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Frannie Grace follow-up interview

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 11:00 a.m.

At the sheriff department's request, Frannie Grace agreed to be hypnotized to see if she could remember anything more about the night Monica Drum was murdered. Detective Murphy had worked with hypnotherapist Sandy Smith in the past and contacted her to conduct the session with Frannie Grace. Ms. Smith has a practice in Jackson and has been a hypnotherapist for 15 years. She is affiliated with the American Council of Hypnotherapists and the National Guild of Hypnotherapists. The session was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Frannie Grace
  • Sandy Smith, hypnotherapist

Sandy Smith: Mrs. Grace, my is Sandy Smith, and I'm a hypnotherapist. The detectives have asked me to talk with you and help you remember any information that may be of use to them. Are you willing to be hypnotized?

Frannie Grace: I guess so, but I'm a little nervous. Have you been doing this for long? Can you do anything bad to me while I'm hypnotized?

Sandy Smith: I've been doing it for about 15 years. There's no need to be nervous. You may have heard that some people can be left in hypnosis, but that simply isn't true. If I were to leave you for very long, you would just fall asleep and wake up as you normally do. You also can't be compelled to do anything while hypnotized that you wouldn't do normally. There's nothing to be afraid of. Hypnosis is just a heightened state of relaxation. I often work with police departments and have been very successful with retrieving information that the subjects think isn't there. Everything you see, hear, and do is stored in your subconscious mind, somewhat like a computer. All we have to do is to get the computer to tell us what we need.

Frannie Grace: Well, it sounds like you know what you're doing.

Sandy Smith: Yes, I do, and you're very safe with me. Det. Murphy is going sit in with us in case any questions come up that the detectives would like me to ask. You will only respond to my voice though. Is that OK?

Frannie Grace: I reckon that makes sense. Let's go ahead and do it before I lose my nerve.

Sandy Smith: OK, Mrs. Grace, I'm going to take you through a relaxation process. Close your eyes and put your hands on the arms of the chair. Spread your feet a little apart and relax. I want you to imagine the muscles in your feet going loose limp and relaxed. Now the muscles in your ankles and calves, loose, limp. Like a handful of loose rubber bands. Around the knees and the long thigh muscles loose, limp and so relaxed. The muscles in the hips and lower back, loose, limp, and so relaxed. The muscles in the abdomen loose and limp. The muscles chest and upper back, so relaxed. Even if you wanted to move you couldn't. The muscles in the shoulders and neck loose and limp, so relaxed. The muscles in the face even around the eyes, loose, limp, and so relaxed. The muscles in the forehead and scalp so relaxed. Now, Mrs. Grace, you are so relaxed. All your cares and worries are far away. Nothing can bother you here. It's your time to just relax, relax and feel calm, serene, so peaceful. I'm going to ask you in a moment to open your eyes. Even when you open your eyes, you will stay relaxed. On the count of 3, open your eyes and stay relaxed. 1, 2, 3, open. Now, Mrs. Grace, I'd like you to focus your eyes for just a moment on the ring on my hand. Take a deep breath and exhale. That's good. Now take another deep breath. Good. Exhale and just relax. Now take a third deep breath and exhale. Feel your body relaxing and just letting go. It feels so good to just let go and relax. Follow my words, and there's nothing to prevent you from going into a deep state of hypnosis. I am now going to count from 5 to 1 and on the count of 1 you will be in a very peaceful state of hypnosis with your eyes closed. 5 - Eyes are getting very tired and droopy. 4 - Those tired eyes are wanting to close down now. Lazy, droopy and relaxed. 3 - Every blink is a sign that those eyes are wanting to just close down and relax. Lazy, droopy and so relaxed. 2 - Closing, closing, closing....closed. 1 - Sleep deeply now and relax. Just relax, Mrs. Grace. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions, and you'll respond with a verbal answer. What is your name?

Frannie Grace: Frannie Hayes Grace

Sandy Smith: And what is your address?

Frannie Grace: 102 Nelson Circle

Sandy Smith: Mrs. Grace, as you relax and go deeper with each sound you hear, I want you to imagine yourself sitting in a soft comfortable chair in front of a movie screen. In your hand, you have a remote control. On that remote, you have the ability to fast forward, stop the picture and zoom in. I want you to now picture the night Ms. Drum was shot. You're standing in the Eagle parking lot. Do you see yourself on the movie screen?

