Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 2:30 PM
The witness is a 33-year-old black male who found the hidden room. He was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Charley Jacobs
Detective Murphy: Have a seat, Mr. Jacobs, and please state your name and address for the record.
Charley Jacobs: Thank you. I'm Charley Jacobs and I live at 1904 Molly Barr Road.
Detective Murphy: That's here in Oxford?
Charley Jacobs: Yes, ma’am, sure is.
Detective Murphy: What is your occupation, Charley?
Charley Jacobs: I do construction work, renovating and the like.
Detective Murphy: Who is your employer?
Charley Jacobs: I work for Grantham Construction.
Detective Armstrong: How long have you worked there?
Charley Jacobs: For about 15 years now. My father worked for old man Grantham, Sonny. Dad put in a good word for me, and they hired me. All I know I was taught by my dad. No special schooling or anything. Sonny's boys, Brad and Barry, are great too. They pretty much run the company now.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Jacobs, tell me about the job you are doing right now.
Charley Jacobs: Well, we're kind of at a standstill at the moment. We're doing some renovation work at the old Physical Plant Shop and Stores at the university.
Detective Armstrong: A standstill? Why is that?
Charley Jacobs: Well, me and a couple of the guys were taking a break and having a small snack. I was done eating, so I went and walked over to a demo area that we had done earlier, and that's when I noticed that hidden room.
Detective Armstrong: You were just walking by and you happened to see it?
Charley Jacobs: Well, I mean, I kind of leaned up against the wall a little bit and it kinda gave. So when I turned around, that's when, you know, I realized that it wasn't a wall at all. It was actually door, like a secret door. You just couldn't see it.
Detective Armstrong: So you were walking around by yourself in a place where y'all had been demoing walls, and you just happened to lean up against one?
Charley Jacobs: Yeah. So?
Detective Armstrong: You didn't leave anything out of that story?
Charley Jacobs: No. What're you talking about?
Detective Armstrong: We saw some cigarette butts on the floor over there. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
Charley Jacobs: All right, yeah. So you busted me smoking in an area that I wasn't supposed to. So what?
Detective Armstrong: So what were you really doing when you found the room?
Charley Jacobs: All right. I was trying to get my lighter out of my pocket without dropping a bunch of stuff on the floor. And that's when I fell against the wall and it gave in and I landed on my ass. That's when I realized that, you know, there's a hidden room back there.
Detective Murphy: Did you go inside the room?
Charley Jacobs: No. Yeah. Yes, I did.
Detective Armstrong: Did you or not?
Charley Jacobs: I did. I mean, I took a couple steps in. And then the door closed behind me, and that's when I got this really bad feeling. You know, it was like the hair on the back of my neck and arms just kind of like stood straight up. You know, it was like--it was like a really creepy, creepy feeling, like something really bad had happened in there.
Detective Armstrong: Did you touch anything in the room?
Charley Jacobs: No! No. But I noticed the writing on the back of the door. It said, "I died here. R B killed me." There was something else underneath that, but I wasn’t about to stick around and figure out what it was. I mean, so I got out of there as fast as I could. I closed the door and made sure that nobody else got in there until the cops got there.
Detective Murphy: How did the other workers react to the news of the hidden room?
Charley Jacobs: Well, I had to yell for them. Carl said, "You look white as a sheet." But he promised me that he wouldn't let anyone in that room while I went out and called 911. So I stepped outside, and I couldn't get a signal inside for some reason. Oh, and Jack was out with me.
Detective Armstrong: What made you think the police needed to know about this room?
Charley Jacobs: Just the feeling--like the writing on the back of the door wasn't enough? I mean, I could just tell something creepy had happened in there. Something really bad had happened. That's why you're talking to me, isn't it?
Detective Murphy: We are looking into it.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know if that room was on any blueprints or floor plans of the building?
Charley Jacobs: No, it wasn't on any of the plans that we had.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time, Mr. Jacobs.
Charley Jacobs: Thank you. When you find out what went down in there, will you let me know?
Detective Murphy: We can't do that. If something bad happened, it'll probably be on the news or in the papers.
Charley Jacobs: OK, I'll check the papers then. Bye.
Interview ends: 2:50 PM