Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 3:00 p.m.
The witness, Jordan Rodale, was the victim's brother.
Sheriff's Detectives Sam Murphy and Ted Armstrong interviewed Mr.
Rodale at his residence, 910 Old Taylor Road.
Det. Samantha Murphy: For the record, would you
please state your name and address?
Jordan Rodale: My name is Jordan Lucius Rodale
and I reside at 910 Old Taylor Road.
Det. Samantha Murphy: You're aware of why we are
talking to you today?
Jordan Rodale: I would only assume that you are
here because of the death of Devlin Beauchamp.
Det. Samantha Murphy: What was your relationship
with the victim?
Jordan Rodale: He was my brother.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Why the different last name?
Jordan Rodale: Oh, my apologies. We were
Det. Samantha Murphy:Your
relationship to the
deceased seems to be a pretty well-kept secret. Even his business
partner didn't know who you are.
Jordan Rodale: Well, Devlin and I did not get
along, so I'm not surprised that he was reluctant to discuss me.
Det. Samantha Murphy: What did you two fight
Jordan Rodale:The usual things.
Det. Ted Armstrong: Like what usual things?
Jordan Rodale: In addition to the usual sibling
rivalries, there was the issue of my choice of lifestyle. Devlin was
not at all proud to have a homosexual for a brother. When he was
playing baseball, it seems his teammates and opponents often reminded
him of his brother, the sissy. Evidently, they also questioned his own
sexuality to antagonize him or to throw him off his game.
Det. Samantha Murphy: So your relationship has
always been difficult?
Jordan Rodale: Off and on. At times it was
difficult and at other times, you could just say it was distant. There
were quite a few years where Devlin went his way and I went mine. If we
bumped into each other at Kroger, we might say hello, but that was the
extent of things.
Det. Ted Armstrong: How would you characterize
the nature of your relationship when your brother was murdered?
Difficult or distant?
Jordan Rodale: Probably difficult. You see, for
all those years that we didn't really have any contact, it was easy. He
did his thing and I did mine. There was very little contact, therefore,
very little turmoil. However, when our mother passed away some years
ago, we began to try and reconcile our differences. Naturally, that
period of re-building got tense at times. But, we were trying.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Mr. Rodale, our office
called you as soon as we learned about you being the brother of the
victim. But you didn't respond until today, more than a week after we
called you. Why?
Jordan Rodale: My assistant took your message
while I was in New York for a business trip. He must have assumed it
wasn't that important and figured I would contact you when I returned
Det. Ted Armstrong: So, a phone call from the
Sheriff's Office doesn't seem important?
Jordan Rodale: You have to understand. My time in
New York was very hectic. And the message didn't exactly say what the
nature of the phone call was. You didn't leave a great deal of
information. But, mainly, I was just busy. Yes, very, very hectic. And
I'm sure that he felt like he was doing the right thing. Not
interrupting my business.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Tell us about this
Jordan Rodale: What about him? His name is
Vincent Jones. I have employed him for several years now.
Det. Samantha Murphy: What kind of work does he
do for you?
Jordan Rodale: He performs a variety of tasks. He
helps with everything from researching my literary pursuits to going to
the grocery store. He runs my office and waters my plants when I'm gone.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Has the nature of your
relationship with Mr. Jones always been professional?
Jordan Rodale: I'm not sure I understand what
you're asking. He has been in my employ for several years. I told you
Det. Samantha Murphy: And that is for doing this
general helping out kind of work he does?
Jordan Rodale: Yes, Detective Murphy. He helps me
out and I pay him. That's all I have to say on the matter. He is very
talented and can do just about anything I ask him. Whether it's balance
my checkbook or paint my deck. And, yes, it's all professional.
Det. Ted Armstrong: So what the hell? How
professional is your office? You guys don't think messages from the
Sheriff's Department are important? What kind of business trip was this
Jordan Rodale: As I said, Detective Armstrong, I
was extremely busy with extremely important business. I was meeting
with my literary agent and my editor. There were meetings with the
marketing people at my publishing company. Always something going on.
Det. Samantha Murphy: How did you find out about
your brother's death?
Jordan Rodale: My assistant picked me up at the
airport and told me.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Pardon me for saying this,
but you talk about grief yet you don't seem terribly upset.
Jordan Rodale: We have discussed the relationship
my brother and I had. It's not as though we were close. You mentioned
that none of his friends knew about me, well, I had no knowledge of
them either. I don't know who he associated with, what he did with his
time. In many ways, he was a stranger to me.
Det. Samantha Murphy: So, when exactly was the
last time that you saw your brother?
Jordan Rodale: It was actually the day he died.
He and I met for a late lunch at Figgy's.
Det. Samantha Murphy: How long were you at
Jordan Rodale: I don't exactly recall. It was a
couple of hours. After we ate, we had a couple of cups of coffee.
Det. Samantha Murphy: What did you talk about
Jordan Rodale: Nothing in particular. Just
Det. Ted Armstrong: Then
Jordan Rodale: I don't know where Devlin went. I
met my boyfriend and we went to Memphis.
Det. Samantha Murphy: What is your boyfriend's
Jordan Rodale: Bennett Estes Kauffman. He lives
Det. Samantha Murphy: Germantown, Tennessee?
