Ed Harbison saw Jerry Shaw the day he died

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 2:05 p.m.

Ed Harbison is the son of Magnolia Harbison, a Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home resident. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at Yoknapatawpha Acres. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Ed Harbison

Detective Armstrong: Thanks for talking to us, Mr. Harbison. Would you please state your name and address for our records?

Ed Harbison: It's no problem. I'm sorry about my mother. She's… anyway, for your records, my name is Ed Harbison and I live here in Oxford at 1620 Garfield Avenue.

Detective Armstrong: Is that your mom's house?

Ed Harbison: No. Listen, don't mention it to her, but we had to sell the farm to help cover her expenses. It would break her heart if she knew.

Detective Armstrong: I see. Mr. Harbison, we were trying to talk to your mother about Jerry Shaw.

Ed Harbison: It didn't sound like it was going very well.

Detective Armstrong: No, not great. Did you know Jerry Shaw?

Ed Harbison: Yeah, I heard he had an accident the other day. I can't say I knew him that well. I saw him around when I came to visit my mother.

Detective Armstrong: Did you have much interaction with him?

Ed Harbison: I tried to talk to him, but he wasn't a very likeable fellow. He hated his job and showed it.

Detective Murphy: Do you know your mother's roommate?

Ed Harbison: Rose? Sure. She's a nice lady. Not all there anymore, but she's nice.

Detective Murphy: Did she or your mother ever say anything to you about being uncomfortable with Jerry?

Ed Harbison: What do you mean?

Detective Murphy: Like maybe they were uncomfortable with the way he touched them or something like that?

Ed Harbison: My mother would have told me if Jerry was doing anything like that. You probably noticed that she always speaks her mind.

Detective Armstrong: Uh, yeah.

Ed Harbison: Yeah, so my mother didn't like him. She always complained that when she needed something, he'd ignore her. But then, she complains about everybody. My mother hates being bedridden and not being able do anything for herself. I didn't want to move her here, but I didn't have a choice. We couldn't take care of her at home anymore, even if I could've found a caregiver she liked. I visit her as often as I can.

Detective Murphy: Were you here on Thursday when Jerry died?

Ed Harbison: Yes, I was. I checked in at the desk at about 2:30 and went to my mother's room.

Detective Armstrong: You were able to take time off in the middle of the day to visit your mom? Your boss must be really nice.

Ed Harbison: Well, my boss is me, so yeah, he's exceptionally nice.

Detective Murphy: Could you tell us what happened that day while you were here?

Ed Harbison: Sure. My mother was complaining about a clock she wanted hung on the wall. She said she'd asked Jerry to hang it for her, but he only said he'd do it later. I told her, if she would wait, I could bring the stuff to hang it the next time I visited. But my mother's stubborn, and she was determined to get that clock hung up that day.

Detective Murphy: What did she do?

Ed Harbison: I'd been here for about a half hour, and my mother paged Jerry to her room. He seemed agitated and told her he didn't have the time right then to hang the clock. She argued back and forth with him, and he told her when he got the time, he would find something to hang it with. Mom wasn't happy about it, but she let him leave.

Detective Murphy: And did the clock ever get hung?

Ed Harbison: I'm not sure. I didn't think to look for it when we were in Mom's room earlier.

Detective Murphy: Did you see Jerry again after that?

Ed Harbison: No.

Detective Murphy: What time did you leave the nursing home that day?

Ed Harbison: I stayed for about 45 or 50 minutes. I'm not quite sure of the time. I admit I got tired of hearing my mother fuss about that clock. I love her, but sometimes it's just… anyway, I had another small job to do late that afternoon, so that was my excuse to my mother for not staying longer.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anything out of the ordinary on your way in or out of the nursing home?

Ed Harbison: No, I don't recall anything unusual. Although… I signed in as usual at the front desk, like I told you before, but when I went to sign out, there wasn't anyone there. I just left. That was a little unusual, I guess. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

Detective Armstrong: About your mother, she got kind of upset when we were talking to her earlier. If we should need to talk to her again, would that be a problem?

Ed Harbison: I can't imagine she knows anything that could help you, but it'll be fine, if you really want to go through that again. What you saw earlier wasn't even that upset. Trust me.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Thanks again for talking to us. We'll let you get back to your mother now. Here's my card if you think of anything else.

Ed Harbison: Thank you, Detectives. Have a nice afternoon.

Interview ends - 2:26 p.m.

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