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Witness Interview: Ed Bonner, Victim's Friend

Monday, October 23, 2000 - 4:45 p.m.

Det. Sam Murphy and Det. Ted Armstrong went to the Bonner residence to speak to Dani Bonner. Mrs. Bonner was not at home, but the detectives spoke with her husband, Ed Bonner.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
EB = Ed Bonner
SM = Detective S. Murphy

SM: Good afternoon, sir. I'm Detective Murphy. This is Detective Armstrong. We're from the Sheriff's Department and we'd like to speak to Dani Bonner. Is she in?

EB: I'm afraid not. She's carried the girls to soccer practice.

TA: Maybe you can help us. Do you mind if we come in?

EB: Not at all. Come on in. You're here about Zoe, I reckon.

TA: That's right. Did you know her too?

EB: Oh sure. She and my wife were thick as thieves. Dani's been a wreck ever since this happened.

SM: Before we get too far along, would you just state your name and address for the record?

EB: Sure thing. I'm Ed Bonner. The address here is 425 Van Buren, Oxford.

SM: Thank you. Now, how well would you say you knew Zoe Chase?

EB: Well, she was really more my wife's friend. That doesn't mean we didn't get along. I reckon we just didn't have much in common. When she came over, I'd usually just go out to my shop or go play with the girls. Those two didn't have much use for me when they got together anyways.

SM: How did you feel about that?

EB: Feel about it? I didn't feel anything about it.

TA: It didn't bother you at all?

EB: Naw, they always been that way, since long before Dani and me even met. Never known 'em to be any different, even when they were fighting.

SM: Did they fight often?

EB: Often enough. They're both pretty hard-headed and they locked horns pretty regular. Wasn't usually too serious though, 'cept for that one time back at Christmas.

TA: What happened at Christmas?

EB: I don't know exactly. They had some kind of big dust-up. Dani was real upset, cried for about a week over it. Never knew what it was about, but they'd patched things up by New Year's, so I reckon it wasn't too big a deal.

SM: How did you know they'd resolved things?

EB: Well, for one thing, Zoe was back over here at the house again. She was scarce as a snowflake in summer that whole week before. And, of course, Dani played me that tape she has of Zoe apologizin' and suckin' up to her, trying to make things right. Zoe musta said something pretty bad she was tryin' to make up for, 'cuz she even said she'd leave everything to Dani if she died. Like that's some kind of big reason Dani should forgive her. But I guess it worked because Dani wasn't mad anymore after that day. She sure does get a charge outta listening to that tape, though. It's not too often ol' Zoe was kissin' up to her. Usually, it was the other way around.

SM: Your wife made a tape of her conversation with Ms. Chase?

EB: Yup.

SM: Is that something she did a lot?

EB: Pretty regular. Hard to say exactly when she was doin' it and when she wasn't doin' it, but she's been doing it pretty regular for years.

TA: Did Zoe know your wife was taping their conversation?

EB: I 'spect so. Dani doesn't make a secret of it. If you ask me, Zoe kinda liked it, felt like her words were so important that they needed to be recorded for posterity or something.

TA: So Zoe didn't object to Dani doing this? Or think it was strange?

EB: Naw. My wife's got some ways about her that some folks don't understand, but we love her.

SM: Does Mrs. Bonner still have this tape?

EB: Oh, I expect so. You'd have to ask her to find out for sure, but I expect she's still got it around here somewhere.

SM: We would like to talk to your wife. Can you tell us when we might be able to reach her?

EB: I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. I can't keep up with her schedule these days. She's always carryin' the girls to soccer and piano and ballet and Brownies and all that. And she drives the carpool a couple days a week. She usually leaves me a note to tell me where they are. That's how I know they're at soccer practice now. I could have her call you?

TA: That'd be great. We'd appreciate it. Here's my card. She can reach either Detective Murphy or me at that number.

EB: Okey-doke.

SM: Mr. Bonner, do you have any idea who might have killed Zoe Chase?

EB: I can't think of a soul in the world who'd want to hurt that girl.

SM: Just for the record, where were you on Saturday night, October 14th?

EB: That's the night Zoe got killed? I'm pretty sure that's the night we went to the Girl Scout dinner.

TA: The Girl Scout dinner?

EB: Every now and again, they have these dinners for all the Girl Scouts in town and their parents. That's where we were.

SM: Your wife was with you?

EB: 'Course. Me and Dani and the girls. We were all there.

SM: What time did the dinner end?

EB: Probably around 9:30 or so? Can't have been too late 'cuz some of the girls are too young to stay up much past that.

SM: What did you do after the dinner?

EB: Came home.

SM: All of you?

EB: 'Course. What do you think?

TA: And you all were home the rest of the night?

EB: Right through 'til morning.

SM: Is there anything you can tell us that might help us find the person who killed Ms. Chase?

EB: I wish I knew and that's a fact. Dani's been real tore up over this and I don't think she'll feel any better until the ba-, the fella who done this gets caught.

TA: You think it was a man who killed her?

EB: Sure. Don't you? A woman wouldn't do a thing like that.

SM: Is there anything else you can think of that might be helpful to us, Mr. Bonner?

EB: No, ma'am. Can't think of a thing.

TA: All righty. Thank you for your time. You make sure your wife gives us a call, okay?

EB: Will do. Y'all have a good evening.

SM: You too, Mr. Bonner. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions.

End interview 5:03 p.m.

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