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|Witness Interview: Jenny Sadlier, Victim's Friend|
Monday, July 31, 2000 - 8:57 p.m.
This witness was was contacted at her residence in Seattle, Washington and interviewed over the telephone by Detective Ted Armstrong of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was taped on a portable tape recorder with Ms. Sadlier's knowledge and consent.
TA: For the record, could you please state your name and address.
JS: Jennifer Lynn Sadlier, 303 E. Pike Street, Seattle, Washington.
TA: Thanks. You're a hard lady to get a-hold of.
JS: Sorry, Detective. But things have been pretty difficult for me the last few days. I went out to Pittsburgh as soon as Wendy's mom called and then I had to come right back here the next day. I wasn't trying to avoid you.
TA: I understand. Any particular reason you had to return to Seattle so soon?
JS: Work obligations. I have a couple of projects with some pretty stiff deadlines.
TA: Okay. Ms. Holloway was a close friend of yours?
JS: Probably the closest friend I ever had.
TA: How long did you know her?
JS: Not that long really, maybe a year and a half. But we were instant friends, like we'd known each other our whole lives. You know?
TA: So, she probably confided in you?
JS: Yes, I think she did.
TA: You think?
JS: I don't think Wendy ever told anybody everything. Not even her mom. Some things she just didn't talk about.
TA: Like what?
JS: Personal feelings. Things that hurt her. Though, when she was hurt, it was written all over her face. But she'd just say she had a bad day or something and shrug it off.
TA: Did she discuss any of her relationships?
JS: What kind? Business or personal?
TA: Either. Let's start with personal.
JS: Well... she and her mom were always close. More like girlfriends than daughter and mother. They'd talk on the phone for hours.
TA: What about her brother?
JS: Well, I think they didn't get along well when they were kids. But since she moved to Oxford, she told me that they had gotten in touch and it was great. He'd really made her proud.
TA: How's that?
JS: Well, he has his own business and a nice girlfriend and a house and he was just doing really well. It made her happy.
TA: What about romantic relationships?
JS: Oh... you mean Blake? Yes, she told me about him.
TA: What did she tell you?
JS: She was madly, wildly in love. She said for the first time. She thought they were soul mates. I was happy for her.
TA: Isn't he married?
JS: Wendy said he was going to leave the Airhead... that's what she called his wife. Anyway, it seemed like he was pretty crazy about her too. Bought her jewelry, treated her like a princess. Couldn't keep his hands off of her, either. At least, from the way Wendy described it.
TA: Do you think she was exaggerating?
JS: No. Wendy didn't say things like that unless she meant them. She never ever mentioned any man until she met Blake. Then it was just love at first sight and that was that.
TA: She never even talked about her ex-husband?
JS: No, not really. That was all ancient history to her.
TA: How did you meet Ms. Holloway?
JS: Here in Seattle. We were both on the same government project. Now... you can't ask me about that because we signed non-disclosure agreements and were bonded. Very hush-hush, you know?
TA: What about after that project?
JS: Well, we found we worked real well together. Like we could read each other's minds. I could see she was just brilliant and I thought if I could learn even one thing from her, I'd be damn lucky. And I told her so. She was so sweet about it. Blushed even, from the compliments. We just were friends from then on. Next thing I know, she suggests we room together.
TA: Was this her apartment?
JS: Yes. Well, it's a condo. Anyway, we moved me in and then we were just sort of the dynamic duo from then on.
TA: Are you still residing there? At the condo?
JS: Yes, I am. I guess I should start looking for another place. I'm not sure what her mom is going to want to do about the condo.
TA: Has Mrs. Pane asked you to move out?
JS: Oh no, nothing like that... but with all that's happened, I imagine she'll want to sell it or something. You know, Wendy left it to her. Anyway, all I meant was that I didn't want to add to her mom's troubles, you know?
TA: That's very understanding of you. Did you do any other subsequent projects with Ms. Holloway?
JS: Oh yes. She said she was glad I showed up when I did because she had more work than she could handle. We worked on several projects together. Recently, she was developing this new encryption software and she needed an independent tester on the prototype.
TA: Encryption software?
JS: Yes. It's software designed to protect your email, so no one can intercept it and read it. To put it simply.
TA: People do that? Intercept email?
