Canvass – Bryant family
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 family 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 81, retired engineer
Arthur Bryant is Scott Bryant's father. He retired from Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where he spent his entire engineering career.
When he heard the news of his son's death, Arthur said he cursed Scott's love of the theater. Arthur explained that he could never understand why Scott rejected a high-paying and rewarding life in engineering, especially when Arthur already had so many industry contacts, all for a life in the theater, scrabbling for each paycheck and wondering where your next meal would come from.
Even though Arthur believed that Ginny Dole's marketing degree allowed Scott enough money to throw his life away in the theater, he was glad his son had found a girl with a good head on her shoulders. Arthur emitted there were times when he saw Ginny as more his offspring than Scott, which is why he was devastated when Ginny took her own life six weeks prior to Scott's death.
Arthur said he last spoke to Scott the weekend before Scott's death. Arthur said he regretted that they argued in that conversation about Scott's decision to date a member of his acting troupe.
Age 78, retired public school principal
Julia Bryant is Scott Bryant's mother. She retired after 32 years at Blossomwood Elementary School in Huntsville, Alabama.
Unlike her husband, Julia said she had always supported, if not secretly encouraged, Scott's interest in the theater. She felt that happiness in life meant more than the money in your bank account. What Julia couldn't understand was why Scott never proposed marriage to Ginny Dole. The couple spent more than 20 years with each other, and they never set a date.
Julia said she had asked Scott several years back why they were so hesitant to marry, but Scott just told her that marriage didn't mean as much as it did in Julia's day, and they'd marry when they saw fit. Julia was unsatisfied with his answer but didn't bring the topic up again.
Like her husband, Julia said she was shocked and deeply saddened when Ginny killed herself and regretted terribly that she was never officially made part of the Bryant family.
Julia was happy when Scott told her that he had asked out another woman because she thought her son might have blamed himself for Ginny's death and wouldn't want to date again. When she found out that the woman worked in the theater, Julia thought it was good that her son met someone that shared his interests.
Julia said she last heard from her son about a week before his death when he called her just to talk. Scott told her he was concerned that he and his new girlfriend were on the verge of being pushed out of the theatre troupe, but if it happened, perhaps they would be able to be more open in pursuing their relationship.
Sensing a hesitation in his voice, Julia said she asked if he really thought his relationship with this woman would continue if she left the troupe, and Scott told her it would probably end given this woman's personality.
Julia was inconsolable at the news of her own son's death, and she hoped something good could come from this accident.
Age 42, jewelry designer
Ellen Bryant-Yates is Scott Bryant's younger sister and lives in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Though Scott was closer to his sister Carol, he saw his younger sister more, she said, simply because of the proximity of their homes. When Ellen came to Oxford with custom designs for Lammons Fine Jewelry, she would drop in on her big brother for lunch.
Ellen said Scott seemed happy at work, and ever since Ginny's death, he never seemed depressed like she thought he would, given that Ginny and Scott had been together for more than half of Ellen's life.
Ellen said she and Scott last spoke two weeks before his death. She remembered Scott mentioning recently that there was another woman in his life, but he told her he wasn't going public with their relationship yet because the theater was going through a creative shift that was exciting but uncertain financially. His concern was that the troupe had rented an entire warehouse for their new play.
Ellen said when she guessed that the woman worked for the theater Scott works at, he admitted as much. Ellen said she expressed concerns to Scott that jumping into a relationship so fast after Ginny's death might not be the best thing for him, but Scott blew off the suggestion, telling Ellen that he could handle his own private life.
After hearing about Scott's death, Ellen said she refused to believe that his death was an accident, saying that Bryants never designed anything with flaws—not planes, not diamond rings, not theatrical sets.
Carol Bryant McAdams
Age 52, aerospace engineer
Carol McAdams is Scott Bryant's older sister. She is an aerospace engineer at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems in Iuka, Mississippi.
Carol said she always had a good relationship with her brother. Though they had lived at least two hours apart most of their lives, the two siblings found time to keep up with each other by email and social media, so much so that Carol always thought that Scott had a future in information technology.
Carol said Scott often told her how unimportant he felt as a manager of his Oxford retail store, and the only thing he could really put his heart and soul into was the theater. Scott told her that the theater was the only art that was a creative collective, something that takes many hands to birth. Carol said she could tell that he was happiest at the theater, even more than being home with Ginny.
After Ginny's death, Carol said that Scott told her he was interested in someone at the theater romantically, but he wouldn't say her name no matter how hard Carol prodded. Scott did mention that he had a co-worker who wouldn't be pleased with him dating within the theater and who also blames him for Ginny's death.
When asked if Scott had expressed any concerns about the new play, Carol did say that Scott emailed her the day before the dress rehearsal that he was hopeful that the new play would be a major success, but he was worried that there were board members that would love to see it fail.
Carol replied to ask whether those board members know that he is dating a co-worker, and Scott emailed back, "No."
That was the last time Carol spoke with her brother.