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|Witness Interview: Carmen Rodriguez (AKA Carmen Gettit)|
Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - 10:40 a.m.
After identifying fingerprints on a matchbook found on Wendy Holloway #00-112 as belonging to Willie King, Sheriff's investigators tracked down Mr. King's current Oxford address. Det. Sam Murphy visited the residence at 610 Apt. A, Van Buren Avenue on Tuesday morning, July 18, 2000. Mr. King was not present at the residence, but Det. Murphy did speak to his live-in girlfriend, Carmen Rodriguez.
SM: Good morning, ma'am. I'm Detective Sam Murphy with the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. I'd like to speak to Willie King. Is he in, please?
CR: He's not here. I threw him out last Friday night. He's gone. What has he done?
SM: Do you know where he is?
CR: Don't know, don't care.
SM: We need to speak to him. Are you his wife? Could you give me your full name please?
CR: His wife? Ah, I should be so lucky to have him as a husband. No. We live together. I have wasted three years on this man. What has he done?
SM: And your name ma'am?
CR: Carmen Maria Rodriguez. But you didn't tell me. What's he done?
SM: We need to ask Mr. King some questions related to an ongoing investigation. I'm afraid I'm not able to tell you any more than that.
CR: I told him, one day it would happen. I told him to stop with the drugs. Does he listen? No, he listens to no one.
SM: When was the last time you spoke to Mr. King?
CR: That night, at Proud Larry's... he has his hands all over that woman. I told him I am not putting up with that.
SM: And this was Friday?
CR: Yes... no, I don't know. The 14th it was, I believe. I told him, come get your things and get out of my life. I put his things on the porch, because, well, I don't even want to see him. You know? Saturday morning, they were gone.
SM: Did you put all of Mr. King's belongings outside?
CR: No, just his clothes.
SM: Do you know where he went after he left Proud Larry's?
CR: Hound Dog's. His drummer, Danny Morgan. Okay, I called over there. I was thinking he was with that woman. But Hound Dog tells me he's alone. He tells me they are going fishing to Sardis Lake for a few days. But now, they are in New Orleans.
SM: Did you speak to Mr. King on the phone that day, while he was at Mr. Morgan's?
CR: No, I did not! He hadn't apologized then and he still hasn't now.
SM: Have you heard from Mr. King since then?
SM: Do you know where in New Orleans he might be?
CR: They're playing at The Howlin' Wolf.
SM: How do you know where he is, if you haven't spoken to him?
CR: I am the band's bookkeeper, so I know their schedule. If they hadn't shown up for a gig, I would have heard about it. They won't be back to Oxford until next week.
SM: Do you know where they might be staying in New Orleans?
CR: Last time we were there, we stayed at the Landmark on Rampart Street, not right in the Quarter but close enough. They might be there.
SM: You know, I can't help feeling that I know you from somewhere.
CR: I'm a law-abiding citizen, Detective.
SM: I remember now. You're that comic Carmen Gettit. I've seen you do stand-up at the Jubilee Lounge!
CR: Oh? How nice to be recognized.
SM: Gettit is your stage name or something?
CR: You got it.
SM: I really enjoy your act when I get a chance to see it. Do you have any new jokes you'd like to try out on me?
CR: Um... not off the top of my head... You know, I have the greatest respect for the job you police do. Would you like a donut?
SM: Cute. Here's my card. We'll try to contact Mr. King in New Orleans but if he does call you, please ask him to contact me at the Sheriff's Department immediately. It would also be a big help if you could just give us a call too, to let us know you heard from him.
CR: I understand.
SM: Thank you for your time, Ms. Rodriguez. We'd appreciate it if you didn't leave town until after we've spoken to Mr. King, okay?
CR: Me? I'm not going anywhere. I'm at the Jubilee Lounge again this weekend. Why don't you stop by?
SM: I'll try to do that. You have a good day now, Ms. Rodriguez.
End interview 10:59 a.m.