Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 9:45 a.m.
Wendy Kullman is an animal rights activist who spoke out against the pageant, accusing sponsor Lamar Cosmetics of testing their products on animals.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Wendy Kullman
Detective Murphy: For the record, would you please state your name and address?
Wendy Kullman: My name is Wendy Kullman, and I live at 103 Pinecrest Drive.
Detective Armstrong: Do you have any idea why we asked to speak with you today?
Wendy Kullman: I assume you're finally investigating the charges of animal abuse at Lamar Cosmetics.
Detective Armstrong: Actually, we're a little busy with the murder of Barbara Dubois. You must have heard.
Wendy Kullman: I'm sure she was a shining example of human objectification, but people can take care of themselves, make their own choices. It's the animals who desperately need our help.
Detective Murphy: Did you attend the pageant?
Wendy Kullman: I assume you're joking. Do you know how many animals have died because of beauty pageants?
Detective Armstrong: The bartender at the YCCC remembers you being in the lounge Friday night.
Wendy Kullman: Well, yes, I was at the lounge. I felt like a drink.
Detective Armstrong: But you didn't attend the pageant.
Wendy Kullman: I was meeting someone. A married someone. You understand.
Detective Murphy: I'm afraid I don't. Who did you meet?
Wendy Kullman: It would be better if he remained nameless.
Detective Murphy: No, it would be better if you answered the question.
Wendy Kullman: I don't know his name.
Detective Murphy: You drove to the YCCC for a drink and to meet a man whose name you didn't know.
Wendy Kullman: I place these personal ads sometimes. A woman in my position has to be discreet.
Detective Murphy: So you chose to share a drink in a lounge that happened to be the center of a media spotlight.
Wendy Kullman: That's not how it was. I went to his room, but he didn't answer the door. I must have written down the wrong room number. Then I went to the lounge to cool off.
Detective Murphy: What room did you visit by mistake?
Wendy Kullman: I'm sorry, but I don't remember. And when I realized I had the wrong number, I threw out the slip. I think there was a two in it.
Detective Murphy: How did you get into the hotel?
Wendy Kullman: By walking through the front door.
Detective Armstrong: The desk clerk remembers seeing you, but not seeing you enter or leave.
Wendy Kullman: The desk clerk has a poor memory.
Detective Armstrong: Ms. Kullman, did you hear about the vandalism that occurred that night?
Wendy Kullman: I saw something in the news.
Detective Armstrong: Who do you think could be responsible?
Wendy Kullman: Probably someone from Lamar Cosmetics who decided that the time had come to tell the truth. A conscience can make heroes of us all.
Detective Armstrong: Are you in touch with anyone inside the Lamar organization?
Wendy Kullman: I've received many tips from Lamar employees over the years. Unfortunately, they are anonymous.
Detective Armstrong: Hurt yourself recently, Ms. Kullman?
Wendy Kullman: No, why?
Detective Armstrong: Just noticed that there's dried blood under your nails. Or maybe that's red paint. Did one of the gloves break?
Wendy Kullman: Paint. I was doing some home repair, Detective. I'm free to paint my lawn furniture if I so wish.
Detective Armstrong: We know about your purchases before the pageant.
Wendy Kullman: You really should counsel the investigator you hired. I led her around by the nose. And every citizen is free to purchase what they want. If we can sell cosmetics that tortured animals to unsuspecting young women, then we can sell home repair items to anyone who wants them. Although not, it seems, without Big Brother looking over one's shoulder.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do with those items, Ms. Kullman?
Wendy Kullman: Home repair, detective. I put them to good use.
Detective Murphy: Like spray painting your message all over the conference center? How about the hammer? Did you have an intended use for that? Smash a few windows or maybe the pageant trophy?
Detective Armstrong: Or maybe the head of someone who got in your way?
Wendy Kullman: I resent that, detective. I didn't hurt anyone, which is more than I can say for Allie Lamar and Lamar Cosmetics.
Detective Murphy: What do you do for a living?
Wendy Kullman: The plight of animals is my life.
Detective Murphy: I assume that the animals don't pay you a salary. What do you do for money?
