Whether you’re into hunting or not, it’s undeniable that “Swamp People” awakens people’s curiosity to a great extent. That’s only expected of a show in which common folks are seen tracking down and hunting alligators for a living.
While the motivations of these people are mostly monetary, the community of alligator hunters in Atchafalaya River Basin don’t consider what they do as only a job, but a centuries-old tradition they proudly plan on continuing. This lifestyle earns their families the everyday bread, which perhaps makes it something worth risking their lives for.
Knowing how dangerous what “Swamp People” stars do, it’s not a wonder why the general public is often curious about their well-being.
So who in “Swamp People” has died? Keep with us to find out!
Who Has Died In “Swamp People”?
“Swamp People” has been on air for over a decade now.
However, while the show usually feeds us with excitement and adrenaline, in 2012 we were saddened to know that Mitchell Guist had passed away.
Though some sources say that shortly before his death, Mitchell was repairing his boat or hoarding equipment on it, every report agrees that Mitchell suddenly fell off backwards into the Belle River’s waters around 9 am on 14 May, while cruising 75 miles away from New Orleans. Mitchell’s only companion during the incident rapidly performed CPR on him, and took him to the nearest landing, from where Mitchell was transferred to Morgan City’s Teche Regional Medical Center, but was unfortunately declared dead.
Although people theorized Mitchell’s death was caused by an alligator’s attack, the then-Sheriff of the Assumption Parish department, Mike Waguespack, primarily attributed his passing to a seizure. However, his autopsy later determined that a ‘cardiac arrest’ was the natural cause of Mitchell’s death.
Condolences were soon to come from History channel and the now-former “Swamp People” executive producer Brian Catalina, who lamented Mitchell’s death by saying that the show had ‘lost a really important part of our family and a treasured friend.’
Mitchell Guist was survived by his brother Glenn, and an unnamed wife.
Who Was Mitchell Guist?
Mitchell Guist rose to fame thanks to his appearances in “Swamp People”, but he was much more than what the TV cameras showed.
Born on 18 May 1964 ,in Gonzales, Louisiana, not a lot is known about his education and early life, except that he and his brother Glenn allegedly lived near the bayou from the time he turned 18 years old.
Everyone who ever watched Mitchell in “Swamp People” knows that he and his brother had a great sense of humor, and enough hunting experience to put the rest to shame. The Guist brothers debuted as hunting partners in the show starting from the second season, but Mitchell only lived long enough to appear in two seasons while Glenn was in it to the ninth.
Needless to say, the brothers were very close, but Glenn wasn’t the only one to miss Mitchell after his passing. On History Channel’s official Facebook page, Mitchell’s fans honored him with several heartfelt comments, some of which described him as ‘sweet’ and ‘inspiring’. Though he’s not someone to be very into technology, Glenn’s post lamenting his brother’s death can still be found on his personal Facebook account.
At the time of his death, Mitchell was just four days away from his 48th birthday.
The second “Swamp People” cast member to die was the young hunter Randy Edwards, though his passing was clearly a very tragic one.
It all goes back to 2018, when the Louisiana State Police initially reported that an unnamed man was killed in a car crash which occurred in Iberville Parish, on 15 September at 3 am. As described, the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado he drove struck a road pole while traveling the Louisiana Highway 74.
It’s theorized that the car had taken an unexpected turn to the right before crashing and overturning, resulting in the ejection of Randy, who apparently was declared dead at the scene as a result of several mortal injuries. The news of his passing was posted by his family on Facebook, also stating they welcomed everyone’s prayers, but wanted their right to privacy to be respected during those difficult times.
Though it’s unknown if Randy’s car was recoverable after such a terrible accident, reports stated that impairment was most-likely what caused Randy to lose control of the car, but despite taking toxicology tests at the scene, its results weren’t publicly disclosed.
Randy was only 35 years old at the time of his death, and was survived by his parents, brother Willie, his wife and three kids.
Who Was Randy Edwards?
Although Randy wasn’t as famous as his brother Willie and father Junior, he was once vital to the family’s alligator hunting team.
Randy’s first appearances in “Swamp People” were during its premiere season.
Although he didn’t appear in it the following year for reasons unknown, he became a regular cast member from the third to the sixth season. However, then the show went through some executive changes which resulted in the firing of many stars, Randy included.
While his father, brother and occasionally his mother Theresa were the only ones to continue appearing in the show, Randy actively worked in the family’s harvesting and hunting alligator business. He was also a fisherman, but his most stable job was as a pipefitter.
Nowadays, Randy’s family business is growing non-stop. As seen on their official Facebook page, Junior and Willie Edwards’ fame have grown so much that they’re even booked to appear in public events. Although they had previously tried to sell a variety of products such as merchandise, apparel and autographs, sticking to what they’re best at has resulted in the best for them.
On her part, Randy’s widow Terri lives a very private life in Plaquemine, to where she moved in August 2021 along with their three kids.
What Happened To Glenn Guist?
Glenn Guist undeniably became one of the most well-liked hunters in “Swamp People”. His personality and natural light-heartedness was evident since his debut in the first season while teaming up with his brother, and continued to be some of his most memorable features even after Mitchell’s death.
