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Interview: Follow-up with Laurence Bricker

Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 2:00 p.m.

The witness, Laurence Bricker, was identified as a professional colleague of the victim. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him in his home at 1424 South Lamar Boulevard in Oxford. During the course of the interview, the detectives also had the opportunity to speak privately with the witness's wife, Margaret Bricker. The interview was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Laurence Bricker
  • Margaret Bricker

Detective Murphy: Thank you for talking with us again.

Laurence Bricker: Certainly.

Detective Murphy: Once again, can you please state your name and address?

Laurence Bricker: Laurence Bricker. 1424 South Lamar, Oxford.

Detective Murphy: Did you know Kimberly Pace?

Laurence Bricker: Yes. Of course. We established my relationship, strained as it was, with the deceased in my prior interview with you.

Detective Murphy: Yes, we did. But I just wanted to make sure. I believe in our prior interview I asked you if you wished to see Kimberly dead.

Laurence Bricker: Yes, you did. And I assured you that your statements were ridiculous.

Detective Armstrong: You're very calm about that.

Laurence Bricker: What do you mean, Detective?

Detective Armstrong: Well, most people get mighty ticked off when we insinuate they might be responsible for murder. But you... nothing seems to bother you. You don't get mad, you don't scream. I'd expect some sarcasm or something at the very least.

Laurence Bricker: I have nothing to fear; I am innocent. Therefore I have no reason to get angry. And as far as sarcasm, I'll quote John Knowles who said something along the lines of sarcasm being the refuge of a weak mind. I have no reason to lower myself to such base emotions.

Detective Murphy: I'm sure you're wonderful and all that, but I think you seem almost too cool.

Laurence Bricker: Although an English scholar by trade, I am not without knowledge of my legal rights. If you have evidence, then charge me with some manner of crime. Otherwise, I do not think I can be held criminally responsible for being cool.

Detective Murphy: Where were you on the night of Kimberly Pace's murder?

Laurence Bricker: I was here. I'm sure I read some, did a little work, and then retired to the bedroom.

Detective Armstrong: You're sure about that? Sure you didn't go out or something?

Laurence Bricker: Detective, I am nearly 50 years old. I am a scholar and a married man. Almost every night is spent at home. Do you really imagine that I would spend my nights cavorting at Murff's or Proud Larry's, swilling cheap beer with the students to whom I am supposed to be a role model?

Detective Armstrong: Nah, I guess you're right. You're too much of a pompous jackass to go out with the riff-raff.

Laurence Bricker: If that's what you want to believe, then be my guest.

Margaret Bricker: Excuse me. I apologize for interrupting, but my husband has a telephone call he really should take.

Laurence Bricker: Margaret, we are in the middle of something here.

Margaret Bricker: I am sorry. I wouldn't have interrupted if I didn't feel it was important.

Laurence Bricker: All right. Detectives, would you excuse me for a moment? Margaret, perhaps you can entertain the detectives while I'm away.

Detective Murphy: It's nice to see you again, Mrs. Bricker.

Margaret Bricker: The pleasure is mine, Detective.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember where Dr. Bricker was on the night Kimberly Pace was murdered?

Margaret Bricker: He was right here at home, with me.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember anything specific about that night?

Margaret Bricker: No, I do not.

Detective Armstrong: Then how can you be so sure he was here. How can you know you're not confusing that night with any other?

Margaret Bricker: We lead a very simple life. We focus on work and Laurence spends a great deal of time with his scholarship. And neither one of us is interested in seeing whatever trash is being shown at the movie theater. So when we go out, it is usually to Memphis to the opera or symphony. But a night out for us is the exception.

Detective Murphy: So for him to be gone on the night of the murder, it would have been some sort of special occasion?

Margaret Bricker: Precisely. Although I can't imagine why you would need to know such a thing. There is no way that such a well-respected member of the University faculty could be involved in something as terrible as murder.

Detective Murphy: Well, we just have to ask the question.

Laurence Bricker: Sorry for the interruption, Detectives. That was the publisher of my new book on Dostoyevsky.

Detective Murphy: That's OK. I think we're done here.

Laurence Bricker: Of course. Feel free to let me know any time I can help you.

Detective Armstrong: There's that cool, sophisticated, and nice act again.

Laurence Bricker: Would you prefer I acted like a hooligan? Cursing you and spitting on you?

Detective Armstrong: No. I just don't believe you're as smooth as you like to act.

Laurence Bricker: Believe whatever you'd like.

Detective Murphy: That's enough. Thanks for your time, Dr. Bricker, and for yours, Mrs. Bricker. Good afternoon.

End interview: 2:22 p.m.

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