How Did Police Deal with the Lizard Man: Lyle Blackburn

In the folklore of Lee County, South Carolina, the Lizard Man is an entity that has been known to show up and cause damages to property going back over 3 decades! We ask our guest Lyle Blackburn author of Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster, How law enforcement dealt with this serial scaly vandal? in particular how Sheriff Liston Truesdale reacted.

Radio Wasteland: So when we left off in our discussion on this, you were talking about how at that point they had contacted the sheriff. How did they deal with this Lizard Man sighting issue?

Lyle Blackburn: Well, it was like I said, it was interesting the way they got involved in the when they had gone to risk, when the sheriff’s department responded to that call about the car that had been possibly mauled by an animal. They couldn’t make much sense of it. And it truly did look like some animals had been fighting on it or something had scratched it up. And the people that reported it were sincere and during the process. Sheriff Liston Truesdale, who was the sheriff of Lee County at the time, was there. And as he was leaving, somebody said, well, maybe it was the lizard man. And he said, Lizard man, what do you mean? The local proceeded to tell him that people have been reporting for some time, so or seeing something lurking in the swamps that they had given it this name, Lizard Man. And of course, he thought, OK, whatever and went on with his business.

But then when Christopher Davis came in there two weeks later with his father and told the story about this thing attacking him, Truesdale felt quite sure that the kid was telling the truth. Something happened to it. Something truly bizarre. And he didn’t necessarily believe that it was a, quote unquote, lizard man. But he felt that it had enough merit that he should try to elicit more reports from other locals who may have seen this thing. So he kind of put the word out. If, you know, if anybody’s seen this or had any experiences come forward and several people did. And, you know, again, he felt these people were truthful and there was something to it.

And then once it became the media, heavily covered by the media, which included local papers and in a wider range of South Carolina papers, and reporters like Dan Rather were coming there.

This caused all kinds of problems. All these people running through the woods down there trying to hunt this one, hundreds of people at the escape or bridge. So ultimately, he kept a file on it and took it seriously in that, you know, he was afraid somebody would be hurt even if it was just a hoax. And, you know, I visited with him at length. I looked through all the police files and he had taken the witness.

Some of these witnesses, a whole family had seen it, seen it once while driving it. He separated at Animal right down what they had seen. So I was able to read they have the affidavits from the witnesses, not interviewing them. You know, so many years later, but literally days after hearing their recollections. So, you know, that was interesting. And I think Sheriff Liston Truesdale truly wanted to solve the mystery. He never really did. But that was kind of unique information.