he has, and his father. He doesn't talk to people. I'm the only person that he's ever confided everything in and I wound have to live the rest of my life, knowing that he did something to himself, and along with the fact that Tara ... something happened to Tara. How does that make it okay, and I understand it's about Tara, but there are also innocent people involved here. And things that have been said about me, you know, I didn't deserve to be put in this spotlight like that. How many people listen to your podcast?
Payne Lindsey: A lot.
Brooke Sheridan: Thousands, millions?
Payne Lindsey: A lot.
Brooke Sheridan: Yeah, so, I mean, my name was mentioned in the last episode, in a conspiracy, you're podcast was called "Conspiracy." My mother's name-
Payne Lindsey: I never mentioned your name or your mother's name. I actually don't even know your mother's name.
Brooke Sheridan: But you played your interview with Rebecca on your podcast. You could have chose not to.
Payne Lindsey: You're right, I chose to play her interview. That's correct.
Brooke Sheridan: So that is an extension of you. What you present on your podcast is an extension of you. It's your work, right? You are the creator of Up and Vanished.
Payne Lindsey: What's your point? I mean, I've played a lot of interviews.
Brooke Sheridan: No, you can't control what people say on your discussion boards. But you can control what you play on your podcast.
Payne Lindsey: I really try to give Brooke the benefit of my own doubt, but it was clear that we had some disagreements. We continued to communicate for several weeks, off and on. She would send me text messages and sometimes call me and I often wondered "why is she doing this?" It seemed obvious, through our first conversations, that Brooke was concerned with protecting Bo's reputation and also that of her own. And because she felt that people had the wrong idea about her and Bo, I gave her the opportunity to clear things up.
But as time went on, I began to question her intentions even more. Why was she talking to me? In Episode 17, I released a segment of audio from Bo's friend that I call Darren. Darren was an old Army buddy of Bo Duke's and, one time in the Army, Bo had told Darren that he disposed of a body. When the GBI began investigating Bo, they reached out to Darren to help corroborate Bo's story. Over the course of about two months, Darren sent me screenshots of his text message conversations with Bo. He was also forwarding this same information to the GBI.
When it came time for me to release my phone calls with Darren on the podcast, he got cold feet and, at first, he only agreed to let me use a distorted transcription of the conversation, or, in other words, not his actual voice. Darren was still communicating with Bo at the time and trying to get more information, all on his own free will, and when I released the first segment of our call together with the distorted voice, Brooke began questioning its validity. Darren denied to both Brooke and Bo that he had talked to me at all for his own reasons. Brooke became very frustrated and called me again.
Since this happened, Darren has agreed for me to use his real voice and his real name, which is Dustin. This was my last phone call with Brooke.
Brooke Sheridan: Dustin would never, ever say anything like that. He hates you more than Bo does.
Payne Lindsey: Dustin said exactly what you said on the podcast. I have proof.
Brooke Sheridan: I do, too, that he didn't.
Payne Lindsey: From who?
Brooke Sheridan: From Dustin. You didn't put the truth out, Payne, you never have put the truth out about Bo. Why are you trying to get people to go after him like he's, I mean-
Payne Lindsey: I know, I'm trying to get to the truth.
Brooke Sheridan: Do you see what you've done to his life? I understand he made a decision 12 years ago. Do you understand what you've done to his life?
Payne Lindsey: No, I don't. I mean, I know what decision he made.
Brooke Sheridan: But he didn't need you to further-
Payne Lindsey: To talk about it?
Brooke Sheridan: No, not even talk about it. But he didn't need you to paint him as a picture that he's not, because you don't know him.
Payne Lindsey: During the call, my spider senses started going off. I had the feeling that she was recording the phone call from her end, too, which is perfectly fine and legal, but that also she was trying to catch me in some sort of lie. The problem was there was no lie to catch me in. The phone calls and the text messages with Darrin, whose real name is Dustin, were all completely real and legitimate.
But apparently Dustin kept denying it, to both Bo and Brooke and, later that same night, Brooke uploaded a phone call she recorded with Dustin to the Up and Vanished discussion board. Dustin told both Brooke and Bo that it was his fiancé that sent me all the text messages and Brooke believed him. And I'm guessing she thought that posting this phone call would maybe discredit me. But I'm not sure if she accomplished her goal. Here's the call with Brooke and Dustin that she recorded. You be the judge.
Brooke Sheridan: Bo has been nice to you and tried to protect your identify.
Dustin: Bo's been nice to me, I've been nice to Bo, too.
Brooke Sheridan: Have you, Dustin?
Dustin: I've been nice to Bo, too.
Brooke Sheridan: Because you've back stabbed him because of your fiancé-
Brooke Sheridan: Who went through your phone-
Brooke Sheridan: Saw those text messages and sent them to Payne Lindsey.
Dustin: Payne had the text messages already.
Brooke Sheridan: No, he didn't.
Dustin: Yeah, he fucking did.
Brooke Sheridan: No, he didn't-
Dustin: I know he talked to you.
Brooke Sheridan: -because I talked to him today. You said you're crazy, you don't know who he is anymore, and that you couldn't believe he was trolling the UAV boards.
Brooke Sheridan: You were trolling 'em, too, Dustin, and you do know who Bo is.
Dustin: What do you want from me? What do you want from me?
Brooke Sheridan: I want you to tell the damn truth.
