Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 2:00 p.m.
Carl Warren identifies himself as the pastor of the Elvis Faithful. He and his wife, Hillary, attended the conference where Jared Plunk was murdered. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Peter Davis
Detective Parker: Thank you for coming in. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Carl Warren: Absolutely. My name is Carl Warren, and I live at 356 County Road 102.
Detective Parker: Thank you, Mr. Warren.
Carl Warren: Please call me Carl.
Detective Parker: OK, Carl. Do you know why we've asked to speak with you today?
Carl Warren: Not exactly, Detective. Don't get me wrong. I know this must be about that man who was killed before the Elvis conference. Plunk, was it?
Detective Murphy: That's right. Jared Plunk.
Carl Warren: Yes, Jared. Anyway, I realize that you want to talk about him, but I'm not sure why you'd want to talk to me. We weren't exactly friends. I'm afraid I'd only spoken with him a couple of times. The first time was at a conference about a year ago where he asked me about my job. I've only seen him at one or two gatherings since then.
Detective Parker: Plunk asked you about your job? Do you mean your work at the tire factory?
Carl Warren: Oh, goodness no, Detective. Who would be interested in that? Besides, I don't work at that factory anymore. Haven't for a long time now. No, Jared was more interested in my role as a pastor of the Elvis Faithful.
Detective Murphy: Who are the Elvis Faithful?
Carl Warren: The Elvis Faithful are people who admire and respect the King. It's a belief system – a religion, if you will – which centers around the celebration of Elvis' life and his position as a role model for us all. The Elvis Faithful approach their difficult decisions by asking themselves what the King would have done given the same situation. The study of his life can provide guidance for us all.
Detective Parker: That's all very interesting, Carl. Let's get back to Plunk now. Did you attend the conference where Plunk was killed?
Carl Warren: Certainly! My wife and I never miss a nearby gathering of Elvis' admirers. It's an excellent place to spread the word about the Elvis Faithful. Plus, my wife can't pass up anything related to Elvis.
Detective Parker: Then you know that Jared Plunk was scheduled as keynote speaker?
Carl Warren: Yes, I do believe I remember hearing about the change in speakers. He replaced Sonya Davis, if I remember correctly. Disappointing change, if you ask me. I've heard Sonya speak at other conferences, and she's marvelous to listen to.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why Jared Plunk was chosen as the keynote speaker?
Carl Warren: There was some talk about some letters that Plunk claimed to have in his possession – letters that would be detrimental to Elvis' reputation. Or something like that. I didn't put much stock in all that talk. They were just rumors.
Detective Parker: What if they weren't rumors? What if Plunk really did have such letters?
Carl Warren: What are you saying? Have you seen the letters?
Detective Parker: I'm just saying that letters like the ones Plunk claimed to have could certainly cause you trouble if they were made public. I wouldn't think the future of the Elvis Faithful would be too bright if Elvis' name was dragged through the mud.
Carl Warren: You're wrong, Detective. Even if these letters that Plunk talked about do exist, they couldn't diminish the power of Elvis Presley. True fans of Elvis – the Elvis Faithful – wouldn't let a few letters destroy their love and beliefs. In fact, revealing some of Elvis' flaws would only make him a stronger role model. Flaws are marks of humanity, and seeing them in our idols helps lessen the pressure to achieve perfection. If Elvis could achieve everything he did despite his flaws, then we can too.
Detective Parker: You weren't concerned that you might lose your believers?
Carl Warren: Not at all, Detective.
Detective Murphy: You mentioned earlier that Plunk approached you about your job. What was his interest? Was he one of the Elvis Faithful?
Carl Warren: Absolutely not! A man like Jared Plunk would have been a disgrace to the Elvis Faithful. Plunk came to me with interest in writing about the Elvis Faithful, and I'll be honest. I considered it at first because I thought it could be a good way of getting the word out there to the people. But I had a definite change of heart after I asked around about Jared Plunk. It seems that his articles leaned more towards cynicism – or outright defamation. I didn't want Plunk within 10 miles of the Elvis Faithful, and I told him just that when he showed up at one of our meetings.
Detective Parker: You don't sound too torn up about Plunk's death.
Carl Warren: Honestly, I'm not. We're all better off without him. Trust me.
Detective Parker: Did you kill Jared Plunk?
Carl Warren: No, Detective. I didn't kill him nor do I know who did.
Detective Parker: Where were you when he was murdered?
Carl Warren: I heard he was killed sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Is that right?
Detective Parker: That's correct.
Carl Warren: My wife and I were at home. We left the conference cocktail party around 11:00 Friday night, and I didn't come back to the conference center until after Jared Plunk was already dead.
Detective Murphy: Didn't you have a room at the conference center hotel?
Carl Warren: How did you– yes, we did, but my wife took ill very suddenly, and she wanted to spend the night at our home instead of the hotel.
Detective Murphy: Did something at the cocktail party make her sick?
Carl Warren: Thankfully, no. Unfortunately, she's got that awful flu that's going around.
Detective Murphy: Oh.
Carl Warren: Don't worry, Detective. I got my flu shot, so I don't have it. I told Hillary to get one, but she's terribly afraid of needles. Now she's paying the price, poor girl.
Detective Parker: Do you know anyone who might have wanted Jared Parker dead?
Carl Warren: From what I hear, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't have a motive for Jared Plunk's murder.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anything that might help us in our investigation?
Carl Warren: Unfortunately, I'm afraid I can't think of any more relevant information that I can tell you. Like I said, I made it a point to not get too friendly with Jared Plunk.
Detective Murphy: All right, Carl. I think we're done for now, but we may need to talk with you again.
Carl Warren: Of course, Detectives.
Interview ends - 2:22 p.m.