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Witness Interview: Dani Bonner, Victim's Friend

Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 3:07 p.m.

The witness was contacted to answer some follow up questions based on subsequent statements given by witnesses interviewed after Mrs. Bonner's first interview. Mrs. Bonner was interviewed in her home by Det. Sam Murphy and Det. Ted Armstrong.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
DB = Dani Bonner
SM = Detective S. Murphy

SM: For the record, could you please state your name and address?

DB: Danielle Bonner, 425 Van Buren, Oxford.

SM: Thanks for letting us come again to your home and on such short notice, ma'am.

DB: No problem, Detectives. Have you made any progress?

TA: Progress, ma'am?

DB: About who did this awful thing? Do you know who did it?

SM: Well ma'am, naturally we have suspects, but while a murder investigation is still ongoing, it wouldn't be proper to speculate with people outside the investigation. You understand?

DB: Oh of course. But if you change your mind, I have some theories of my own...

SM: Well, I'm sure you have... but for now, we've just got a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind?

DB: Yes, of course.

SM: You remember when we first talked to you that we asked if you knew the identity of the other men Ms. Chase had been seeing?

DB: Yes and I told you that I didn't know who they were.

SM: Well ma'am, you were the woman's best friend and frankly we have a hard time believing you knew nothing.

DB: Well, I'm sorry you feel that way but I don't know their names, if that's what you mean.

TA: Could you tell us what you did know? You do know something about it, don't you?

DB: Well, she never did tell me their names. That is the honest truth. Zoe was so secretive about things sometimes... I know one of them lived in Memphis. He is a doctor, a prominent one, she said, and... he was married.

TA: Is that when you got nervous about Ms. Chase flirting with your husband? When you found out she ran with a married man?

DB: I told you, we cleared that up. She wasn't making a pass at Ed. And besides, Ed would never have responded anyway. He's just not like that. I was crazy to even think it. He hasn't looked at another woman since the day we met. And that's a fact.

SM: What else did she tell you about the Memphis doctor?

DB: Well, he gave her the Cartier watch, I think. And he liked adventurous sex.

TA: Define "adventurous."

DB: Anything goes, I guess... long as it didn't hurt. Zoe wasn't into pain - hell, she cried if she got a paper cut. But you know, whatever single people do these days.

SM: Sounds like you didn't approve.

DB: Well, whether I approved or not, Zoe did what she wanted. I imagine you've learned that by now.

TA: Okay. We get it. What about the other man? We know there were at least two of them, from what she wrote in her diaries.

DB: You read her diaries? She'd have had a conniption if she knew...

TA: Really Mrs. Bonner, we need your cooperation...

DB: She said he was a congressman from California. He came to New Orleans a few times a year.

SM: What else did she say about the congressman? Did he like adventurous sex, too?

DB: She said he had his good points. Though I don't think he was as adventurous as Memphis was. He did like to spend his money on her - trips and trinkets - whatever.

TA: Any others she ever mentioned? How did she feel about Steven Atwater?

DB: You mean, personally? She never said. Do you think she was fooling with him too? My God, even I wouldn't have guessed that. But then... that would explain the way he acted at the cookout.

TA: How's that?

DB: As I said before, he was tense about her trying to push Kathy at him. It steamed him, that's for sure. I suppose that would make sense.

SM: Did Ms. Chase tell you she was involved with Mr. Atwater, personally?

DB: No. She didn't... but she was so strange the last couple of weeks - I thought it was me... now I'm wondering if she was in over her head with something.

TA: Like what?

DB: I don't know, she was nervous and jittery and short tempered. I couldn't say anything to her without her flaring up. I thought it was me, maybe she'd outgrown our friendship. I don't know. I just don't know.

TA: You know of any way other than what you've told us here, how we might contact either of these two men? The doctor or the congressman?

DB: Only what I've told you.

SM: You don't know where she stayed with them in Memphis or New Orleans?

DB: No, she never would tell me.

TA: What if you needed to get in touch with her? An emergency or something?

DB: I could always just call her on her cell phone. She always had it with her.

SM: Okay ma'am. We'll let you know if we have any other questions.

DB: Any time, Detective. Goodbye.

End interview 3:28 p.m.

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