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Interview: Michael and Virginia Waterson, victim's parents

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 -- 9:20 AM

Kristi Waterson's parents, Michael and Virginia Waterson, were interviewed by telephone at their home in Biloxi, Mississippi. The interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
MW = Michael Waterson
VW = Virginia Waterson

TA: Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Waterson. Thank you for agreeing to talk to us today. Our deepest sympathy on your loss.

MW: Thank you. What can we do for you, Detectives? We'd like to get this over with as soon as possible so my wife can rest.

SM: Of course. First, will you both state your name and address for the record, please?

MW: Michael Waterson, 1195 Beach Blvd, Biloxi Mississippi.

VW: Virginia Waterson, same address.

TA: I understand the department has notified you that this is a murder investigation.

MW: Yes, they did. We were certain she didn't take her own life.

SM: How is that, Mr. Waterson? I mean, why were you sure she didn't commit suicide?

MW: She was so full of life, my Kristi. I knew she would never intentionally kill herself.

VW: I just knew she would never kill herself! How could someone have done this horrible thing to our daughter?

SM: We don't know, Mrs. Waterson. That's why we need your help. The more information we have about your daughter, the faster we can determine who murdered her.

VW: Of course. We'll tell you anything we can.

TA: Good. Who do think might have wanted to hurt your daughter?

VW: Oh, no one that we know could possibly have done such a thing. And she didn't have any enemies.

MW: Now, Gin, everyone has enemies, I suppose. We just don't know that Kristi had any.

SM: Did she ever mention having trouble with anyone, an ex-boyfriend for example? Anyone who may have bothered her?

MW: Kristi is... was and independent adult, after all. She really didn't confide much about her relationships to me. Gin, did she talk to you about anyone?

VW: Well, let's see. Yes, she mentioned her department head, John Brewer. Evidently he had asked her out on a date, but she said something about not wanting to go out with an old man.

SM: Did she say how Mr. Brewer reacted to her refusal?

VW: Oh, she thought it was funny that he was miffed when she refused his advances. I think she had a bit of a control issue with men.

SM: How do you mean?

VW: She liked to be in the driver's seat in relationships. I could tell from the way she talked about the men in her life.

TA: Who did she talk about?

VW: The most recent that I knew about was Hunter.

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SM: Do you know his last name?

VW: It's Wilson... Neilson... sounds something like that.

TA: Could it be Nelson?

VW: Yes! That's it Hunter Nelson.

SM: What did she say about their relationship?

VW: That they had dated, but it ran its course and she dumped him.

TA: Were those her words?

VW: Exactly. "It ran its course and I dumped him," she said.

TA: Did she tell you his reaction to that?

VW: She didn't say. She acted as though she didn't really care. She just went blithely on her way.

SM: Did you ever meet him?

VW: Oh no. For some reason, she said she was dating him on the sly. She didn't say why. She really didn't confide in me. She told me as little as possible and only when I asked. I always hoped she'd find that special someone and settle down, but she was too restless -- and independent -- I guess.

TA: What other names do you remember her mentioning?

VW: Hmm. I can't think of any others right now. I'm still in shock. And now murder. It's just too much to grasp. I can't believe she's really gone. This just doesn't happen to people like us.

TA: When was the last time you talked to her?

MW: That day. The day of her... the day she was killed. She called to ask about her mother.

TA: What time was that?

MW: Around 6:00 p.m., I think.

TA: Did she say anything about her plans or if she was expecting anyone?

MW: We talked maybe a half hour then she said she had to go. That was the last time I ever....

SM: How did she and her roommate get along?

VW: Michelle? They were cousins. They've been rooming together for four years. I imagine they had to be getting along to room together that long, but I think they sort of just tolerated each other. And to be perfectly truthful, I think Michelle resented her a little.

SM: Resented her? What for?

VW: Oh, Kristi had everything going for her. A supportive family, a wonderful prestigious job at an outstanding university. Wealth and family -- what else would a girl need? Michelle is just a student. Her family lost a great deal in that awful divorce and she's an art history major, for goodness sake. What kind of future is there in that? Of course, she's latched onto a good thing with that boyfriend of hers. That Rob, or whatever his name is.

MW: Now, Gin. You don't know anything about that.

VW: I know his father is a Texas millionaire! What's to know?

SM: I understand you fell at Kristi's apartment recently.

VW: I certainly did! Slipped on water from that blasted leaky refrigerator, and broke my hip. Been in excruciating pain ever since.

TA: Was there some talk about a lawsuit?

VW: Michael told Kristi we should sue the apartment manager and the owner because they were negligent.

SM: Did she take any action?

VW: I don't know. Michael, you talked to her. Did she ever do anything about it?

MW: No, I don't think she got a chance to do that. She went to the no-good manager's apartment, though, and confronted him. Told him we were going to sue.

TA: What was his reaction?

MW: She said he was very upset at her going to his apartment and invading his privacy. She said he really hit the roof. Told her out get out and mind her own business.

TA: Do you know his name?

MW: Dewey something. He lives right there at The Turn.

SM: Can you think of anyone else your daughter talked about that we should talk to?

VW: There's some woman at the university that she mentioned -- a Nora something -- who worked in the same department. Kristi said this Nora person was very jealous of her success and hated Kristi because of her nice, slim figure. But Kristi said if this Nora would stop gorging on bad food maybe she wouldn't be overweight. Kristi had never had a weight problem. She was very careful of her weight and wasn't sympathetic to people who couldn't control their appetites. Oh my poor dear baby!

SM: Can you think of anyone else you think we might talk to about Kristi, Mr. Waterson?

MW: I think my wife has more than adequately covered the subject, Detectives.

TA: How did you get along with your daughter, Mr. Waterson?

MW: We got along just fine, Detective. She came to me when she had a problem and we would work it out. I'll admit I didn't always approve of her choice in men... didn't understand her lifestyle... but I guess that isn't so unusual in this day and age. I‘d like to catch the no-good sonuvabitch that hurt my little girl! If there is any way I can move this along... I'd be glad to make a donation to you... to, ah....

TA: Stop right there, sir! If you want to make a donation to the County Sheriff's Office Benevolence Association, you are certainly welcome to do so, but it will have no effect one way or another on our investigation. And I advise you not to say anymore.

MW: Sorry, Detective. I'm half out of my mind with grief. I guess I didn't realize how that sounded.

SM: That is all we need for today, Mr. and Mrs. Waterson. You have our number if you wish to contact us. We'll stay in touch as our investigation progresses. Goodbye.

VW: Goodbye.

MW: Goodbye.

Interview ends -- 9:58 AM

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