The abandoned building where Beau Mann was found


In the week since the body of Beau Mann was found in an abandoned courtyard, the case has made international headlines with no shortage of amateur sleauths weighing in via podcasts, websites and social media

In the week since the body of Beau Mann was found in an abandoned courtyard, the case has made international headlines with no shortage of amateur sleuths weighing in via podcasts, websites and social media.

Mann disappeared in November of 2021 and was recently discovered behind the fence of a vacant apartment building on the 2900 block of Santa Monica Blvd.

The case has drawn attention for the seemingly sudden disappearance of Mann, his role as a tech CEO, the connection to drug addiction and the extremely long gap between his last sighting and the discovery of his body.

The case was documented in detail on The Vanished podcast earlier this year covering many of the details around his life, last day and the efforts of the family to find Beau. The Santa Monica Police Department has only had the case for about a week as it was previously under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department and while local officials are waiting on a report from the Coroner’s office to hopefully illuminate the mystery, a private investigator hired by the Mann family has his own thoughts on the case.

James Terry was hired by the Mann family after Beau’s disappearance and said he believes some of the facts in his possession make for a compelling narrative, even if it lacks a final act.

Terry doesn’t call it a “theory” as there are holes in his knowledge but he does say he can connect several dots in the case. He says Mann was on drugs, probably suffered a drug overdose and died in the home of a friend who was also a known drug addict.

According to Terry, Mann’s lifestyle was at best an open secret and more realistically, just something people knew even if they didn’t talk about it.

He said Mann had continued to use drugs despite claims that he had kicked the habit. Terry said there is evidence that a known drug-dealer visited Mann’s home in the days before he went missing and that Mann’s behavior on the day he disappeared is indicative of his habits while using drugs.

“He had some paranoia when he did drugs. He would buy a massive amounts of cleaning supplies,” said Terry. “You and I go to 7-11, what are we gonna get? Gas? Cigarettes? We might get some snacks. He was buying cleaning supplies and wipes that was indicative of his history of being paranoid when he was on drugs.”

Mann had arrived at the store via Uber and had been using rideshare services to get around Los Angeles that day. Following his purchases, he reentered an Uber which then came to Santa Monica where there were two possible destinations for him, his gym and the home of a friend, both of which were on the same block.

“So I talked to the people at the gym, I talked to the people in the area and it just made sense that he was being dropped off there was either to go to the gym or to go to Jo Goode’s house. Either way, nobody else had seen him,” he said.

Joanne Goode was a local actor and artist who initially said she didn’t know Mann. However, Terry said Goode did have a connection to Mann and that her home was in fact, his destination.

While in the car, Mann sent a text to 911 just saying he was in a gray car. Terry thinks the 911 text made from the Uber was the first indication that Mann was getting sick from whatever drugs he had taken and that he didn’t live long beyond that moment.

“I don’t think after that Uber ride, Beau Mann was alive for more than another hour. And now, how he died? I don’t know. But I’m gonna bet they’re gonna figure that out, you know, now that they have the body. I think he went into that house. I think he met with Jo Goode and I think he expired in that house with an overdose.”

Terry doesn’t know how long Mann was in the house but he said Goode was known to enter rehab for extended periods of time and he speculated that if Mann did die in her home, it might have caused Goode to panic and just leave the property for an extended period. He said there’s anecdotal evidence that something was amiss in the house as he has documentation that a water heater was replaced about six months later and he said a bad heater can be the source of a foul smell.

“The water heater is interesting to me because I talk to a lot of other detectives and private investigators and they said listen, if there’s a smell in the house, and I’ve never had this, I didn’t know this and I even called a plumbing company out there and they said a lot of times that when there’s a smell in the house, people think it’s a broken water heater.”

He said the local authorities would be able to determine how long the body had been in the elements and would know if it had been moved. Terry said he doesn’t have direct knowledge of how or when the body might have been moved but he believes there’s another piece of evidence, or rather a lack of evidence, that supports his suspicion about moving the body.

“The backpack is what tells me that he was somewhere else before he made it to that alleyway, or that somebody found that body before,” he said.

Terry said Beau’s backpack and the expensive computer would have been the few items of value on his body and he finds it suspicious that they were not with the body and if they were not, then someone took them meaning the body was disturbed before it was reported to authorities.

“I believe that backpack and that computer hold the key to what happened to him right after he died,” he said. “If that backpack and computer were in Jo Goode’s house or if she had sold them or pawned it, there might be somebody that knew Jo Goode that didn’t realize any of this even happened.”

He said if someone did buy that computer from her or if it could be traced back to her, it would prove his theory regarding Mann’s place of death.

Goode died in January of this year and Terry said the landlords cleaned out the apartment shortly after her death, preventing a search of the location. He said there’s always the possibility that the official investigation turns up previously unknown evidence that sheds a radically new light on the circumstances, but short of a deus ex machina he thinks the computer is the key to explaining those final moments of Mann’s life.

“Nobody has found that computer, that backpack and I think that’s the key,” he said. “Somebody in Santa Monica might have that computer right now and not even realize that it belongs to this urban legend. And I think that breaks this case wide open.”

A representative for the Mann family said they don’t necessarily agree with all of Terry’s conclusions about Beau’s death and while Terry is a figure of some controversy due to his work on other cases, they appreciated his efforts. They said they were hopeful the new investigation by SMPD would provide some long-awaited answers.

Terry says he still wants to find that computer and said anyone with information can call him at 813-993-2242. SMPD is asking anyone with information to contact Detective Ismael Tavera at 310-458-2256,, or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

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Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...