Murder Under The Friday Night Lights: Where’s Tom Brown?
November 23, 2016
Tom Brown’s brother and mom recall the last day they saw him alive. Tucker says he had gone out with friends for some pre-Thanksgiving social time. His classmates Brittany and Harrison talk about how Tom and his fellow classmates would go cruising and listen to music for entertainment.
Penny, Tom’s mother, recalls how he never came home that night and she could not be reached. She’d called, but only got his voicemail. She noticed her texts were not delivered to his phone, which caused her and Tucker to panic.
Tom’s friends and family recall him as an outgoing football player who was a big teddy bear and loved by all.
His coach replaced him halfway through his senior year, causing him to quit the team. This move caused a lot of devastation for Tom and his team partner, who wasn’t sure how to handle his absence.
November 24, 2016
The police begin searching for Tom as word gets out about his disappearance. The entire town joins the search, hoping to find the beloved member of their community. Before long, Tom’s car is found, leading to a full-on investigation. Tom’s belongings were found, along with a smear of blood. However, there is no sign of Tom. Bloodhound dogs were able to track his scent to the waterfalls, but then lose track of him.
Despite all this, nobody believed that a crime took place. The police even return Tom’s car to the family that same day, claiming it was no longer needed.
The community continued to come together in hopes that Tom would be found, but investigators assumed it was a suicide because he had a relative who died by suicide years before. Penny knew this was not the case, since Tom didn’t appear to be depressed, despite the football team incident. He had turned his focus to theatre and was planning on being in the fall production at the time of his disappearance.
Penny recalls an incident a year and a half before Tom’s disappearance with a local deputy. Tom was stopped by Deputy Lewis and allegedly harassed. Penny does not want Deputy Lewis involved and even hires a PI to make sure he is not. Private Investigator Klein and Deputy Lewis do not get along, which makes this process even more complicated. Deputy Lewis claims he thinks the case is a suicide and then another theory comes out saying Tom may have voluntarily disappeared.
January 27, 2017
A man checking electrical wires outside discovers a backpack with Tom’s belongings, including his laptop, which is sent to forensics. This makes the case even more confusing since it was found in an out of the way place. Cadaver dogs are sent to the area, as well as Tom’s car. However, they were not allowed by the backpack, which led to suspicions that Tom may have been murdered.
Rumors went wild about both Tom and Deputy Lewis, including one about a gay love triangle and sex trafficking. There was also a lot of issues with the investigation, causing a lot of problems.
Things got even weirder when volunteers began searching for Tom in the area his backpack was found….when his phone was discovered in pristine condition. At this point, everyone is thrown for a loop. Everyone, including Penny, is questioned, adding to the mystery of what could have happened to Tom.
The phone revealed that Tom had searched a suicide hotline, but did not call. Penny then allegedly made statements of Tom possibly dying by suicide and her lie detector test showed deception on the topic, as well as what could have happened to Tom’s body/
Deputy Pine Gregory was walking through the entrance of Lake Marvin, where he came across bones….which ended up belonging to Tom. However, they could not determine how he died. A memorial service was held so his loved ones could pay their respects.
Deputy Lewis was cleared as a suspect and it was proven that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Tom.
Penny is still looking for answers, but many people think she is either faking her grief or hiding what really happened to Tom.
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement discovered that Deputy Lewis had falsified the training records of several officers. He resigned days later.
While Tom’s former football team won the state championship during COVID, everyone is still on edge and looking for answers.