Auburn Tree Poisoner Harvey Updyke Dead At 71

Ruben Hill
August 1, 2020

Updyke, as "Al from Dadeville", infamously called into the Paul Finebaum radio show in February of 2011 and claimed to have poisoned the Toomer's oaks after Auburn beat Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl. Updyke said. "I really don't".

"That's the singular most memorable moment that I've ever had", Finebaum said Friday in our interview". Whatever you do in life or in your career, you can't run away from it.

Updyke spent a little more than 70 days in prison for the tree poisoning.

Harvey Updyke leaves jail after posting bail in 2013.

His overall feelings about Updyke?

"By no means were we friends", Finebaum said when we spoke Friday. "In the time I was with him, I don't think he took his eyes off those magazines once".

Still, Updyke and Finebaum stayed in touch, off and on, for almost a decade.

"There was an attraction to him", Finebaum said, "like there's nearly an attraction from a newspaper reporter to a serial killer". It just wasn't the time or the place for the conversation. His action came after Auburn's 2010 Iron Bowl victory.

"Let me tell you what I did", Updyke told Finebaum on live radio.

"I put Spike 80DF in them".

"They're not dead yet but they definitely will die", Updyke replied.

During that exchange past year, Finebaum asked Updyke is this how you want to be remembered when you died? "There is no getting around it, you'd rather be known for something else, but this is what I'm known for". "People forget we were already on satellite radio at the time but because of Updyke, he led to the "Roll Tide/War Eagle (ESPN documentary), which led to other things, which led to me being where I am".

He was subsequently arrested, charged and ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage of an agricultural facility, a Class-C felony.

Updyke's son confirmed to al.com that his father, a huge Alabama football fan, passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 71.

Auburn has since dug up the trees and replaced the soil, planting new trees in their place.

Updyke became famous for the incident after he called into the The Paul Finebaum Show in 2011 to admit that he himself had poisoned two oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Alabama.

AL.com first reported the news.

The duo's final conversation came on November 8, 2019, and is preserved online.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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