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Witness Interview: Vincent Fischer, victim's probation officer
 

Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 9:35 a.m.

The witness, identified as Andrea Stover's probation officer, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was conducted by Det. Sam Murphy and Det. Ted Armstrong, and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
VF = Vincent Fischer

SM: Hi, Vincent. How are you today?

VF: Good. How are you two?

TA: Doing all right.

SM: For the record, could you please state your name and address?

VF: I'm Vincent Fischer and I live at 407 Timber Lane.

SM: And how did you know Andrea Stover?

VF: I was her probation officer.

TA: How long had you worked with Andrea?

VF: I've been the only person assigned to her case. I got her right when she was released, back in December.

SM: So you hadn't really been monitoring her case for very long?

VF: No, not really.

SM: What were your impressions of Andrea?

VF: She was all right. Real smart and real opinionated. She could be a royal pain in the ass when she wanted to be. She never could understand why she got in trouble in the first place. She was always going on about art this and art that.

TA: Did you ever see any of her work?

VF: The plays? Nah, I'm not much of one for plays myself. I'll go down to the mall and see a movie every now and then, but I don't usually take in no plays.

SM: How often did Andrea report in to your office?

VF: Once a week. Generally, what I do is, see, to get the people to come in real regular at the beginning of their parole or probation, as the case may be. After a few months, if they prove their doing all right, then we can cut back some. Some of my guys only come in once a month, or even once every two months.

SM: Any problems? Did she miss any appointments or anything?

VF: No, none.

TA: Did you ever notice her talking to any of your other cases?

VF: A little bit. Sometimes they'll all sit out there in the waiting room and bellyache about having to report in. The druggies all sit there and bitch about having to pee in a cup. They all basically got the same story about life screwing 'em over and all that. You know, it ain't their fault. They all sit out there and talk. But I was aware of her hanging around Jim Taylor more. They hung out some outside of the office.

SM: Who's he?

VF: He's a guy I got back in September of 2001. Put some time on the books for abusing his daughter.

SM: What did you think about their relationship? Did you think it was a good thing or bad thing?

VF: I don't really know. Some POs like for their cases to spend time together. They think it helps 'em out. Gives 'em support, you know. Kinda like AA or something. Others don't much care for it. They think that criminals together just scheme and get into more trouble. I hadn't really decided what I thought about Andrea and Jim.

SM: Did Andrea ever talk about being afraid for her safety?

VF: Not that I recall. She didn't really open up too much. I went out of my way to be friendly to her, to try to help her. But she was too snobby, too artsy.

TA: Now, look, Vince. This is kind of difficult, but we've got to ask it anyhow, did you try to start any type of sexual relationship with Andrea?

VF: Of course not!

SM: Well, we heard that you did. We heard you were pretty blunt about your interest in her.

VF: That's a damn lie. Why would I want to run around with a convict?

TA: I don't know... she's a sex offender. Puts on dirty plays. Might be fun, right?

VF: You're outta your mind.

SM: Your records show that she's not the only way case that has claimed you sexually harassed them.

VF: And they're all liars too.

TA: All of them? They all are telling similar stories and it's just coincidence that they made them up?

VF: This is crazy. I'd expect you guys to be sympathetic in a situation like this. You know what kind of animals these people are. You know how they get together and talk. You ask any dope fiend in this town and he can tell you who the lenient judges are and which cops will smack people around. They all talk. And they all scheme and plot to hurt good, upstanding people.

SM: So, you're the victim of a criminal conspiracy. All these women are just trying to get you in trouble?

VF: That's exactly right. They don't like it that I'm hard on 'em. Some POs look the other way to missed appointments and failed drug tests. I don't. So they don't like me.

TA: If it's just because you're tough, then why haven't the men complained about you too? It only seems to be women who struggle with your toughness.

VF: I don't know. You'd have to ask them.

TA: Let's float this one by you and see what you think. Andrea Stover was a pretty good-looking woman. She's done time as a sex offender, acts in dirty plays. Almost like a porn star in some people's mind. She's reporting to you and one day you get a little too friendly. Put your hands places and make offers. She refuses and threatens to report you. You've been reported too many times in the past. You can't let her make that report or you'll lose your job–

VF: Now you just wait a damned minute! I didn't have nothing to do with that woman's death.

SM: Sure about that, Vincent? Well, then do you have any ideas about people who might want to kill Andrea?

VF: You should talk to that Jim Taylor.

TA: Why would he want to kill Andrea?

VF: I don't know, but anyone who would abuse their own kid has got to be sick. He'll likely do anything.

SM: Oh we'll talk to him. But that's pretty weak–

VF: Ain't no more weak then you two insulting me by thinking I'd mess around with some damn convict or that I'd kill the skank.

TA: Where were you on the Sunday night, early Monday morning of the murder?

VF: I was at home, with my wife.

TA: And she'll verify that if we ask her?

VF: You better believe it.

SM: All right. Thanks for your time, Vincent.

VF: I don't know what this department is coming to when police officers turn against parole and probation staff. You guys seem to care more about the scum than your own co-workers.

SM: Just doing our job.

TA: Doing our job in a professional manner too, I might add.

End interview 10:07 a.m.

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