Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 10:30 a.m.
Ingrid Freeman was one of the three finalists in 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
- Ingrid Freeman
Detective Armstrong: Miss Freeman, could you please state your name and address for the record.
Ingrid Freeman: I'd be happy to. My name is Ingrid Kristianne Freeman, and I live at 208 Sisk Avenue, right here in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know why we want to speak with you today, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: I assume you want to ask me about Barbara's murder. I feel horrible about it. Just horrible.
Detective Armstrong: You knew her quite well, didn't you?
Ingrid Freeman: We were very, very good friends.
Detective Murphy: We heard you hated Barbara.
Ingrid Freeman: Not true. A vicious rumor. I didn't hate her at all. I like winning, but Barbara won the pageants. Barbara won the trophies—the trophies I wanted, but no, it was always Barbara. The beautiful and talented Barbara Dubois, so good and beautiful as if no harm could ever come to her.
Detective Murphy: But harm did come to her.
Ingrid Freeman: Yes, it did. The beautiful and talented Barbara, who always won. I'm just as beautiful and talented, but Barbara always won. Never Ingrid, always Barbara.
Detective Armstrong: Are you feeling all right, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: Of course. Why do you ask?
Detective Armstrong: Okay. Let's start with your activity on the night Barbara died. What were you doing on Friday night?
Ingrid Freeman: Same as the other contestants. Went to the gala dinner, then back to my room.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do in your room?
Ingrid Freeman: Just primping, you know. Did my nails and hair.
Detective Murphy: Were you in your room all night?
Ingrid Freeman: Yep, right in my room.
Detective Murphy: All alone?
Ingrid Freeman: Part of the night.
Detective Murphy: And the rest of the night?
Ingrid Freeman: Denny— I mean, Mr. Buchanan joined me for a while.
Detective Murphy: What time was Mr. Buchanan with you?
Ingrid Freeman: I don't know exactly. He came over sometime after the gala.
Detective Murphy: How long did Mr. Buchanan stay?
Ingrid Freeman: The whole night.
Detective Murphy: Would you say this was business or pleasure, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: Business. Definitely.
Detective Murphy: What kind of business were you discussing with him?
Ingrid Freeman: You might have heard, I'm planning to open a salon, and I need a financial backer. Denny was quite interested in providing the capital for the start-up.
Detective Murphy: You and Mr. Buchanan knew each other as teenagers, isn't that correct?
Ingrid Freeman: Yes. He went to Jackson Prep, but he was around enough that we had spent plenty of time together when we were kids. I knew Denny quite well as a good friend back then … along with other friends he had at that time.
Detective Murphy: But this was before he met Barbara Dubois?
Ingrid Freeman: Yes. After that, everything changed.
Detective Armstrong: What changed?
Ingrid Freeman: Denny fell head over heels for Barbara. Barbara won again. Trophies and Denny too.
Detective Armstrong: You've known Denny Buchanan a long time. Would you say you've got a good idea of what his personality is like?
Ingrid Freeman: You bet. I've seen him sober, drunk, angry, happy. Just about every mood.
Detective Armstrong: How would you describe his mood the night of the murder?
Ingrid Freeman: That night, Denny was really weird. I've never, ever seen him like that—completely out of control. He was almost smashing stuff in my room. It was all I could do to prevent him.
Detective Armstrong: Did you talk about your business plan with him much?
Ingrid Freeman: Some, but not as much as I needed. I gave him some more Scotch to calm him down so we could talk.
Detective Armstrong: And you talked?
Ingrid Freeman: Yeah, we talked. At first, he was angry with Barbara. He can't take no for an answer. It's like he never got over her refusal. He said it was mutual, but everybody knows she turned him down.
Detective Murphy: So you talked. And then?
Ingrid Freeman: You're getting real personal here, detective. Like you think I'm actually going to tell you what happened between Denny and me all night? No way.
Detective Murphy: He was in your room the whole night, and you're not going to say what happened?
Ingrid Freeman: Exactly.
