Who Is Guy Heinze Jr
Not much is known about Guy or his life before all of this happened, other than what the media has portrayed him as, which isn't completely accurate most of the time.
This is something I wanted to avoid doing so didn't want to base what I knew of Guy solely on what I had read in news articles or seen in news clips. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask Guy, his brother Tyler and his Grandmother Jean about his life, his childhood, who he was as he grew up and his relationship with his family and friends.
This will give an insight to who he is, one that has not previously been written about, an insight from those who know him the best.
As a child Guy was very close to his Grandmother Jean, she would often babysit him while his parents worked and studied. He spent the first 5-6 years of his life regularly seeing his Grandmother and spending time with her. She recalled vacations they went on together and said "he seemed to be a happy child".
When I asked Guy what his childhood was like he recalled it was a happy one, mostly spent outside playing or with friends socialising, he was a keen bike rider too. Guy was the type of boy who made friends easily, he came from a close knit family when it came to socialising he was well rounded. His brother Tyler said "Guy always had friends, he was funny and people liked being around him". All of the people I spoke to who knew Guy describe him as an easy going friendly person who isn't confrontational or malicious.
"He has never been a confrontational person and I spent a lot of time with him. I babysat him while he was little, while his Momma was at nursing school so we were kind of attached" - Jean talking with the BBC about Guy for the series Life and Death Row aired 24 Mar 2014
From a young age going into early adulthood Guy had maintained a few hobbies he enjoyed going camping, fishing and watching sports, his love for the great outdoors was very prominent in his life. He enjoyed the feeling of being outside around nature and would often visit parks and wooded areas to just chill out and take some time for himself or meet up with friends or family and hang out. Tyler recalls "when he was younger he(Guy) played video games with his friends a lot" he said that Guy loved music too "in his teens he would listen to his rap CDs in his room and used to put the pictures from inside the albums on his wall" all things typical for a boy of Guys age to be doing.
Guys school life early on was very normal for a boy his age, he was consistent in class, socialised well and attended regularly. He wasn't a disruptive child, he followed instruction well and wasn't a known rule breaker nor was he deemed a cause for concern.
Guy recalls that high school was a little different, initially he did well but started to loose interest with it as other interests grew this reflected in his grades. Jean said this behaviour roughly began in 9th grade when he started to skip school to hang out with friends.
Eventually he stopped being concerned with school at all and would prioritise his attention onto other things such as girls and spending more time with his friends.
Around the age of 12 Guy started smoking Cannabis, he and his friends would sneak out to smoke so they didn't get into trouble. That said his group of friends were not known trouble makers, they got into trouble once or twice but on the whole they were good kids, that had a tendency to skip out on school.
A little later down the line around the age of 15 Guy started to dabble in harder drugs. This did lead to one incident of anti-social behaviour when he and his friends broke into another friends house and stole guns. The plan was to sell them on then use the money so they could buy drugs, however they got found out and action was taken.
Guy was made to attend a boot camp to nip the behaviour in the bud before it had the chance to develop into something more serious.
The centre he was sent to was called Baxley Wilderness Institute one of 3 centres in Georgia who aim to "redirect troubled youth, prevent recidivism and develop responsible, productive citizens through a disciplined learning environment.
Georgia Wilderness Institutes and its programs are part of the Associated Marine Institutes (AMI). AMI is a not-for-profit organization providing rehabilitative services for youth since its inception in 1969." the centre Guy attended was closed in 2014.
As Guy didn't have a history of anti-social behaviour or conduct disorder it wasn't likely the behaviour would continue after him leaving Baxley wilderness, and it didn't continue.
After leaving boot camp leading up to the 29th August 2009 there are no records of Guy committing any type of crime and no reports from friends or family of any criminal behaviour other than his drug taking which they were already aware of but this had also reduced significantly after he attended the institute. Guy started to get his life back on track and began to focus on his future.
