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Witness Interview: Boyd Forbes, Former Boyfriend of Peggy LeClaire

Saturday, December 9, 2000 - 1:00 p.m.

The witness, a thirty-eight year old convicted felon, was interviewed by the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department in the visiting facilities at West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, TN.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
BF = Boyd Forbes

TA: Thanks for speaking with me, Boyd.

BF: Sure. I ain't got much else to do.

TA: I know this seems silly given our location, but can you please state your name and address? Just for the record?

BF: Boyd Forbes. Cell 183, Block F. West Tennessee State Pen. That detailed enough for you?

TA: That's fine. I see that you're doing time for grand theft auto. How much longer you got on the count?

BF: Who knows? Maybe three, if I get lucky and they let me out early. Could be here for almost ten if they stick me.

TA: Do you know a woman named Peggy LeClaire?

BF: Sure. We dated for several years. What's this about?

TA: I just need some information on Peggy.

BF: She ain't in trouble is she?

TA: I can't really say. But I think your input will really help me. And I'll definitely make a note in your jacket saying how helpful you were. So you two dated? Can you give me more details?

BF: I met her up in Michigan. I was working here and there. Doing a little construction when the weather was good. Working on the boats on the lakes at other times. She and I met at a convenience store and we started dating.

TA: What was she like?

BF: Real nice. Kind of quiet, but a real sweet girl.

TA: How long were y'all together?

BF: Off and on for about three years or so.

TA: What do you mean by "off and on?"

BF: We'd break up for a while and then get back together. Or, else I'd run off somewheres and then whenever I returned, we'd pick back up. Of course, the occasional vacation provided by the state also interrupted our relationship every now and then.

TA: When did you two end up in Oxford?

BF: I had just gotten out up in Michigan and decided that a change of scenery was needed. Since I had a lot of experience on boats, we kind of made our way down the Mississippi River. Eventually, we left the river and just floated around. Hung out in Jackson, Tennessee a while. Made it as far down as Baton Rouge. But we both just liked Oxford so we settled there.

TA: Why did y'all finally break up?

BF: Peggy was real religious. Sort of weird that she spent so much time with me. Maybe she wanted to reform me. Save me. So we fought all the time. I'd pull a job and she felt so bad for days. Weeks even. She was always talking about the people I'd robbed. She just kept saying over and over, "It's just not right. It's just not right."

TA: And that was it?

BF: Yeah. Pretty much so. I did kind of feel bad for involving her in my stuff. She's too good for that. Plus, I'd found this girl named Mona Lee in Hattiesburg, so I thought I would just disappear from Peggy's life.

TA: When was that, when y'all broke up?

BF: Ah... gotta be ten years ago now, more or less.

TA: Have you seen or heard from her since then?

BF: Some. Not much lately.

TA: When was the last time you talked to her?

BF: Couldn't tell you. I really don't remember.

TA: Well, do you remember Peggy ever owning any guns?

BF: I gave her one. It was a little ol' .25 caliber. With the crowd that I was running with, I thought she might need it some time.

TA: And was it registered?

BF: Hell no. Least it wasn't registered to me. I took it off some boy in Murfreesboro who got up in my face.

TA: Can you ever imagine Peggy using it?

BF: I doubt it. Even if you threatened her and cornered her, I don't think she'd cap anyone.

TA: There's nothing that anyone could do? To get her to use the weapon?

BF: Well, maybe if you hurt someone she cared about. Peggy didn't mind being hurt herself. You could probably slap her around and she wouldn't do anything. But if she thought someone else was being hurt, you'd better watch out. That whole thing about what's right. She was the kind who would have kicked some ass if she saw some kids messing with a cat or something.

TA: So this sense of justice, of right and wrong, was so powerful with Peggy that she might use the weapon to help someone else?

BF: Possibly. I mean, it's still a longshot. I have a hard time seeing her firing that thing. But if anything would get her to do it, helping someone else would be it. She would definitely be righting some sort of wrong.

TA: Okay, thanks for your time. I'll put ten down on the books for you when I go.

BF: Thanks. You look after Peggy, now.

TA: Don't worry. We'll keep an eye on her.

End interview 1:22 p.m.

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