Detective Murphy: Were you drinking alcohol also, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: Some, but I need my beauty sleep. Mostly, I wanted Denny for his financial backing. Our friendship in high school was fun, but it was a long time ago.
Detective Armstrong: You know Rachel Webb, don't you?
Ingrid Freeman: Yes, of course. She's been on the same circuit with Barbara and I for years.
Detective Armstrong: Would you say you and Rachel were good friends?
Ingrid Freeman: Can we get on with this? With all due respect, I don't plan to stay here all day speaking with you.
Detective Murphy: We understand, Miss Freeman. You seem to have a lot of information that could help us. That's why we need to speak with you.
Detective Armstrong: Miss Freeman, here's an interesting question: where is your money coming from these days?
Ingrid Freeman: I don't know what you're talking about.
Detective Armstrong: We heard you've been having conversations with Rachel Webb about money. Haven't you?
Ingrid Freeman: I have no idea what you're saying. You're wasting my time.
Detective Armstrong: What would you say if we told you we have evidence you're taking money from Miss Webb?
Ingrid Freeman: I wouldn't know what to say, detectives.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. We'll play it your way. Let's say we have reliable sources who say you are accepting money from her. Specifically, let's speculate our sources have told us you are accepting money from Miss Webb's mother.
Ingrid Freeman: Rachel's mother? I thought Rachel was giving me the money directly.
Detective Murphy: So you were blackmailing Rachel Webb?
Ingrid Freeman: Blackmailing? Of course not.
Detective Murphy: What would you call it?
Ingrid Freeman: Rachel was giving me money out of friendship. To help back my salon.
Detective Murphy: But she had privileged information about someone.
Ingrid Freeman: I've never heard that, detective. What does that even mean?
Detective Murphy: And you had privileged information about her, didn't you, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: You about done here, detectives?
Detective Armstrong: Not yet. What information did you have about Miss Webb that would motivate her to give you money?
Ingrid Freeman: I don't know what you're talking about.
Detective Armstrong: Murph, why don't we go back to the timeline?
Detective Murphy: Good idea. Miss Freeman, what time did Mr. Buchanan leave your room that night?
Ingrid Freeman: You're getting personal again. I don't know exactly. Before breakfast.
Detective Armstrong: What were you doing around breakfast time?
Ingrid Freeman: Went on a walk around the hotel. Just my regular morning routine.
Detective Armstrong: You were seen walking toward Bill Lamar's room.
Ingrid Freeman: I had been looking for him the night before.
Detective Armstrong: Did you find Mr. Lamar?
Ingrid Freeman: No I didn't. I wanted to see Bill—I mean, Mr. Lamar—because he has the European expertise I need for my salon. He's got the money to help me financially too. As a business partner.
Detective Murphy: Why go into the salon business? You've been in the beauty pageant business your whole life.
Ingrid Freeman: I've got one more year, max. I've never won the big money, the limelight, the celebrity status. Much as I hate to say it, this was my last chance—or almost my last chance—to try for Miss America. I'm gone. And I would have done anything to prevent that from happening. I'll tell you that straight up. I'll do anything to prevent anyone from getting in my way.
Detective Murphy: Would you go so far as to kill another contestant if you thought she was in your way?
Ingrid Freeman: If you're asking me if I killed Barbara, I didn't. Even if I did, I wouldn't admit to it.
Detective Armstrong: Did you want to kill her?
Ingrid Freeman: No. When I said I would do anything to prevent anyone from getting in my way, I meant— well, I don't resort to violence. I'm cold-hearted, but I've thought of other ways to get what I want.
Detective Armstrong: Such as blackmailing Rachel Webb?
Ingrid Freeman: I never said I was. Another vicious rumor. You want a suspect? Look at Rachel very closely. Or look at her mother. Or better yet, look at them both. That girl would kill to get a ticket out of Oxford, and her mother would kill to get her precious daughter to the Miss America pageant.
Detective Armstrong: But you took money from her mother. We'd like to find out more about that.
