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Witness Interview: Maureen Kirby, victim's former boyfriend's wife

Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 11:15 a.m.

The witness, a twenty-five-year-old female, is married to Steve Kirby, the high school boyfriend of the victim, Melissa Hammond. At the detectives' request, Maureen Kirby came into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Office for an interview. The interview was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective Ted Armstrong
SM = Detective Sam Murphy
MK = Maureen Kirby

SM: For the record, would you please state your name and address?

MK: Maureen Silver Kirby. I live at 210 Sisk Avenue. Here in Oxford.

SM: And what is your occupation?

MK: I am the Business Manager for Complete Computing Specialists.

SM: You are probably aware that we're investigating the murder of Missy Hammond. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.

MK: Of course. But I have no idea how I might be able to help you.

SM: You never know what little bit of information can break a case. First, I'd like to ask you some basic questions. Just for our file.

MK: Sure.

SM: How tall are you?

MK: Well, I'm five-eight. Why do you need to know that?

SM: It's pretty standard. How much do you weigh?

MK: Do I have to say?

TA: C'mon now, ma'am. You look pretty fit to me. What could it hurt to tell us?

MK: Fine. I weigh about 125.

SM: Thank you. Now, tell us about your relationship with Missy Hammond.

MK: I can't say that I had a relationship with her. Of course, we went to high school together and I always knew who she was. She and my husband dated back then, so I knew of her in that sense.

SM: Did she cut your hair?

MK: No, I usually get my hair done at La Bohéme.

TA: Missy never cut your hair?

MK: Well, there was one time I went to Southern Beauty.

SM: And you specifically requested Missy, isn't that right?

MK: Yes. I guess it was kind of a dumb thing to do, but I wanted to know what was so special about her. My husband cared about her so much when he was in high school, I just wanted to try and figure it out.

TA: We've been told that this wasn't the most pleasant of haircuts.

MK: Detective, why don't you just come right out and say it? I caused a scene. I was mad and I wanted to confront her. In hindsight, it was a pretty childish thing to do, but I did it. I wanted to embarrass her in front of everybody.

TA: Just because she dated your husband in high school? In this small of a town, just about everyone dated someone's husband in high school.

MK: I told you, I just couldn't figure out what was so special about her.

TA: That's fine, but I still don't understand why you were so mad. Big deal if he cared about her in high school. That's no reason to go pick a fight with her.

MK: Well, it's very hard for me to talk about this, but I know that my husband and Missy were talking again after all these years.

SM: How did you know this?

MK: My husband had been acting weird for a while. He was keeping very odd hours and just seemed distant in general. I kept asking him about it, but he just wouldn't talk to me about it. My marriage is very important to me, so I had to find out what was going on.

SM: Okay.

MK: Finally, I hired an investigator to check into what my husband was doing.

TA: Doesn't that seem a little drastic?

MK: I told you already that my marriage is very important to me. So, no, I don't think it's too drastic.

SM: Go on. You hired an investigator?

MK: So I hired Pam Thompson and she followed Steve around for a bit. She reported to me that there was something going on between my husband and Missy, although she hadn't been able to catch them actually doing anything other than talking yet. But they were definitely talking. Pam delivered her first report and that's when I got mad and went to the beauty shop and made a big scene.

SM: Is that the only thing you did to Missy Hammond?

MK: Look, Detective. I got mad, jealous, angry, scared. You name it. I couldn't stand the thought of losing my husband. And I acted poorly. But I had nothing to do with Missy's death. It's a long way from trying to embarrass someone to murdering them.

TA: But what if she really was having an affair with your husband? What if she really was some hussy trying to steal your man?

MK: I wouldn't kill her! It's completely natural for someone in my position to be angry and wary of Missy Hammond, but I told you before that I had nothing to do with her death!

SM: Let me ask you this. Have you ever been inside Missy's house?

MK: Of course not!

SM: This is sort of a random question for you, but do you have any friends or relatives that work for doctors in this town?

MK: No. I don't think so.

SM: Do you know Dr. Charles Flaherty?

MK: No. Why?

SM: It's not important. Let's get back to Steve and Missy. So, do you think that they were having an affair?

MK: No. I trust my husband.

TA: Yeah, you trust him so much that you hired a private investigator to tail him.

MK: That's unfair. I trust my husband, but I also know how much he cared for Missy. And if she approached him about getting back together, then I could see how he might be tempted.

TA: So you think she approached him?

MK: I don't know that for sure, but I bet that's what happened.

SM: Do you and your husband have any children?

MK: No, not yet.

TA: Does Steve have any kids?

MK: I know what you're trying to say and the answer is no.

TA: How do you know what I'm trying to say?

MK: I'm not deaf, you know. I've heard all the rumors, ever since high school. I know that people thought Steve might be the father of Missy's daughter. But that's just small town gossip.

TA: You're sure of that?

MK: Of course. My husband told me he wasn't the father of that child and I believed him.

SM: Where were you on the afternoon of Friday, January 26th?

MK: I was probably out running errands. That's what I usually do on Friday afternoons.

TA: Where did you go that afternoon in particular?

MK: I don't really remember. I usually go by the bank to make CCS deposits, if there are any. And I usually go to the dry cleaners because we always seem to have something to drop off or pick up. Sometimes I stop and pick up office supplies, if we need them, or go by the post office or whatever needs to be done. Sometimes I go to the drug store or the grocery store or something like that, depending on what we need at home. Just the usual running around kind of thing.

SM: What is a CCS deposit?

MK: Those are the business deposits. You know, Complete Computing Specialists? CCS?

TA: And of all those possible destinations you just said, do you remember which places you visited on the 26th?

MK: I really don't. I'm sorry.

SM: Do you remember what time you left the office and when you got back?

MK: No. I usually leave around 3:30 or 4:00, and I try to make it back by 6:00.

TA: What were you wearing that day?

MK: I really have no idea.

SM: A dress? A skirt? A suit?

MK: We're pretty casual at the office, so I was probably wearing pants or slacks of some kind, but which ones exactly I don't know.

TA: Do you own a dark-colored jacket with a hood?

MK: Yes. Well, actually it's my husband's, but I wear it too. It's a sweatshirt kind of jacket. Is that what you're talking about?

SM: Were you wearing it on January 26th?

MK: I don't think so. I know I said we're casual at work, but we're not that casual. You know what I mean?

SM: Okay. Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure we'll be talking to you again. If you think of anything you'd like to tell us, just give us a call.

End interview 11:51 a.m.

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