Canvass – Bryant associates
YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Investigating Officer(s): Det. P. Beckwith, Det. J. Magee
Incident No.: 005121-27J-2021
Case Description: Scott Bryant death investigation
YCSD investigators conducted a canvass of Scott Bryant's neighbors and friends after he was killed during a dress rehearsal of an immersive play staged by the Yoknapatawpha Players.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all the interviews conducted.
Age 40, college friend of Virginia Dole
Hannah Dunn was a college dormmate of Ginny Dole at Ole Miss when both were in their 20s. Hannah is currently a divorce attorney in private practice and has worked in and around Oxford her entire adult life.
Hannah said she first met Scott Bryant when Hannah and her then-boyfriend Randy Dunn went out on a double date with Scott and Ginny not long after the latter couple moved to Oxford. Several months later, Hannah and Randy got married, and Ginny was a bridesmaid. Hannah said she told Ginny at the time that it was her turn to get married next, and Ginny said she was hopelessly destined to be a bridesmaid and never a bride.
Hannah said that, in the last two months of Ginny's life, she confided that her relationship with Scott was on the rocks. Ginny told Hannah that Scott wasn't coming home from the theater when he said he would, and when Ginny called the theater's VoIP number, she got a crew member or the theater's voicemail. Ginny said Scott spent hours in his workroom rather than doing something together, even something as simple as watching television. Hannah said Ginny felt as if Scott was waiting until she was asleep before he'd get into bed.
The worst part for Ginny, Hannah said, was that the couple didn't have wedding plans after years together. In fact, Hannah said Ginny revealed that Scott wasn't even making long-term plans with her about anything.
Hannah said she's known as a straight-shooter, and she told Ginny that Scott was probably having an affair or planning one because, as a divorce attorney, she'd seen this scenario played out a hundred times. Hannah said she now wished she had not been so tactless with Ginny because, days later, Ginny killed herself, and Hannah can't help but think that she was somewhat to blame.
Age 32, former colleague of Scott Bryant
Todd Leconte is the manager of Double Overtime, a used sporting goods shop in Oxford, and was a work friend of Scott Bryant. Todd was an assistant manager when Scott used to manage at Double Overtime.
Todd reported that Scott was good to work for, and he was not the type of boss that dresses you down for penny-ante reasons. Also, the store did good business with Scott at the helm.
However, one thing that always got to Todd was that Scott was not a "huge sports guy" like most of the people who worked at Double Overtime. For that reason, Todd thought that Scott was mostly unhappy doing the job and wasn't overly surprised to see him abruptly quit when he did.
Todd said he saw Scott last when Todd's girlfriend, Halle, bought tickets to a show that Scott was working as stage manager. In speaking to Scott after the show, Todd said that Scott seemed immeasurably happier in the theater than selling used sports equipment.
Age 86, neighbor of Scott Bryant
Vern Potter is a next-door neighbor of Scott Bryant, living in the same Snow Mass Cove cul-de-sac. Vern is a retired insurance salesman, and his wife, Vivian, who is 88 years old and has Lewy body dementia, lives in an assisted-living facility nearby.
Vern said Scott Bryant and Ginny Dole were not talkative neighbors, but Vern relishes the peace and quiet of Snow Mass Cove anyway. When they did chat with Vern, he described their conversations as pleasant small talk.
Vern said he was sad to hear about Ginny's death and commiserated with Scott at the time because Vern's wife had been forced to leave their home just a week earlier because of her deteriorating mental condition.
After Ginny died, Vern said he didn't see Scott much outside. A couple of weeks before Scott's death, however, Vern did find it curious that Scott was in the trees behind his house, swinging something like a bat against a tree. At first, Vern thought maybe Scott was trying to chop the tree down but then noticed Scott had several bat-like objects that he was using to strike the tree. Vern knew that Scott was a propmaker, so he just figured that Scott's next play had lumberjacks in it.
