Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 11:32 a.m.
Will Sands is a longtime bartender at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill, which is one of the places Rick Crawford recommended to Oscar Knight on the evening of May 25, 2013. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Sands at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department to find out if Oscar Knight visited The Roadhouse that night. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Will Sands
Detective Murphy: Nice to see you again, Will. You remember Detective Parker?
Will Sands: I do, and it's good to see you both again. You still hiding old Armstrong in the back there?
Detective Murphy: Well, you know how Detective Armstrong is.
Will Sands: You know, even he comes by The Roadhouse every once in a while and says hello and orders a burger. They must be working you too hard.
Detective Parker: They do keep us busy. Before we get too much further, if you could?
Will Sands: Oh yeah, sure. My name is Will Sands. 1002 College Hill Road. So what can I do for you guys today? I haven't heard about any murders or anything.
Detective Parker: Do you know anyone by the name of Oscar Knight?
Will Sands: I don't know. Doesn't sound familiar.
Detective Murphy: Well, take a look at this picture. See if that rings any bells.
Will Sands: That guy? You know, I never knew his name, but I recognize him. He was at The Roadhouse this weekend. Yeah, he's a real piece of work.
Detective Parker: Do you remember what night he was there?
Will Sands: Hard to forget. Saturday.
Detective Parker: What made it hard to forget?
Will Sands: Well, you know The Roadhouse. We're a nice, relaxed place where folks come in to take it easy and maybe have a drink or two, have some chow. You know, ever since you arrested that Benito guy, even the parking lot has been more pleasant.
Detective Murphy: Nobody's hanging out in your parking lot, Will?
Will Sands: Well, no, I wouldn't say nobody, but it's not like it used to be, so– and we thank you for that.
Detective Murphy: Just doing our jobs. So what is it about this guy that made him stand out to you?
Will Sands: Well, he started a fight in the bar, and that doesn't happen a lot, so that's something you always remember.
Detective Parker: A physical fight?
Will Sands: Well, not exactly. It was leading to that though. But he walked away when I walked over there with my baseball bat.
Detective Parker: Who was he fighting with?
Will Sands: Well, I don't want to get this guy in trouble. And he never hit this guy that you're asking questions about, and he's really been going through a hard time lately.
Detective Murphy: If he didn't hurt him, he wouldn't be in any trouble, so who is it?
Will Sands: Well, you remember that old Joey Beecher, right? Now I never thought that I could feel bad for that guy, but he's really had it tough this last year, ever since his boss got killed.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Will Sands: Well, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I mean, I know you've met the Beechers, but boy, ever since Joey lost his job, he and his wife have been having a real hard time.
Detective Parker: How do you know?
Will Sands: Well, you know how it is. Everybody always tells the bartender their hard luck story whenever they're getting a drink.
Detective Parker: And what was Joey Beecher's hard luck story?
Will Sands: Just between us? Because loose lips sink ships, and they'll downright ruin a bartender. And if a bartender can't be trusted by his customers, then he doesn't have any customers.
Detective Murphy: Just between us, Will.
Will Sands: OK, but you didn't hear it from me.
Detective Parker: Of course .
Will Sands: Well, I don't know if you've ever met the Beechers. I know that Detective Murphy has when she was working on that Fontaine mess. Everybody knows that the Beechers argue a lot. Now, don't get me wrong. He never did anything physical to her from what I heard.
Detective Murphy: Understood. Has something changed between them recently?
Will Sands: Well, now, old Will is not a marriage counselor. He's a bartender. But ever since that Fontaine salary hasn't been coming in for Joey, she's been looking around.
Detective Parker: What do you mean by "looking around?"
Will Sands: Well, from what I heard, Stacy was really interested in the good life, and well, I'm pretty sure she thought that old Philip Fontaine would be able to get them there. But we know how that worked out, huh?
Detective Murphy: And?
Will Sands: And it seems that Joey's been having a real difficult time finding a job lately, so she's been looking at greener pastures.
Detective Parker: What does this have to do with Oscar Knight?
Will Sands: Well, he came into the bar that night, and I just got a certain feeling about him when he came up to order a beer. So I kept my eye on him.
Detective Parker: Why?
Will Sands: Well, I could tell he was trouble. When you've been working in this business as long as I have, you get a certain sense if somebody's going to be trouble after having a couple of drinks. Those are the ones you've got to keep your eye on.
Detective Parker: And Oscar was one of these people?
Will Sands: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I was right about him. Yeah. He ordered a shot of tequila and a draft beer, and then he tried to tell me how to pour the draft beer. Just one of those guys who thinks he knows everything about everything.
Detective Murphy: Did he say anything else besides tell you how to do your job?
Will Sands: I don't know. We were pretty busy that night, so I don't know if I paid attention or not to him, but I do recall that he said he had just come from a family reunion earlier that day and he needed a drink because of those people.
Detective Parker: Did he seem like he had had some to drink before he came to The Roadhouse?
Will Sands: On the record? I didn't notice anything about him that might tell me that he'd had a couple of alcoholic beverages before I saw him.
Detective Murphy: And off the record?
