Thursday, September 20, 2012 – 11:00 a.m.
Joanna Grubman is married to Kurt Grubman, who works at the Harte Agency. Witnesses have said she is also Jeff Harte’s wife Elena’s best friend.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded with witness’s knowledge and consent.
Detective Murphy: Hello, Mrs. Grubman. For the record, could you please state your full name and address?
Joanna Grubman: My name is Joanna Grubman. You can call me Joanna, and I live at 1267 Horne Road.
Detective Armstrong: How are you today, Joanna?
Joanna Grubman: I’m all right.
Detective Murphy: Where do you work?
Joanna Grubman: Right now, I’m a domestic engineer. I’ve taken a few years off to raise my child. Once Isabelle starts school, I’ll return to work at the Hampton Inn.
Detective Armstrong: Domestic engineer, fancy title for a housewife?
Joanna Grubman: I am way more than a housewife. Have you any idea what my wages would be if you broke down what I do and then paid me for it? I guarantee you it would be more than you make. I’d wager substantially more at that.
Detective Murphy: I’m sure Detective Armstrong didn’t mean to offend. What was your position at the Inn?
Joanna Grubman: Clerk.
Detective Armstrong: What do you do in your spare time? Does your current job even allow you such a thing?
Joanna Grubman: You know what? I came in today to help you in your investigation about the murder. I don’t have to be here, and if you can’t curb your tongue, I will leave.
Detective Murphy: Don’t worry about him. Like you said, he has no clue what being a wife and mother is like. Joanna, what do you do in your spare time?
Joanna Grubman: I like to go horseback riding and I also hike. In my spare time.
Detective Armstrong: So, Wonder Woman, do you strap your child to your back and take her with you?
Joanna Grubman: I could! However, the little man gets to assume parenting duties while I pursue my outside interests. You men all seem to think that once you put in your eight hours, it’s time to kick back and relax. Thank God my Kurt isn’t like most of you.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah, thank god for that.
Detective Murphy: OK, it seems we got off on the wrong foot. Joanna came here to help, so let’s take her up on that. I’m sorry, Joanna. Let’s start afresh, shall we?
Joanna Grubman: I’m willing if he is. I won’t even demand an apology, even though I deserve one.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Grubman, we asked you here today to talk about Annette Wyatt. Several people have suggested that we talk to you.
Joanna Grubman: I can tell you right now that I did not like that disgrace to women. She is one of the reasons why so many men think all we are is a piece of meat. Kurt didn’t trust her, and I couldn’t stand her.
Detective Murphy: Did you have a personal reason to dislike her?
Joanna Grubman: She dated Jeff back when he was just getting started in real estate. He broke it off with her, but she never got over him. She flirted with him shamelessly, and he’s a married man!
Detective Murphy: Did she tell you she never got over him?
Joanna Grubman: Kurt thought so, and Elena had told me she felt that way also. Besides, I could tell whenever I saw Annette around Jeff.
Detective Armstrong: Annette was definitely a beautiful specimen of womankind. Why did you care? Jeff isn’t your husband.
Joanna Grubman: Oh, men! Jeff’s wife Elena is my best friend. Elena is a good woman, and of course she felt threatened by Annette.
Detective Murphy: How was Elena threatened? Explain what you mean by that, please.
Joanna Grubman: Well, as your male counterpart over here has said, men found Annette attractive. Of course Elena would be a little worried and perhaps jealous.
Detective Armstrong: Did Elena ever confront Annette?
Joanna Grubman: Anything else you want to know about Elena you can find out by asking her yourself.
Detective Murphy: Fair enough. Did you ever have words with Annette?
Joanna Grubman: Not really. I really wanted to, but Kurt asked me not to. To honor my husband’s request, I never said anything to her directly. I did however give her dirty looks and made comments to others about her when I knew she would hear me.
Detective Armstrong: How very obedient of you. I’m sure your husband is pleased. How often did you have the opportunity to see Jeff and Annette together?
Joanna Grubman: Several times. I’ve been married to Kurt for four years, and we dated before that. I have seen my share of Annette and her antics.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever have any type of conflict with Annette?
Joanna Grubman: I once bumped into her rather roughly while she was flirting with Elliott. She used her looks to lure men in.
Detective Armstrong: I don’t mean to be rude, but look at yourself. All that eye stuff and jewelry, don’t you do the same thing?
Joanna Grubman: Absolutely not! I wear all this because I like it. It makes me feel good. I have my man, and I’m faithful to him.
Detective Murphy: Who is Elliott?
