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Witness Interview: Steven Atwater, Victim's Friend and Founder of the Oxford Writers Circle

Saturday, November 25, 2000, 11:15 a.m.

The witness, a forty-one year old maintenance man, was re-interviewed by the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department at the café in Square Books.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SA = Steven Atwater

TA: Thank you for talking with me again.

SA: Sure. Anything I can do to help you solve this crime.

TA: Just for the record, would you state your name and address, please?

SA: Steven Atwater, 415 Washington, Oxford, Mississippi.

TA: Thanks. I'd like to talk to you a bit more about your relationship with Zoe Chase.

SA: Okay. What do you want to know?

TA: Well, you formed the Oxford Writers Circle in 1995, correct?

SA: Yes.

TA: And do you remember when Zoe joined the group?

SA: I could check my records for you if you need the exact date. But if I remember correctly, it was shortly after she moved here in 1997.

TA: And your initial reaction to her? What did you think about her?

SA: As I told you, I was bowled over by her. She was very energetic, very determined.

TA: That sounds like you're describing a student. But, can you give us more of your personal feelings? Were you attracted to her?

SA: Well, I don't know about that. I mean, she was a pretty girl and all. But, I'm not sure if you would say I was interested in her. She caught me eye.

TA: Did the two of you ever date or anything?

SA: Not really. We had dinner from time to time, but that was about it. Nothing much more than just friends.

TA: You're sure about that?

SA: Uh, yeah. Of course I'm sure. Why are you asking all these questions?

TA: I'm just trying to do my job. So, you say that you didn't really date, although you did spend time together. I'm afraid I'm going to have to come right out and ask the obvious: did you ever sleep with her?

SA: Now what kind of question is that?

TA: Just answer the question, please.

SA: Well, no. I didn't sleep with her.

TA: Did you want to?

SA: That's just a dumb question. Zoe was an attractive young woman. So of course there was a certain part of me that wouldn't mind the opportunity. But, it wasn't like I was madly in love with her or anything. If some hot woman gave you a chance, you'd take it right? But that doesn't mean you feel anything for her.

TA: You're sure about that? You never slept with Zoe?

SA: You keep asking all these questions. Evidently you know something. Why don't you tell me what you're trying to get at and I'll tell you whether it's true or not.

TA: Sorry. I can't do that. I'll just have to take you at your word about the nature of your relationship with Zoe.

SA: Well, okay.

TA: Thanks for your time.

End interview 11:38 a.m.

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