How to Fake Your Own Death, Courtesy of Former Pot Runner John Darrell Boyd

Categories: Broward News
Boyd 2 Small.jpg
Courtesy of John Darrell Boyd
Boyd in his heyday.
​A promo shows a young bearded guy pulling up to the edge of the Everglades and shooting the windows of his station wagon -- from the inside.

"He wants the crime scene to convince investigators that he was killed in a hail of bullets," says the voice-over.

Then a white-haired fellow, former pot runner John Darrell Boyd, explains how he splattered some blood around the inside of his car and dragged a pair boots to the swamp to make it look like his body was disposed of.

"Off I went to visit the alligators," said Boyd, now 67 years old and living in Hollywood.

Boyd's story may be familiar to some New Times readers -- he was the subject of a 2007
cover story that detailed his days as half of the "Smith Brothers" -- a notorious marijuana smuggling duo that was chased and eventually caught by federal marshals. After serving time, Boyd was released from prison and found a new moneymaking scheme: operating health-care businesses that billed Medicare. Soon, Boyd was back in prison again for four years on charges of Medicaid fraud. He was released this past June 11.

"I got a sentence that nobody gets for Medicaid fraud," he told New Times on the phone recently.

But it was the early part of his life that intrigued television producers, and now, he's one of ten subjects in a three-part series on the Discovery Channel focusing on convicts who have faked their own deaths.

Boyd and his brother Tracy were notorious for running grass up and down the East Coast without getting nabbed. They once made front-page news for interrupting the Jerry Lewis telethon during a live broadcast and donating $10,000 in cash to Jerry's Kids.

"We were like the Robin Hoods of South Florida," he said.

That changed once they were indicted.

"I decided it was time to get outta Dodge," Boyd said.

He said he high-tailed it up to Buffalo. His wife and kids later followed. It took authorities two years to catch up with him. By then, he was living under a pseudonym, just a friendly family man who coached baseball.

"I was just one of the neighbors," he said.

He said his life on the lam was quite an adventure, but he wouldn't recommend it to anyone -- especially these days.

"If I'd have done that today, I'd have had my picture in every blog and paper," he said.

The I Faked My Own Death episode featuring Boyd airs this Saturday at 10 p.m.

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I ran across an old friend (Reynold H.) who asked me if I had heard from any of the Boyd brothers which I hadn't and it prompted me to do a Google search which brought me here. It's been around 40 years, but I remember fondly the entire family including the great parents they had. Mr. & Mrs. Boyd bailed me out of jail once putting up the $100 bond for a traffic related bench warrant I had. Never paying them back is something that to this day I deeply regret. I was really down and out at the time, but still... Years later when I had the money I had lost track of them. I kind of kept my distance later on knowing what they were getting into, but miss them all as a result. I was closest with a couple of the younger brothers whose names I won't post, but you know who you are, and by now you should now know who I am. Hello to you all, I hope everything is going well and you have all found the happiness that I know you deserve. Darrell,that Super Bee Charger was one fine ride.

This show is playing again tomorrow 11/16/2014 @ 1PM on Discovery Fitness & Health Channel. I haven't seen it yet, but will be watching.

This story supposedly contains dramatizations of real event. How dumb do you think the cops are? I know the story is about how he tried to fake his own death. Is there any part in this about what the police really suspected. How long was it before the cops found him and threw him behind bars. Here are a few points that my untrained eye caught. If someone was shot to death in a vehicle, there would be large pools of blood, not smears. 357's do not eject bullet shells, so why would there be any in the car. The weight of him pulling his boots would not make the same marks as if they were on the body. Alligators would not eat the entire body and clothing. The title should be "I TRIED to Fake My Own Death". I watch the Discovery Channel all the time thinking everything is fully researched, true as possible and not one sided. If you are going to high light a story, high light it for what it is, a flop. It seems this story should be on TruTV's "World Dumbest Criminals"

maddoxrj Hey bs, your name fits you. What makes you think there are no semi-auto 357's throwing empty casings around. Gators drag away and hide bodies (along with the clothes) waiting for them to rot before eating, and any clothes that were not eaten would disintegrate pretty quickly in the glades. The cops would not even wonder why they found no clothing. If a body was pulled out quickly it would not have time for blood to pool, and not all fatal shots leave mass quantities of blood. What have you done in your life Einstein?


Just another HATER in the house !!! It I thought it was a great story of some real life shit that really happened in this period in Boyds life... Discovery was pretty much on target, up to maybe 90% or so. The production company always finds a way to change a couple facts and try and make the story a little more interesting... Anyways HATERS, next time turn it off and go watch SpongeBob with your 3year old boy that's in bed next to u, cuz your babies mama is at the club gettin her swerve on with the next HATER !!! I would recommend this show to all my friends and family !!!

Jon Schell of the Boyd Clan
Jon Schell of the Boyd Clan

I guess Darrell and Tracey never dodged the cops/Feds for years. There certainly wouldn't be verifiable documentation to support the claims of the eldest "Smith Brother" and the Discovery Channel would just release a story like this based on nothing more than outrageous claims.

You are an idiot.

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