Southern Towns &
S-Town is a
seven-part audio podcast series
hosted by Brian Reed.
Currently it holds the record
for the highest number of downloads
of any podcast ever produced (over
19 million downloads the first week
alone), and rapidly developed a cult
The series was
posted online on March 28, 2017 and
I had the pleasure of discovering it
As with anyone else who
appreciates the intimacy of audio
stories like this where imagination
fills in for the missing images, I
reached the end of the series
wishing to learn more about people
who populated the story.
With an upcoming planned trip
to the community in the story,
planned in mid-May, I hope to
enlarge this page with personal
photos and impressions in the near
Until then, I wanted to
create a resource for others to see
photos of the people and places in
None of the present pictures
are my own and I will give credit
and links to where they can found
online when possible.
Many of the pictures are from
great articles that will shed light
on ongoing saga that is S-Town and I
hope you take the time to visit them
to learn more.
will be divided into People, Places
I have tried to avoid giving
too much away of the plot or ending,
but be aware there are some
spoilers so please
continue with that in mind.
Added pictures of Cheryl's door with
John's height marked on it &
confirmed the ironwork as being
from John's home based on kitchen
picture and picture credit on Daily
Mail website. Also updated
information about Reta Lawrence,
spelling of name etc. Who owns
John's home and property?
Based on the Property Appraiser's
Bibb County, Mary Grace continues to
own the 2 parcels comprising the 120
acres John spoke about in the
podcast. Here are 2
screenshots from the site showing
Mary Grace's ownership, (link
link 2) and
just to make things interesting here
is a link to a parcel owned
by Reta and Charlie Lawrence who are
the current caretakers of Mary
Grace. There is a small home
on the parcel which can be seen on
Google maps, (screenshot).
Added picture of
ad for services
taken out by John McLemore back in
the 1990's. Lastly the
located in the Black Sheep bar at
the back of the tattoo studio has
Added a new picture of the mayor of
Woodstock, Al, Jeff Dodson, pictures
of the logo/sign of the Black Sheep
with a new interior photo of Brian
Reed doing an interview at the bar,
a picture of John's Mercedes and the
construction of Tyler's home around
the trailer that belonged to John.
There is an excellent resource
available at Reddit, timelines of
the events in John's life and the
aftermath. There are 3 parts
with links from a Reddit user named
Justwonderinif great amount of
thanks to him for his efforts.
Brian Reed was interviewed on a
podcast program called
Here's the Thing, hosted by Alec
Baldwin, good interview, would
recommend a listen.
The People of S-Town
in the series is John B. McLemore.
He is an older reclusive
Southern gentleman who narrates his
impression of the small rural town
he knows only too well.
Extremely intelligent, the
recordings of his thoughts wander
from profound to vulgar with little
His pessimistic descriptions
of his community and the world in
general are often laced with
profanity but convey strongly a
sense of what communities like this
are really like.
grew up in a place not very
different from Woodstock, AL.
Everyone knew everyone else,
generations had grown up together
and intermarried until you felt as
if everyone was a distant cousin if
only you dug far enough back in the
The picture to the left is John with
the Brian Reed in his Alabama home
surrounded by the clocks he loved.
Christian Academy in
Centerville, AL. Here are
some pictures from their yearbooks
including his 1983 Senior photo in
with an unknown classmate
John's High School Senior Photo,
he was voted "Most Unpredictable" in
are few pictures from his adulthood
available online. What is available
are predominantly from two articles
by the Daily Mail site in the United
Kingdom and an article found on the
Tuscaloosa News site from Alabama.
Here are links to these three great
Daily Mail, April 10, 2017
Daily Mail, April 13, 2017
Tuscaloosa News, April 9,
are some pictures of John McLemore
with his mother Mary Grace.
of John playing with Tyler Goodson's
Various Pictures in unknown
After some research it appears that
the picture below near the potbelly
stove was taken inside John's home. This
suppostion is based on a quote from
a Daily Mail article
by a gentleman named Price who was
one of the first responders on the
night of John's death, here is the
was one of those who responded.
Inside the house were old toys, Lego
building blocks, a pristine potbelly
stove and other reminders of a life
lived on the margins."
The last picture is of an ad taken
out by John McLemore advertising his
services back in the 1990's.
John had a
complicated relationship with
tattoos. He had prominent ones
on his chest and back. The one
on his back consists of the coiled
end of bullwhip and red
representations of slashes made by a
whip. The tattoo on his chest
bears the Latin words, "vulnerant
omnes, ultima necat", which means, "they all wound, the
last kills", a reference to
increments of time.
The pictures of the
back and chest tattoo above were
recovered by members of the website
Reddit from an archived page of the
Black Sheep Tattoo Parlor co-owned
by Tyler Goodson, a shop no longer
in business. The reclining
picture of John above was selected
by Tyler for John's memorial
headstone. Unfortunately the
picture has since been removed from
the headstone by
someone seeking a souvenir of
Tyler is another
prominent person in the S-Town
narration. Unfortunately I
have to use the word "complicated"
again, a description of every person
in this Southern drama. Tyler
is seeking help with legal fees and
in erecting a better memorial to his
friend John through a GoFundMe campaign.
The dog in the first picture is one
of the rescue animals that John
cared for at his home and is named
Pipsqueak. Update: Tyler Goodson
was interviewed by Marlei Martinez from
Birmingham's NBC WTVM Channel 13 on
April 22, 2017. There are 2
videos available, the Broadcasted Interview
of just over 2 minutes and the
Raw Video of
just over 8 minutes, (links are to
Below are pictures
of the tattoo on Tyler's arm
dedicated to John B., the blue bus
that was once parked at John's home
and used for storage and a picture
of Tyler's mobile tattoo studio he
currently uses at local events.