Although Glenn was only credited as an official cast member until the ninth “Swamp People” season, he continued appearing in the show from time to time in the following two years. His most recent appearance dates back to early 2020 in the show’s eleventh season, but he hasn’t been in the show ever since.
It’s hard to know what actually happened to Glenn. The latest post on his Facebook page is from May 2012, and he doesn’t have any other social media accounts, leading many people to think he’s not doing well, or in the worst of cases, that he’s died.
However, though his disappearance from public life is indeed worrisome, the fact that neither History channel nor his former show’s mates have reported any bad news about him, makes us hopeful that he’s alright and will return to the show in the future.
Who Else Have Left The Snow?
Throughout the years, many “Swamp People” cast members have left the show for some reason or another. While many have left for a couple seasons to return later, others definitely left either surrounded by a lot of drama, or without much of a fuss.
One of the “Swamp People” cast members the audience worries more about is Big Tee, known for his light-hearted personality, attitude and for gaining the audience’s approval in a record time and without much effort. However, in recent times life hasn’t been easy for the man.
In early 2019, Big Tee was cut by a conditioner vent.
Though he described it as ‘a small scratch’, his diabetes ended up making the injury more serious, flaring up to the point Joseph had to undergo surgery for it, but things were soon to be worse. A bacteria which he was told was inside the initial cut expanded, and caused an infection to his toe bone, one they didn’t take care of during the first surgery.
After undergoing more surgery, Joseph’s bills were exorbitant, and he couldn’t even work in that condition. A fundraiser campaign was set to help him pay bills, and he eventually recovered. Nonetheless, in late 2020 he was injured again on the same toe by a broken pyrex dish, requiring yet more surgery to remove a glass piece inside the cut.
In early 2021 his fans were shocked but excited to see him in one of the late 12th season’s episodes. Though he hasn’t talked about his health in a while, we just hope he’s completely recovered by now.
His face is a known one for all “Swamp People” loyal fans. He appeared in the series intermittently from the first to the ninth season, aired in 2018.
If you ever wondered why you never saw him again in “Swamp People” after that, we have some bad news for you. In mid-2019, Tommy suffered several injuries to his body after some explosives blasted near him. The accident damaged his eyes and eardrums, left many parts of his body lacerated, and perhaps worse of all his right hand was so seriously injured that some fingers were amputated.
Apparently, the reconstruction of his hand was in process in July 2019, but the expensive medical bills plus his inability to work made it difficult for Tommy to support his family. That’s how a fundraising campaign was set-up to help him, though it unfortunately didn’t reach its $20,000 goal.
It’s unknown how the situation turned out for Tommy. The latest update of his fundraising campaign dates back to July 2019, and he hasn’t posted anything on his personal Facebook account since December 2020.
The lack of recent information about him is worrisome, so we can only hope he recovered well.
See you later alligator! 🐊 pic.twitter.com/ZBw1fP0QBn
— Swamp People (@SwampPeople) September 10, 2021
R.J and Jay Paul Molinere
Being regular stars in “Swamp People” from the beginning, it’s not a wonder people were utterly shocked at not seeing them after the 11th season. While R.J and his son Jay Paul’s exit from the series is unfortunate, it seems that life for them is going well. On his part, R.J’s career in wrestling is thriving; in mid-2020, he won the Mississippi’s State Competition, an accomplishment he’d achieved several times before, and was inducted into Louisiana’s Armwrestling Hall Of Fame.
For Jay Paul, exciting things have happened closer to home. As seen on his Instagram page, he spends precious family time teaching his three children to hunt. Although it’s known he also practices martial arts like his father, it seems he’s left that behind in favor of becoming a Swamp guide, as well as promoting local business on his social media.
Will father and son return to “Swamp People” someday? We surely hope they do, but meanwhile, their time away from the cameras looks to be going great.
Just like many of his “Swamp People”s co- stars, Terral Evans’ family has preserved the alligator hunting tradition for generations. Terral was actually taught how to track down and kill those animals by his grandfather, later on doing it for a living.
Terral has been an on and off presence in “Swamp People” since 2011, when he debuted during the second season. Last time he was seen on our TV screens was in early 2020, and while his future in the show is uncertain for now, we’re pleased to see that he hasn’t completely stepped away from public life.
While we don’t exactly know what’s up with his life personal-wise, in April 2021 he suffered what he described as ‘a minor heart issue’ on his birthday that he fortunately recovered from. When it comes to his career, it’s not clear if he continues hunting alligators but as seen on his Facebook, he sells hardware and similar tools.
In 2013 Harlan Hatcher joined “Swamp People” with his hunting partner T-Roy Broussard, with whom he had hunted for years. The pair are originally from Beaumont in Texas, but traveled to Louisiana during alligator season.
Both men appeared in the show during the fourth and fifth season, and Harlan briefly came back in the ninth one. He hasn’t been in “Swamp People” since then, but he hasn’t retired from alligator hunting at all. As seen on his official Facebook page, in 2021’s hunting season he skinned 669 ‘gators with his friends and grandson Holden. Nowadays, Harlan also writes on the BigFoot Groceries blog, which showcases a wide variety of recipes, not containing alligator meat!
So far, it’s evident that some former cast members of “Swamp People” are doing well in life, while others haven’t had that much luck. Anyway, we hope to get to see every one of them on TV again, whether it is through “Swamp People” or another show.