|Witness Interview: Kelly Clinton, Cupid's Couples Co-Owner|
Wednesday, April 5, 2000 - 10:30 a.m.
This interview was conducted at the offices of Cupid's Couples. Ms. Clinton was not in custody and did not wish to have an attorney present during the interview.
M = Det. S. Murphy
M: Ms. Clinton, thank you for making the time to talk with us. Could you please state your name and address for the record?
C: Kelly Clinton. I live at 812 Sisk.
M: When did you hear about Trudi Rose's death?
C: Bobby Joe, her husband, called me at home around five-thirty, six o' clock yesterday and he told me. I was very upset. I think I dropped the phone.
M: What did Mr. Rose tell you?
C: He said that they had found Trudi's body at the office, that she was dead.
M: Did Mr. Rose say how he knew this?
C: He said someone called him, someone from the police department. And then he said he was going down to identify the body at the morgue.
A: When was the last time you saw Mrs. Rose?
C: Sunday afternoon. I was sick the end of last week, Thursday and Friday especially. But Sunday I was feeling better and went in to the office to catch up on some work. Trudi was there too, doing the same thing. We've both been fighting this same bug. But then I started feeling bad again and I left around two o'clock. I stopped in to talk to Trudi before I left.
A: You didn't go to work on Monday?
C: No. I was still feeling sick. I was hoping, if I didn't go to work and just stayed home and rested, I'd be able to work the rest of the week.
A: So the last time you spoke to Trudi Rose was Sunday afternoon?
C: No, that's the last time I saw her. I talked to her on the phone Monday morning.
A: What time was that?
C: A little before nine, I think. Maybe 8:45? I don't remember exactly.
A: What did you talk about?
C: I told her I was still sick and that I was planning to stay home. I wanted to make sure that wouldn't be a problem.
A: Did you think it might be a problem?
C: I knew Dana was going to the doctor that morning and neither of the part-timers were available to cover because they had classes. So I wanted to make sure Trudi would be okay by herself. She said she'd be fine. Little did we know...
M: You are in charge of the financial operations of the business?
C: That's right. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, that kind of thing. Trudi is the matchmaker. I handle the business end.
M: What is the structure of your business?
C: We're a matchmaking service.
M: I mean the corporate structure.
C: Oh. Trudi and I are fifty-fifty owners, straight down the line. And then a few years ago, we decided we would invest twenty percent of what we made - ten percent each - into the business and that was a great decision. It really helped us all around.
M: Who benefits now that Mrs. Rose is dead? Do you own the business by yourself?
C: No. Her husband and I are partners. I assume she left her half to him. I think I might sell my part to him.
M: Why do you think he would want to run a dating service?
C: I don't know that he would, but I don't know if I can do it without Trudi. I mean, she's the one with the flair for matchmaking. I was never as good at that as she was. I just don't know if I could do it... Oh, I don't know what I'm saying. Maybe it will all work out.
A: So you are going to stay in the Oxford area?
C: Why would I leave?
A: Just curious.
C: This is my home. I'm not going anywhere.
M: So you handle the business side of things. Does that include your bank accounts?
C: Yes. I mean, Trudi and I have equal access to the accounts, but I'm the one who writes the checks to pay the bills and I usually make the deposits and that kind of thing.
M: Where do you bank?
C: We have an account at First National, but it's really small. Trudi got paranoid around the time that Ken Edwards sued us since he's the head honcho over there. So she moved most of the money out of there and put it in United Southern Bank. It's closer to our office, anyway.
M: Any other accounts?
M: Tell us about the relationship between Cupid's Couples and Ken Edwards. The lawsuit, what led up to it, and so forth.
C: I'm not supposed to talk about him.
M: What do you mean?
C: Our lawyer gave us strict instructions not to talk about Ken Edwards at all. Not with anyone.
M: I think you can make an exception in our case.
C: I'd really rather not until I check with the lawyer. Is that okay?
M: Fine. You'll be sure to speak to your attorney before we talk again, won't you?
C: Of course.
M: Did Cupid's Couples ever make any other matches that didn't work out?
C: Not like that, not where one of the clients sued us. I mean, sure, some of the matches don't work out, but most people understand that's part of the deal. There are no guarantees, especially not where love is concerned.
A: Does Mrs. Rose have any enemies that you know of?
C: No. Not at all. She's one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. You know her, right?
A: Yes, I knew her.
C: She doesn't have any enemies I can think of.
M: What about Corinna Morgan?
C: What about her?
M: Is she holding a grudge against Mrs. Rose or you or the business? Would you consider her an enemy?
C: No, I don't think so.
M: I understand she had worked here at Cupid's Couples for quite a few years and she was fired in February.
C: That's true.
M: Why was she fired?
C: She was caught stealing client files.
M: Who caught her?
C: I did.
M: Did you and Mrs. Rose both feel she should be fired?
C: Actually, Trudi didn't want to fire her at first, but I convinced her it was our only option.
M: Why was that the only option?
C: Our clients must be able to trust that the information they provide is strictly confidential. The fact that Corinna had files in her briefcase was a serious breach of that trust. We had to fire her to show we had no tolerance for any infringement of client confidentiality. It was the only thing we could do.
M: What was Ms. Morgan's reaction?
C: She denied the whole thing. She said she hadn't taken the files and she didn't know how they got in her briefcase.
M: You didn't believe her?
C: I found the files in her briefcase. How else would they have gotten there?
A: How was Mrs. Rose's relationship with her husband?
C: What do you mean?
A: Were they getting along? Arguing?
C: They were fine. They argued sometimes, like any couple. But they were fine.
A: What did they argue about?
C: I don't know. Him working too much, her working too much, that kind of thing. I don't really know. Why are you asking me this?
M: Had Mrs. Rose been behaving in any way unusually lately? Had she done anything out of the ordinary?
C: I don't think so. She's been a little distracted recently, but she was probably just tired from being sick.
M: You don't think it could have been anything else? Something troubling her maybe?
C: I guess she could have been worried about something. She's been pretty quiet, keeping things to herself, you know? If I had been feeling better, I probably would have tried harder to find out why she was being so quiet...
M: Ms. Clinton, we don't have confirmation on this from the lab yet, but we do believe Mrs. Rose was poisoned. Does that surprise you?
C: What are you telling me? You think someone killed Trudi on purpose?
M: Yes, we do. Do you have any idea who might have wanted Mrs. Rose dead?
C: No one. I don't know of anyone at all who didn't like Trudi, especially not enough to kill her.
M: Do you have any experience with poisons, Ms. Clinton?
C: Me? No, of course not. You think I killed Trudi? Why would I want to do that? She's my best friend.
A: Are you planning any vacations any time soon, Ms. Clinton?
C: This time of year, I usually do like to go away to Florida or an island somewhere. But I won't go anywhere until all of this is figured out.
A: That's good. And you understand that you must not remove or destroy any files until this investigation is complete. We've agreed not to take all your files into evidence, since that would cripple your business. But we have posted an officer here who will log the files in and out as long as this investigation is ongoing. You understand that no one in this office - that includes you, any employees, any clients, or anyone else who just happens by - is permitted to destroy or remove any files, correct? Not even one. Anyone who did try to do so would be subject to criminal prosecution for tampering with evidence. You understand these conditions?
C: Yes, of course. I really appreciate your help with this.
M: Fine. We'll probably need to speak with you again. We'll be in touch with you soon.
C: I look forward to it. Have a nice day, Detectives.