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Interview: Summary of UM Student Canvass

Since the murder of Kimberly Pace, Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department investigators have conducted numerous interviews on the University of Mississippi campus. Many students were interviewed ‒ both those who had taken one of Dr. Pace's classes and those who had not ‒ in an effort to learn more about Dr. Pace and her interactions with the students, especially Patrick Richards, Carter Nichols and any student who may have shown more than average interest in Dr. Pace. The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.


Name: Gary Biggs
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Franklin, TN

Mr. Biggs said he had heard rumors that "this Cody guy, don't remember his last name" was stalking a professor on campus. Mr. Biggs said "This Cody guy lived on my floor in Stockard last year. I never really knew him, but his roommate told me one time that Cody had the hots for one of his teachers. He said Cody just disappeared all the time." Mr. Biggs did not know any of the other principles mentioned. He said that, as a Biology major, he doesn't get around the English department that much.

Name: Echo Collier,
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Newton, MS

Ms. Collier said she had taken Dr. Pace's class as a freshman. She did not know of any antagonism between Carter Nichols and Dr. Pace. When asked if she knew about anyone stalking Dr. Pace, she said, "That's just garbage. I know the guy they're talking about. His name is Cody Matthews. He's from Philadelphia, down near where I'm from. He's harmless."

Name: Hunter Drevey,
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Jackson, MS

Mr. Drevey said he is a fraternity brother of Carter Nichols, although he was quick to point out his dislike for Mr. Nichols. Mr. Drevey said he saw Kimberly Pace in a heated argument with Carter Nichols in front of the Student Union on the Friday before the murder. "I remember it because I was waiting on my girlfriend. She has class right there in Ventress. She was going to walk over and meet me at the Union and then we were driving to Jackson." Mr. Drevey said that he was unaware of what they were arguing about but said that he had heard Carter Nichols complain about Dr. Pace many times while around the fraternity house. "Carter always talked about how he wanted to screw with her. Supposedly, some kid was stalking her and Carter thought he might be able to do something and blame it on the stalker." Mr. Drevey didn't know any more details about the alleged stalker. Mr. Drevey said he often saw Dr. Pace out with students at various bars in Oxford. "Usually, I saw her at The City Grocery, Ajax, and Proud Larry's."

Name: Susan Hale,
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Madison, MS

Ms. Hale said she did not know Carter Nichols, but said she did know who might have been stalking Dr. Pace. She identified a male with the first name "Cody." Ms. Hale overheard Echo Collier's assessment of Cody Matthews but disagreed with it. Ms. Hale said, "He's a freak. I didn't know his last name until now, but I certainly know who he is. Totally weird. Echo's a sorority sister of mine, but I think she's wrong. He's a psycho." When asked why she thought so, Ms. Hale said that Cody Matthews could often be observed wandering the campus alone, "almost lurking. Like he doesn't want to be seen." Ms. Hale said that Cody Matthews would often go into bars where Dr. Pace was and "just sit there. He doesn't have any friends, but he would go in this bar and sit. Not drink or anything. He always would take the first seat closest to the door. Too scared to walk through the whole bar. So whenever you'd walk into Proud Larry's and see him sitting there, you would know Dr. Pace was in the place somewhere."

Name: Naomi Johnson,
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Memphis, TN

Ms. Johnson said she was a student of the victim, but said she had no idea why anyone would want to murder Dr. Pace. Ms. Johnson said she had heard rumors of the possibility of purchasing good grades, but that she was unaware of anyone who had actually done it. When asked about Dr. Pace's relationship with Carter Nichols and Patrick Richards, Ms. Johnson stated: "I don't know much about how she got along with Patrick. She seemed to like him, but he's pretty quiet so you wouldn't really know. Carter doesn't get along with any teacher. They all hate him, and he despises all of them."

Name: Jeff Lincoln,
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Jackson, TN

Mr. Lincoln said he didn't know Carter Nichols or Cody Matthews. However, he grew up with Patrick Richards and said, "He's just a hard working kid. He didn't write that letter, no way. He just works hard and studies hard. He wouldn't harm anybody."

Name: Jennifer Wilkins,
Class / Hometown: Senior / Albany, GA

Ms. Wilkins said she witnessed an argument between Carter Nichols and Dr. Pace outside the Student Union on the Friday before the murder. Although she didn't know Carter Nichols, she identified him from a group of photographs as the one involved. Ms. Wilkins said, "I'm an art major. I was working on my senior project and walked over to the Union for a snack. I was sitting outside, getting some air, when I heard this yelling. I knew the teacher from her article in the paper and she and this guy were screaming at each other. I could just catch bits and pieces of it, but I kept hearing them talking about the letter that was in the paper."

Name: Kristin Zhan,
Class / Hometown: Junior / Bowling Green, KY

Ms. Zhan said she was a student of the victim and had often observed tension between Dr. Pace and Carter Nichols. She said that "Dr. Pace wasn't going to put up with any of his crap, and he hated her for it." She said she saw Dr. Pace and Carter Nichols arguing loudly in front of the Student Union. Ms. Zhan said she did not know what the argument was about but that "you could tell from their body language and facial expressions, they were pissed. It was, like, almost to the point of calling the cops." Ms. Zhan is unsure of exactly when this argument took place, but she thinks it was shortly before Dr. Pace's murder.

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