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Interview: Laurence Bricker

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 11:30 a.m.

The witness, who was identified as a professional colleague of the victim, 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
  • Laurence Bricker

Detective Murphy: Thank you for meeting with us today.

Laurence Bricker: Certainly.

Detective Murphy: Can you please state your name and address for the record?

Laurence Bricker: Laurence Bricker. 1424 South Lamar, Oxford.

Detective Armstrong: I'm Detective Armstrong.

Laurence Bricker: Pleased to meet you.

Detective Murphy: Detective Murphy.

Laurence Bricker: My pleasure, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: Ready to go?

Laurence Bricker: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: All right.

Detective Murphy: Did you know Kimberly Pace?

Laurence Bricker: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: How– well, how did you know her?

Laurence Bricker: I first made her acquaintance when she was in the graduate program here. So I knew her for some years.

Detective Murphy: How would you characterize your relationship with Dr. Pace?

Laurence Bricker: It was a very tepid relationship.

Detective Murphy: Why?

Laurence Bricker: In short, I thought she was frivolous. From her days here when she was a student, I felt she was more intent on having fun than excelling in the classroom. And I believe her teaching style was no different.

Detective Armstrong: We've been told that she could be demanding of her students.

Laurence Bricker: That came in very rare instances. I found that she was overly accommodating to her students.

Detective Murphy: You're aware of some of the allegations about students buying grades?

Laurence Bricker: I am.

Detective Murphy: Did you put any stock in those allegations?

Laurence Bricker: Unfortunately, there are professors at this institution that will do just about anything.

Detective Murphy: Do you think Dr. Pace could have been involved such a scheme?

Laurence Bricker: Of that, I am unsure. I have no proof, so I cannot say with any certainty whether or not she partook in such dirty business. I always felt that she was a bit too generous with her grades, so to earn money from that would be the next step.

Detective Armstrong: Has a student ever approached you about buying grades?

Laurence Bricker: Detective, if you talk to the people in this department, surely you will find my reputation. Nobody enters my class unless they are fully committed to scholarship. Fortunately, I am not even in a position to be in contact with that type of person.

Detective Murphy: A witness told us that you were at Dr. Pace's home about three weeks before her death. Why were you there if you had such a chilly relationship?

Laurence Bricker: She hosted a department function at her residence. Although I may not have cared for her, I do have to make appearances at certain functions.

Detective Murphy: What did you two talk about?

Laurence Bricker: As always, we spoke as little as possible.

Detective Armstrong: But there wasn't anything in particular?

Laurence Bricker: No, not that I can recall.

Detective Armstrong: Well, we've been told you had a somewhat heated discussion with her.

Laurence Bricker: Detective, my conversations are not heated. I never raise my voice. I did inform her that I did not approve of her behavior and that I felt that she was embarrassing the department.

Detective Armstrong: What behavior?

Laurence Bricker: The behavior we've been talking about for the duration of this conversation – her lack of intensity in the classroom, her fraternization with the students, and so forth.

Detective Armstrong: And how did she respond?

Laurence Bricker: I don't believe she did respond. I simply said what I wanted to say, and I returned to the party.

Detective Murphy: Did you know anything about Dr. Pace's personal life?

Laurence Bricker: I make it a point to stay out of my colleagues' affairs.

Detective Murphy: Do you know Paul Evans, her boyfriend?

Laurence Bricker: I believe he was there the night of the evening. I believe he disappeared down into the basement or somewhere.

Detective Murphy: So you don't really know him.

Laurence Bricker: No.

Detective Murphy: Do you know Becky Pace, her sister?

Laurence Bricker: No.

Detective Murphy: Do you know anything about any of her close friends or acquaintances?

Laurence Bricker: Since I don't make it a habit to lurk in the local bars, swilling beer and screaming at the top of my lungs, I wouldn't say I know any of her friends.

Detective Armstrong: Have you heard any rumors that Dr. Pace might have been involved in a sexual relationship with one of her students?

Laurence Bricker: One hears all types of things when on a college campus, but honestly, I've heard those types of things about a number of my colleagues.

Detective Armstrong: So you didn't believe the stories when Dr. Pace was involved?

Laurence Bricker: I don't know. However, her lifestyle certainly made her an easy target for those types of allegations.

Detective Murphy: Did you ever hear about a student stalking her?

Laurence Bricker: No, I have not heard of that. Unfortunately, again, with her lifestyle, I wouldn't be surprised to hear such allegations. We're dealing with very impressionable young men and women here. If we, as professors, don't maintain some professional distance, then certainly such things can happen.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time that you saw Kimberly Pace?

Laurence Bricker: I saw her in Bishop Hall on the Friday prior to her being found dead.

Detective Murphy: What did you two talk about?

Laurence Bricker: We didn't discuss anything. I was thinking about my next lecture. Tolstoy.

Detective Murphy: Do you know where she was going?

Laurence Bricker: I certainly was not privy to the details of her day-to-day activities. However, if pressed to speculate, I would say she was leaving the building. I saw her walking in that direction

Detective Murphy: OK. Well, I think we're about wrapped up here. Can you think of anyone who might want to kill Dr. Pace?

Laurence Bricker: No, I cannot.

Detective Armstrong: You seem to have really low opinion of her yourself. You've said on more than one occasion that she embarrassed the reputation of the university – something you seem to hold in high regard. Did you want to see her dead?

Laurence Bricker: No, Detective. I did not want to see her dead. Although I did not approve of her, I certainly bore her no ill will.

Detective Murphy: OK, well, I'm sure we'll be talking again. Thanks for your time.

Detective Armstrong: You're free to go.

End interview 11:41 a.m.

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