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Witness Interview: Roger Hammond, victim's ex-husband

Wednesday, March 7, 2001 - 2:50 p.m.

The witness, a 26 year-old male identified as the victim's ex-husband, came into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Office at the detectives' request for a follow-up interview. The interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective Ted Armstrong
SM = Detective Sam Murphy
RH = Roger Hammond

SM: Thanks for your time again.

RH: How many times are we going to have to go through this? This is just ridiculous.

TA: We'll go through it as many times as necessary. You do want us to solve this crime, don't you?

RH: Of course. But I don't see why you have to pester me all the time. Let's get this over with. I'm Roger Hammond and I live at 4314 Mockingbird Lane.

TA: Hey, you're learning.

SM: So where've you been, Roger? You were supposed to be here at two o'clock.

RH: Look, I've got a life to lead, a job to do. I got tied up at work.

SM: You could have called us to let us know you'd be late.

RH: Yeah well, I didn't.

SM: We noticed. Makes it seem like you're not taking this too seriously.

RH: Why should I? You always ask me the same dumb questions and I already told you everything I know. I'm not the one you're looking for here, so you oughta just leave me alone and spend your time looking for the person who actually killed Missy.

TA: You'd do well to check that attitude, son.

SM: Here's an easy one for you, Roger. What is the policy at your dealership for delivering cars to customers?

RH: What do you mean?

TA: Geez, he can't even answer that one.

SM: How do you prepare a car before a buyer picks it up?

RH: Well, we clean it up, fill up the tank. Just the usual stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary.

SM: Do you put temporary tags on the car?

RH: It just depends. I guess if the buyer has already filled out all the paperwork, they might go ahead and register the car. Usually people just do that right before they drive off the lot.

SM: So the tags go on the car when they drive away?

RH: Yeah, that's probably the most common thing. We don't usually do that in advance. Why?

TA: We're just curious, Roger.

SM: Now, we still have some questions about this life insurance policy that was on Missy.

RH: This is crazy! How many times do we have to go over this?

SM: Until we get the answers we need. Now, tell us about this policy.

RH: I've told you a hundred times. It was taken out in case anything ever happened to Missy. It's for Liddie. Now, I don't know what else I can possibly say.

TA: How come you're still named as the beneficiary, even though it's been years since y'all divorced?

RH: I'm still Liddie's dad. If anything ever happened to Missy, I'd still have to take care of her.

TA: Oh, like you are now?

RH: Maybe I'm not right now, but she'll be back with me soon and I will be taking care of her.

TA: Oh yeah? How do you figure? You're not even allowed to so much as see her right now.

RH: That'll change soon enough. My lawyer's going to get the ball rolling very soon on getting me custody of my daughter back.

TA: What if she's not your daughter, Rog? Then what're you gonna do?

RH: What do you mean?

TA: I mean we're gonna have those paternity results in our hands in the next couple days and then we'll really know what's what. Maybe you should tell your lawyer to hold off on that custody thing until you find out. No point in it if you're not even Liddie's father.

RH: What are you saying? Do you know something?

TA: That's why you killed Missy, isn't it? So she wouldn't get the test done and prove you're not Liddie's father?

RH: That's ridiculous. I did not kill Missy.

TA: Oh that's right. I forgot. You killed her for the life insurance payoff, didn't you?

RH: I didn't kill her for anything! I already told you that money's for Liddie, not me.

SM: So you and Missy talked about this life insurance policy and it was a conscious decision to leave you as the beneficiary? So you could take care of Liddie with the money, of course.

RH: We debated about it. Sometimes we thought of changing the paperwork, other times we talked about just keeping it the same. It's not like it was something that came up every day.

TA: Seems weird to me that someone who took out a protection order against you would want you to get two million bucks.

RH: Well, that's just your opinion.

SM: Who opened that policy, Roger?

RH: We did. What kind of stupid question is that?

TA: Was it you or was it Missy?

RH: It was both of us.

SM: Who signed the paperwork?

RH: That's a dumb question. You know that Missy would have had to sign things.

TA: What do you think would happen if we did a handwriting analysis, Roger?

RH: You'd find Missy's handwriting!

SM: Sure about that?

RH: Of course.

TA: I guess we'll find out.

SM: I wonder if Missy even knew about this policy. I wonder if little Roger here didn't take out that policy himself and keep it a secret from her. Maybe forge her signature, keep it paid. All that kind of stuff, just in case anything ever happened.

RH: You wonder a lot, Detective. But you know what? I'm sick of this harassment. You drag me in here - what, three times now? - to ask me stupid questions. You invade my privacy and go through all my personal possessions looking for god-knows-what. You just keep wondering all you want, but I'm getting out of here. You guys want to talk to me again, call my lawyer.

TA: Sure thing, Roger. You tell that lawyer to be expecting our call.

End interview 3:11 p.m.

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