At the age of 17 Guy's mother passed away from a drug overdose, this was a testing time for Guy and his younger brother Tyler they coped the best they could with their loss but were close with their mother so this impacted them both emotionally. They got support from family which helped them a lot "I think he coped okay with the situation" Jean explains. Guy tried to maintain a normal routine during this time and would still get up to go to work doing his best to carry on with everyday life.
Although Guy had seemingly given up on high school this didn't affect his motivation to work or be a contributing member of society even after the loss of his mother.
As soon as he was able to work he got a job, Guy explains "I had a great work ethic. I had a job since I was old enough to work" he says at the time all of this happened he had consistent work, "I was building a house, worked Monday to Saturday each week" In general his work life was steady and consistent and he would always try to contribute to the household and pay his own way financially.
His Grandmother Jean explains "He had great work ethic. I don't remember him missing days except his mom's funeral and maybe the day we had to make arrangements" which is understandable given the circumstances.
Over the next few years Guys life was mostly stable. His drug taking did continue throughout this time something again his friends and family were aware of. The loss of his mother weighed on his mind at times Tyler said "he turned even more into alcohol and drugs after she died" Guy may of used these things as an escape, but it didn't impact him being able to function in day to day life or prevent him from maintaining a job. He seemingly would use drugs in a more recreational manner choosing to do it socially with friends and now and again he would take them alone to unwind but this wasn't something he did too often. None of his friends or family ever reported him to be a violent or confrontational person on or off drugs and there are no police records of him ever being violent or confrontational either.
Guy hadn't been living in New Hope Mobile Home park for very long, he had his own apartment before he moved into the trailer with his Dad and the Toler family and had only been living there for a few weeks. It wasn't ever meant to be permanent only a temporary solution. Guys father had a trailer that needed to be moved to a plot of their own.
Guy explained that "living in a trailer with so many people was trying at times" but they were his family "I grew up with them, knew them my whole life" it wasn't going to be forever he was only crashing on the couch until he had paid for his dads trailer to be moved to their own plot.
Tyler also said that there have "never been long term underlying grudges in the home . . . everyone there had lived together so long they all knew how to mesh well with each other" Tyler explains that the families were very close they grew up together, hung out together, vacationed together, lived together. Tyler describes the relationship between the two families "Rusty Jr, Chrissy, Michael & Michelle had been a part of my life for years, we had all been around each other Guy even more than me. We all went camping together and to movies, and fishing, like we were all really close Rusty (Sr) practically helped raise me and Guy because him and my Dad were always together". . . "My brother and I both were close to everyone in that trailer except for Joe". Joe was Chrissy Toler's boyfriend at that time, they hadn't been dating long so the family didn't know him as well.
Guy, Tyler and his father had arranged to move out of the Toler residence the weekend of the 29th something they were looking forward to. Guy was due to pay for the trailer to be moved that Saturday (29th August) and it was due to go to the site that same weekend so it was on the plot ready for them to move into straight away.
Even now Tyler talks about the family still being close despite whats happened "Me and Guy are still close and have always been he is my only sibling so that and our life story has always kind of driven us closer together". Tyler and their Grandmother Jean actively campaign for Guys release. Both Tyler and Jean have maintained from the start that Guy wouldn't do something like this, he is innocent. It wasn't in his nature even under the influence of drugs to do something like this to people that he loved; that he had no grudges against, no history of disputes with. He wouldn't kill the only parent he had left a parent he had plans with for the future a parent he shared a life with even more so after the loss of his mother.
This brings us up to the morning Guy discovers his family murdered, an absolutely devastating and traumatic event for Guy and his remaining family.
None of their lives have been the same since.
A special thanks to Jodie, Guy, Jean and Tyler for taking the time to answer my questions and give an insight on who Guy really is, his home, his family, friends and his childhood.
This page is updated regularly there will be more information added on subjects including: -
The Investigation, The Case according to Law Enforcement, a breakdown of the news coverage, The Trial, The Evidence, Who was on the Case and where are they now, Guys conviction and current situation, who are Eye on Innocence, The life on Death Row BBC Documentary.
Any information on this page has been verified by Guys family, partner and/or official documentation.
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