Two-Toed Tom was a large 15-foot alligator with glowing red eyes. In later accounts, it was described as being 18-24 feet long. It terrorized local areas and was responsible for fatally attacking livestock and even people. Its jaws were powerful enough to easily tear large prey to pieces and its tail was able to flip over a full grown horse in one lash. It was given the nickname Two-Toed Tom because all but two toes were lost to a steel trap.
The story of Two-Toed Tom began to circulate during the 1920s along the Florida-Alabama line. The earliest written account of the story was by University of Alabama professor Carl Carmer in his book Stars Fell on Alabama. While visiting the area, locals told Carmer about the monstrous alligator. A hefty bounty was supposedly offered for Two-Toed Tom, with hunters scouring the swamp often shooting the alligator but were unable to kill it. It was also able to mostly avoid steel traps laid in the area. Despite the use of guns and dynamite, locals could never kill it and would go on to wreak havoc for 20 years.
A well known incident of Two-Toed Tom was that of Pap Haines, a farmer who had bought 40 acres of land. Despite being told that Two-toed Tom was simply a myth, Pap discovered that one of his mules were torn apart, with trails of bloodied two-footed tracks that led to a pond. He decided to kill the monster once and for all. With the help of his sons, Pap filled 15 syrup buckets with sticks of dynamite, and started tossing them into the pond. Soon after, the pond was completely destroyed, leaving it seemingly impossible for anything to survive. However, screaming was heard from a nearby pond, where they found the remains of Haine's 12-year old granddaughter, who had come out to see what all the commotion was about. Concluding that Two-toed Tom most likely knew of their intentions and was able to escape, Haines would continue his vendetta with the alligator, but would ultimately die bitter and unfulfilled.
It was said that after Haine's dynamite attack, Two-Toed Tom apparently crossed the state line of Florida where it would continue its attacks. It actively prowled the waterways of Choctawhatchee River, Holmes Creek and Sand Hammock Lake. It was said to make grunting roars in response to the whistle at the Alabama-Florida Lumber Co. In one encounter with Two-Toed Tom, a young girl and her mother were walking by Sand Hammock Lake when they were lunged at by the alligator. The mothers screams alerted nearby local men who shot at it with a high-powered rifle. This appeared to kill the alligator but as they came closer, Two-Toed Tom jumped up and scurried back into the swamp.
Incidents with Two-Toed Tom didn't occur for many years until the 1980s. A giant alligator path was found on Boynton Island on the Choctawahtchee with some two-toed tracks. After years out of the limelight, reports came flooding in once again. Several hunts were organised to find the alligator but without much success. Two-Toed Tom is now said to still lurk around the swamps of Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama.