Allie Lamar interview
Sunday, May 2, 2021 – 1:50 p.m.
Allie Lamar is the owner of Lamar Cosmetics, the primary business sponsor of the Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival pageant.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Allie Lamar
Detective Murphy: Thank you for talking to us, Mrs. Lamar. I'm sure the last few days have been extremely hectic for you.
Allie Lamar: I just don't understand why you need to talk to me, but I'll do what I can.
Detective Murphy: For starters, would you please state your name and address?
Allie Lamar: Allie Lamar. 638 North Lamar.
Detective Murphy: And what is your occupation?
Allie Lamar: I own Lamar Cosmetics.
Detective Murphy: And what was your connection to the Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival Beauty Pageant?
Allie Lamar: I was the sponsor. I put up all the money for the pageant.
Detective Murphy: How much money are we talking here?
Allie Lamar: I would have to consult with my business manager, and we still don't even know the final bill. Definitely in the tens of thousands.
Detective Armstrong: So I bet you're pretty upset about the pageant being canceled.
Allie Lamar: Who told you it was canceled?
Detective Armstrong: It is, isn't it?
Allie Lamar: Well, yes. We haven't made the formal announcement yet, but yes. I mean, it's terrible what happened and all, but I'd hoped to continue anyway. They didn't cancel the Olympics because something awful happened to Nancy Kerrigan.
Detective Murphy: Nancy Kerrigan recovered. She was able to compete—
Detective Armstrong: Since she wasn't murdered.
Detective Murphy: And that was the Olympics, not a small-town beauty pageant.
Allie Lamar: Okay, you're right. I used an inappropriate analogy. Can we please just get this over with?
Detective Murphy: We would like to establish a timeline for Friday night. Can you please tell us where you were on that evening?
Allie Lamar: I was at the YCCC, of course. For the gala event.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you get there?
Allie Lamar: To the gala? I left the pageant headquarters office about 4:30 p.m. or so. We secured the office, and I gave Mr. Dopelson the key. I had to get to the gala early to check things out and make sure everything was set up properly.
Detective Murphy: What exactly did that entail?
Allie Lamar: I don't know. Just this and that.
Detective Armstrong: Like what?
Allie Lamar: Making sure the caterers were there and ready. Making sure all the lighting and so forth was set up. Making sure the chairs were all lined up and ready for the guests. I am the sponsor of this event, and I do have a lot of money invested here. I was trying to protect my investment!
Detective Murphy: You can calm down, Mrs. Lamar. We're just trying to figure out what happened.
Allie Lamar: And you keep asking me stupid questions and hinting around—
Detective Armstrong: And you keep being rude and impatient.
Allie Lamar: Detective, I am the CEO of a large company. And I am a woman, so I have to be even more on guard for people to take me seriously. I work hard. In fact, I am hard. I don't mess around with pleasantries, and I don't beat around the bush. Perhaps if you don't like my attitude, then you should just quit wasting my time.
Detective Murphy: Is that how you feel? You think we're wasting your time?
Allie Lamar: Yes, I do. I can't do anything to help that girl. It's a terrible thing that happened, but I have a company to run, and I have a public relations mess with the cancelation of the pageant that I need to attend to. So I would appreciate it if we could get this over with as quickly as possible.
Detective Murphy: All right, Mrs. Lamar. The actual gala party is pretty well-documented, so we won't waste your precious time discussing it. Tell us what you did after the party.
Allie Lamar: I worked.
Detective Armstrong: Worked how?
Allie Lamar: I saw to my guests. I talked to the judges. I schmoozed. That's what you do at these events. Then, at some point in the evening, I had to show some paperwork to my son, Bill. Then I—
Detective Murphy: What kind of paperwork?
Allie Lamar: What do you mean?
Detective Armstrong: Were you discussing financial matters? Legal papers? What type of things were you working on with Bill?
Allie Lamar: I believe it was some effort estimates. I had been given some estimates for shipping products, and I wanted his opinion.
Detective Murphy: And that was?
Allie Lamar: That was what?
Detective Murphy: His opinion?
Allie Lamar: Oh. His opinion was that the figures were inflated. These suppliers want all the time in the world to ship, but then they expect you to pay immediately. Bill and I worked on those materials for quite some time.
Detective Armstrong: Is that so?
Allie Lamar: Yes, of course.
