Business owner slain
OXFORD WEEKLY PLANET
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Local business owner slain at controversial co-ed residence
Man found strangled in video equipment shed
Last night, local entrepreneur Hoyt Biffle was found dead in the equipment shed in the backyard of the residence that housed co-eds for his controversial 24/7 livestream reality show "Under Glass: The Study of Generation Z in the Real."
Biffle owned the residential property and the business within, a subscription service allowing viewers near-uncensored access into the lives of the residents.
According to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department, an Under Glass employee arrived for work at around 6:00 p.m. yesterday, discovered the body, and immediately called 911.
Sheriff's officers arrived moments later, and within the hour, investigators, crime scene technicians, coroner's staff, and additional officers were on the scene. The residential property and equipment shed were quickly blocked off with crime scene tape, and witnesses were held for questioning.
A flashpoint from the start
Under Glass was a polarizing force in the community from the moment Biffle announced it. The self-proclaimed watchdog group, Concerned Oxford Parents (COP), strongly opposed the venture at city council meetings and town hall forums but was unable to block the business from opening.
Since Under Glass launched, COP, a conservative organization with some two dozen mainly Christian members, has worked tirelessly to get the business removed from Oxford by organizing picketing events outside the residential property.
COP president Ben Morgan explained their objection to the show. "I've seen the effects pornography has on people, and the evil it attracts. The behavior of the young, impressionable residents in that home, both previous and current, is debauched, profane, angry to the point of rage, and competitively exhibitionist."
Mary Louise Marlowe, a member of Concerned Oxford Parents, was with the group picketing on the street outside the Under Glass house yesterday. She told Crime Beat she was leaving when police arrived.
"I was trying to fix my umbrella," said Marlowe. "It had blown inside out, and I was getting soaked. After being verbally assaulted by one of the residents, I was ready to leave. The angry mouth on that girl made me question what kind of abuse she might be suffering in that house."
Ben Morgan added, "It's entirely possible that Mr. Biffle created that which killed him."
Investigators mum on details
Yoknapatawpha County spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones confirmed that Biffle was apparently strangled, and the death is being investigated as a homicide.
When asked if the murder was caught on video and if any potential suspects have been identified, Jones said, "Due to the nature of this investigation, no additional details will be provided at this time."
Pressed further about the method of strangulation, Jones ended the press conference, saying, "Again, I am not at liberty to discuss details of the investigation at this time." An autopsy will be performed today.
Hoyt Biffle is survived by his parents, Lloyd and Nora; his son, Harrison Tarver; and his ex-girlfriend, Birdie Tarver. The family could not immediately be reached for comment.
A representative for the Under Glass residents said they are shocked by Biffle's death and are unsure what it will mean for the show's future.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
By Kemper Jones at 8:00 AM