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Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 4:30 p.m.

Why doesn't Carol Fitch know what time she left that night?Carol Fitch has been the English department's senior secretary for many years and was at the Rowan Oak event the night before Douglas Reed's body was found. Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Carol Fitch

Detective Murphy: Good morning, Ms. Fitch. Thanks for coming in again.

Carol Fitch: Morning, detectives. I must say this is a bit of a surprise.

Detective Murphy: And what is it that you find so surprising?

Carol Fitch: I thought we had everything neatly wrapped up during our last interview.

Detective Murphy: Not quite as neat as we would have liked. Now, would you please state your name and address for the record?

Carol Fitch: Carol Fitch, 665 North 14th Street.

Detective Parker: Ms. Fitch, you're a career-minded woman, right?

Carol Fitch: Yes, detective. Excuse me, but where exactly are you going with this?

Detective Parker: Just hear me out. I'm sure there have been times when your job requires you to work long hours, sometimes late into the night?

Carol Fitch: Yes, oftentimes I'm the last one to leave the building. Being Senior Secretary of the entire English Department can be quite demanding.

Detective Parker: As a single woman, I'm sure you've taken precautions to protect yourself when walking to your car alone at night. Correct?

Carol Fitch: Yes…

Detective Parker: Do you perhaps own a gun?

Carol Fitch: Not at all, detectives. I disapprove of gun violence.

Detective Parker: In that case, what about pepper spray?

Carol Fitch: As a matter of fact, I always keep some in my purse.

Detective Murphy: Do you have your pepper spray on you right now, Ms. Fitch?

Carol Fitch: Yes, I do.

Detective Murphy: May we see it?

Carol Fitch: Actually, I just remembered that I seem to have misplaced my last one.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember when you last saw it?

Carol Fitch: Sometime in the last three weeks or so. It must have fallen out as I was getting in or out of my car.

Detective Parker: You wouldn't happen to have lost it at the Mid-Town Shopping Center?

Carol Fitch: I don't think so, detectives.

Detective Parker: But you are familiar with the shopping center?

Carol Fitch: Yes, I live right by it.

Detective Parker: I only ask because we received a report last week about a student from Oxford High accidentally pepper-spraying her entire homeroom class. Apparently she found it in the Mid-Town Shopping Center parking lot and thought it was empty.

Carol Fitch: That's… simply awful. Children these days can be so reckless.

Detective Murphy: You wouldn't happen to know anything about that incident, would you, Ms. Fitch?

Carol Fitch: Of course not. This is the first I've ever heard of it.

Detective Murphy: What about Goolsby's Yard and Garden? Are you familiar with it, Ms. Fitch?

Carol Fitch: Did a high school student find pepper spray there as well?

Detective Murphy: No need to be sarcastic, Ms. Fitch. We're just trying to cover all bases. So?

Carol Fitch: You're talking about the nursery on South Lamar by the auto repair shop, yes?

Detective Murphy: That's the one.

Carol Fitch:  I go there occasionally to pick up plants for my herb garden.

Detective Parker: How often is occasionally?

Carol Fitch: Maybe once or twice a month.

Detective Parker: Let's backtrack for a minute. You mentioned disapproving of gun violence. Do you know anyone who owns a gun?

Carol Fitch: Well, I know that Doug Reed had one.

Detective Parker: Really? How did you come by this information? Based on your last interview, I assumed the two of you hadn't been too close.

Carol Fitch: We weren't, but pretty much everyone in the English Department knew about Doug's "Smoke Stick." That's what he called his handful. Guess it was another part of his macho-man act.

Detective Parker: Did you ever see the gun?

Carol Fitch: Weapons aren't allowed on campus. If I'd seen him with the gun, I would have reported him.

Detective Murphy: To your knowledge, did Mr. Reed ever threaten anyone with his gun?

Carol Fitch: No. But then again, he didn't need the gun to threaten other people.

Detective Murphy: Can you please elaborate on that?

Carol Fitch: Like I said in my previous interview, Doug was a bit of a bully to people he deemed not useful. He always threatened to report Jill, and actually followed through on a couple of occasions. Not to mention his TA, Monte – Marcos, that is – was terrified of him.

Detective Parker: Ms. Fitch, what do you know of Mr. Reed's relationship with Mr. Marcos?

Carol Fitch: Not too much, but whenever the two of them were together, it was plain to see that Monte was trying his best to stay out of Doug's way. That and I overheard him confiding to Jill once that Doug kept stealing his ideas, or something like that.

Detective Parker: Do you think Mr. Marcos was resentful enough to kill Mr. Reed?

Carol Fitch: No, I highly doubt it. Monte seems like a settled young man. He just doesn't strike me as a killer.

Detective Parker: What about Ms. Osborne? You mentioned that she was Mr. Reed's favorite target.

Carol Fitch: Absolutely not. I've known Jill as a close friend and colleague for many years now. She would never do such a thing.

Detective Murphy: Such a thing as what?

Carol Fitch: Shoot Doug at point blank, as your partner here was suggesting.

Detective Murphy: And yourself, Ms. Fitch? You had no great love for Mr. Reed, it seems. Did you ever want to see him dead?

Carol Fitch: Please, detective. Mr. Reed had as many enemies as he had friends. If everyone he ever offended had been out to kill him, it wouldn't have taken this long.

Detective Parker: Next order of business, Ms. Fitch. We need to corroborate some alibis. Can you tell us when and where you last saw Mr. Marcos on July 21st?

Carol Fitch: I last spotted Monte at Rowan Oak. We said hi when the buffet dinner started at 6:00 p.m. I didn't get a chance to speak to him after that, though I'm almost certain that he was still there before I left.

Detective Parker: And what time was that?

Carol Fitch: Sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Detective Parker: Did anyone else leave at that time?

Carol Fitch: Well, yes, I left together with Jill Osborne.

Detective Murphy: According to your last interview, Ms. Fitch, you left Rowan Oak at 9:00 p.m. that night.

Carol Fitch: Then it must have been 9:00 p.m. I apologize. It's been a few weeks, and my memory isn't what is used to be.

Detective Murphy: What would you say if I told you that, according to Ms. Osborne, the two of you left at 9:30 p.m.?

Carol Fitch: Oh, well… The poor girl did have a rough a time of it after her confrontation with Doug. She was probably confused. But I'm sure now that we left Rowan Oak at 9:00 p.m. on the night of the 21st.

Detective Parker: Ms. Fitch, can you explain how multiple witnesses claimed to have seen you and Ms. Osborne at Rowan Oak as late as 10:00 p.m. on the night of July 21st?

Carol Fitch: I… haven't the faintest idea. By then, Jill and I were already at her house. Maybe your witnesses have confused us for other people. At 10:00 p.m. that night we would have already been on our second round of cocktails.

Detective Parker: Cocktails? Or wine?

Carol Fitch: Detectives, I fail to see how my choice of drink is relevant to a murder investigation. It's been a long day. Perhaps the next time we speak, you should contact my lawyer first. Am I free to go?

Detective Parker: You are technically free to leave at any time, Ms. Fitch.

Interview ended: 5:11 p.m.

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