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|Witness Interview: Oscar Bulloch, Cupid's Couples Client|
Monday, May 8, 2000 - 2:00 p.m.
In response to a request for an in-person interview, Oscar Bulloch agreed to meet with the detectives at his office. Mr. Bulloch chose not to have an attorney present during the interview.
SM = Det. S. Murphy
SM: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
OB: Certainly. Oscar Bulloch.509 N. Lamar
SM: Thank you. Now, Mr. Bulloch, we wanted to meet with you this afternoon to discuss the information you gave us over the telephone regarding your last meeting with Trudi Rose. At that time, you indicated you made the appointment with Mrs. Rose to discuss a telephone call you'd received from an unidentified female who knew some personal information about you. Is that correct?
SM: What was the nature of the information the caller had about you?
OB: As I told Detective Armstrong on the phone, the information was of a personal nature. I'd rather not go into the details.
TA: We understand that, Mr. Bulloch. However, it may be relevant to the investigation into Mrs. Rose's death. We'll do what we can to keep the information confidential, but we do need you to tell us about it.
OB: I appreciate your position. However, if this information were to get out, it could be damaging...
SM: Okay, why don't we start with this. Why did you want to talk to Mrs. Rose about the call? Did you think she knew something about it? Was she the one who called you?
OB: Oh no, it wasn't her. I'd have recognized her voice.
SM: Did you recognize the voice? Did it sound familiar to you?
OB: Not at all. I'm almost 100% certain I'd never talked to that woman before.
SM: How long before you met with Mrs. Rose did the woman call you?
OB: The day before. She called me on a Sunday afternoon, ruined my whole day. I was so... rattled, I called Trudi at home, even though it was the weekend. She said she'd meet with me the next morning. And she did.
TA: Was that the first time the woman had called you?
TA: Have you talked to her again since then?
SM: Well, Mr. Bulloch? Have you?
TA: How many times?
TA: And what does she want from you?
OB: The same thing.
SM: I don't think we've established what that is.
OB: She always wants the same thing.
TA: Which is?
OB: Money. She wants money.
OB: For just the reason you'd think.
SM: She's blackmailing you?
OB: Some people might look at it that way.
SM: How do you look at it?
OB: More like a... business transaction.
SM: I see. And how many of these business transactions have you completed?
OB: None. We're still... negotiating.
SM: Really? This woman must be pretty agreeable to let the negotiations go on this long. Are you sure you haven't given her any money?
OB: You think I don't know when I spend money?
SM: Fine. We'll take your word for that, right now. You realize we can check your bank records, right?
OB: Please do.
TA: Okay, let's get down to it. What is this woman holding over you?
OB: It's nothing you should be concerned about, a small personal indiscretion. Nothing illegal of course, but something that could be embarrassing if it became public knowledge.
TA: But it's important enough to you that you're willing to pay her not to disclose it?
OB: I haven't so far.
SM: Why did you want to talk to Mrs. Rose about the call? Did you think she knew something about it?
OB: I didn't know. It seemed like some of the things the woman said could have come from what I told Trudi.
SM: Like what?
OB: The woman seemed to know how much money I earn, which is one of the things I told Trudi. It was part of my profile. And it's not something most people know.
TA: Why did you tell Mrs. Rose?
OB: She said it was something standard she asked all her clients. She didn't actually say so, but I got the feeling she tried not to match up two people whose income levels were significantly different.
TA: Was that something you asked her to consider when matching you up with someone?
OB: Not specifically, but it seems like a good rule of thumb to me. And after what happened with Ken, you can see how Trudi might want to be extra careful about possible gold-diggers.
OB: Oh, come on. Ken Edwards. Everyone knows about that relationship. It was in the news quite a lot at the time.
TA: You remember the name of the woman he married?
OB: Certainly. Natasha Van Moore.
SM: Are you acquainted with Mr. Edwards and Ms. Van Moore?
OB: Yes, I know both of them. I often do business with Ken's bank. And I see Natasha around town.
SM: Did you know them while they were married?
SM: And you believe Ms. Van Moore married Mr. Edwards for his money?
OB: I don't know. When they were together, it certainly seemed like she loved him. But since they split up, Ken always says she only married him for the money. She definitely left the marriage a lot better off financially than she was when she went in, but who really knows what goes on between two people like that?
TA: Two people like what?
OB: You know, two people who are involved in a relationship. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors?
SM: Is Ms. Van Moore the woman who's blackmailing you?
OB: Why would you ask me that?
SM: Is she?
OB: No. She's not the one who called me.
SM: You would recognize her voice if it had been?
OB: I think so.
SM: So you know her pretty well.
OB: Well enough.
SM: How well?
OB: Look, I've always liked Natasha. She's a very interesting woman. And she does good work with that school of hers. Lords knows, a lot of the kids today could use some manners. I even sponsor a couple of her students.
TA: What do you mean sponsor? How does that work?
OB: It's just something I do. I pay the tuition expenses for a couple of students, ones who might otherwise not be able to attend her classes. All in the interest of promoting social etiquette, you see. It's something I believe in.
TA: You believe in etiquette?
OB: Yes. Don't you?
TA: Oh, of course. How long have you been doing this "sponsoring?"
OB: I don't recall exactly. About a year I would think.
TA: And how did you get involved in it?
OB: I ran into Natasha sometime after her split with Ken, but before their divorce was final. We got to talking and she shared her concerns with me that she might have to close Good Graces because of cash flow problems. All the negative publicity she was getting around that time was really hurting the school. During that discussion, she also told me she hoped she would be able to continue with the help of the new sponsorship program she'd recently started, if she could find enough people who were interested. As it turned out, I was interested and that's how I got into it.
