Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 1:10 p.m.
Tucker Allison is the farmer who reported the vandalism on his property. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his residence at 414 Old Taylor Road. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Tucker Allison
Detective Armstrong: For the record, would you state your name and address?
Tucker Allison: Yes, sir. My name is Tucker Allison. I live here at 414 Old Taylor Road where my farm is.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Allison, tell us what happened today.
Tucker Allison: Well, it was about mid-morning, and I was putting away the tractor and fiddling around in the barn there when my boy, Freddy, come running up the path. He was with his friend, Melissa Bridges, and they'd been walking around in the woods on the edge of my pasture there. It's a little strip on the border of my property. The creek runs through there. It kind of divides up my property with old Lester Owens.
Detective Murphy: Yes, sir, beautiful property. You say Freddy came running up the path?
Tucker Allison: That's right. Freddy and Melissa came running up, telling me they found something. Freddy was hollering, "Daddy, Daddy! We found the witching grounds!"
Detective Armstrong: Witching grounds?
Tucker Allison: Lord only knows where he got that from, but that's it. That's when I walked out there with them. They led me right to it, and sure enough, there was a big piece of ground about 20 feet square that somebody cleared off. It sure did look like a witching ground.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you've been to that area on your property?
Tucker Allison: Hmm, let's see. I don't get over there much, not lately anyways. Lord, it was probably back around Christmas when I went over there. One of my cows got loose, and I walked by the creek over near there when I was hunting for it.
Detective Murphy: And there was nothing unusual about the property at that time?
Tucker Allison: No, ma'am, not that I can recall. Something like that would have jumped out at me, I reckon.
Detective Armstrong: The chicken that was found over there, did that belong to you?
Tucker Allison: Very well could have. I remember a couple of weeks back — this must've been three or four weeks ago — I noticed one of my chickens missing. I just assumed it was the damn coyotes.
Detective Armstrong: Coyotes a problem around here lately?
Tucker Allison: We killed them off mostly, but it looks like they're back this year. Freddy heard me cussing them, and he asked could he sit out by the coop with the rifle and wait for them. So he sat out there about two or three nights but didn't never see one. Like I said, when the coyotes are back, missing chickens ain't no big deal.
Detective Armstrong: The wooden crate that was burned, could that have been from somewhere on your farm?
Tucker Allison: Well, the only wooden crate that I can imagine is one in my closet. It's where I keep hunting supplies like shells and gloves and socks and what have you. Near as I can recall, it's still there. I can't specify for sure, but I reckon I would've noticed if that big box was gone. Yep, as a matter of fact, I stubbed my toe on it just the other morning. That's the only crate I can think of.
Detective Armstrong: And the bucket? Would that have come from your property?
Tucker Allison: No, we don't use chlorine. No need for it. Sheila's always hollering for a swimming pool though. We got a pond, but….
Detective Murphy: Do you recall any unusual activity near your place in the past month or two? You or any neighbors ever see anyone you don't know hanging around?
Tucker Allison: Well, I'm all the time seeing people stop on the edge of my pasture on the back side of my property. There's a road runs back there. Along the side, up next to my fenced-in pasture, there's a ditch just full of worms. I'm forever seeing folks stop their car and dig up worms from the side of my pasture, and I've never bothered any of 'em about it. One, 'cause it ain't my property to worry with. And two, well, it just wouldn't be right to stop a man from gathering his fishing worms.
Detective Murphy: Anyone you did bother with?
Tucker Allison: Now, I'll tell you, I do sometimes catch kids from the school out in my pasture looking for mushrooms.
Detective Murphy: Which school? Your son's?
Tucker Allison: No, no. More like the high school or the university. The last one I caught was around the end of the summer, and he tried to tell me he was from the biology department. I've heard every excuse in the book.
Detective Murphy: Anyone else?
Tucker Allison: Now y'all know about this, I reckon, but there were those other boys who came out cow-tipping one night last fall and ended up spray painting some of my cows. Lord knows how they got it in their heads to do that, but that's just goes to show there's always some strange characters around. I tell you, Ms. Rowsey's store was vandalized a couple of weeks back. You might talk to her about that.
Detective Armstrong: We'll do that. Have you noticed any strange behavior from your neighbors?
Tucker Allison: That's a good one. It's a peculiar lot that lives around here. I guess anybody might say the same thing about their neighbors anywhere. But let's see… out of the ordinary?
Detective Armstrong: Anything at all that comes to mind.
Tucker Allison: Well, I rent a house to a guy over on the south side of my property, not far from Taylor Creek. JC Strong, he drives the mail truck from Memphis to Taylor. He's pretty out of the ordinary.
Detective Armstrong: You see him lately?
Tucker Allison: I can't never rouse him, so I haven't talked to him in about a month. If you see him, tell him he owes me two months rent.
Detective Armstrong: What does he do that make you think he's out of the ordinary?
Tucker Allison: He's not very neighborly, I guess you'd call it. Like I said, it's been a month or so since I've seen him. But he does have some rowdy parties over there every now and then, so he must have made some friends somewhere.
Detective Armstrong: You remember the last time he had one of those parties?
Tucker Allison: I can't say he's had one in a while. Maybe back in December was the last one? But I was out of town a couple weeks last month, so I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Why were you out of town?
Tucker Allison: My brother lives in Texas, and he was dying of esophageal cancer. He didn't make it.
Detective Murphy: Oh, no. We're sorry for your loss.
Tucker Allison: Yeah, it's been a long year already. Can't get away from death lately, it seems like.
Detective Murphy: I think that's all we need for right now, Mr. Allison. Thanks for your time. Do you mind if we talk to Freddy?
Tucker Allison: No, ma'am, not at all. Just be aware, he's got an active imagination.
Detective Armstrong: We'll keep it in mind.
Tucker Allison: Uh, y'all are going to clear all that mess out of here, aren't you?
Detective Armstrong: You bet.
Tucker Allison: Appreciate it. I don't want Freddy seeing any more of that.
Interview ends - 1:32 p.m.