Age 74, neighbor of Scott Bryant
Faith Seabolt is a next-door neighbor of Scott Bryant, living in the same Snow Mass Cove cul-de-sac. She is a retired social worker and has lived alone since her husband, Tom, died four years ago.
Faith said she has little to do but people watch these days, which might earn her the title of "Nosiest Neighbor" in some folks' minds. She added that she doesn't sleep much, so she spends a lot of time in front of her large front bay window at night and during the early morning hours.
She said she always had a good neighborly relationship with Scott Bryant and Ginny Dole, generally characterizing them as "good people." Faith said that the couple did keep to themselves, and she didn't know them much more than from idle small talk across the fence.
In regards to the activities of her neighbor, Scott Bryant, she said she did notice over the last six months that Scott was leaving in his car earlier and getting home later than before. Faith just assumed that since he had gotten a new job, he had new hours.
Faith noted that one odd thing in those same six months was that she doesn't remember Ginny and Scott leaving together in a vehicle. They were always coming and going in separate vehicles, sometimes one right after another.
Faith said she saw Scott in his backyard just after Ginny's death, doing his usual chores. Recalling her own husband's death, Faith couldn't believe that Scott was back to his normal routine so soon after Ginny died. At the time, though, she chalked it up to grieving differences between people and left it at that.
Age 37, friend of Scott Bryant
Uriah Upchurch is a native Oxford resident who met Scott Bryant for the first time when Scott joined the community theater group Uriah belonged to. Even though Uriah was several years younger than Scott, Uriah reported that the two men shared a lot in common and became good friends.
Uriah said Scott confided in him about his relationship with Ginny and told him he felt Ginny kept placing her career over their lives together. Uriah said Scott told him he had asked Ginny to marry him after Ginny finished her Master's when they lived in Tuscaloosa. In response, Ginny said they should wait until she found a job.
Uriah said Scott told him that when Ginny found a job in Birmingham, Scott proposed again, and Ginny answered by taking a different job in Oxford. Uriah said Scott dutifully followed Ginny to Oxford but decided he had to find more social outlets for his personal health since it was obvious to Scott that Ginny was more devoted to her career than to him.
Uriah claimed that is why Scott started working in the community theater's crew, something that he'd wanted to do since college. Uriah said he immediately noticed Scott's talent in the performing arts when he came on board and was not surprised when the Yoknapatawpha Players lured Scott away to be their stage manager.
Uriah said he hadn't seen Scott much after he left the community theater. The last time the two talked was several weeks before Scott's death when they ran into each other at a downtown park. Uriah didn't remember Scott saying anything about his relationship with Ginny at that time, but he did mention that Uriah might stop by to help him and make a few dollars on the side.
Uriah said Scott was in the process of creating new props for the Yoknapatawpha Players' new play to replace some of their old props that had gone missing. Uriah never found the time to take Scott up on the offer.
Age 39, college friend of Virginia Dole
Catelyn Youngblood was a friend of Virginia "Ginny" Dole during their time at Ole Miss. She has been a business development representative for the Economic Research Institute for the last seven years.
Catelyn said she first met Scott Bryant when he and Ginny moved back to Oxford after Ginny found a marketing job in town. During the first years after Ginny's return, Catelyn thought the couple's relationship was rock solid. Catelyn said she liked Scott, and he was very personable to her when Catelyn went over to their house for random get-togethers with other friends.
Over the course of the last year, however, Catelyn said Ginny had been telling her that Scott had grown distant. It seemed to Ginny that Scott had been spending all his time either at the theater or in their home's workroom. Catelyn said Ginny revealed that she and Scott hadn't had sex in months. Catelyn said she encouraged Ginny to talk to Scott about their relationship, but Ginny told her that any time she broached the subject, Scott made some excuse to leave the situation.
Catelyn said she believed that Ginny was depressed the last weeks of her life, so much so that she urged Ginny to see a psychologist for help. Ginny promised she would and told Catelyn she even made an appointment, but Ginny killed herself before seeing any doctor.