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Witness Interview: Willie King, Victim's Friend

Friday, July 28, 2000 - 3:30 p.m.

The witness, a blues musician, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

TA= Detective T. Armstrong
WK= Willie King

TA: Would you state your name and address, please?

WK: William King. 610 Apt. A Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, Mississippi.

TA: According to my notes, that's the same address Carmen Rodriguez gave us for her residence.

WK: That's right. We been living together for a while now.

TA: She told us you weren't living there anymore.

WK: Aw, when did she tell y'all that? Last week? She was just throwin' one of her hissy fits. She got over it.

TA: I see. And where are you employed?

WK: I'm self-employed. I'm a musician.

TA: Mr. King, could you tell us about your relationship with Wendy Holloway?

WK: We were friends. I met her around town. She used to come to my shows and hang out.

TA: Was your relationship with her platonic?

WK: You want to know if I slept with her? No, I didn't. We just hung out. Partied.

TA: Was there ever any attempt to make the relationship more?

WK: Well, she was a good looking woman. At one time, I guess I tried to get at her, but she wasn't interested in that. So we just became good friends.

TA: When was the last time you saw her?

WK: I believe it was the night she was killed. She came into Proud Larry's and came up to me during one of our breaks. She said she was feeling low and we talked a bit. Then, my woman showed up and caused a big scene. She's really jealous and thought me and Wendy was going at something.

TA: Your woman is Carmen Rodriguez?

WK: That's right.

TA: Then what happened?

WK: We started playing again. Wendy yelled at me something about message in a bottle. We play mainly blues, but sometimes I throw in some rock or something for the college kids. Almost as a joke. So, the boys launched into the old Police song. After that, I didn't see Wendy again.

TA: So, what did you do after your show was over?

WK: Carmen was just waitin' for us to finish playin' so she could start in on me. So she lays into me right after we finished the last set. She thinks I was hooking up with Wendy. So she's yellin' and screamin', throwin' stuff. Pitchin' a real bitch, while we're tryin' to load up . We holler for a while and by the time we got everything packed up, I've had enough. She kept sayin' that I couldn't come home and I didn't want to hang around her anyway, so I left her there, still yellin'.

TA: What time was that?

WK: I dunno. Probably 1:45, 2:00. I don't remember exactly.

TA: Where did you go?

WK: Me and the boys hung out some at Hound Dog's. Sat around and had a few beers. Then I crashed on his couch.

TA: Hound Dog's?

WK: He's our drummer, Danny Morgan. He's got a place over on North 15th.

TA: Do you know where Carmen went after you left Proud Larry's?

WK: Home, I reckon.

TA: What did you do after you crashed on Danny Morgan's couch?

WK: Some of the boys in the band were getting up real early to go fishing. I hadn't planned on joining them, but since I was in no mood to get into it with Carmen again, I decided to go with 'em. I went by the house to get some some stuff I needed for the trip to New Orleans and met them at the Chevron before we all headed out.

TA: And they can verify that you were with them?

WK: Sure.

TA: Did you see Carmen when you went by your apartment?

WK: Sure didn't. I just needed some clothes for my trip and since she'd thrown every stitch I own out on the front porch, I didn't even have to go inside. Just picked it all up and put it in my van.

TA: Mr. King, you've been arrested for narcotics possession before. And it's no real secret around town that you still indulge. Did Wendy Holloway ever use any drugs?

WK: I'm not quite sure how to answer that.

TA: Look Willie, she's dead. We can't arrest her. It's not like you're tattling. Tell us the truth and it may help us find her killer.

WK: Yeah, I reckon that Wendy liked to party.

TA: Was she high when you saw her at Proud Larry's that night?

WK: Nah, but I give her something to make her feel better. Didn't sell it to her, mind you.

TA: Don't worry, we're not trying to bust you. Would you say that Wendy's drug habit was serious? Or out of control?

WK: No way. She worked hard and liked to take the edge off. And she liked to party. But she wasn't no junkie.

TA: Who did she get her drugs from?

WK: Just people. It wasn't like she was some major drug person like on Miami Vice or anything. She would just get some from people at parties and stuff. Nothing major.

TA: Do you know of any debts she might have had to any dealers or anything?

WK: What did I just say? It wasn't like she went around buying in bulk. One night, she might have some and would share. Another night, I might have some and would share. It's that simple.

TA: Do you know much about Wendy's personal life? Was she dating anyone that you know of?

WK: She played pretty close to the vest about that kind of thing. She was seein' someone, that much I'm sure of. But just who I couldn't tell you.

TA: Was it someone here in town?

WK: I reckon so.

TA: I hear you ate lunch with Wendy at Henry's Café that Friday afternoon before she was killed. Is that right?

WK: Well, sort of. She ate lunch. Mine was more of the liquid variety.

TA: Uh-huh. And did you see anyone else with her at lunch that day?

WK: She come in with that writer guy she was workin' with, but he left. I waited 'til he was gone before I went over to talk to her.

TA: Why did you do that?

WK: Aw, he thinks he's pretty hot sh-, uh, stuff. Acts like he's too good for the likes of me. And Wendy, she didn't like him to know about our... recreational activity. It was no skin off my nose since I'd just as soon not have to deal with him anyways, so I never did come up to her when he was around.

TA: Do you know the writer's name?

WK: Blake Stillwater. That pretty much says it all, don't you think?

TA: I'm not sure what you mean.

WK: Skip it.

TA: Do you think he's the man Wendy was seeing?

WK: Could be.

TA: Do you know of anyone who might have wanted to hurt Wendy?

WK: I been thinkin' about that ever since I heard what happened to her, but I can't think of a soul. She was a nice girl, Wendy.

TA: Did you have any reason to hurt her?

WK: You crazy, man? No way. We was friends like I told you. I got no reason to kill her.

TA: You know we found your fingerprints on a matchbook she had in her pocket when we found her body?

WK: So what? That don't make me a killer. That makes me a guy who touched matches.

TA: Would you be willing to give us a blood sample so we can do a DNA comparison with some samples we found on her body?

WK: Hold up a minute, man. I don't know about that. I think I should check with my lawyer before I do anything like that.

TA: You can certainly talk to your lawyer if you want to, but if you were to give us your full cooperation, it'd give us cause to look more favorably on you.

WK: All the same, I think I'll talk to my lawyer first.

TA: Suit yourself. If you've got something to hide, I can understand why you'd be cautious.

WK: Oh no. I'm not takin' that bait. You got any other questions or are we done?

TA: That's about all I've got for now. But Willie, I'm going to have to ask you not to leave town until we notify you that you've been cleared as a suspect.

WK: When will that be?

TA: When will you give us a blood sample?

WK: Look, man. We got gigs out of town. What am I supposed to do about that?

TA: Reschedule?

WK: Thanks. You're a big help. Can I get out of here now?

TA: Sure. We'll be in touch. And you let me know what your lawyer says.

WK: Yeah. I'll do that.


End interview 3:59 p.m.

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