Frannie Grace: Yes, I do.

Sandy Smith: What do you see, Mrs. Grace?

Frannie Grace: I see some cars.

Sandy Smith: Can you see what kind of cars they are?

Frannie Grace: I sure can. There's Ernie's Jimmy and my Chevy Impala, and I think that one over there is Shawn Sharp's sports car, and I see a blue and white pickup.

Sandy Smith: I'd like you to use the remote to stop the picture here and focus on the pickup now. What can you tell me about the pickup?

Frannie Grace: Well, it's kinda dirty. Got a dent in the back tailgate like they backed into a tree or something. It's got them girly mud flaps too. Looks like it hasn't been washed in awhile. It's got one of those gun racks in the rear window. And it has a few bumper stickers. One says "This Vehicle Protected by Smith & Wesson."

Sandy Smith: Can you see the license plate?

Frannie Grace: Yes, I can. It's kinda dirty too, but I can make out the numbers 2266 on there.

Sandy Smith: Can you tell what state the plate is from?

Frannie Grace: Mississippi.

Sandy Smith: That's good, Mrs. Grace. That's very good. Now, Mrs. Grace, I want you to continue to relax. I am going to be silent for a moment. Remember you will respond only to my voice.

Sandy Smith: Det. Murphy, do you have any more questions?

Detective Murphy: Can you ask her if she hears or sees anything around her?

Sandy Smith: Mrs. Grace, fast forward the picture a little ways and notice what is around you. Do you see or hear anything?

Frannie Grace: I see a shadow behind the truck, but I can't see what it is.

Sandy Smith: Can you make out the shape of the shadow?

Frannie Grace: It looks like someone squatting down. I'm scared.

Sandy Smith: There's nothing to be afraid of, Mrs. Grace. You're safe and nothing can harm you here.

Frannie Grace: I think they saw me. The shadow is gone now.

Sandy Smith: Do you hear anything?

Frannie Grace: I hear a dog barking. And it sounds like someone is running away from me, towards the Eagle's back door. I hear a door being opened and shut, real soft like. Like they don't want no one to know they're there. Something's going on. I don't like it one bit.

Sandy Smith: Mrs. Grace, go back to the truck. Can you tell what kind of truck it is?

Frannie Grace: Yes it's an older Chevy Silverado. The C is missing in the Chevrolet.

Sandy Smith: Do you see anyone in the truck?

Frannie Grace: No, no one in the truck.

Sandy Smith: Where are you parked in reference to the truck?

Frannie Grace: Right close. I have to walk by it to get to my car.

Sandy Smith: OK, Mrs. Grace. I'd like you to now walk towards your car. Are you close to the truck?

Frannie Grace: Yes, I'm right behind it.

Sandy Smith: Do you see anything in the bed of the truck?

Frannie Grace: Just a bunch of beer cans and some old clothes, it looks like. Kinda dirty if you ask me. And a spare tire. Looks flat.

Sandy Smith: OK, Mrs. Grace, that's good. Can you see into the cab of the truck?

Frannie Grace: Yes, I can. Looks like a holster or something on the seat and some bullets laying around.

Detective Murphy: That's enough.

Sandy Smith: OK, Mrs. Grace, you've done very well. In a moment, I'm going to count from 1 to 5 and bring you to full awareness, feeling wonderfully refreshed. 1 - Slowly now, gently begin returning to full awareness once again. 2 - You feel perfect in every way. Physically perfect, mentally perfect, emotionally calm, serene and confident. 3 - You feel a stirring surge of energy, becoming more aware of your physical body, and all your senses are alive and responsive. 4 - Your eyes begin to feel sparkling clear, and your entire body refreshed and relaxed. You feel wonderfully good. 5 - Fully aware. Take a deep breath and stretch. You are fully aware.

Detective Murphy: Thank you, Mrs. Grace

Frannie Grace: I sure hope I was of some help to you. Don't remember a thing though.

Interview ends - 11:57 a.m.

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