Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 10:47 AM
Clarence "Butch" Weaver is a 55-year-old white male. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness’s knowledge and consent.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- Detective Samantha Murphy
- Butch Weaver
Detective Armstrong: Please state your name and address for the record.
Butch Weaver: I'm Butch Weaver, and my address is 248 Mississippi 334.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why we asked you here today?
Butch Weaver: Word is you're interested in the Ole Miss Stores and Shops building.
Detective Murphy: That's right. We understand you recently retired after thirty years.
Butch Weaver: Actually, more than that. The thirty was straight through. Before that, I was part-time, and then I did whatever they wanted me to do, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Do remember any rooms being closed off?
Butch Weaver: Well, we were always moving hallways. We were always installing doors, inserting work sheds, you know. But the work was pretty much nonstop.
Detective Armstrong: Do you recognize any of the areas shown in these photographs?
Butch Weaver: Oh, gosh, no. You know, a hallway is pretty much a hallway, you know. And Ole Miss has more than a handful of buildings, if you know what I mean, so I mean, even if this – one of these was an exterior shot, I probably couldn't pick out which one it was.
Detective Murphy: Do you know Charley Jacobs?
Butch Weaver: Oh, yeah. Nice young kid. Is he in some kind of trouble?
Detective Murphy: Would you say you two are friends?
Butch Weaver: I don't know. We were work friends, I guess, but it's not like we're tight. Is he in some kind of trouble?
Detective Murphy: We just met him recently, and I was wondering what you thought of him.
Butch Weaver: Well, he's a real hard worker, real decent kid, but I mean, from my point of view, he's kind of a klutz, you know. Is he in some kind of trouble?
Detective Armstrong: Working over there for more than thirty years, you must've known Tomas Robards too.
Butch Weaver: Oh, Thomas – Tomas, yes. There's a name I haven't thought of in I don't know how long. You know, he died of a heart attack not so long ago, but yeah, I remember him. Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: That's too bad. What kind of guy was he?
Butch Weaver: Well, poor Thomas. He always wanted to work extra time – had to work extra time to hold on to that wife of his. She was a real – mmm.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean?
Butch Weaver: The guy was whipped. His wife was a piece of work, had him wrapped around her little finger. She was always running off with some young guy, but she always came back when she got bored or ran out of money. He took her back every time too. Dumbass. Anyway, the more money he had, the longer she'd stay around, so he worked a lot of overtime and extra shifts.
Detective Armstrong: Was that why he was working the day Kevin Gilmore's body was found?
Butch Weaver: Probably. Oh, yeah! I forgot he was the one who found the kid.
Detective Armstrong: Did he ever talk to you that day about finding the body?
Butch Weaver: Sure, I'll be really honest with you about that. I didn't – I just didn't like to talk to Tomas. I mean, he was a nice guy, but I mean, I – no matter where we started – I mean, we could be talking about that tree, baseball team, the sun, the weather, anything – it would always come around to his wife, you know. And I'm just not interested in that kind of thing. I'm that kind of a guy, you know?
Detective Armstrong: Were you working that day?
Butch Weaver: I'm sorry. What day was that?
Detective Armstrong: The day Kevin Gilmore's body was found?
Butch Weaver: No. No, no, no, no, no, I don't think so. That was a weekend, wasn't it? Anyway, I didn't – I, you know, I just didn't like working weekends, so I would exchange with people who liked the extra time, like Tomas, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Was Tomas working for you that day?
Butch Weaver: I mean, he could have, very well could have. But the truth is a lot of people liked to make extra money.
Detective Murphy: How do you find retirement?
Butch Weaver: To my liking, of course. But I keep my hand in.
Detective Murphy: At the university?
Butch Weaver: No, other places.
Detective Murphy: Such as where?
Butch Weaver: Hey, we're – I mean, we're just making conversation here, aren't we? I mean, is this a question I need to answer?
Detective Murphy: What's the difference?
Butch Weaver: I don't want to get anybody in trouble. My boss ... I don't think she files withholding.
Detective Armstrong: We're not the IRS.
Butch Weaver: But you probably know people, and I don't want to get anybody in trouble. Let's just say I work, but I don't punch in.
Detective Murphy: We can get back to that. When you were at Ole Miss, did you know Kevin Gilmore?