The fourth picture below is of the
Mercedes John drove and was later
sold by Tyler, the last picture is
of Tyler's unfinished home
constructed around one of the
trailers from John's home.
The Black Sheep
Black Sheep Tattoo Shop was
mentioned several times in the
podcast. Below is a picture of
Brian Reed doing an interview at the
bar "hidden" in the back of the shop
followed by a picture of the
stripper pole and wall art inside
the bar area.
sign and logo made for the tattoo
shop, a tattoo of the shop's logo
and the original artwork that
inspired the sign are below.
Others from the Story
There are many other people
who make an appearance in the story
as it evolves over seven episodes.
Here a few of them.
The officials of
S-Town, from left to right, Police
Chief Len Price, Woodstock, AL Town
Clerk, Faye Gamble and Mayor of
Woodstock, AL, Jeff Dodson.
The last picture is from the Mayor's
swearing in after his recent
election to mayor.
Below is a
picture of Uncle Jimmy Hicks who
makes a vocal appearance in the
podcasts and Reta Lawrence and her husband
who are the relatives who later on
become the caretakers for Mary
Grace. There are 2 videos of
Uncle Jimmy online at Youtube, here
are the links to both,
Video 1 Outside Dancing
2 Outside Drinking
(warning rural AL residents in
both). The third picture is of
Justin Hardin, he is heard in the
portion of the podcast from inside
the bar behind the tattoo shop.
His famous line is, "Give’em a
picture. I’m a 6ft, 350lb bearded
man in a John Deere hat, with
Me on my belly. Just so ya’ll
get a clear picture." He wasn't
mentioned by name in the podcast.
The fourth picutre is of Kabarhm
Burt, the person John originally
accused of murder but who turned out
to be fairly innocent.
There has been some dispute about
the spelling of Reta Lawrence's
name. The unusual spelling
appears in numerous official sites
such as the Bibb County, Alabama
Property Appraiser's site, (link
to screenshot), the Putnam
County, Florida Property Appraiser
and property information sites like
Places of S-Town
Let's start with
the town itself, population about
1,500. Below are pictures of
tthe town's water tower, the Little
Caesar's where John picked up pizza
for his mother and the graffiti
under the bridge drawn by John &
Tyler the day before John's death.
The last photo is the Woodstock
Garden Center that John co-owned and
worked at for a brief period of
John B. McLemore's Headstone,
Graveyard and Gravesite. In a
short time the headstone has become
damaged and the site of various
offerings left by visitors.
The picture series starts with the
entrance to the cemetery where he is
interred and progresses to the first
picture of the headstone when it was
installed by Tyler and forward to
very recent pictures. John's
online obituary with comments etc.
can be found
There is a great article about the
possible effects of mercury
poisoning on John
Inside John's Home
Instagram user posted some photos of
the inside of John's home and other
features on the property recently.
I have not been able to contact the
person and because I don't know the
circumstances under which they
entered the property etc., so I
don't want to link to them directly
here to avoid getting them into any
sort of trouble. The first 2
pictures are of John's Clock Shop,
outside and inside. A picture
of the dime gilded by John in the
shop and given as gift to Brian Reed
is the third picture in this group.
we will go inside the home, from the
front porch where John died to the
various rooms inside. The room with
the books I believe was John's
bedroom, no verification of that
are pictures of the outside of the
home and swing.
following pictures have been pulled
from Google Maps and are purported
to show the ironwork around John's
home. According to some, the
boarded up windows to the right of
the sliding glass door are those of
Mary Grace's bedroom, (picture 1 in
the series below). You can
find the set on Google Maps here. A fellow Redditor
completed a day trip to the area
recently and posted some nice photos
of the addresses and buildings, link
last picture above is credited to
Tyler Goodson in the Daily Mail
here and if you
look out the
in the pictures from John's home
above, you can see the roof of the
doghouse that appears in the fourth picture in this
set. Based on these two clues
I would say that all of these
pictures originated from Tyler
Goodson and are of the back porch
area of John's home.
recently posted pictures a door
belonging to Cheryl that has various
people's heights measured on it.
One of the measurements belongs to
John McLemore. Cheryl Dodson
worked with John in the startup
Garden Center and is currently the
wife of Jeff Dodson, the mayor of
is an archived satellite view of the
property showing the buses and
buildings. This is the image
being used by Reta to dispute the
claims of Tyler regarding the
property in dispute. This
picture is from 2010.
the heart of the story is the Maze.
There is a great Drone view of the
maze online here.
Another video of the current state
of the maze appeared online not long
ago, it is brief but worth watching,
you can link to it
here (it might
pause briefly but give it a second
to load). Pictures from the
early construction including ones
showing John and Tyler are below.
Let's start with the aerial view and
coordinates of the maze.
are the various pictures of the maze
currently available. Let's start at
the entrance stonework, John appears
in the first picture facing away
from the camera.
Tyler working on
the maze and later walking with one
of his daughters.
Views of the maze
during construction. The first
picture is a collage of recent views
of the interior of the maze.
Lastly, here is a
link to an
video of the
special sundial created by John and
gifted to one of his college
professors, Thomas Moore. Here
is a picture of Mr. Moore holding
This is an
ongoing project. In less than
a month I will pay a personal visit
to Woodstock, AL and when I return I
will post pictures here. As I
find new information I will link or
post here as well as on Reddit so
anyone can keep track.