Jordan Rodale: Yes. He's an architect at a firm
Det. Samantha Murphy: Before we leave today, I'd
like you to give us Mr. Kauffman's address and telephone number so we
can get in touch with him. Okay?
Jordan Rodale: Of course.
Det. Ted Armstrong: So did you meet your
boyfriend that day here in Oxford or in Memphis?
Jordan Rodale: He was in town for the weekend.
After I had lunch with Devlin, Bennett and I left for Memphis. My
flight to New York City for my business trip was extremely early in the
morning. So, we decided to get a head start. We checked into The Peabody at
about 6:00, went to dinner at Chez Philippe,
back at the hotel by 12:00.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Why did you stay at a hotel
when Mr. Kauffman lives in Memphis?
Jordan Rodale Well, he lives in Germantown,
which is a lot further away from the airport. I'm not much of a morning
person, so I wanted to be closer to the airport. And it is The Peabody,
after all. Have you ever stayed there?
Det. Samantha Murphy: No sir, I haven't had the
Jordan Rodale: Well, it's wonderful. Really. You
must try it.
Det. Ted Armstrong:L I'm sure that's true, Mr.
Rodale. Do you have witnesses who can confirm your activities in
Memphis on the night of January 2nd?
Jordan Rodale: Obviously, my boyfriend can vouch
for my whereabouts the entire night. When we returned to the Peabody, I
called downstairs to have room service bring up some wine and dessert.
The waiter who brought the food in the room talked to both me and my
boyfriend. You could talk to the waiters at the restaurant, the desk
clerks, anyone. Lots of people saw us.
Det. Ted Armstrong: And then you left the next
morning, Sunday morning, for this all important business trip, right?
Jordan Rodale: Correct. I was on a Delta flight
to JFK at 7:00 a.m. I can get the flight number for you.
Det. Ted Armstrong: Let me make sure I understand
the timeline here. You say you were in Memphis when your brother was
killed, then the next morning, you hopped a flight to New York where
you stayed for a couple of weeks on business, and returned to find out
that your brother had been killed?
Jordan Rodale: Yes, that's correct.
Det. Samantha Murphy: When our department was
going through your brother's house, we found three letters you wrote to
him. I believe they were dated late last year, like in November or
December of 2009. Do you remember these letters?
Jordan Rodale: Uh, no. I don't believe I do. You
see, I feel, you understand, that letter writing is a lost art. People
just don't take the time anymore. But, I correspond with a great deal
of people. So, that's why. Why I don't remember. Yes, there are so many
Det. Ted Armstrong: Well, in these letters, you
seemed pretty determined. These didn't seem to be casual, "hi, how are
you, I am fine" letters.
Jordan Rodale: Oh, yes. Now I think I remember.
Around that time, we were still dividing portions of our mother's
estate. So, the letters were probably about that. Typical family
dealings with property. It's unfortunate how these things can get,
don't you think? But, nothing out of the ordinary.
Det. Ted Armstrong: Just the usual stuff, huh? Do
you remember what you were trying to divide?
Jordan Rodale: Uh, I don't think there was
anything in particular. Our mother lived in that huge house for so
long. She accumulated so many possessions. For many years, we couldn't
face going through her things. Then, finally, we got around to it. So,
it could have been any number of items. Armoires, paintings, lamps. We
fought over the dining table quite a bit. So, yes. It could have been
any number of items.
Det. Ted Armstrong: What about your mother's
Jordan Rodale: That is a possibility, I suppose.
Look, I don't mean to be rude here, but you have the letters. Why
question me about the contents of documents that you have? I told you
that I write a great deal of letters and that I can't remember them
all. If there is something in there that you want to ask me about, ask
Det. Ted Armstrong: It seems that you were very
excited about your mother's journals. And that Devlin wouldn't give
them to you.
Jordan Rodale: Oh, yes. That was an issue between
us. But it's no big deal really. My mother said in the will that her
papers should be divided equally between us. However, Devlin snatched
up her journals and wouldn't part with them. He feels like journals are
his territory. Just because he scribbles down his trivial day in his
little book. And no one else is allowed around journals. I'm the writer
for christs sakes . But, his little hobby... Well, it was irritating,
but once again, just part of dividing up the estate. As I said, nothing
out of the ordinary.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Did you ever get the
journals, Mr. Rodale?
Jordan Rodale: Uh, no. I did not. As I said, it
was just one of those give and take things amongst families. Finally,
we agreed that he could keep the journals and I took a lovely
antebellum portrait of a great-uncle.
Det. Samantha Murphy: And that's it.
Jordan Rodale: Yes, that's it. But, since you
brought the matter up - could I have the journals if you found them? I
mean, that's something I meant to ask you. About my brother's property,
that is. What about all the things that were in his house? Everything.
I just mentioned the journals because we had been talking about them.
Det. Samantha Murphy: The house is a crime scene
right now. It has been sealed and all the contents are considered
evidence. Once the investigation is over, then the family and executors
can have Mr. Beauchamp's property.
Det. Ted Armstrong: That's about all of our
questions for now, Mr. Rodale. You're not planning any more business
trips are you?
Jordan Rodale: No, I'm not. And yes, officers, I
will stay in town in case you need me in the future.
Det. Samantha Murphy: Thank you.
Interview ended 3:30 p.m.