The Devil Next Door

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

Were the SMU police bumblers, or were they trying to prevent the school from getting a big black eye? They certainly made mistakes:

They never interviewed Havard.

They discouraged Meghan from filing a written complaint of drug rape.

Captain Jones learned Havard was under indictment only when informed by DeCarlo, supposedly on December 18. Bruce Bodson found that the same information was readily obtainable before December 18 in online databases and public records.

Despite SMU's insistence that Meghan never informed police of the alleged sexual assault, DeCarlo says that Jones told him a student had accused Havard of sexual assault but that the case had been "concluded."

SMU's tardiness in addressing the drug-rape allegation exposed Meghan to potential retribution by Havard. What Jones told Meghan again and again was "Havard will be gone."

So Meghan left school on December 15 confident that her nemesis would be scrubbed out of the dorm by the time she returned in January.

Tracking "Sketchy"

When Meghan arrived back on January 12, she was stunned to see Havard in the hallway. Nothing had changed.

The way he stared at her gave Meghan the shivers. Upset, she called Jones. This time he admitted that "it could take another month."

Tipped about Havard's GHB sales sometime in the fall of 2001, DeCarlo had notified HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force Seven. The task force provides officers from local and federal agencies for major drug investigations. Jones was drafted to assist DeCarlo.

Feeling her safety was compromised, Meghan forced her roommate, still friendly with Havard, to move to a room on the first floor.

"I was falling apart," Meghan says. And her roommate was always out with Doug. (The roommate, who spoke to the Observer on the condition that she not be identified, said, "I have a lot of regrets about how I handled things.")

Havard either had a sixth sense for surveillance or he, like Meghan, was getting paranoid. Before one meeting with DeCarlo, Jones says, Havard jumped in his car, raced down Hillcrest Avenue, then whipped around to see if someone was tailing him. He began moving the counterfeiting equipment out of his room and giving away other stuff.

Based on his knowledge of the drug business and Havard's indictment, DeCarlo assumed his quarry was armed and dangerous. But Jones kept telling Meghan simply to avoid Havard.

One week into the second semester, Meghan couldn't take Havard's menacing glares, real or imagined, any longer. She went to the chaplain at SMU, who pointed out that the only time Meghan seemed at peace was when she talked of home.

At 2 a.m. on January 20, 2002, Meghan visited the SMU police for the last time. Distraught, weeping, she demanded that the dispatcher call Jones, but she refused. Meghan spoke briefly to Captain Snellgrove.

"She felt she was being punished and treated unfairly," Snellgrove wrote in a report. (In different handwriting, someone tacked on: "Spoke with Bodson on 1-21-02, tried to get her to stay in school and pursue the sexual assault. Bodson said she could no longer remain in school." Meghan calls this "a lie.")

That afternoon Meghan packed her things and drove home.

The next day, DeCarlo, wearing a wire, met Havard in a parking lot near SMU. After discussing price, Havard drove off. Undercover cops tracked him to an apartment complex off Gilbert Avenue. He emerged five minutes later and drove back to meet DeCarlo, who handed him $100 in return for a bottle.

DeCarlo had finally earned Havard's confidence. The contents field-tested positive for GHB. But the buy wasn't the culmination of DeCarlo's investigation. The Bodsons would have been furious if they'd known it was just getting started.

Busted

Students peered from their rooms as a dozen or so officers, including several FBI agents, swarmed the second floor of Perkins. In Havard's room, they found a video camera, two computers, a scanner and several fake IDs. Captain Jones reached into a pocket of a jacket hanging in Havard's closet and pulled out $27,800 in cash.

DeCarlo had made a second buy from Havard on January 29, paying $750 for a gallon of GHB. But he wanted a bigger bust in order to slap Havard with a heftier sentence.

On February 5, Havard parked his Grand Prix behind Wizard's Pool Hall off Central Expressway in Richardson. He helped DeCarlo move two 5-gallon containers from his car into the undercover officer's vehicle. A field test verified the contents: 10 gallons of GHB.

Cops immediately converged and arrested Havard. The teenager didn't look surprised, DeCarlo says. "I knew it," Havard sighed, dropping his head like a deflated balloon.

A search of the Gilbert Avenue apartment turned up more GHB, as well as materials for manufacturing the drug. Havard was indicted on two counts of trafficking in GHB, with a potential prison sentence of 10 years. Three associates were also charged.

DeCarlo's GHB investigation had nothing to do with Meghan, but Havard thought she triggered it. And he wanted revenge.

After the arrest, SMU police interviewed nine students suspected of involvement in Havard's counterfeiting operation. Most told police that Havard believed Meghan had turned snitch. Two revealed that Havard told them before the Christmas break that "he had made arrangements to have Meghan Bodson's parents' home in Houston and her grandfather's house in Dallas burned down while they were asleep."

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