Detectives Ted Armstrong and Samantha Murphy from the Sheriff's Department interviewed Magnolia Harbison in her room at the Yoknapatawpha Acres Nursing Home. The interview was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- Detective Samantha Murphy
- Magnolia Harbison
Detective Murphy: Good morning.
Magnolia Harbison: What's good about it? No such thing as a good anything in this prison.
Detective Murphy: Why don't you tell us your name and we'll go from there?
Magnolia Harbison: Ha! So, we start off with games? You would have the names of every poor soul in here by now, but I'll play your game. I'm Magnolia June Harbison.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. You don't sound too happy to be here.
Magnolia Harbison: You think you would? You can come and go whenever you please. You haven't been dumped in this disgusting place by a son who is supposed to love you. I wouldn't leave a dog here.
Detective Murphy: I'm sorry you feel that way, Mrs. Harbison. Do you know why we want to talk with you today?
Magnolia Harbison: So, you're another one of those idiots who thinks that everyone in a nursing home is loony toons? Just wait. You'll see one of these days what it's like to get old and be treated like a piece of dirt! Of course, I know why you're here. It's about Jerry. You think I crawled out of this bed and murdered him? I wish.
Detective Armstrong: Sounds like you weren't crazy about Jerry Shaw. We've been hearing nothing but good words about him.
Magnolia Harbison: You liar! I never heard anyone say anything good about him. He was a scumbag. He wouldn't do anything he was supposed to.
Detective Armstrong: Like what?
Magnolia Harbison: Like hanging a clock on the wall, or helping me into a chair, or bringing me a measly piece of toast.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you complain about him? If he was that bad, why wasn't he fired?
Magnolia Harbison: I DID complain. For all the good it did me. If I'd had a pocket full of cash to hand over to him every time I needed help, he probably would've camped by my bed. Where was I supposed to get any money? They took everything away from me before I even got sentenced to spend my last days in here. I don't even have my home anymore.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know anyone who would want Mr. Shaw dead? I mean bad enough to kill him?
Magnolia Harbison: Everyone who ever met him, I'd guess. Oh, except for that silly nurse's aide that fawned all over him. Disgusting! She has the IQ of a salad bar.
Detective Armstrong: Which aide would that be, Mrs. Harbison? (snickering)
Magnolia Harbison: Her name's Erin. I saw Ed looking at her sideways. He'd better watch out or Gail will throttle him. I'd love to see that.
Detective Murphy: Ed who?
Magnolia Harbison: Ed Harbison, that's who. My wimp of a son. He wouldn't even hang the clock for me. Afraid he might knock a hole in the wall and have to pay for it. He has my money. I let him and his wife move into my house with me and then he moves me in here. I bet this happens to a lot of parents. No good kids!
Detective Armstrong: Have you talked to anyone else about Jerry? I mean any of the other patients who might have a grudge against him?
Magnolia Harbison: What do you not understand about me being stuck in this bed? I can't walk, you idiot. Maybe you'd make a good match for Erin. Or maybe Rose over there.
Detective Murphy: You mean the lady in the bed by the window there? The one who's mumbling?
Magnolia Harbison: Oh my Lord. Is there no sane person left on the planet? Of course, I mean the old lady by the window. Do you see any more people in here? She mumbles and squirms around constantly. If I were going to murder anyone, it would be her. I turn the TV up loud so I can't hear her over there. When I get in trouble for that and they take the remote away from me, I want to jump up and down on the bed and pull my hair out of my head. But of course I can't stand up. This is a nut house. Snake pit!
Detective Murphy: You seem to be getting more agitated, Mrs. Harbison. We'll leave now, but we may come again. Maybe you'll remember something that might help us. I think you need your rest for now.
Magnolia Harbison: If I remember anything else, maybe I'll tell you and maybe I won't. I will tell you this. I'm gonna miss ole Jerry walking up and down the hall out there. I won't be able to call him names now like I used to. My luck is about as rotten as it can get. Pshaw!Interview ends: 11:58 am. Register to read more...