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Witness Interview: Peter Pane, Victim's Brother
 

Saturday, September 2, 2000 - 1:00 p.m.

Peter Austin Pane was taken into custody at his residence on Friday, September 1, 2000 and transported to the Shelby County Detention Center in Memphis. He was interviewed the following day at the Detention Center. Those present were Detectives Sam Murphy and Ted Armstrong, suspect Peter Pane, suspect's attorney Leslie Forbes, and Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney Jake Hood.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
LF = Leslie Ford, Pane's attorney
JH = D. A. Jake Hood
SM = Detective S. Murphy
PP = Peter Pane

SM: For the record, state your name and address.

PP: Peter Austin Pane and I think I'm living in the county jail.

TA: You find this humorous, Mr. Pane?

LF: Peter, I advise you not to make jokes.

PP: Fine, I live at 4888 Gill Road in Memphis. At least I did until now. When am I getting out of here?

JH: If we have our way, not for a long time.

PP: Oh, you're tough, aren't you? Tell me something, is that your real hair, or do you put it on the pillow at night so you can look at it while it sleeps?

LF: Mr. Pane, I caution you to desist in this behavior.

PP: What do you want? Ask your questions.

SM: You've been advised of your rights, is that correct, sir?

PP: Yeah, what of it?

SM: All right, Mr. Pane, you have been advised of your rights, you have your attorney present, are you going to come clean or not?

PP: Look, I don't know what you're talking about.

TA: Your sister's murder. We have a truckload of evidence against you. Why not come clean? Confession is good for the soul.

PP: Well, tell that to her. The bitch.

SM: To whom are you referring, Mr. Pane?

PP: Wendy. She always does this to me. She put you up to this.

SM: I assure you, your sister didn't put anyone up to anything. Shall we review the evidence Detective Armstrong referred to?

PP: Suit yourself.

SM: In the search of your home, we recovered a pair of size 10 ½ Converse sneakers, an exact match for the footprints we found both by the hose at your sister's home and on the rug recovered in her kitchen. The blood traces and soil the lab found on the shoes were a match. We also found a pair of blue jeans, size 32, with trace amounts of blood on them. That blood was a positive match to your sister's blood type. Not to mention, we also found an IBM ThinkPad notebook computer, which we've identified as the one registered to your sister.

PP: So what?

TA: So what?

PP: Yeah, who says those are even my things? Just because you found them in my house. I'm telling you, it's the bitch, she set me up. Again. What can you expect from someone as cold as she is?

SM: Mr. Pane, are you aware that your sister is dead?

LF: Clearly, he has diminished capacity -

JH: Oh no, Leslie, that isn't going to wash -

LF: The man doesn't even realize she's dead. He needs to be examined by a -

PP: No way. You aren't sending me to one of those places. Look, don't you people get it? She found out I got that software away from her. She's pissed, and now she's trying to hang this on me. I promise you, she won't get away with it.

TA: Mr. Pane, your sister is dead. And you killed her. This act is not going to wash, not with us, not with anyone.

PP: I'm not acting.

SM: I'd say it's Academy Award caliber. We also have witness testimony -

PP: That little slut, Jenny, I'll bet. She's just another one. You know women, they're trouble, I'm telling you...

SM: She has admitted that you two planned to steal the software and, in fact, did. That you sold it to MegaMaxiNet Solutions. We have your financial records showing a pattern of severe loss. You nearly sold your home -

PP: So I almost sold my house. Is that a crime?

TA: It is, if it's a motive for murder.

PP: You think I'd kill somebody so I wouldn't have to sell my house? I'd hate to get you pissed off.

TA: Well, you're coming close.

JH: Okay, let's all calm down.

PP: Who is this clown, anyway? What's he doing here? Why do I have to listen to him anyway? Huh?

LF: Diminished capacity. Face it, Sam, the writing is on the wall.

SM: I'll tell you what writing is on the wall. He killed his sister knowingly, in cold blood, and with premeditation. He conspired to steal her software, gain financially, and get rid of her for good.

PP: Oh yeah? Prove it.

SM: Oh we intend to sir, and we will. Want me to tell you how you did it?

PP: Sure, I could use a good story.

SM: You and Jenny Sadlier plotted to steal and sell the software. You stalled your sister claiming that you hadn't made any deals, but you had. You made a deal with MegaMaxiNet Solutions for a total of more than one million dollars. But Wendy was on to you. She knew you were double crossing her, and she threatened to go to the law. On the afternoon of the day she died, you agreed to meet her the following Sunday, but what she didn't know was that you were coming that night, Friday.

PP: Wow, this would make a great TV movie...

SM: You waited until your girlfriend was asleep. Since she took a sleeping pill, you knew she wouldn't wake up for hours. You took her keys and her car with her bike strapped to it and you drove to Oxford. You parked the car off the road a short distance from Wendy's house and bicycled to her house, so you wouldn't be noticed or heard. You broke into her home, made it look like a burglary, trashed the place and took what you really wanted - her laptop and any other evidence that Wendy was the one who wrote the email encryption program you sold to MegaMaxiNet Solutions as your own. But you didn't have time to sort through all her CDs to figure out which ones you needed, so you took all of them. Then you went back outside and waited in the shed for your sister to come home.

PP: Ooh, this is so scary. What happened next?

SM: When she arrived home, you attacked her from behind with a piece of folk art you found in the shed. The first blow knocked her out and then you dragged her into the shed where you smashed her head in a couple more times. When you were sure she was dead, you took a plastic grocery bag you found in her car and put it over her head to keep her from bleeding all over the place. Then you put her in the trunk of her own car and took her to the clearing near the construction site you and she had visited with Michael Robbins and dumped her body there. You cut her shirt off with your pocketknife - we found that knife when we searched your person incident to your arrest and the lab found traces of your sister's blood on it - you cut her shirt off to make it look like a sexually motivated crime in hopes of throwing us off the track.

PP: Wow, I'm so creative. Who knew?

TA: You took the plastic bag off her head, the shirt you'd cut off her and the disposable gloves you wore, and put them in a Square Books bag you found in her car. You drove back to her house, washed up at the backyard hose, changed into fresh clothes, and put your bloody clothes in the Square Books bag. Then you biked back to your girlfriend's car. On your way home, you pitched the bag of bloody evidence out the window.

PP: Wow, interesting story, but I don't think I'll buy it.

SM: Well, we're sure a jury will, Mr. Pane.

PP: Listen, you can think whatever you want but the truth is, people eventually all get what they deserve, and that's all there is to it.

LF: Peter, don't say any more. This is a case of diminished capacity if I ever saw one.

SM: Well, Mr. Pane, you can rest assured, we will make sure you get what you deserve.

PP: Well, that's mighty nice of you, Detective. Thank you.

SM: My pleasure. Okay, we're through here. See you in court, Mr. Pane. Count on it.

End interview 1:18 p.m.

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