Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 4:16 p.m.
Meg Lancaster agreed to talk to the detectives after she was booked for the murder of Annette Wyatt. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
Detective Murphy: Hi, Meg. Here's some water. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Meg Lancaster: My name is Meg Lancaster, and I live at 15 Beauregard Circle.
Detective Murphy: Also for the record, you are under arrest for the murder of Annette Wyatt.
Meg Lancaster: That’s what you've said.
Detective Murphy: And you’ve been advised of your rights?
Meg Lancaster: Yes.
Detective Murphy: So do you want to go ahead and talk with us or would you like to consult an attorney?
Meg Lancaster: I don’t know any attorneys.
Detective Parker: We can call in a public defender to come down here.
Meg Lancaster: No, that’s OK. I just want to get this over with.
Detective Parker: So how have things been at the Harte Agency since we spoke to you last?
Meg Lancaster: I would've thought things would've gotten better after Jeff found out that Annette was the leak, but it seems like things have just gotten worse.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Meg Lancaster: I would’ve thought Jeff would've felt some closure, but he just doesn't seem the same. His aura has really dimmed.
Detective Murphy: Could you describe how Mr. Harte has changed?
Meg Lancaster: He just seems so… downhearted. He isn't the same. Like I said, his aura has really dimmed.
Detective Parker: Have you spoken to him at all about his change in demeanor?
Meg Lancaster: I tried to, but he just blew me off. I’ve even tried some spells to uplift his spirit, but nothing seemed to work.
Detective Murphy: Do you think that he feels so bad because he asked you to kill Annette?
Meg Lancaster: He didn't!
Detective Parker: If he wasn’t involved in any way, now’s the chance to stand up for him.
Meg Lancaster: Make him a lie detector test. He’ll pass.
Detective Parker: You’ve seen enough police shows that you know that's not admissible in court.
Meg Lancaster: Yes, but then you'd know that he was innocent.
Detective Murphy: Meg, would you like to take a lie detector test? If you do, we can have it installed in here in about five minutes.
Meg Lancaster: No. I can’t take any tests. My horoscope warned me not to take any tests today.
Detective Murphy: Meg, you’re in a lot of trouble here, and it's not a good time to be protecting Jeff. What did he say to you to get you to kill Annette for him?
Meg Lancaster: Listen to me! Jeff has absolutely nothing to do with this. He’s the victim in all of this.
Detective Parker: How is he the victim? He’s not the one who was murdered.
Meg Lancaster: Because he lost his best agent. He lost a trusted friend. He was betrayed. His business suffered. Can’t you see that?
Detective Murphy: What I see is a loyal employee going way above and beyond the call of duty. Not many employees would commit murder for their boss.
Meg Lancaster: It wasn't murder. It was an accident!
Detective Parker: Then tell us what happened.
Meg Lancaster: It all happened so fast.
Detective Murphy: OK. Let’s start from the beginning, from the time you and your boyfriend parted company.
Meg Lancaster: I went to the office to make copies for Monday's meeting. When I got there, Annette’s car was in the parking lot.
Detective Parker: Were you surprised to see it there?
Meg Lancaster: No, not really.
Detective Parker: Did you see her once you entered the building?
Meg Lancaster: No. I just figured she was back at her desk.
Detective Parker: So you didn’t see her or let her know that you were there?
Meg Lancaster: No. I had work to do, so I just went right to my desk and worked on my computer for about 15 minutes or so. When I was finished, I printed and went back to the workroom to make copies for the meeting.
Detective Murphy: What happened next?
Meg Lancaster: When I got there, Annette… I saw what she was doing. She didn’t even see me standing there.
Detective Murphy: What was she doing?
Meg Lancaster: Making copies from all of our important files: customers and properties. I instantly knew what she was doing.
Detective Parker: So then what did you do?
Meg Lancaster: I told her that I couldn’t let her do that to Jeff, that I was going to call the police and then call Jeff as well.
Detective Murphy: And what did she say?
Meg Lancaster: She begged me not to, said that she would take me with her to Pearce and make sure I got a good raise.
Detective Parker: What did you say to that offer?
Meg Lancaster: I told her that there was no way that I could betray Jeff, that he deserved better and she knew it. Then she offered me money. Can you believe that? She tried to buy me off.
Detective Parker: And you refused her money?
Meg Lancaster: Yes, absolutely! I kept trying to get the file out of her hand, but she wouldn’t let it go, kept telling me that I wouldn't understand the position she was in, that Jeff left her no choice.
Detective Parker: What did you say?
Meg Lancaster: I said I didn’t care what her reasons were. I told her she had to give me the files back and that if she gave them back, I wouldn’t tell anyone what she had done.
Detective Murphy: What did she say to that?
Meg Lancaster: She said I couldn’t understand her reasonings, and then she kept trying to blame it on Jeff, that it was his fault what she was doing. She wasn’t making any sense. And she wouldn’t let go of the file, and she just kept hitting me with her free hand. Then she finally grabbed the file with both hands and took it away.
Detective Murphy: Is that when you scratched her?
Meg Lancaster: I didn’t mean to. She was so much stronger than I was. She worked out all the time. I didn’t stand a chance.
Detective Parker: Then what happened?
Meg Lancaster: Shoved me away and told me to go home. Said that I couldn’t possibly understand and that I should just stay out of it.
Detective Parker: So what did you do?
Meg Lancaster: I didn’t do anything. I was shocked. And then she– I couldn’t believe it.
Detective Parker: What?
Meg Lancaster: She just turned around and went back to copying everything. As if she could just tell me to go away and that I would do it just because she told me to.
Detective Parker: So what did you do?
Meg Lancaster: I knew I had to find something to stop her.
Detective Murphy: To stop her?
Meg Lancaster: Yes. I couldn’t let her do that to Jeff. But I was afraid if I tried to get the files, she would try to hit me again. Or worse. I was afraid. I knew that if I tried to leave to go get help, she would get away with it.
Detective Murphy: So what did you do?
Meg Lancaster: I don’t know. I wanted to stop her, but I didn’t know how. Then the next thing I knew, she was on the floor, and the nail gun was in my hand. At first, I thought I just hit her with it, but– maybe knocked her out. But when I saw, I just– I just panicked.
Detective Murphy: What did you do then, Meg?
Meg Lancaster: I didn’t know what to do. I was just frozen. But then I realized I needed to get out of there, so she kept a box that she would keep all the copies in, and I grabbed that, took the papers from the copy machine, and got the hell out of there as fast as I could.
Detective Parker: You took the box with you?
Meg Lancaster: Yes. I didn’t want Jeff to know what she had done. He trusted her. She betrayed him.
Detective Murphy: So you took the box and where did you go?
Meg Lancaster: I went straight home. I took the box and put it in the very back of my closet, and then I sat on my porch and waited for you to come arrest me. But you never came.
Detective Murphy: You should have turned yourself in, Meg.
Meg Lancaster: Maybe I should have, but I was afraid. I'm not a murderer. I never meant for her to die. I just wanted her to stop.
Detective Parker: Well, you stopped her.
Meg Lancaster: I’m just glad this is all out. You know, I’ve been playing it in my head every day since. I just wish I had just gone home that night instead. But it was an accident. What’s going to happen now?
Detective Murphy: This would be a perfect time to get yourself a good lawyer.
Meg Lancaster: No. But it was an accident. I– I told you. I’m not a murderer. You have to let me go now that I've told you the entire story.
Detective Parker: That’s not how it works, Meg.
Interview ends - 4:42 p.m.