Detective Murphy: Bill told us that he got a call or a page or something and left you. I think he said he only worked with you for about 30 minutes.
Allie Lamar: Well, I suppose that's true. I get caught up in my work, and I don't notice the passage of time. Sometimes it feels like I've been working for ten minutes, and I discover that it's actually been several hours. Sometimes, I've only been working a short time, and yet it seems like years. There's been quite a bit of that lately. It's no secret my company isn't doing very well. Unfortunately, lately business has seemed like a trip to the dentist. Even a short meeting feels like hours when it's not good news.
Detective Murphy: So what happened after you talked to Bill?
Allie Lamar: I wandered around the hotel, talking to guests, trying to make business contacts, that kind of thing.
Detective Murphy: Is that all?
Allie Lamar: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Then what did you do?
Allie Lamar: I went to bed. I bumped into my son again later in the evening, and he walked me to my room. Then I went to sleep.
Detective Murphy: What time was this?
Allie Lamar: I don't really remember. Maybe around midnight.
Detective Murphy: And you went straight to bed?
Allie Lamar: Yes.
Detective Murphy: When did you wake up?
Allie Lamar: About 7:30 a.m. The front desk called and woke me up. Told me I should get downstairs, that there had been a serious incident.
Detective Murphy: And where did you go?
Allie Lamar: I started to go downstairs, but I heard the commotion down the hallway as I was leaving my room. So I went to where all the people were, and I found out about that girl. Then I wanted to find Bill. After I heard what happened, I wanted to check on him.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Allie Lamar: Do you have any children, detective? Don't you think that if your son discovered a dead body, you would be concerned about him?
Detective Murphy: So you wanted to find Bill. How was he?
Allie Lamar: In shock. Upset. It's all very understandable. Finding a dead body would be traumatic for anyone, but then he had also known that girl at one time, so he was pretty upset.
Detective Murphy: How were Bill and Barbara getting along recently?
Allie Lamar: They weren't. They dated in high school. It was just a high school crush. I don't believe they had even spoken recently, so you can't say how they might have been getting along.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe your relationship with Barbara?
Allie Lamar: I didn't have a relationship either. She was always a nice girl in high school. I treated her like any mother would treat her son's girlfriend. I drove them to movies occasionally, saw them off to prom, that kind of thing. I hadn't spoken to her in years until this pageant.
Detective Murphy: How much interaction did you have with her after the pageant started?
Allie Lamar: Very little. I purposefully made a point to avoid her. I didn't want to give anyone the impression that she had an inside track. I didn't think it was appropriate for us to talk or anything, so no one would think she was getting special treatment just because she had dated my son years ago.
Detective Murphy: Why do you think someone would have wanted Barbara Dubois dead?
Allie Lamar: I don't know. Maybe she treated someone poorly. Maybe she attracted some freak. I mean, these pageant contestants are obviously attractive women. They model, and they compete in swimsuit competitions. Maybe somebody out there became obsessed with her or something.
Detective Murphy: Did you have anything to do with her death?
Allie Lamar: No, I did not have anything to do with it.
Detective Murphy: Do you have knowledge of someone who was involved, and you're not telling us?
Allie Lamar: Absolutely not!
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Lamar, could this have been an accident?
Allie Lamar: I don't know anything about these things. I suppose it could have. Possibly.
Detective Murphy: Is it possible that Ms. Dubois may have been the aggressor? That someone was merely acting in self-defense?
Allie Lamar: That could be, I suppose. It could even have been a— a stunt gone wrong.
Detective Murphy: So Barbara might have wanted something like this to happen? She may have brought this on herself, either directly or indirectly? Why might she have wanted that?
Allie Lamar: I don't know. She might have wanted to spoil the pageant. She might have wanted to hurt me. She might have wanted to ruin everything. I don't know what she was thinking.
Detective Armstrong: Don't we need to know more, Mrs. Lamar?
Allie Lamar: About what?
Detective Murphy: About what happened. Isn't there more to tell?
Allie Lamar: I wouldn't know. I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Are you sure there's not more you need to tell us?
Allie Lamar: No, I do not have anything else. I do not know anything.
Detective Armstrong: Let me ask you this, Mrs. Lamar. Are we going to have to talk to you again during this investigation?
Allie Lamar: What do you mean?
