Wednesday, December 16, 1987 - 1:00 PM
Jason Finnegan, a 20-year-old student and basketball player at the University of Mississippi, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. This follow-up interview was conducted by Detective Nelson and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective Terrence Nelson
- Jason Finnegan
Detective Nelson: Have a seat. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Jason Finnegan: I'm Jason Finnegan and I live at 115 Kinard Hall. Why am I here? I already told y'all everything I know.
Detective Nelson: So you’re a full-time student living in the dorms. Are you on a scholarship?
Jason Finnegan: No.
Detective Nelson: How do you support yourself?
Jason Finnegan: Student loans.
Detective Nelson: You must really know how to stretch a dollar. I can barely pay my bills on a detective’s salary. I guess I’m more like Kevin Gilmore in that respect. I’m a train wreck when it comes to a checkbook. You didn’t think much of Kevin’s accounting practices, did you?
Jason Finnegan: Kevin was a flake. He owed everybody money. I mean, he always had some big emergency that involved lending him twenty bucks real quick before the world collapsed. I mean, the funny thing is, he was never in a hurry to pay it back.
Detective Nelson: Do you have any idea why Kevin was always short on cash? He was attending school on a scholarship. Did he have a drug problem or gamble?
Jason Finnegan: I don’t know anything about any gambling, but you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was taking steroids. I mean, last summer, the dude grew four inches in three months. It was completely unnatural. And now that you mention it, I’m pretty sure he was on the juice.
Detective Nelson: You didn’t like Kevin?
Jason Finnegan: I’ll tell you the truth. No one liked Kevin. I mean, the dude was a mooch. Nobody on the team has ever--would ever say anything about it because Kevin was the coach’s little poster boy. I mean, did you know that Kevin’s father and the coach, they went to high school together? That’s the only reason Kevin was even on the team.
Detective Nelson: So what everyone's saying is true. You did not like Kevin.
Jason Finnegan: Kevin was a weasel, as far as I was concerned. I could bury that punk in a game of one-on-one any day of the week. It was completely unbelievable that he was above me on the roster. I mean, the fix was in.
Detective Nelson: On Wednesday the 9th, you played Arkansas? Did Kevin start? Did you play?
Jason Finnegan: The starting guard is a senior, so you know, Kevin played two, three, few minutes. I didn’t get in. Why do you ask?
Detective Nelson: I’m just trying to get a picture of Kevin’s last few days. On Thursday, you had a practice. Was Kevin there?
Jason Finnegan: I think so. I didn't--I don't-- I mean, I didn’t remember not seeing him.
Detective Nelson: When’s the last time you saw Kevin?
Jason Finnegan: I guess it was last Thursday. We were watching The Cosby Show in the rec room. It was about 7:00. Kevin showed up with his best buddy, Richie Turner. They were playing pool, and that's it. I mean, honestly, I can't--I'm not surprised that he wasn't there with his idiot roommate Nick, who’s probably the little prick who told you I didn’t like Kevin.
Detective Nelson: Then what happened?
Jason Finnegan: How should I know? It's not my job to watch him.
Detective Nelson: Was it someone else's job to watch him?
Jason Finnegan: I doubt it. I mean, why would anybody want to waste their time doing that?
Detective Nelson: So when did Kevin leave the rec room? And don't tell me you didn't notice.
Jason Finnegan: Fine. It was sometime around when Cheers was over, I guess. I mean, Kevin said he was off to get to work. He had a shift that he was late to or something, and he and took off. I don't know. That was the last time I saw him.
Detective Nelson: When did you find out he was missing?
Jason Finnegan: The next day, when he missed practice. You know, the coach was pissed. And then Friday night, when he missed the Tulsa game, Coach sent out one of his assistants to call Kevin’s mom. I mean, I don’t know why everybody was so worried about him missing. I stepped in and I had a great game. Did you see it? I scored eighteen points. I had seven assists. I was on fire, man, and the team didn’t need Kevin at all. We did fine without him.
Detective Nelson: I get the feeling that you didn’t shed too many tears over Kevin Gilmore’s untimely demise. Was there any reason you might have wanted to expedite his departure? Maybe a scholarship or a starting spot when the current starter graduates this year?
Jason Finnegan: Listen, man. I was killing Kevin on the hardwood, all right? I didn’t need to do it in real life. I mean, it was only a matter of time until the coach put me above him on the roster. And you can ask anybody on the team. Kevin was going south way before this happened.
Detective Nelson: Well, do you have any idea who might've wanted to hurt Kevin?
Jason Finnegan: Honestly, I can’t think of anybody who would want to waste their time doing that. Kevin was not that big of a deal.
Detective Nelson: Is there anyone you think we should talk to?
Jason Finnegan: I mean, you could talk to his girlfriend. Her name’s Carly Brock. I don’t know her number, but I’m sure you can find it written on the wall of any men’s room. And you could also talk to that Richie guy. You know, Kevin was a master manipulator, and those two were his little puppets. Maybe they did it. I don't know. I mean, dogs do turn on their masters, right?
Detective Nelson: Do you have a car?
Jason Finnegan: No.
Detective Nelson: Have you borrowed a car from anyone recently?
Jason Finnegan: No.
Detective Nelson: Why don't you tell me your whereabouts starting on Monday the 13th at 7:30 AM, the morning Kevin was found, going backwards to, say, Thursday the 10th at 8:30 PM, the last time you saw Kevin. Can you do that for me?
Jason Finnegan: Is this some kind of trick?
Detective Nelson: What if we told you we interviewed a witness who claims to have lent you their car on Saturday night? What if we told you we found trace amounts of Kevin Gilmore’s blood in the trunk?
Jason Finnegan: Then I'd tell you that someone is lying. I’m not talking anymore without a lawyer. This is ridiculous. I mean, you think I’m just some punk kid who you're trying to pin your unsolved crime on. This is a trick. This is ridiculous. I'm done. I want a lawyer.
Detective Nelson: Well, if that's the way you want to go, you're free to leave, but we'll be in touch.