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Sylvia Powell follow-up interview

What didn't Sylvia tell the detectives the first time they talked?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:12 a.m.

Sylvia Powell is a registered nurse at the Yoknapatawpha Acres Nursing Home where Jerry Shaw worked. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Sylvia Powell

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in. State your name and address for the record.

Sylvia Powell: My name is Sylvia Powell, and I live at 3010 Hillmont Drive, in Oxford.

Detective Murphy: We know now that Jerry Shaw was murdered. It wasn't an accident.

Sylvia Powell: Yes, I heard. Why would anyone want to kill him? I know he could be a jerk at times, but that's not any reason to kill someone.

Detective Murphy: The last time we talked, you didn't get a chance to tell us about anyone who might have a grudge against Jerry. Can you think of anybody?

Sylvia Powell: Jerry owed Matt Hooper a lot of money from gambling. Matt was pretty mad about that.

Detective Murphy: Do you know why he didn't pay Matt?

Sylvia Powell: Jerry told me he couldn't pay Matt because he spent the money on another bet hoping he would double it, but he lost it all. I told Jerry he needed to stop gambling because he just kept losing, but he wouldn't.

Detective Murphy: How do you know Matt was mad?

Sylvia Powell: The day Jerry died, I saw him with Matt Hooper in the hallway. They were arguing, and Matt threatened Jerry. I thought he was going to punch him, but he walked off.

Detective Murphy: How did Matt threaten him?

Sylvia Powell: He called Jerry a few nasty names and said he would get even. He said Jerry would be sorry for ever crossing him.

Detective Armstrong: Ms. Powell, Jerry sort of crossed you as well.

Sylvia Powell: Sure, I was angry with him, but I didn't want to kill him. I loved him.

Detective Armstrong: We heard that your argument was more than just a spat. The word used to describe you was "outraged." You said he would pay for dumping you.

Sylvia Powell: Maybe in the heat of the moment I said something like that.

Detective Armstrong: Did you kill Jerry Shaw in the heat of the moment?

Sylvia Powell: Of course I didn't kill Jerry. I loved him. Maybe I did say those things, but I was angry. After all I had done for him, he treated me like a dog. He told me our relationship never meant a thing to him. He said he was tired of sneaking around to see me and he was tired of me. It broke my heart, but I would never have harmed him.

Detective Murphy: Here's some tissue, Sylvia. Try and calm yourself.

Sylvia Powell: I'm sorry, Detective, but this is hard. I'm torn between loving him and hating him for the way he treated me. But I swear I didn't kill him. Do I need to get a lawyer?

Detective Murphy: That's up to you, Sylvia. As of now, there are no charges against you. Do you want to continue our discussion or stop now?

Sylvia Powell: We can continue. I have nothing to hide.

Detective Murphy: Can you think of anyone else who might've had a problem with Jerry?

Sylvia Powell: I think I told you before that Richard Landrigan and Jerry were always arguing.

Detective Armstrong: Did Jerry ever tell you what those arguments were about?

Sylvia Powell: He said it was Richard's fault that our jobs suck so much. Oh! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to– that our jobs are so unpleasant.

Detective Armstrong: Why was it Richard's fault?

Sylvia Powell: I don't really know. Jerry said Richard did whatever he wanted to make his own life better but he wasn't doing enough to make anyone else's life better.

Detective Armstrong: What does that mean?

Sylvia Powell: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Whose life did Jerry want Richard to make better?

Sylvia Powell: I think Jerry's.

Detective Armstrong: Not yours? Not the residents?

Sylvia Powell: I don't know. He never said.

Detective Armstrong: Did he say what he wanted from Richard to make his life better?

Sylvia Powell: A raise? Jerry never had enough money.

Detective Armstrong: What do you think Richard was doing that had Jerry so worked up?

Sylvia Powell: I– no, I don't think I should say anything. I don't really know anything, and I don't want to guess.

Detective Murphy: Sylvia, we're trying to find out who killed Jerry. Don't you want to help with that?

Sylvia Powell: Of course I do, but I don't think Richard did it.

Detective Murphy: What makes you say that?

Sylvia Powell: Because Richard… he's not a doer. He doesn't do anything. He sits at his desk and does paperwork and talks on the phone, but he never actually, you know… does anything.

Detective Murphy: So it was something he was doing at his desk that upset Jerry?

Sylvia Powell: Probably.

Detective Murphy: Could it have been related to why Matt was upset with Jerry?

Sylvia Powell: I don't see how.

Detective Murphy: Richard never gambled with them?

Sylvia Powell: I can't imagine Richard gambling. He likes money too much.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know Rose Jenkins?

Sylvia Powell: She's a resident. I don't think she gambles either.

Detective Armstrong: Cute. Did you ever take care of her?

Sylvia Powell: No. She's on the north wing, and I work on the south wing.

Detective Armstrong: You ever hear anything about her?

Sylvia Powell: Like what?

Detective Armstrong: Anything about her condition?

Sylvia Powell: Jerry said she was having a harder time remembering things lately.

Detective Armstrong: That's it?

Sylvia Powell: I think so.

Detective Murphy: Thanks again for coming in, Sylvia. If you think of anything else, please let us know.

Sylvia Powell: I will. I want to find Jerry's killer as much as you do. Goodbye, Detectives.

Interview ends - 11:34 a.m.

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