Dustin: Yeah, well, it's about to come out. But it will be after my fucking wedding on Saturday.
Brooke Sheridan: And why is that?
Dustin: 'Cause I want to fucking enjoy my fucking wedding on Saturday.
Brooke Sheridan: Because Megan's got your balls in a mason jar?
Dustin: You know what, I'll do anything for that fucking lady, abso-fucking-lutely
Brooke Sheridan: Well, she put you in this mess.
Brooke Sheridan: And you're doing everything for her, including lying.
Dustin: Lying, lying, who's the fucking liar in this situation? Not me, babe, don't you dare put this on me. I didn't-
Brooke Sheridan: It's your-
Dustin: -fucking burn anybody's fucking body. Don't you dare put this on me. I didn't fucking hurt anybody.
Brooke Sheridan: You went behind Bo's back and did something malicious
Dustin: I didn't go behind [crosstalk]
Brooke Sheridan: Because your fiancé decided that she was gonna save face and worry about what people would think, so she went to Payne Lindsey, of all people.
Payne Lindsey: Actually she didn't, Dustin did. And Dustin called me right after Brooke uploaded this phone call, just to set the record straight, with me and for everyone out there who's listening.
Dustin: Just let me say, what I told her was not the truth, I was just trying to fucking play both sides. I was trying to get more information and it backfired a little bit, okay. She's just really proving that she's a vindictive, crazy lady, I mean, that's all she's really doing. I've been trying to help you, and you understand that, right. I was just trying to help, man, and I was playing both sides, and, in order to play their side, I had to make up some fucking lies. I failed, man, my fault.
Payne Lindsey: I never told Dustin to lie to anybody. He chose to do that on his own, to try and get more information from Bo. After this call, he felt bad, that maybe he had jeopardized my integrity as a journalist, but I told him that he didn't. It was then that he gave me permission to use his real voice.
In my conversations with Brooke, she kept telling me she was a victim in this situation and that the podcast brought her unwanted attention, even though, at the time, I hadn't even said her name yet. But now, just a few days ago, Brooke did an exclusive televised interview with the CBS show "48 Hours", taking credit for having solved this case. CBS released a short segment of Brooke's interview on their website and the full episode was supposed to air this past Saturday, but it didn't. Several Up and Vanished Facebook groups were outraged by the representation of Brooke and took it among themselves to do something about it. Hundreds of Up and Vanished listeners sent countless emails and messages to the producers of "48 Hours", expressing their concerns. I didn't ask them to do this. They felt compelled to on their own and, one day later, the "48 Hours" episode with Brooke's full interview no longer appeared on the TV Guide and, instead, they played a rerun episode.
By now, I've listened and re-listened to all my phone calls with Brooke over a dozen times. Several things stood out to me. One, how in the world does Bo not know why Ryan killed Tara? He seems to know just about everything else, including details about Tara's purse and keys, and even how Ryan got into her house with a credit card. He would only know these details if Ryan told him. So why was Ryan there in the first place? The fact that Bo couldn't answer this was a huge red flag to me.
And what about those seven to eight people that were at Bo and Ryan's house that night? Who were these people and why wouldn't she tell me who they are? I just found that hard to believe, that every single person had passed out and Ryan stole Bo's truck, drove 20 or more minutes to Tara's house on a whim, going unseen and undetected by ten or more people. According to Bo Duke's arrest warrants, the crimes he committed occurred between October 23rd and October 28th, 2005. So if Bo Duke is telling the truth, then the first time he saw Tara's body was that Wednesday, October 26th. But the arrest warrants state that these crimes happened all the way through October 28th, meaning that if Bo's story is true, they were destroying Tara's body the following Friday night, October 28th.
I've talked to multiple people at this point, who've all told me that Bo and Ryan routinely threw parties out there in the orchard. Even on the night of Tara's disappearance, Brooke told me that there were seven to eight people there that night. If these parties happened every weekend, and they were doing this on the night of Friday, October 28th, then there may have been people there, potential witnesses or even accomplices. The fact that Brooke would never reveal their names to me only added to my suspicions. Who was there and what do they know?
Right before I aired this episode, I got another random phone call from another friend of Bo Duke's, who served in the Army with him. He, just like Bo's friend, Dustin, was told a similar story.
Army buddy 2: He and I were in separate units, but there were different units in the barracks. I was up on the very top floor and he was on the bottom. What I remember is that he helped get rid of a body on the pecan farm and he burned it. I think he might have, or liked knowing that big a secret, you know. He said that the body was brought to him and he said that they built a fire and that they used diesel fuel because it might burn longer. Bo mentioned, like, letting the fire, like, burn all night. There was a party spot, I guess, that they talked about, kinda remember Bo saying that they had a party out there. I remember it being real haunting, enough for me to remember. If you're having parties out there routinely, that gives you a way to conceal, you know, a fire just burning out there is gonna raise questions. But a fire out there, where a bunch of people were partying, that's not as peculiar, and I think that could have even been, you know, Bo planned.
Payne Lindsey: Thanks for listening to episode 19. This Thursday, we're having a Q & A episode, so please call us with any questions you have, at 770-545-6411. Just a head's up, we'll be taking off this coming Monday for Memorial Day, but we'll be back again the following week with episode 20, coming on Monday, June 5th. Be sure to tune in this Thursday for our Q & A episode and a teaser for what's to come in the rest of this season.