Award-Winning Podcast Star Dies After Police Shoot Him

( – A spokesperson for the State Bureau of Investigation arm of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) announced they would begin a probe into the Woodstock Police Department shooting of Joseph Tyler Goodson, 32, on Sunday, December 3, as officers responded to a call for service at the Goodsen home. Goodson and his family, including his brother Jake, his mother Maya, and his grandmother Irene Hicks, all figured prominently in Brian Reed’s popular podcast “S-Town,” about a clockmaker’s suspicions of crimes and corruption in a small Southern town.

The Current Case

Jeremy Burkett, the ALEA spokesperson, reported that police shot Goodson after he barricaded himself inside his home and “brandished a gun” at officers. Jeff Dodson, Woodstock’s mayor, said he was unclear about what prompted the call for service, but responding officers called for backup from the scene.

Goodson had a checkered criminal past, primarily consisting of misdemeanors, until he faced charges of burglary, theft, and criminal trespass in 2017 relating to items he removed from a deceased friend and mentor’s property. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Dodson told The Washington Post he was among many community members who loved Goodson. He pointed out that admiration “extend[ed] far beyond [Woodstock] due to the S-Town podcast.”

Conspiracy, Corruption, Suicide, Treasure, and a Mystery

Reed began the S-Town podcast after an eccentric antique clock restorer contacted him, suggesting that the town where he lived would benefit from the writer’s brand of investigative journalism. John McLemore told Reed he suspected police corruption and complicity in covering up a murder he had reason to believe a local heir to a family fortune had allegedly admitted.

During the course of clearing up the initial mystery and finding that the young man in question had not committed a murder but had become an assault victim, Reed chronicled more about McLemore’s odd, morose behaviors. Sddenly and inexplicably, McLemore committed suicide in a spectacular fashion while on the phone with a county official.

McLemore died without a valid will. Without that document, Goodson couldn’t legally claim any of the property on the estate, even though he submitted paperwork to the probate court making claims that he owned tools and vehicles stored on the property.

After McLemore’s cousins sold off some of Goodson’s tools, he took matters into his own hands and removed various items from the property, earning him the trespassing, theft, and burglary charges. When asked about the podcast, Goodson once said, “It’s a sad story, especially if you’re part of it.”

Millions of Americans became familiar with Goodson through the podcast series and empathized with him. A then-24-year-old father of three with another baby on the way, he mainly worked odd jobs and sometimes worked as a tattoo and piercing artist. He portrayed an almost stereotypical version of a down-home, poor, rural Southern blue-collar wage-earner.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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