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Witness Interview: Dana Tonninger, victim's friend

Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 2:15 p.m.

The witness, identified as a friend and co-worker of the deceased, was interviewed at the Southern Beauty hairstyling salon. The interview was conducted by Det. Murphy and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

SM = Detective Sam Murphy
DT = Dana Tonninger

SM: Could you please tell me your name and address?

DT: Dana Tonninger and I live at 1300 Pierce Drive .

SM: Thank you for talking to me. Some of your co-workers told us that you and Missy Hammond were pretty close and I thought you might be able to help us.

DT: Of course, I'll do anything I can.

SM: How did you know Missy Hammond?

DT: I knew her from high school. We weren't that close back then, but we did kind of know each other. Then, when I started working here, we became closer.

SM: In the days leading up to her death, did Missy seem unusually upset or bothered by anything?

DT: No, not really. Missy's life was always kind of dramatic, so there was usually some sort of catastrophe of some kind. But nothing was going on that was out of the ordinary.

SM: Do you remember an incident involving a woman who came into the salon and confronted Missy in some way?

DT: Oh sure. That was Maureen Kirby. She came in and demanded that Missy do her hair. Then, the whole time, she kept talking really loud about sluts, hussies, and home wreckers.

SM: Do you know what she was talking about?

DT: Well, it was pretty clear that she wanted to embarrass Missy in some way. She was probably just worried about Steve.

SM: Did she have reason to be?

DT: What do you mean?

SM: Well, was there anything going on between Missy and Steve at the time?

DT: I don't know. She told me they were talking again, and she mentioned that it was nice reconnecting with him. But, I don't know if there was more to it. She acted like she was interested, maybe, but I doubt anything had happened. Certainly not anything like what Maureen was implying.

SM: On the day before Missy's death, there was a 37-minute phone call from Missy's house to yours. Were you involved in that call?

DT: Yeah, she called to complain about Roger.

SM: About what specifically?

DT: He had called her. Something about begging to see Liddie. And Missy called me to just sort of vent a bit.

SM: Was she scared? Did she feel threatened in any way?

DT: Not that I recall. She was more mad than anything else. I told her she should call the cops or whoever and tell them that Roger had violated the restraining order, but she said she didn't want to fool with it. After she vented for a while, she complained some about JP, like always, and we gossiped about this old lady, Mrs. Hale, who works at the salon. She's always good for a few laughs and that was about it.

SM: So she didn't want to do anything about Roger violating the order because it was too much hassle?

DT: Yeah, and plus, she didn't want any more friction with him and his family. Liddie likes the Hammonds and Missy didn't want to make things any more difficult.

SM: What was her complaint about JP?

DT: Just the usual stuff. What a jerk he was sometimes. That always made her mad because she said he could be really sweet when he wanted to be. Personally, I never saw it, but she knew him better than I did.

SM: Everyone keeps talking about Missy's horrible taste in men. Was she scared of any of these men?

DT: Not really. Everyone in town knows what a bad apple JP is and I guess she should have been afraid of him. And Roger wigged out from time to time, but I don't know that I would say she was literally frightened for her well-being.

SM: What about Kevin Travers?

DT: What about him?

SM: Was she scared of him?

DT: Ha! Kevin? No. He's harmless.

SM: What makes you say that?

DT: He totally worshiped her. I can't see him doing anything to even hurt her feelings, much less scare her.

SM: Do you have any idea who might have killed her?

DT: I really don't. It must have been someone who never met her like that burglar guy, who's been breaking in all over town. Like I said, Missy was always having some kind of drama in her life, but I can't believe anyone she knew would kill her. She was so sweet. I just can't imagine why...

SM: Okay, thanks for your time. If you think of anything else that might help us, please give me a call.

End interview 2:29 p.m.

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