Will Sands: Well, off the record, it did seem as though maybe he had a couple of drinks before coming in, but I couldn't prove it. And he certainly wasn't drunk because it would be illegal for us to serve him any alcoholic beverages if he was intoxicated.
Detective Murphy: It's not always easy to tell, is it?
Will Sands: No, it's not. But if anybody was intoxicated, we would not serve them any more.
Detective Murphy: We know you wouldn't do that, Will, so don't worry.
Detective Parker: What does this have to do with Oscar Knight fighting with Joey Beecher?
Will Sands: It tells you the kind of guy that he was. See, next thing I know, he's getting real close and up next to Stacy, and he's giving her the hard sell pitch and she's buying into it. That was until Joey came in.
Detective Parker: And that's when the fight happened?
Will Sands: Well, not exactly a fight, but you know, whenever a man sees another man's arm around his wife, something unpleasant is about to happen.
Detective Parker: So Joey Beecher got into a fight with Oscar Knight because Oscar was hitting on Stacy?
Will Sands: Yeah, that's pretty much the size of it.
Detective Parker: OK.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember what time that happened?
Will Sands: When that Oscar guy came in or when the fight happened?
Detective Murphy: Both.
Will Sands: Well, let's see. The Oscar character came in around 7:00? And let's see. It was real busy, so I'm not sure. But Joey came in around 9:00 or 9:15. And then the fight happened right when Joey got in there.
Detective Parker: Did Joey talk to you at all when he came in?
Will Sands: No, but that wasn't the first time he'd been there looking for his wife. Like I told you, they've been having a lot of trouble this last year or so.
Detective Parker: So Oscar wasn't the first person that Joey's gotten in a fight with over Stacy?
Will Sands: Look…
Detective Murphy: Now, Will, we've always done right by you. Nobody has ever accused you of talking out of school because of us. Isn't that right?
Will Sands: And that's all right with your partner? She's no Armstrong.
Detective Murphy: In terms of this question, she's exactly the same as Detective Armstrong.
Will Sands: Oh, OK. Well, now you didn't hear it from old Will that whenever Stacy comes in, she cozies up to any guy who has a fatter wallet than her husband. And it wasn't Will that told you that Joey comes in all bowed up whenever he suspects that Stacy is up to her usual tricks.
Detective Parker: So Joey came in, saw Oscar with Stacy, then what happened?
Will Sands: Joey started chewing this Oscar guy out, and– but he didn't back down. And Joey was yelling at him, saying, "You keep your hands off my wife," and this Oscar character was yelling back, saying how that it was Stacy that was coming on to him.
Detective Parker: And what was Stacy doing during all of this?
Will Sands: Well, now, this is just ol' Will's interpretation of it, but she looked like she was eating it up. See, Joey's a big guy, and most men back down from him, but this guy didn't. And she looked like she liked that.
Detective Murphy: Hm. Did Oscar seem like someone who had a lot of money?
Will Sands: You couldn't tell by his tips, but he was buying Stacy drinks. And they weren't the draft beers that she usually gets for herself. Cocktails.
Detective Parker: You said the fight broke up before you had to step in. Why did that happen?
Will Sands: Well, it just seemed to me that this Oscar character realized that she wasn't worth the time. He said something like, "You can have her and keep her. If you can." And then he just walked away.
Detective Murphy: Did Joey follow him?
Will Sands: No. He just watched him go all the way out the door, and then he grabbed Stacy by the arm and told her that they were leaving, and she refused to go. So he left her there.
Detective Murphy: Did he say where he was going?
Will Sands: Not that I heard.
Detective Murphy: Do you think he followed Oscar?
Will Sands: I don't know. I doubt it. He was more made at Stacy than he was at Oscar.
Detective Murphy: Well, you know what people say Joey used to do for Philip Fontaine?
Will Sands: Oh, I know. Nobody can argue that Joey didn't… how do you say? Knock sense into people, but if he went after every single guy that Stacy flirted with, you guys would've arrested him a long time ago.
Detective Parker: What did Stacy do after Joey left?
Will Sands: She ordered another drink. She stayed there until after last call.
Detective Murphy: Have you seen Oscar since that night?
Will Sands: No. I mean, he was from out of town, right?
Detective Murphy: What makes you say that?
Will Sands: Well, he had said that he was in town for a family reunion. I would assume he's home by now, right?
Detective Murphy: Did he happen to mention where he was staying while he was in town?
Will Sands: Oh, yeah. He did. He said he was staying at the Rebel Inn. Now, I don't think that Stacy would've been very interested with him if she'd have found that out, so maybe not, but– wait a minute. That's what this is about. This is about that finger at the Rebel Inn.
Detective Murphy: Now, Will, you know that we can't discuss an ongoing investigation with you. But we thank you for your insights. And if you happen to hear from Oscar Knight, you give us a call because we need to talk to him.
Will Sands: Will do. And you guys should come in at The Roadhouse with Armstrong next time. Even though you work hard, you still gotta eat, right?
Detective Murphy: It was good to see you, Will. We'll be in touch.
Interview ends: 12:11 p.m.