FINALLY! You can see what he looks like!
The official site for the podcast explains the storyline as follows:
"John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life."
I was one of those super obsessed Serial fans, so of course, I had to hop right on this train. And WHOA!
Warning: Spoilers abound below, so if you haven't listened yet, consider this your official notice!
At first, listeners are meant to believe they're listening to what will become the investigation of a murder cover-up after host Brian Reed receives an email with the subject line, "John B McLemore lives in Shittown Alabama." It seems like an interesting enough premise ... until it's revealed that the murder victim is still quite alive.
With no investigation to be had, the story of S-Town shifts to revolve around John B., whose depression and quirky reputation become evident throughout the first episode.
Listeners also learn some key details of the kind of man John B. is.
He's the kind of man who takes extraordinary care of his elderly mother, who suffers from dementia
He's the kind of man who takes in stray dogs so they don't die outside. He's the kind of man who helps others ... just because someone should.
But there is much more to know about John, who also often used the alias Hiruit Nguyse when posting online. Deeper, darker, secret-type things.
Here's what we know about John B. McLemore, including pictures of the man, his maze, his tattoos and more:
1. John B. McLemore passed away in 2015.
After McLemore died by suicide, the S-Town podcast shifted to become an in-depth exploration of his life.
Even before he fatally drank cyanide, John had a known history of depression and suicidal ideation. One of his friends, Faye Gamble, said that her last conversation with him consisted of him explaining to her how he wanted his dogs cared for after his death.
Larry West, another friend of John's had the following to say to a local Alabama newspaper:
"He was as crazy as a shithouse rat ... He loved gossip, which he loved to spread around like mayonnaise. You usually didn't see him unless it was at the hardware store, where he was gathering stories. He loved to make fun of church signs. He was all the time talking about 'Jeebus,' which was his way of saying Jesus. He equally abused the right and the left, but he was what you might call a left-wing wingnut."
Even so, he was loved by many in the town.
Looking through the comments on his Legacy page, it's easy to see the kind of impact this man had on people.
2. McLemore created a large, intricate maze in his own backyard.
For fans of The Shining, you know that maze hedges can be frightening. But for John B., this was his masterpiece.