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Witness Interview: Elizabeth Pane, Victim's Mother

Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 2:37 p.m.

This witness was interviewed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at White Memorial Chapel by Det. Ted Armstrong. The interview was taped on a portable tape recorder with the witness' knowledge and consent.

TA = Det. T. Armstrong
EP = Elizabeth Pane


TA: Thank you, ma'am for consenting to speak with me during this trying time.

EP: I want to help.

TA: I understand. Okay. For the record, could you state your name and address?

EP: Elizabeth Austin Pane, 3108 Chartiers Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

TA: Thank you. Now, Mrs. Pane, were you aware that your daughter, Wendy Pane Holloway, had moved to Oxford, Mississippi?

EP: Yes, after her vacation, she stopped over in Pittsburgh to stay with me a few days. She told me her plans then.

TA: Did she tell you why she had decided to relocate?

EP: She said that she was going to help that writer with the research on his novel.

TA: Do you know the writer's name?

EP: Blake Stillwater.

TA: Did your daughter state any other reasons for wanting to relocate?

EP: Well... I'm not altogether sure what you mean by relocate. I didn't think she was moving there permanently. I thought it was only for a few months.

TA: So, she planned to return to Seattle?

EP: I thought she did, though she never said that.

TA: Okay. Were there any other reasons for her to move to Oxford, just the same?

EP: Well, you may not know this, but her brother, Peter, now lives in Memphis. They recently rekindled their relationship. I believe she liked the idea that she was near him, too.

TA: Rekindled their relationship? Were there problems previous to that?

EP: I suppose. Really, I think it was just the usual sibling rivalry that psychiatrists speak of. You see, my husband and I divorced when they were young. It was a difficult separation and it was very hard on both of them. I think, looking back, that they focused their distress over our broken marriage on one another in the form of competitiveness. Does that make any sense?

TA: Sure. I have kids. I know what you're talking about. So, there was no real animosity between them in recent years?

EP: Well, I wouldn't say that. Peter's father died about three years ago. Peter was very upset with the both of us, really, because we opted not to attend the funeral.

TA: Oh?

EP: Yes, well, as I said, it was a difficult divorce and I simply couldn't bear to revisit those memories myself. Wendy and her father never got on well, so I think she felt the same way. Unfortunately, Peter took it personally, as if we were slighting him. I'm not sure he ever quite understood that it had nothing to do with him. He was very sensitive where his father was concerned. I guess boys never do get over their first hero, do they?

TA: Well, I have to admit, I still think Roy Rogers was a heck of a guy.

EP: Yes. Well, Peter was quite upset by that, but I believe he had many things happening in his life then that were weighing on him. He'd recently divorced, lost a job... you know, following in his father's footsteps... too much liquor.

TA: How is he doing now?

EP: Wonderfully. I must say I am proud and amazed at how he has turned his life around. So was Wendy, I can tell you that. She was finally proud of her big brother.

TA: Is there anything you can tell me about your daughter? Do you know of anything that might make someone want to harm her?

EP: Well, she was very strong minded, and very competitive in the workplace. But then, we women really do have to be. I know there were those who were jealous of her accomplishments. But if you mean was there any particular incident that I know of that could have generated such resentment, then I'd have to say, no.

TA: What about jealous boyfriends? Any of those?

EP: None that I know of. She never stayed with anyone too long. Though her husband was somewhat jealous, but he is involved with someone else and has a new daughter. I'm sure that it's water under the bridge for him by now.

TA: Do you know the nature of her relationship with Blake Stillwater?

EP: I know she was infatuated with him.

TA: Romantically?

EP: Well, I don't know about that. She didn't tell and I didn't ask. I suppose it could just have been that he was famous and talented and he was paying attention to her. You know how dashing older men can be to we girls, now don't you?

TA: I'll have to take your word for that, ma'am. Do you know if she used drugs of any kind? Recreational or for medical purposes?

EP: I don't believe so. Perhaps an occasional aspirin or maybe a sleeping pill. Wendy was very health-oriented. I can't imagine her turning to drugs.

TA: Okay. Is there anything else you can tell me about your daughter that you think might help us to find who did this to her?

EP: I wish I could. She was my pride and joy. I'm just not sure what I will do without her.

TA: Well, okay. Thank you, again, ma'am. If we have any more questions, my office will contact you.

EP: Of course.


End interview 2:51 p.m.

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