Harvey Updyke Speaks: ‘I Wanted Auburn People To Hate Me’

Harvey Updyke Jr., who will go down in Alabama history books as the guy who poisoned the cherished Auburn oak trees, has finished his probation and recently sat down with Mo Rocca for his first interview since finishing up his time under sanction by the Alabama criminal system. Mo was able to get Updyke to go on his podcast to share the details of how all this went down and why.

Of course I wasn’t expecting Mo Rocca to get the first interview with Harvey. I figured this would end up a Finebaum production on SEC Network since this all went down via Paul’s show at the height of the radio show that turned Harvey into household name across the south.

The full podcast with Updyke will drop Friday, March 8 on Mobituaries.

From CBS:

“I wanted Auburn people to hate me as much as I hate them,” Updyke tells Rocca.

“I just don’t like Auburn,” Updyke says. “You know, there are several things in this world that I really and truly don’t like, and Auburn is one of them.”

Updyke might have gotten away with poisoning the trees until he called into ESPN Radio’s “The Paul Finebaum Show,” and, while calling himself “Al from Dadeville,” admitted to doing it. Police were able to track the call to Updyke.


“Every night I’d stay up all night long, and they used to have cameras on the trees, and I figured out when the slowest time, what day of the week and what out of the night was the slowest around those oak trees, so I could go in there at that time and not get caught,” Updyke says.

I have to be honest here — I don’t listen to many, if any, podcasts. I’m inundated with content for about 16 hours a day and I just can’t drive myself to firing up even more content unless it’s something I’m really intrigued by. I’m intrigued by this one. There have been Wright Thompson pieces on the guy, but this is different. This is 4-5 years down the road and now Harvey’s an old guy former cop with this on him forever. I’m intrigued to know if he’s found any perspective or if he wants that heel legacy because of the street cred it will always have attached to his name.

If you’d like, Harvey’s Facebook page is wide open. He’s still the same old Alabama fan, but there’s next to no mention about Auburn. No mention of dead trees, just an old man still rooting for Bama and complaining about getting old here and there. There is this one, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect from the guy. Nothing extravagant.

Lookin’ old:

Hoodie & Linda Enjoying The Offseason — For A Day
Hoodie & Linda Enjoying The Offseason — For A Day
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