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Interview: Arthur Beck

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Monday, September 26, 2011 - 10:00 a.m.

The witness, identified as victim's next door neighbor, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Arthur Beck

Detective Murphy: Thank you for seeing us, Mr. Beck. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Arthur Beck: Arthur Beck. 1590 Jackson Avenue.

Detective Murphy: As you probably know, Mr. Beck, we're investigating the murder of your neighbor, Kimberly Pace.

Arthur Beck: Murder? I heard she'd fallen down the stairs!

Detective Murphy: Well, it looks as though she may have had an injury before she fell.

Arthur Beck: Oh my, that poor young woman!

Detective Murphy: Yes. We'd like to ask what you heard and saw that night she was killed.

Arthur Beck: What time would that have been?

Detective Armstrong: Did you hear any unusual sounds coming from the direction of Dr. Pace's home on the evening of the 24th or early morning on the 25th?

Arthur Beck: Saturday or Sunday morning, you say? No, nothing unusual. In fact, it's been rather quiet over there since that fellow Evans is gone.

Detective Murphy: Oh? Was it noisy when he was there?

Arthur Beck: Well, he used to run that chainsaw of his outside when he was getting ready to do his "turning" as he called it. It didn't bother me, but, you know, when my Frannie was bad, I had to ask him to kind of tone it down, you know, so she could get some rest. But he was good about he. I mean, we even worked out a schedule.

Detective Murphy: Frannie?

Arthur Beck: Oh, that's my wife. She passed about 15 months ago.

Detective Murphy: Oh, we're very sorry for your loss.

Arthur Beck: Thank you.

Detective Murphy: So you and Evans got along OK?

Arthur Beck: Oh, he was all right. He even took me to see his woodshop there in the basement when she wasn't there. He'd give me chips for my compost pile and my mulch if I asked him.

Detective Armstrong: How would you characterize the relationship between Mr. Evans and Dr. Pace?

Arthur Beck: Well, I guess they had their differences, but Frannie said that was just differences between young folks so... they always seemed to patch it up.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time that you saw Mr. Evans?

Arthur Beck: Well, actually, I remember it because I was out in the front yard working, and he just threw all his stuff in a big truck out there and jumped on his motorcycle and left in a huff. But I can't say I was sorry to see the motorcycle go because they can be pretty loud too, you know.

Detective Murphy: That was the last time you saw him?

Arthur Beck: Yeah, I'm not sure. I mean, he may have been in and out since then, but you know, I can't be expected to remember and keep track of all the comings and goings over there so.

Detective Armstrong: OK, Mr. Beck. Let's get back to Dr. Pace. How long had you known her?

Arthur Beck: Well, we moved here in '07 from Chicago after I retired. And the Pace woman lived next door. She came over to introduce herself, brought some brownies or some such over. And she and my wife hit it off pretty well.

Detective Murphy: And did you and she hit it off, too?

Arthur Beck: Well, not like her and my wife. I mean, my philosophy about neighbors is "live and let live." You don't want to get too close to them because pretty soon they'll be over there borrowing all your stuff and pestering you and just all that, you know.

Detective Murphy: After your wife died, what was your relationship with Dr. Pace?

Arthur Beck: Well, we didn't have a "relationship." I mean, when my wife got real sick, she used to ask‒ she quit coming over and my wife used to ask, you know, if she was OK because she hadn't seen her in such a long time. No, Pace and I don't have much use for each other.

Detective Murphy: Was there some other reason you and Dr. Pace didn't have any use for each other? Say a problem with the dog?

Arthur Beck: Why? Who told you that?

Detective Armstrong: Other witnesses have mentioned you had a problem with her dog. Would you agree with that?

Arthur Beck: Well, I mean, I'll admit I don't like dogs very much, and hers was especially pesky. It'd get out of her yard and into mine, tearing up my stuff. I went over there and asked her to get control of it. She never did.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw Dr. Pace, Mr. Beck?

Arthur Beck: Saturday afternoon, the 24th.

Detective Murphy: Did you have a conversation with her then?

Arthur Beck: I sure did. Caught her in the front yard and told her the dog had been in my yard again. Asked her to get control of it once and for all.

Detective Murphy: And how did she respond?

Arthur Beck: She said something rude and slammed the door. That was the last time I ever saw her.

Detective Armstrong: Where were you and what were you doing Saturday evening?

Arthur Beck: Why? Am I a suspect?

Detective Armstrong: Just routine, sir.

Arthur Beck: I guess I was watching football. I mean, I must've fell asleep because it was pretty late when I woke up in front of the TV. It guess I didn't get to be until around 1:30.

Detective Murphy: Can you tell us if you've noticed anything unusual in the neighborhood lately?

Arthur Beck: What do you mean by unusual?

Detective Murphy: Anyone hanging around the neighborhood who doesn't live there, strange cars, that sort of thing.

Arthur Beck: Well, there's some kid. You know, he could be‒ you know, looks like he could be one of her students. He pops up a lot, quite often. He doesn't seem to do anything, just rides by on his bicycle and stops and looks at the house.

Detective Murphy: When you say "kid," do you mean a child or a college-age person?

Arthur Beck: College. I mean, I said he looked like one of her students, didn't I?

Detective Murphy: Do you know his name?

Arthur Beck: Heck no. I mean, I just noticed he's been around a lot more since Evans has been gone.

Detective Murphy: Can you describe him?

Arthur Beck: All those kids all look alike to me. I mean, just another one of those students she used to hang out with.

Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who'd want to kill Dr. Pace?

Arthur Beck: I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, most everybody has somebody who doesn't like them. I mean, I have no way of knowing about Pace. I mean, I don't know her well enough to say one way or another. Are we about through here? Because I've got some chores to do.

Detective Murphy: Yes, Mr. Beck. Thanks very much. Will you let us know if you think of anything else?

Arthur Beck: Yeah, OK.

Detective Armstrong: We'll be in touch if we have any more questions for you.

Arthur Beck: OK. Thanks.

End interview: 10:17 a.m.

 

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