Residents in Baton Rouge have spoken of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde scenario’ after Scott Rogers charmed his way into their community and eventually attained celebrity status.
He became active in causes and issues that mattered to people, opened his own church and fronted the Around Town TV show through which he interviewed community leaders, politicians, business leaders , civic groups and other members of the public.
Two residents, who knew him for 14 years, described him as ‘gregarious, friendly, intelligent, persuasive, engaging, meticulous, obsessive about details, and confident’.
They believe he arrived in Baton Rouge in February 2000 after moving from Dallas, Texas, and they met him a month later.
He and Mathew Hodgkinson attended the Baton Rouge Little Theater to introduce themselves and he offered his services as a voice and dance coach and took the opportunity to get to know people in the community who supported the theatre.
He later became involved in organisations and philanthropies – volunteering to MC at events with Mr Hodgkinson providing assistance.
Although the residents say many people had their suspicions about him, a combination of Southern hospitality, his skill at making people feel special and the way he presented himself with ‘an air of affluence’ eventually saw him ‘embraced and loved’ by the community.
He began production on his Around Town show in late 2003. Mathew worked as the show’s producer.
They said: “Many in the community are having a hard time reconciling the man they ‘knew’ as Scott and the man they are learning about now.
“However, those who have objectively looked back at past experiences with Scott have begun to recognise suspicious patterns that were previously attributed to cultural differences.
“I believe the community is now sadly accepting that a demon existed undetected in our midst for many years.”
Another resident added: “He seemed so different on the television here in Baton Rouge LA. What a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde scenario that seems to be unfolding here on this side of the pond as each new day’s revelations are revealed.”