The Devil Next Door

The chilling story of Doug Havard, SMU'S Crime Boss

Making extra cash tempted Meghan; it cost a lot to fit in at SMU. "Gorgeous, gorgeous girls lived in my dorm," she says. "Everyone was thin. It was so much how you looked and who you knew." Meghan asked Havard what she could do.

Learning that Meghan knew how to do silk-screening, Havard asked her to make some holograms for the fake IDs. "He said he'd pay me $500 if I made 100 holograms," Meghan says.

The project would take two hours. Meghan asked Havard about any legal problems she might face. "It's very unlikely we'll get caught," Havard said. Meghan agreed, and they jumped in his car to buy the materials at a craft store.

Doug Havard
Doug Havard
Doug Havard, son of a successful Dallas entrepreneur, hatched several scams while still at The Winston School.
Doug Havard, son of a successful Dallas entrepreneur, hatched several scams while still at The Winston School.

Havard told her a bit more about his operation as they drove. Though he had various people doing the work, Havard owned all the equipment. He was branching out to other campuses, like Texas Christian University and the University of Texas. All the money came to several P.O. boxes he'd rented and then was funneled to several off-shore bank accounts.

Though Meghan had agreed to help Havard, the silk-screening materials sat on her shelf for days. "I didn't really need the money," Meghan says. "All I could think was, once I stepped into it, I couldn't really step out."

Her father helped scotch the deal. Meghan asked Bruce if it was legal; he told her "absolutely not." It was only a month after 9-11, Bruce pointed out, and police were pursuing makers of counterfeit IDs. "I annoyed her by making it clear I didn't want her to have one, either," Bruce says.

By then, Havard was replacing those fake licenses because of defects. In early October, on a visit to College Station, a clerk had scanned Meghan's license and the bar code came up "Rosa Garcia." When the clerk said he'd have to call his manager, Meghan grabbed her license and left.

"He was a criminal," Bruce says, "but he had his standards."

Bruce, however, didn't report Havard to police or insist that Meghan do so. "It seemed like when I was in school there was always somebody doctoring IDs to make people appear to be over 21," he says. "I didn't understand at the time the level at which this work was being done."

Meghan wanted to return the pigments to Havard but didn't know how to tell him. Unsettling rumors about Sketchy Doug were zipping through the dorm grapevine: Havard had trouble with the law--something to do with robbing a drug dealer who owed him money. He had guns and silencers hidden in his dorm room's ceiling.

If Havard had leaked the news to scare his minions into silence, it worked. "Everyone started to become uncomfortable with the 'building of knowledge,'" one student later told police in a written statement. "Everyone adopted the 'don't ask, don't tell' logic. At an early point, we didn't want to know anything more."

What happened in Perkins stayed in Perkins. Havard had the second floor under his control. But he wanted more.

Pimps & Hos

Eddie Deen's Ranch, the downtown Dallas party barn, looked like a convention for white hookers. Meghan's outfit was risqué for her: a one-shoulder blouse and a skirt. Other female SMU students were strutting around in lingerie tops and stilettos. Talk about girls gone wild. As slut-strut music blasted, people danced and ping-ponged between two bars dishing out strong alcoholic concoctions.

It was Friday, October 26, 2001, and Meghan's first fraternity party, the annual "Pimps & Hos" bash. After flashing her fake ID to get in, Meghan walked around with Havard, Rachel and another girl.

The evening had started early, with the four piling into Havard's car to go eat Chinese food. Returning to their dorm, they decided to make vodka Jell-O shots. Havard mixed them and stuck the cups in his refrigerator. As he later doled them out, Meghan noticed Havard was careful about who got which cup. Meghan downed two or three shots then mixed her own screwdriver.

Though Meghan hadn't told Havard that she'd backed off of the hologram scheme, he wasn't pressuring her. "It seemed like Doug liked her a lot," Alison Elrod says. "He had true feelings for her. That was obvious. She gave him attention enough to give him a reason to continue to pursue her." But if Meghan was being pursued, she says she hadn't noticed it.

By the time the four decided to board the bus for Pimps & Hos, Meghan was feeling tipsy. At the party, she bought a Long Island Iced Tea, following the safe drinking rules: Get your own drink, don't leave it unattended and throw it away if it tastes weird.

The two other girls melted into the party, but Havard stuck close to Meghan.

Over four or five hours, she'd had the Jell-O shots, a screwdriver and then two "weak" Long Island iced teas--more than she usually drank. Sometime before midnight, Meghan began feeling exhausted, her head hazy and legs wobbly. When Havard asked if she'd like to leave, Meghan agreed. "I was afraid I was going to fall asleep standing up," she says. "I felt disoriented."

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