‘It could have been me’: Woman talks about dates with Brandon Theesfeld

Two dates in, she knew this wasn’t someone she wanted to be around
Updated: Jul. 25, 2019 at 7:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Brandon Theesfeld knows how to have a party, his friends said. He also loves the ladies, talking about finding a “flavor of the week” when he would go out looking for his next conquest.

“I want her number, dog…” he can be heard saying in a video submitted to WLBT in which he’s holding up his cell phone with a girl’s social media page pulled up.

He’s the 22-year-old Ole Miss student charged with murder in the death of Ally Kostial, who was the president of the golf club at Ole Miss, as well as a founder in her sorority, and had many other accomplishments on her resume. She was ambitious and kind, by all accounts, and loved everyone she met.

“She would set goals in her mind and she would make those goals and go beyond that,” said Maddy Norris, a friend of Kostial’s in St. Louis, her hometown. “She kept telling us, like, I want to go to Ole Miss and she accomplished that goal and she went to Ole Miss and did everything that she ever wanted to do there.”

But while she was at Ole Miss, she met Brandon Theesfeld. The two dated off and on for a few years, friends said, and Kostial saw the good in him and thought she could save him.

Theesfeld, known as a lady’s man to say the least, allegedly tried to bed as many women as he could. And friends said he would speak derogatorily about women regularly. A retweet on his Twitter account shows a woman sitting on a bench, and a sniper rifle in a separate pane and says, “She’ll never see it coming.”

Kostial was shot multiple times in the stomach. She was found in the woods at the secluded fishing camp Buford’s Ridge in Harmontown. There was a group of Theesfeld’s friends -- including Theesfeld -- that went to that camp to ride ATVs and trucks in the mud, and drink and grill and kick back.

Mary Ellen Manor met Theesfeld on Tinder, but she didn’t end up taking the bait like others had. She went on two dates with him and figured out things really might not work.

“Just odd, very sketchy, like shady," she said to describe him. "When I’d try to say, ‘No, I’m busy this weekend,’ he’d say, ‘Oh I’m not crazy or anything, I was just seeing what you were doing.’”

Theesfeld never missed out on the fun. He could always find a way to amp his life up, acquaintances said. One said she had never seen him sober.

“DUIs are bad and no one should have them,” he slurs in another video, his head loose on his neck, slouched back on a sofa.

On Tuesday, Mary Ellen got some shocking news. She found out that guy she’d been on those dates with was charged with murder. It was another girl he’d dated.

“Honestly, I almost fell down my stairs in my house," she said. "It freaked me out. I was like, ‘What if that could have been me?’ If I was still hanging out with him, what could have happened to me or like... it just freaked me out. I’m relieved that I’m ok, but I can’t believe I hung out with a dude who could be charged with such a thing, and it just made me very wary.”

Kostial was working and taking summer school so that she could graduate this year. And first to those who love her, and secondly to so many people who care about the case because of ties to family, friends, or the university, no matter what happened or who did it, it should never have ended like this.

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