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The detective asked Liddie about spending time with her father

Tuesday, March 6, 2001 – 3:00 p.m.

Lydia "Liddie" Hammond is the victim's seven-year-old daughter.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

In accordance with regulations, the court appointed a psychologist and an attorney to represent the minor's interests. Both parties were present during this follow-up interview.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Lydia "Liddie" Hammond
  • Nancy Carson, psychologist appointed to the minor Lydia Hammond
  • Andrew Drummond, counsel appointed to the minor Lydia Hammond

Nancy Carson: Hi, Liddie. I'm glad you could come back and talk to us. Do you remember everyone? I'm Nancy. That's Mr. Drummond and Detective Armstrong and Detective Murphy. Do you remember all of us from before?

Liddie Hammond: Yes. I remember.

Nancy Carson: OK. Like we talked about before, these nice detectives need to ask you some more questions. I want you to be real brave and tell them everything you can remember, OK?

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Detective Armstrong: Hi Liddie. I'm Detective Armstrong. You remember when we talked before?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: You've got a pretty good memory, huh?

Liddie Hammond: I guess so.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember when your grandpa came over to your house and put in some new locks on the doors?

Liddie Hammond: Yes. Mommy gave me a new key because she said my old one wouldn't work anymore.

Detective Armstrong: So you had a key to the old locks, before you got the new key?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: How long have you had your own key?

Liddie Hammond: Um… since school started?

Detective Armstrong: Do you keep your key with you all the time?

Liddie Hammond: No. Sometimes I leave it at home. Mommy said not to lose it.

Detective Armstrong: Have you ever let anyone borrow your key?

Liddie Hammond: Uh-uh! Mommy said it was just for me.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know why your mommy got new locks with new keys?

Liddie Hammond: Um… Mommy and Grandpa didn't want me to know.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know why they didn't want you to know?

Liddie Hammond: I think Mommy thought I'd be scared, but I'm not. I'm not a baby.

Detective Armstrong: I can see that. So do you know why your mommy got the new locks and keys?

Liddie Hammond: Somebody tried to get in our house when we weren't home, and Grandpa said if we got new locks no one would be able to get in.

Detective Armstrong: How did you figure out that was the reason?

Liddie Hammond: I heard Mommy and Grandpa talking about it when they thought I couldn't hear them. But don't tell Grandpa, OK? I'm not supposed to listen to other people talking when they don't know it. I'll get in trouble if he finds out.

Detective Armstrong: OK, Liddie. We won't tell him. You know, your grandpa told us that you gave your mommy a necklace for her birthday last year. Is that right?

Liddie Hammond: Yes, but I don't know where it is now.

Detective Armstrong: Can you tell me what it looks like?

Liddie Hammond: It's pretty. It's gold and shiny, and it says "#1 Mom." I saved up my allowance, and Grandpa helped me pick it out.

Detective Armstrong: Your mommy must have really liked it.

Liddie Hammond: She did! She wore it every day after we gave it to her. She said it was her favorite gift she ever got.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember whether she was wearing it the last time you saw her?

Liddie Hammond: You mean that bad day when…

Detective Armstrong: That day when Detective Murphy and me and a lot of other policemen were at your house?

Liddie Hammond: I… I don't know. I don't know if she was wearing it then.

Detective Armstrong: That's OK. It's OK if you don't remember. What about that morning when you went to school? Do you remember if your mommy was wearing the necklace then?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know. I think so.

Nancy Carson: Detective. I think it would be best to move on.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Let's talk about something different, Liddie. You want to?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Let's talk about your Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria. Have you seen them lately?

Liddie Hammond: No, not in a long time.

Detective Armstrong: Have you talked to them on the phone?

Liddie Hammond: No. Do you think they're mad at me?

Detective Armstrong: I don't think so. Why would they be mad at you?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: What about your daddy? Have you seen him or talked to him?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: You know, we saw those great pictures you drew of your family, the ones you made into a little book. Those were really good. You're a good draw-er.

Liddie Hammond: Thank you.

Detective Armstrong: Did you do those pictures for school?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Your daddy must've liked them a lot too. Did he?

Liddie Hammond: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: What did he say when you showed him the pictures?

Liddie Hammond: He said they were really good and he wanted me to make another one for him to keep at his house.

Detective Armstrong: Did you make another one for him?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: And it's at his house now?

Liddie Hammond: I guess so.

Detective Armstrong: Liddie, do you know what a secret is?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Tell me.

Liddie Hammond: It's something that you know that other people don't know and you're not supposed to tell.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know any secrets right now?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Like what?

Liddie Hammond: I can't tell you.

Detective Armstrong: Have you ever told a secret someone asked you to keep?

Liddie Hammond: Um… yes.

Detective Armstrong: Like what?

Liddie Hammond: I don't think I should tell.

Detective Armstrong: C'mon.

Liddie Hammond: Well… my friend Dina, she likes this boy in our class, Michael. And I told him. She was really mad at me.

Detective Armstrong: Is she still mad at you?

Liddie Hammond: No, not anymore.

Detective Armstrong: Why did you tell Michael Dina's secret?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Have you ever had a secret with someone else? Like did you and your mommy have any secrets?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Like what?