Wendy Kullman: My grandfather left me a trust fund, which allows me to concentrate on matters of more importance.
Detective Murphy: I forgot to check before we talked, but are your fingerprints on file? If not, we'll have to take them today for comparison to those lifted at the vandalism scene.
Wendy Kullman: I have been put through the wringer many times due to my involvement in peaceful demonstrations.
Detective Armstrong: You know, I got to thinking. Wouldn't it be great if one of the finalists delivered a speech denouncing animal abuse by the pageant industry? Let's say you could have convinced Barbara Dubois to take the plunge and stand up for animal rights. That would be very effective publicity for the cause.
Wendy Kullman: It would. It would be especially ironical.
Detective Armstrong: But what if she changed her mind at the last minute? Perhaps the people behind her were afraid she'd lose the pageant if she antagonized the pageant sponsor. That could happen.
Wendy Kullman: If the finalist truly believed, as I do, then the opinions of others wouldn't matter.
Detective Murphy: What if she didn't truly believe?
Wendy Kullman: There will always be people who are weak. It's up to the rest of us to remain strong.
Detective Murphy: Did Barbara Dubois change her mind and decide to deliver a different speech than you expected?
Wendy Kullman: I don't know what she decided to talk about. I arrived at the conference center for my date around 11:00 p.m.
Detective Armstrong: Did you speak with Barbara that night?
Wendy Kullman: I did not.
Detective Armstrong: On other occasions?
Wendy Kullman: I never spoke with the woman.
Detective Armstrong: Were you involved in any way with the vandalism that occurred at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center?
Wendy Kullman: I was there to meet someone.
Detective Armstrong: The question requires a "yes" or "no," Ms. Kullman.
Wendy Kullman: I'm not required to answer any question. I'm here out of my own free will.
Detective Armstrong: So you're admitting you defaced the YCCC?
Wendy Kullman: I'm not admitting any such thing. And I saw the pictures on the news. That was not defacement. That was political-social protest.
Detective Murphy: Did you see Barbara Dubois?
Wendy Kullman: I may have passed her in the halls. My mind was elsewhere.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anyone else who could establish your whereabouts during the evening?
Wendy Kullman: I was in the lounge about five minutes before midnight. I left the lounge twenty minutes later, and walked out the front door not more than a minute after that.
Detective Armstrong: That's almost an hour to go to the room, find it was the wrong one, and get back to the lounge. The hotel isn't that big, Ms. Kullman.
Wendy Kullman: It is when you're trying to work up some nerve, then trying to live down some embarrassment.
Detective Murphy: You've dealt with the police before, Ms. Kullman. You know this doesn't look good.
Wendy Kullman: What looks horrible is an innocent animal needlessly blinded for no reason other than testing cosmetics.
Detective Murphy: We're trying to help you here, but you have to help us.
Wendy Kullman: I've heard that before.
Detective Armstrong: What size shoes do you wear, Ms. Kullman?
Wendy Kullman: None of your business, but size eight, detective.
Detective Murphy: Those are flats, aren't they? Pleather?
Wendy Kullman: 100% recycled plastic. No animal products at all. I don't own anything made from animal hides. Haven't ever.
Detective Murphy: But it would also be ironical if the lead contestant died from being struck with an item that symbolized both the sexism of the pageant and the exploitation of animals, wouldn't it?
Wendy Kullman: Certainly would.
Detective Armstrong: Did you attack Barbara Dubois, Ms. Kullman?
Wendy Kullman: I did not.
Detective Murphy: Did you engage in any struggle with her at all that evening?
Wendy Kullman: I did not.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know who did?
Wendy Kullman: I do not. I've answered that, detective.
Detective Murphy: Yet you feel her death is justified?
Wendy Kullman: I've answered that too. Am I under arrest?
Detective Armstrong: No, we just want to talk. That's all.
Wendy Kullman: Am I a suspect?
Detective Murphy: Let's just say there are gaps in your story and other issues that make it difficult for us to exclude you.
Wendy Kullman: I see. Then I have nothing more to say.
Interview ended – 10:29 a.m.