TA: So what do you get out of this sponsorship, other than the joy of helping poor kids with bad manners? That money is not tax deductible.
OB: No, it's not, though I can certainly see an argument for why it should be. But other than the satisfaction of knowing there are at least a few more people in the world who know how to move about in polite society, I also attend the parties Natasha gives for the students and other sponsors like myself. They're always quite enjoyable and it's a pleasure to see the fruits of my sponsorship.
SM: This all sounds very strange, Mr. Bulloch. Do you see how we might have a hard time understanding this?
OB: It's all a matter of how you look at it, I suppose, Detective. To me, it's strange that you choose to spend your time chasing criminals and quizzing people you don't know about their personal lives. In the final analysis, my association with Good Graces is similar to a membership in a social organization, like a country club for instance. I pay what you could consider membership dues and in exchange I am invited to attend social events. The fact that my dues also enable some young people to be educated in proper etiquette is just a side benefit, from my point of view.
TA: I understand that most, if not all, of the Good Graces students are female. Just out of curiosity, by any chance are all the Good Graces sponsors male?
OB: Of course not. What are you implying?
SM: Do you think the woman who called you might somehow also be associated with Good Graces?
OB: I wouldn't think so. That doesn't really fall into the category of polite behavior, would you say?
TA: Do you know Dana Pomeroy?
OB: Sounds familiar...
TA: She works at Cupid's Couples and also at Good Graces.
OB: Oh yes, Dana. Of course. I didn't realize that was her last name. Very nice girl, Dana.
SM: Could she be the woman who called you?
OB: No, I don't think so. I've spoken to her over the phone several times. I would certainly have recognized her voice.
TA: What about Corinna Morgan? Do you know her?
OB: Where would I have met her?
TA: She worked at Cupid's Couples until a few months ago.
OB: Well, then I probably do know her.
TA: Here's a picture of her. Does that jog your memory at all?
OB: Oh yes. I have met her quite a few times at Cupid's Couples when I went in. For some reason, I never could recall her name. It was very embarrassing actually.
TA: Was she the woman who called you?
OB: I don't think so. As I said, the woman's voice is not familiar to me. I don't think she's anyone I'm acquainted with.
TA: Ms. Morgan was the employee who was fired for allegedly stealing some client files, including yours, as I mentioned to you before. Are you positive she isn't the woman who called you?
OB: As positive as I can be. Since I can't see the woman over the phone, I can't very well identify her from a photo.
TA: You were very upset when I first told you your Cupid's Couples file might have been stolen, but you seem much calmer about it now. Why is that?
OB: Well, it was quite a shock when you first told me. I suppose I've just had time to get used to the idea. And you don't seem altogether certain that my file actually was stolen. You always use words like "allegedly" or "might have been." It's possible that had nothing to do with this other... situation.
TA: Do you have an opinion about whether the woman got information from your Cupid's Couples file?
OB: I really don't know where she got it.
SM: Mr. Bulloch, where does this woman call you? At home? Here at your office?
OB: She has only called me at home.
SM: Do you know when she will be calling you again?
OB: How would I know that?
SM: Possibly, in your last conversation, she mentioned a time when she would contact you again to... continue your negotiations?
OB: I don't think so.
SM: We'd like to put some equipment on your phone to record and trace her next call when it comes in. Would that be all right with you?
OB: I don't know about that. It sounds like quite an invasion of privacy.
SM: We'd like to do this with your cooperation, sir, but we can get a court order if necessary. Blackmail is against the law.
OB: Well, it would be pointless for me to refuse then, wouldn't it? When would you want to do this?
SM: As soon as possible.
OB: Fine. Why don't you come by this evening then, around 7:00?
SM: We'll be there. Now, Mr. Bulloch, when you spoke to Mrs. Rose about the phone call, what did she say?
OB: She was very distressed for me and quite upset that someone could somehow have gotten confidential client information from Cupid's Couples.
SM: Did she think that was what had happened? That the information had, in fact, come from Cupid's Couples?
OB: She didn't think so, but wasn't positive. She said she'd see what she could find out and let me know.
SM: Did she ever get back to you about what she'd found out?
OB: No. I suppose she didn't have a chance to before she passed on.
TA: Do you have any idea who might have killed Mrs. Rose?
OB: No, I don't. It's terrible what happened to her. I hope you find the guilty party and bring him or her to justice very soon.
TA: Did you kill Mrs. Rose?
OB: Certainly not! Why on earth would I do that?
TA: Maybe you thought she was responsible for the blackmail. Maybe that's the real reason you went to see her that Monday, one week before she died. How could you have known she had an accomplice who would pick up where she left off? Is that what happened?
OB: Absolutely not! That is utterly ridiculous! Trudi was a very kind woman who never did anything but try to help me find a suitable match. I had absolutely no reason to want to hurt her.
TA: Do you know anything about poisons?
OB: No, nothing at all. Not one thing.
SM: Mr. Bulloch, do you think Mrs. Rose's death is at all connected to the woman blackmailing you?
OB: I have no idea. Anything is possible, but I don't know of any connection.
SM: Would you be willing to ask the woman about that when she calls you next?
OB: I... I suppose I could, but I can't imagine that would really work. Certainly, if she was involved, she wouldn't admit it, right?
SM: When we come by tonight, we can go over some techniques with you that you might use when speaking to her.
OB: If you think that's best... But now, Detectives, if you'll excuse me, I do have another appointment in a few minutes.
SM: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us this afternoon,
Mr. Bulloch. I don't believe we have any more questions just now.
We'll see you at your home tonight.