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Did Tree Assassin Updyke Have A Partner?

Harvey Almorn Updyke was caught — in part — because he bragged about his tree-killing crime on a nationally-syndicated radio show.  Now there are questions as to whether or not an accomplice might have brought attention to himself via an Alabama messageboard.

Over the weekend, news emerged that someone calling himself “FLORIBAMA” had made a number of Toomer’s Corner tree comments on the site TiderInsider.com before the attack was publicized.  He also gave up lots of info on Updyke very shortly after he was arrested.

I know what you’re thinking: Only the CIA can put out a cover story so quickly.  Updyke must have been a patsy!  (Okay, maybe that’s just what Oliver Stone is thinking.)

The Opelika-Auburn News broke the story on Saturday and re-published a number of FLORIBAMA’s posts.  The paper traced those posts back to a Howard Wayne Barnes who just happens to be Updyke’s “landlord and friend.”  Barnes was quoted saying good things about Updyke in several stories right after the latter’s arrest.  The two graduated from a high school in north Florida together and are both in their early 60s.

Auburn police said last week that they believed Updyke acted alone.  They may change that view if they read the postings of FLORIBAMA.

And a quick aside to law-breakers out there — You might want to steer clear of bragging publicly about breaking the law.  Unless you want to get caught.

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