Ingrid Freeman: If Erma Webb wants to contribute to the success of my business ventures, that's her prerogative. Maybe she thought she could buy me off.
Detective Murphy: Miss Freeman, are you familiar with ipecac?
Ingrid Freeman: Sure. Used it many times as a kid, when I ate something icky. It'll make you sick, but it won't really hurt you unless you have a lot of it.
Detective Murphy: Do you like chocolate?
Ingrid Freeman: I love chocolate, but I'm deathly allergic. Can't take even a nibble.
Detective Armstrong: Getting back to your plan for financing your salon, why do you need a new financial backer? Can't you use the backers you have for the pageant business?
Ingrid Freeman: You kidding? I wouldn't touch any of these creeps for my salon business. My mother knew these guys very well. This business can be mighty crooked. I would know.
Detective Murphy: So you want to change to a new business after the pageant business, and you want new money. Is that all you want from Mr. Lamar?
Ingrid Freeman: Pretty much. Haven't seen him since he went to Europe.
Detective Murphy: We hear you and Mr. Lamar were pretty close at one time.
Ingrid Freeman: We sort of grew up together. My mother worked for his family before I was born.
Detective Murphy: Did you and Mr. Lamar continue your friendship throughout school?
Ingrid Freeman: Sort of. Bill was a real popular guy, and for good reason too. Handsome, fun, athletic, friendly.
Detective Murphy: What happened in high school?
Ingrid Freeman: Before he left? He and Barbara were together.
Detective Armstrong: Did you have contact with him after he moved overseas?
Ingrid Freeman: I wrote lots of emails. He didn't answer.
Detective Murphy: Are you still romantically linked to him?
Ingrid Freeman: No. He loved Barbara. They were true loves. I'm certain of it. Just looking at them when they gazed into each other's eyes—
Detective Murphy: Are you tearing up, Miss Freeman?
Ingrid Freeman: The ice princess never cries, detective. Bill and I were good friends, and I like him, but I respect his wishes. It's his legendary skill with business I'm interested in.
Detective Murphy: So you did not have any kind of a liaison with Mr. Lamar Friday night?
Ingrid Freeman: Well, uh, no, we didn't.
Detective Armstrong: You were seen near Barbara Dubois's room early that morning. Could you please tell us what you were doing there?
Ingrid Freeman: I was on my morning walk. I walked around the hotel a bit.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see anyone?
Ingrid Freeman: I ran into Mr. Margold. He saw me in the hallway and stopped to speak with me.
Detective Armstrong: What did he want?
Ingrid Freeman: Well, he gave me some nice compliments on my appearance and how well-positioned I might be for future modeling.
Detective Armstrong: Anything else?
Ingrid Freeman: That he had a studio, and he might want to meet with me sometime.
Detective Armstrong: You told Mr. Margold that Barbara Dubois was dead.
Ingrid Freeman: Yes, I did.
Detective Armstrong: How did you know she was dead?
Ingrid Freeman: I heard from someone else. … Someone else told me.
Detective Murphy: Who would that be?
Ingrid Freeman: Look, detectives, I really don't remember. Maybe it was Rachel or Erma. Yes, that's it. Rachel told me, and her mother was with her. Why? Am I a suspect, Ms. Murphy?
Detective Murphy: Detective Murphy. We haven't ruled anyone in or out.
Ingrid Freeman: Well, you've wasted my time enough today. I'm done. It's time for my facial. This interview is over.
Detective Murphy: Very cute shoes, Miss Freeman.
Ingrid Freeman: Thank you. You really think so?
Detective Murphy: They show off your feet very well.
Ingrid Freeman: I work hard to keep my feet pretty.
Detective Armstrong: Are those size fives? We're looking for someone with size fives.
Ingrid Freeman: Heavens no! My feet aren't that big! These are a perfect size four.
Detective Armstrong: Shows how much I know about women's shoes. We might want to speak with you later.
Ingrid Freeman: You know where to find me.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, we do. And we will.
Interview ended – 11:27 a.m.