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Interview: Tate Moore, performer

Wednesday, February 13, 2002, 3:52p.m.

The witness was identified as a occasional participant in Oxtales. He was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded on a portable video tape recorder with the witness’s knowledge and consent.

SM= Det. Sam Murphy
TA= Det. Ted Armstrong
TM= Tate Moore

SM: Thanks for coming in. Good to see you again.

TM: Yeah, I reckon. I mean, you guys have done right by me, but I’m tired of coming in here talkning about dead people.

SM: I’m sure. But you really were helpful in solving the Michaelis murder at Rowan Oak. Maybe you can help us out again.

TM: I’ll be glad to do what I can.

SM: Okay, just for the record, can you please state your name and address?

TM: My name is Tate Moore and I live on 603 Tyler and that's right here in Oxford.

SM: And where are you employed?

TM: I pick up work wherever I can get it. Mainly though, I work with the University as a groundskeeper and I work with my band, the Kudzu Kings.

SM: Have you ever worked with the theater group Oxtales?

TM: Sure.

TA: How have you been involved with them?

TM: Just small parts here and there. Nothing major.

SM: How did you hook up with the group?

TM: Oxford’s a small town, you know? ‘Specially the arts scene. So I met Andrea Stover somewheres along the line and she asked me to help out.

TA: What was the nature of your relationship with Andrea?

TM: Oh we were just buddies. She could match any man drink for drink.

SM: Do you know if Andrea was seeing anyone in the group?

TM: Well, she used to go out with Frank Tuttle, back before she went in. I don’t know if there was anybody else.

SM: Did that relationship cause any problems in the group?

TM: Not really. Least not that I could see, I wasn’t around them that much. But I know Sheila Love had the hots for Frank and she kind of pined away for him while he was seeing Andrea. They got together while Andrea was away.

SM: How did Andrea get along with the different members of Oxtales?

TM: Well, I mean, I guess she got along alright. She's pretty demanding. She'd butt heads a couple times with Dale King and sometimes she'd want us to rewrite stuff. Ethan would get mad at her. Other than that, everyone pretty much got along with her I guess.

SM: How was your relationship with Andrea?

TM: In the group or outside?

SM: When you were working with Oxtales.

TM: Oh, okay. We’ll we got along all right. As I said, she could be pretty demanding. Sometimes it would start to get on my nerves, but I would remind myself that I was just sort of a visitor. Just temporary help. It’s a whole lot easier to put up with somebody when you don’t have to deal with them all the time.

TA: What about outside Oxtales? Your personal relationship with Andrea.

TM: We got along pretty good. She was a lot of fun. When we were just hanging out, her opinions were fun. The group would get in some kinds of arguments. Always fun arguments. If you had to work for her, the opinions were a bit much, but if you were hanging out, they were a lot of fun.

SM: Were you involved in the “Snopes” production?

TM: Yeah. I just had a small part though, I mean, it wasn't anything. I did a little stagework.

TA: You weren’t prosecuted for “Snopes.” What did you think of Andrea’s refusal to plea bargain or to improve her case in anyway.

TM: I thought it was a little extreme. But I can’t say I was surprised. Those opinions remember? She wasn’t about to bow down to the establishment.

SM: What did you think about all the controversy over that play? All the press coverage and the community uproar.

TM: Well, I personally thought it was stupid. all the sexy stuff was not–it wasn't that bad. It was just a play and you could just as well attack the cable company for stuff they do that was way worse than what was going on in there. But that’s kind of the way it is here.

TA: What do you mean?

TM: Oxford’s a weird place. It seems really artsy and really liberal and all. But every once in a while, it will snap back and get real conservative real quick. As an artist, it’s sometimes hard to know what the boundaries are here. There’s a real good painter works at Ole Miss and his paintings all sell for thousands of dollars. He’s had several exhibitions at Southside. Most of his work is of nude women. And everyone just loves ‘em. A buddy of mine, he’s a photographer. His work is just as good, but he can’t sell a one. He tried to get a booth at the Double Decker arts festival and Claire Windham just flat told him he couldn’t participate. Said his work was disgusting. It’s no worse than that painter, but they wouldn’t let him do nothing. Oxford can be that way.

SM: Have you participated in any other productions since that one?

TM: Not too much. I’ve been really busy with my band and stuff. I did some of the lighting for “Black Boy in the Closet” but I haven’t done any acting with them.

SM: Do you know anything about the current production?

TM: Nah. I was going to drop by and watch rehearsal sometime but I just never got around to it.

SM: Do you think the group supports Dale King as director?

TM: I think so. He’s an all right guy, not as harsh as Andrea. I’ve heard that they did really good work while she was away.

TA: Who do you think was the better director?

TM: I can’t really say for sure. I never did too much work with them when Dale was leading the show.

SM: Did you know that Andrea had a fear of heights?

TM: Yeah, we discussed it a actually couple different times. I remember one time we were at my drummer’s house and we were talking about St. Louis for some reason. And we got to talking about the Arch. She said she'd gone and visited it with her family but she wouldn't go up.

TA: Do you have any idea why she would have gone up on the skywalks at Oxford Centre?

TM: Not really. Some people around town have said that she was thinking of staging a piece there. But I don’t know for myself.

SM: Do you know how Andrea was handling her probation? Was it going well for her?

TM: I’m not real sure. I hadn’t really talked to her since she got back. I been really busy and all so I hadn’t sat down and had a real conversation with her. I’d seen her a few times at Proud Larry’s and stuff but it was always in a crowd.

SM: Do you have any theories about who might have wanted to kill Andrea?

TM: None at all. I’ve thought a lot about it and I guess all those COP people and stuff might be good suspects. But other than that, I don’t really have any specifics.

SM: Okay, Tate, you know we’ve gotta ask this. Where were you on the night of Sunday, January 13th?

TM: Probably rehearsal and then bed. We had a gig in Arkansas on the 17th and left on the 16th. So I’m sure we were working on some tunes. It’s kind of like cramming before exams, you know.

SM: Okay, thanks for your time.

Interview ends 4:26p.m.

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