Liddie Hammond: Well… we have this secret code word so if someone says Mommy told them to give me a ride, if they don't know the code word, I run away as fast as I can.

Detective Armstrong: What's the code word?

Liddie Hammond: I can't tell you. It's a secret.

Detective Armstrong: That's good. That's a good kind of secret to have because it helps keep you safe. Right?

Liddie Hammond: Right.

Detective Armstrong: Do you think there are bad kinds of secrets too?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Sometimes it's hard to know whether a secret is good or bad, isn't it?

Liddie Hammond: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: Because sometimes someone asks you to keep a secret, but you don't like to do it, right? Because you don't really like hiding something from someone you care about like your mommy or your grandpa, right?

Liddie Hammond: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: You know what? Sometimes I think, when you have a secret and you're not sure whether it's a good secret or a bad secret, you should tell someone else what the secret is and let them help you decide whether you should keep it or not. So if you had a secret like that, maybe you could tell an adult who could help you decide what to do about it. Someone like me because that's my job. I help people.

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: I tell you what. How about if I try to guess what your secret is, and you tell me if I get it right. OK?

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Detective Armstrong: Is it… that you're really thirty years old?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: Is it… that you have jellybeans where your toes should be?

Liddie Hammond: No, silly.

Detective Armstrong: Is it… that sometimes you still see your daddy even though your mommy said not to?

Nancy Carson: It's OK to say, Liddie.

Detective Armstrong: That's right. It is OK to tell us. We've already talked to your daddy and your Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria, and it's OK with them if you tell us.

Liddie Hammond: Are you sure?

Detective Armstrong: Yes, I'm sure.

Liddie Hammond: Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria made it so Daddy and me could still see each other sometimes.

Detective Armstrong: Why did they do that?

Liddie Hammond: Because it wasn't fair. Daddy didn't mean to be bad, and he's sorry.

Detective Armstrong: When was Daddy bad?

Liddie Hammond: On Mommy's birthday.

Detective Armstrong: What did he do?

Liddie Hammond: He came over to our house, and he was yelling at Mommy and stuff.

Detective Armstrong: Why did he do that?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know. He said he was just upset, but he didn't mean to do it.

Detective Armstrong: Were you scared?

Liddie Hammond: I was a little scared that day, but I'm not now.

Detective Armstrong: Did you think Daddy was going to hurt you or Mommy that day?

Liddie Hammond: No. I just didn't know why he was acting like that.

Detective Armstrong: But you know why now?

Liddie Hammond: He said he was just mad at Mommy, but not at me.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know why he was mad at Mommy?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: OK. So Mama Gloria and Papa Thomas were helping you and Daddy see each other?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: How long have y'all been doing that?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know. For a while.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see your Daddy every Friday when you were with Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria?

Liddie Hammond: Not every time.

Detective Armstrong: Most times?

Liddie Hammond: I guess so.

Detective Armstrong: Was your daddy with you the last time you saw your Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Was he with you the whole time?

Liddie Hammond: No, he was late. Daddy's late a lot.

Detective Armstrong: Did Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria stay with you during the whole visit that time?

Liddie Hammond: I think so.

Detective Armstrong: And after Daddy got there, did he stay with you the whole time?

Liddie Hammond: Yes, until Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria took me home. Daddy doesn't come with us then.

Detective Armstrong: Why not?

Liddie Hammond: Because… because we didn't want Mommy to see him.

Detective Armstrong: Did you decide by yourself not to tell Mommy that you were seeing Daddy, or did someone else tell you not to tell her?

Liddie Hammond: Mama Gloria told me I should never tell Mommy or Grandpa, or I wouldn't be able to see Daddy or them anymore.

Detective Armstrong: Was Mama Gloria the only one who told you not to tell?

Liddie Hammond: Daddy told me sometimes too.

Detective Armstrong: What about Papa Thomas? What did he say?

Liddie Hammond: He said he knew I didn't like keeping secrets from Mommy, but I should just do it this one time.

Detective Armstrong: So you never told Mommy?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: What about Grandpa? Did you ever tell him?

Liddie Hammond: No, but…

Detective Armstrong: But what?

Liddie Hammond: I think maybe he knew anyway.

Detective Armstrong: Why do you think that?

Liddie Hammond: He asked me one time.

Detective Armstrong: What did you tell him?

Liddie Hammond: Nothing. I didn't want to not see Daddy anymore.

Detective Armstrong: That's OK. I understand. We all understand.

Liddie Hammond: Am I in trouble now?

Detective Armstrong: No, Liddie. You're not. You've done the right thing by telling us.

Liddie Hammond: Are you sure? I can still see Daddy and Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria?

Detective Armstrong: Yes, I think so.

Liddie Hammond: When?

Detective Armstrong: I don't know when, but sometime soon, I hope.

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Detective Armstrong: Liddie, are there any other secrets you know that you think maybe you should tell us so we can help you with them?

Liddie Hammond: No, I don't think so.

Detective Armstrong: Are you sure?

Liddie Hammond: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: OK. You've done a really good job talking to us today. You were very brave, and you've been a big help. Thank you.

Liddie Hammond: You're welcome.

End interview – 3:39 p.m.

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