Detective Murphy: Are we going to find some evidence that's going to point us in your direction? Is there going to be anything that will link you to this crime and make us talk to you again?
Allie Lamar: You'll probably want to waste my time again. I'm sure of it. I mean, not that you'll find anything that links me to the crime, but I am a major player in this pageant. I'm sure you'll come across my name quite often, so I wouldn't be surprised if you wanted to talk to me again.
Detective Murphy: Would you be willing to sit down with us later on? Would you help us if we need it?
Allie Lamar: Yes, of course. I just don't know how I can help.
Detective Armstrong: Everyone can contribute something to an investigation, Mrs. Lamar.
Detective Murphy: Just one small thing, Mrs. Lamar. What is your shoe size?
Allie Lamar: Why? I don't see what my personal information has to do with this, detective.
Detective Murphy: Our forensic team took some measurements near the crime scene. Based on what we found, individuals with women's size six or below could be eliminated as suspects. Although we could be off by one size.
Detective Armstrong: Forensics is sure it won't vary by more than one size, Murph.
Detective Murphy: Yes, and they're very accurate.
Allie Lamar: Well, then take me off your list now, detective. A size six would be two full sizes too big for me.
Detective Murphy: That's very helpful, Mrs. Lamar. Thank you.
Detective Armstrong: I'm sure you're aware that some people weren't too happy about the pageant for various reasons.
Allie Lamar: Whatever so-called reasons they might claim to have, they're all unfounded, I assure you.
Detective Armstrong: Of course. But did you, as the pageant's sponsor, take any steps to protect against these potential threats?
Allie Lamar: I'm not sure I would categorize Dr. Ruffin-Moore or that Kullman woman as a real threat.
Detective Armstrong: And yet you hired a private investigator to follow Ms. Kullman.
Allie Lamar: What? Who told you that?
Detective Armstrong: It's the truth, isn't it?
Allie Lamar: All right, fine. Yes, I did want to make sure she wasn't planning any of her stunts, which might disrupt the pageant. For all the good it did.
Detective Armstrong: It was convenient that the PI just so happened to lose track of Ms. Kullman right when she might've been gathering supplies for her protest.
Allie Lamar: What are you suggesting?
Detective Armstrong: I'm suggesting that maybe the PI was simply doing what you asked them to do—giving Ms. Kullman a window of opportunity.
Allie Lamar: Why on earth would I want that?
Detective Armstrong: Maybe someone breaking into the pageant headquarters the night before the winner was supposed to be announced isn't entirely bad for you.
Allie Lamar: What is that supposed to mean? Of course, it's bad for me.
Detective Armstrong: Well, if there's a break-in and that opens the possibility the pageant results were tampered with, then you can't exactly name a winner, can you? And then Lamar Cosmetics doesn't have to pay out the prize money. You get all the publicity of the pageant, but it doesn't cost as much.
Allie Lamar: That is outrageous! I'm deeply offended that you would even suggest such a thing!
Detective Armstrong: That's not a no, Mrs. Lamar.
Allie Lamar: Well, then let me be clear. I absolutely 100% deny that I would do anything even remotely like that. The very idea! If you even so much as suggest something like that in public, my lawyers will see that your grandchildren are still paying the judgment against you.
Detective Armstrong: If you didn't do any of that, why are you so defensive?
Allie Lamar: Because you're insinuating that I'm corrupt in some way, and I will not stand for that.
Detective Armstrong: Am I?
Allie Lamar: You know damn well what you're doing. Don't you think I have enough problems without a fabricated scandal like this?
Detective Armstrong: You still seem awfully defensive, Mrs. Lamar.
Allie Lamar: I suppose that's how I respond to slander.
Detective Murphy: No one's slandering anyone here, Mrs. Lamar. But we do have to ask questions, even when they're uncomfortable or unpleasant. We're trying to find a killer. You do want us to solve Barbara's murder, don't you?
Allie Lamar: Well, I can tell you right now that you won't do it this way.
Detective Murphy: I understand why you feel that way, but—
Allie Lamar: Well, I can't tell you what a comfort that is. It's heartwarming to have your understanding, so understand this: I have nothing else to tell you, and I think we're done here. Wouldn't you agree?
Detective Murphy: I'm sure we'll be talking to you again soon, Mrs. Lamar. Thanks again for your time.
Interview ended – 2:44 p.m.