JS: Hell yes. These days everything is done on the Internet. Contracts, deals, stocks, investments... people need to protect their privileged communications. There's a great demand for her software... or I think there would have been if we'd managed to get it ready and on the market. Now, we'll never know.
TA: Ms. Holloway's mother the heir to that as well?
JS: I don't know. Probably.
TA: She never finished it? The software?
JS: Well, we were in the final testing stages but we never completed it.
TA: Do you know where this software is?
JS: You mean the code and everything? It must be with Wendy's things. I mean, it's not here. The last test I did was about five weeks ago. I sent her the test results on the beta-3 version and the CD I had by Fed Ex and never got another version from her.
TA: The beta-3 version?
JS: Yes. While software is in development, it goes through lots of versions. She'd finished the alpha stage and we were into the beta. Usually, when you get to the beta versions, you start using outside testers, people who aren't involved in writing the software. That's what I was doing.
TA: Was her brother involved in this new software project?
JS: Her brother? Can't really say. I was only involved in the testing aspect. The technical end, you know? I know he wasn't doing any testing of it because I was the only one doing that. Wendy handled the rest of it.
TA: So if her brother were involved, you wouldn't have known about it?
TA: When was the last time you spoke to Ms. Holloway?
JS: You mean on the phone?
TA: Is there another way you would have spoken to her?
JS: Well, we emailed a lot. I guess you could call that talking.
TA: Okay, when was the last time you had communication with or from Ms. Holloway?
JS: I guess a few days before she... died. She sent me an email saying she'd gotten the test results and she was excited. She thought we were really close.
TA: To what?
JS: To being done. You know, with the testing? Being ready to release the software.
TA: Got it. Was there anything personal in the message? Or was it just business?
JS: Oh, I think she said she was so happy about being around Blake and she said he was about to go out of town for several weeks, which she wasn't too happy about. And she said she was pretty tired. Pulled some all-nighters, I guess. But mostly it was about the software.
TA: When was the last time you spoke to her on the phone?
JS: The day I sent the Fed Ex. Pretty short conversation though. Again, it was mostly about the software. She did say she really liked Oxford.
TA: Did she plan to stay in Oxford long-term?
JS: I don't know. She never said. Though I suppose if she did marry Blake that she could have.
TA: Did that worry you?
JS: Worry me? Why would it?
TA: If she moved here permanently, would you be out a place to live?
JS: Oh. I see. Well, I make a pretty decent income on my own. I didn't move in with Wendy because I was down on my luck. I moved in because I thought it would be fun. And as I said already, her mom owns it now and I am ready to move whenever she wants me to.
TA: What about all the work she threw your way. Would that have stopped?
JS: I don't know. Maybe. But, again, I have my own connections and my own work, so it wouldn't have been a crushing event in my life. Besides, even if Wendy had decided to stay in Oxford, she probably would have commuted back and forth.
TA: Why's that?
JS: Well, like me, she had many of her connections here in Seattle. Many of her clients live here. She would have made sure she maintained those contacts.
TA: If she married Mr. Stillwater, she wouldn't have needed to work.
JS: Well, if you ever knew Wendy, you wouldn't say that. She couldn't stop working any more than she could have cut off her arm. Just wasn't in her make up to be a housewife and have no career.
TA: Were you surprised by Ms. Holloway's death?
JS: Excuse me? What kind of question is that? Of course. Does anyone expect their best friend to end up dead? At twenty-eight? I don't think so!
TA: You seem to be taking it pretty calmly.
JS: Appearances are deceiving, Detective. You don't know what's in my mind or my heart. I am very sad about her death. I can't believe you are even asking me these questions.
TA: Sorry ma'am, it comes with the territory.
JS: Look, Wendy is irreplaceable. No one will ever come along who is like her. I will miss her for the rest of my life. But she'd be the first one to say, "Gotta get on with it, Jenny."
TA: That's a pretty cold attitude.
JS: You try being a woman in a man's world and trying to make it. You have to grow a thick skin. Believe me. Is there anything else I can tell you, Detective?
TA: No, I think that will do it for now. Please contact my office should you have occasion to leave Seattle.
TA: We may have further questions. You have a problem with that?
JS: No, of course not.
TA: Thank you for your time.
JS: Sure. You're welcome.
End interview 9:16 p.m.