HARVEY UPDYKE Auburn Tree Poisoner DEAD AT 71

Tanya Simon
August 2, 2020

On Thursday, Alabama fan Harvey Updyke, who was known as the Toomer's tree poisoner, died at the age of 71.

Updyke pleaded guilty to poisoning oak trees that drew generations of Auburn University football fans to Toomer's Corner after big victories. "The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn because I lived 30 miles away, and I poisoned the two Toomer's trees".

"I put Spike 80DF in them".

Updyke pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal damage to an agricultural facility in 2013 and served more than 70 days in jail.

Authorities first learned of the herbicide after a caller who identified himself as "Al from Dadeville" phoned into a Birmingham, Alabama, radio talk show, saying he had poisoned the renowned oaks after Auburn won a contentious November 2010 football game against the University of Alabama. Last year, he told CBS News' Mo Rocca he poisoned the trees because "I wanted Auburn people to hate me as much as I hate them".

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"Let me tell you what I did", Updyke said.

Between October 31 and December 9, 2019, Updyke had paid $3,330 and the last installment of $399 was paid on December 9.

"I just don't want it to be my legacy", Updyke said, per an Associated Press article at the time.

According to AL.com, Updyke has so far paid $8,143 of the $800,000 fine levied on him. The court is said to have made a decision to close the case as he did not own anything of value, and he was the only person responsible for the crime. However, following back-to-back payments of $399 on December 6 and 9, Updyke failed to make any further payments before his death Thursday, according to court records.

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