Butch Weaver: I mean, everybody knows that story, you know. But I mean, ninety-nine percent of what happens at Ole Miss gets swept under the rug. You know what I mean? The less the alumni and the parents know, the better. But would you want your kid going to a university where kids were offing themselves?
Detective Armstrong: Were you under the impression that Kevin Gilmore committed suicide?
Butch Weaver: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I'm just speaking in generalities here. No, I don't know. All I can say is that – I mean, there are rapes, assaults, suicides. I mean, big universities can be very dangerous places.
Detective Armstrong: Did you yourself ever feel in danger?
Butch Weaver: I meant for the students. Although I do remember stories about secretaries having problems. And theft was always an issue. When I first started, it was purses, tools. Now with laptops and electronics? Campus police probably respond to more calls than you do.
Detective Armstrong: In all your years at Ole Miss, did you ever hear anybody talking about walling up a room, or a room that used to be there, or a mistake in the blueprints?
Butch Weaver: Blueprints, blueprints. Well, I can tell you this. Those blueprints, they were never updated, you know. I mean, nothing was ever noted about what was done, who did it, why they wanted it to have done. I mean, frankly, blueprint-wise, it was a mess.
Detective Murphy: You ever hear strange noises when you were alone on campus buildings?
Butch Weaver: No. You mean like ghosts?
Detective Murphy: We've been told some employees thought the Shops and Stores building was haunted.
Butch Weaver: The only buildings that scared me on campus were the dorms. If walls could talk, the stories they'd tell.
Detective Armstrong: We've also heard there's some guy with a scythe who cuts down anyone who goes too close to the pot farm.
Butch Weaver: Everybody loves a good urban legend. Listen, I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but all I know about that room they found is what I read in the newspapers.
Detective Murphy: I saw you're driving new Escalade. That under-the-table job must pay well.
Butch Weaver: My ride's a 2010.They're already selling 2012 models. Heck, I'm sure some car maker is shilling a 2013.It's all about the marketing.
Detective Murphy: So where is it you work?
Butch Weaver: Not to go beyond these walls, right?
Detective Armstrong: We don't like the IRS any more than you do.
Butch Weaver: I work over at The Juke Joint, doing stuff.
Detective Murphy: Stuff?
Butch Weaver: You know, people calling in sick, and they ask me to come in and cover up whatever it is. I'm happy. Everybody's happy.
Detective Armstrong: So you must know Rhonda Pendergrass.
Butch Weaver: Oh, well, I mean, you know, she's my boss. She's the best, yeah.. How do you know her?
Detective Armstrong: Some people think you know her better than that.
Butch Weaver: Oh yeah? Who would that be?
Detective Armstrong: Have you two ever had an intimate relationship?
Butch Weaver: Why do you want to know?
Detective Armstrong: It's what we do. We ask questions.
Butch Weaver: You been talking to that ex-husband of hers? Geez. He thought she was knocking knees with every guy she ever talked to. No.
Detective Armstrong: Was she?
Butch Weaver: Hell, no. That guy was just a jealous asshole. Why do you think they got divorced?
Detective Armstrong: I don't know. Why did they get divorced?
Butch Weaver: Because he was a crazy, jealous asshole.
Detective Armstrong: You seem to know a lot about it.
Butch Weaver: Man, don't twist it around like that. Me and Rhonda have been friends a long time. She's a good woman and that guy treated her like crap. That's why she dumped him. No other reason.
Detective Murphy: Did she have an affair with Kevin Gilmore?
Butch Weaver: Nah. I mean, he was just a kid. No way.
Detective Murphy: You said you didn't know Kevin.
Butch Weaver: I know Rhonda. She didn't have an affair with some kid from the university.
Detective Murphy: Did her husband think she did?
Butch Weaver: Yeah, probably. I mean, he thought she was having affairs with every guy she talked to.
Detective Murphy: Do you think he might have something to do with Kevin because of that?
Butch Weaver: He was a blowhard, well, son of a bitch. I mean, he would yell at people for hours if they'd let him, but he didn't have the balls –
Detective Murphy: Yes?
Butch Weaver: He – I don't know. You know, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he did it. It really wouldn't.
Detective Murphy: What do you think happened to Kevin Gilmore then?
Butch Weaver: What happens to any of them?
Detective Armstrong: Right. Thanks for coming in. We'll be in touch.
Interview ended: 11:05 AM