Joanna Grubman: He’s a guy who sometimes works on the computers at the office. He fell victim to Annette. Kurt said he would just show up and follow her around like a puppy. I brought Kurt his lunch that day when I saw Annette leading Elliott on. It was ridiculous.
Detective Armstrong: Is it safe to say that you aren’t saddened by Annette’s death?
Joanna Grubman: I am sad for her family. I am sad that Jeff now has to find a replacement. But no, I’m not sad that she’s dead. I am however worried that a killer is running loose in Oxford while you sit here and ask me irrelevant questions.
Detective Murphy: Joanna, when was the last time you saw Annette?
Joanna Grubman: It’s been awhile, umm…a couple of weeks, maybe. I’m not really sure. It might have been one week.
Detective Murphy: Where did you last see her?
Joanna Grubman: I stopped at the Texaco for a fountain drink and some gas. She was pumping gas at the pump right next to my car when I came out of the building.
Detective Armstrong: Did you speak or just notice her there?
Joanna Grubman: I looked at her and called her a skank. She was bent over in short shorts and a white tank top. It was disgusting. You don’t have to bend down to pump gas.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah, I bet that was just awful. If it was possible, I would have gotten your gas and drink for you so you wouldn’t have to witness such an atrocity.
Joanna Grubman: Uh-huh. I bet you would have.
Detective Murphy: Did Annette say anything back to you?
Joanna Grubman: Yes. She said, “All ugly women call me that.” I just laughed and drove away.
Detective Armstrong: Where were you the night Annette was killed?
Joanna Grubman: Oh, I see what you think. You think because I didn’t like her that I killed her. That is funny. I’m not sad she’s dead, but I certainly didn’t kill her.
Detective Armstrong: I don’t think a kind person like you would harm anyone. I simply asked where you were. It’s just a question. Answer it please.
Joanna Grubman: After dinner, Kurt and I took Isabelle and went for a bike ride. I think it was that night anyway. We got back home right after dark and put Izzy to bed. Once she was asleep, we got in the hot tub for a while, and then we went to bed. Do you want to know all about that also?
Detective Armstrong: Oh, please spare me the details. I would like to know what time you went to sleep though.
Joanna Grubman: Again, not sure, but perhaps somewhere around 10:00 to 11:00.
Detective Armstrong: Earlier you said that Elena was worried and jealous over Annette’s flirting. Did Annette ever flirt with Kurt?
Joanna Grubman: No.
Detective Armstrong: How can you be certain?
Joanna Grubman: He would have told me. I know Kurt, and he would have shut her down before she could bat those fake lashes at him. Besides, he has me. He wouldn’t want her. Ever. If she had ever acted like that around my husband, it would have been the last time she messed with another woman's man.
Detective Armstrong: Those are some pretty strong words.
Joanna Grubman: Oh, sorry. I mean… I would have confronted her, but I wouldn’t kill her.
Detective Armstrong: Are those scratches on your wrist?
Joanna Grubman: Wha… oh, no. I was trimming my roses the other day, and some of the thorns got me.
Detective Armstrong: Do you always do your own trimming?
Joanna Grubman: My roses and how often I do or do not trim them is none of your business.
Detective Armstrong: I have two knockout bushes. I trim them myself. It only took one trimming for me to learn to wear gardening gloves.
Joanna Grubman: That’s it. I’m outta here.
Detective Murphy: Please sit back down, Joanna. I have some more questions for you. I want to talk about who else could’ve killed Annette. You’ll sit down and tell me about that, won’t you? Thank you. Do you know if Annette had any enemies?
Joanna Grubman: Unfortunately, most people seemed to be blind when it came to Annette. It seemed that most people liked her.
Detective Murphy: Do you know who would have access to the office after it was closed up for the night?
Joanna Grubman: Jeff would, of course, and I know Kurt had keys, but I don’t know who else did.
Detective Armstrong: If you were working this case, who would you want to talk to?
Joanna Grubman: All the guys she used and all the women she screwed over. Maybe that one fella she messed around with but didn’t care for. I think his name was Darren something.
Detective Armstrong: How do you know how she felt about this Darren? Did she confide in you?
Joanna Grubman: It’s a small office. Stories spread. My husband hears a lot.
Detective Murphy: Do you think any of your husband’s co-workers would want to hurt Annette?
Joanna Grubman: I’m sure they all wanted to, but none of them would act on it. There are no murderers in that office. Of that, I’m certain. I need to get on my way. Are we finished here?
Detective Armstrong: Finished enough.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in.
Joanna Grubman: Don’t mention it. But if you need me again, I’d appreciate it if we did it with just you and me. Bye.
Detective Armstrong: Have a nice day.
Interview ends - 11:42 a.m.