Harvey Updyke, an Alabama fan who made national headlines for poisoning trees at Auburn University's Toomer's Corner back in 2010, has died. This news comes from Updyke's son, Bear, who told AL.com that Harvey died of natural causes in Louisiana, where he had been living. He was 71.
Updyke's notoriety grew to a national level when he called into the Paul Finebaum show to admit he poisoned the trees in the famous intersection after the Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide that previous November.
"Let me tell you what I did," Updyke told Finebaum on live radio at the time. "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 'em. They're not dead yet, but they definitely will die."
He was later sentenced to three years for criminal damage of an agricultural facility, but that sentence was reduced to a little over 70 days. Updyke was also ordered to pay $800,000 in court-ordered penalties and restitution. As of last October, he had only paid $6,900.
The trees on Toomer's Corner are known for being covered in toilet paper following big athletic victories for Auburn. After news broke of the poisoning, the school cut down the poisoned trees and replaced them. In a 2019 appearance on Finebaum's radio show, Updyke tried to downplay what he did.
"I didn't mean it," Updyke told Finebaum. "Paul, they're only trees. Not like I tried to kill their crow that flies around. You know, I didn't try to kill LSU's tiger."
"We've had this conversation privately, but now we're going to have it publicly," Finebaum responded. "You still don't get it do you?"
"Well, Paul, I get it. I'm not as dumb as I look," Updyke replied. "It was supposed to be a joke."