The Devil Next Door

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

"Captain Jones said he's going to search Doug's room, and he would be out [of SMU] by the end of that day or the next," Meghan says.

At their first meeting, Jones says, he found Meghan to be "lucid, intelligent and very articulate." But her story of a crime ring on Perkins' second floor seemed outlandish. "I thought surely somebody couldn't be doing all this under our noses," Jones says. "I did some investigation and found out that what she was saying did occur and was occurring. Everything she said checked out."

The Bodsons hoped to bring the ugly incident to a conclusion with a minimum of trauma for Meghan. "She didn't want to be the only witness against this guy," Bruce says. "She was afraid of him."

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.

But Havard wasn't out of the dorm the next day. Or the next.

"Doug Is Selling GHB"

After she confided in girlfriends, word that Meghan had accused Havard of sexual assault spread through Perkins Hall like the stink of that burning marijuana. News got around that the night after her encounter with Havard, Meghan had slept with John, the White Knight who'd extricated her from Havard's room.

She calls it an act of defiance.

"All I could think was I'd slept with somebody I barely knew," Meghan says. "If I'm going to sleep with someone, I'm going to choose. [Sleeping with John] almost evened the score for me."

One night, as a group of friends congregated in Meghan's room to talk, one male student asked her: "Did it ever occur to you that it was GHB?"

Developed as an anesthetic in the 1960s, GHB (gamma hydroxybuterate) morphed into a club drug because a capful creates extreme intoxication and increases libido. Cheap, clear and odorless, with a salty taste easily disguised in an alcoholic drink, GHB leaves no trace after it's passed in urine. Some victims describe GHB intoxication as being in "a waking dream." Depending on the dose, consciousness returns after several hours, but users remember little or nothing.

In 2000 and 2001, Dallas was one of the national hubs of GHB production and distribution. But Meghan knew nothing about the drug. "I pestered him for more information," Meghan says. "He lets slip that Doug is selling GHB."

Phillip says Havard kept it in his mini-refrigerator. "I knew he had the GHB--very concentrated," Phillip says. "Doug was selling GHB. I knew he would take it himself. He told me he would take it before bed."

A debate raged inside the dorm about whether Havard had used it on Meghan. He denied it, telling friends that the sex was consensual. People were taking sides, with most defending Havard. Maybe he was sketchy, but nobody could believe the guy next door was a rapist.

Then, according to SMU police reports, Havard allegedly used GHB on another person in the dorm as a creepy practical joke. On November 16, Meghan and several friends were hanging out in her room when Havard paid someone $20 to give GHB to a shy male student.

Meghan says the young man passed out on her floor. The student, now an SMU senior, says, "I guess he thought it was funny. I didn't really appreciate it, obviously. But I didn't do anything about it."

Havard gave Elrod GHB that same night when she was with her boyfriend, Meghan alleges. Elrod declined to confirm that. "I had some incidents with [Havard] I don't really want to share," she says. "I should have taken some action, but I didn't."

Feeling vindicated, Meghan reported the GHB allegations to Jones. But her class work was suffering; as she struggled to keep up, Meghan was infuriated to learn that Havard was paying students--including her roommate--to write his papers. Meghan began taking an anti-depressant.

"After it happened it seemed like she was just frantic," Elrod says. "Like real paranoid, which I don't blame her. It got to the point where it was like, 'What's wrong with you?' It was almost like she was a different person."

Meghan felt Havard was turning the entire dorm against her. Her roommate had tried to remain neutral, and Meghan saw her as a traitor.

Kampus Kops

After his first conversation with Meghan, Captain Jones contacted the University Park police and arranged on three occasions for informants to go undercover in the dorm to buy phony IDs from Havard. But he refused to take the bait.

Meghan received an urgent phone call from Jones sometime in late November: He and an undercover "buyer" couldn't locate Havard. She looked outside and saw his black Grand Prix sitting in the faculty lot, not the student lot. Meghan was exasperated.

"They made me go out a few more times to see if his car was there," she says. "But they don't pick him up. It was so absurd."

Meghan's father was also talking to Jones every few days. "I was pushing to find out if they were doing something, how the investigation was coming, what kind of timeline we were on in terms of getting an arrest made," Bruce says. "Pretty much the constant thing was 'any day now.' This begins in November. Then they couldn't find his car. Every time I turned around there was something new."

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