Many who knew Vester Flanagan, or by his on air name Bryce Williams, say he was sweet, nice, funny.
But after his time here in Savannah, from 1997 to 1999, the recollections are different.
He left a trail of lawsuits and anger at stations from Tallahassee, Florida, Greenville, North Carolina and finally coming to a deadly end this morning in Roanoke.
“I would have believed it was anyone else but when I heard the name Vester Flanagan I sat up in the bed and just screamed WHAT!” said Tarcia Bush, WSAV producer and former colleague of Vester Flanagan.
“I saw the picture and i saw the first name. It didn’t ring a bell,” says Tina Tyus-Shaw. “Then I looked down and I said that’s Vester. That’s Vester Flanagan.”
“I knew Vester Flanagan as a very nice man,” remembers Tina. “A funny man and someone who really wanted to reach the next level.”
“He was always good natured,” remembers Bush. “Always had a smile on his face. Always laughing and joking. I remembered his laugh, he was always joking, almost silly at time.”
“He’s not that kind of monster,” said Virgil Barker, a childhood friend of Flanagan. “Not the one I knew. Evidently he just- something snapped in his mind, I don’t know.”
“I’m just devastated.”
“Did he ever have any anger issues?”
“No, not at all. The total opposite.”
“He was a good anchor, pretty good on air reporter and then things got a little strange with him,” said Don Shafer, current SD6 News Director, former WTWC Tallahassee News Director. “What happened?”
“I don’t want to say too much much but we had to terminate his contract and let him go.
“For bizarre behavior”
“For bizarre behavior and fighting with other employees.”
“he was looking for things to take offense to,” remembers Jeff Marks, WDBJ General Manager. “And after multiple incidents of his anger coming forward we had to let him go.”
“That guy that did this this morning is not the man that I knew,” said Tarcia Bush. “I don’t know this guy.”