Thursday, May 6, 2021 – 2:13 p.m.
Ingrid Freeman was one of three finalists at the pageant. She contacted the detectives and asked to speak to them.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy spoke with her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Ingrid Freeman
Detective Armstrong: Miss Freeman, I must say I was surprised to hear from you. Before we get into the reason for your visit, would you just tell us your name and address for the record?
Ingrid Freeman: Sure. My name is Ingrid Freeman, and I live at 208 Sisk Avenue.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Now, what brings you here today?
Ingrid Freeman: Detectives, I've got something that will blow this case wide open.
Detective Armstrong: How so?
Ingrid Freeman: Rachel's mother, Erma Webb, was up to no good on the night of the murder.
Detective Armstrong: And what makes you say that?
Ingrid Freeman: I was on my way to the photoshoot when I saw Erma in the banquet area. She was being real secretive, and her eyes darted all furtively. Then she took something out of her bag and started messing with Barbara's chocolates.
Detective Armstrong: And, Miss Freeman, what were you doing in the banquet area at the time you happened to see Mrs. Webb?
Ingrid Freeman: I'd come from my room and was on my way to the photoshoot. I had to go there after dinner. I thought I'd left my evening clutch in the banquet area, so I went back to look for it.
Detective Murphy: So you went back into the banquet room?
Ingrid Freeman: No, I stopped out in the hallway. I could see into the room, but I didn't go in.
Detective Murphy: Why not?
Ingrid Freeman: I saw Erma messing around, and I stopped. Nobody else but Erma was there. She didn't see me out in the hallway, but I got a good look at her.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see anyone else in the room?
Ingrid Freeman: The janitor guy. He was kind of hiding.
Detective Armstrong: Did he see what Erma Webb was doing?
Ingrid Freeman: I doubt it. He was staring at her feet.
Detective Armstrong: What exactly do you think Ms. Webb was doing?
Ingrid Freeman: Whatever it was, it was no good. I'm sure it was for her daughter. It wasn't just me who lost to Barbara Dubois. Rachel hadn't won a single pageant.
Detective Armstrong: And?
Ingrid Freeman: And Rachel wanted to hit the big time. She was tired of living on the farm and being a nobody, but the judges always picked Barbara.
Detective Armstrong: What does this have to do with what you think Erma Webb was doing that night?
Ingrid Freeman: Erma wanted to make sure Rachel won this pageant. I bet whatever she was doing has something to do with ipecac. Erma always has Syrup of Ipecac around because of Rachel. Erma keeps it around and pretends that she doesn't know. She's manipulative and controlling.
Detective Armstrong: So you think Ms. Webb was … what? Putting ipecac on Rachel's chocolates?
Ingrid Freeman: Or Barbara's. Or mine! Who knows? That lady is crazy when it comes to getting what she wants.
Detective Murphy: You think Ms. Webb is capable of doing something like that?
Ingrid Freeman: When you want to win bad, you're capable of anything.
Detective Armstrong: Even set up one of your competitors?
Ingrid Freeman: Yes. Of course. You do what's necessary.
Detective Armstrong: Why are you tell us this now? Why didn't you tell us before?
Ingrid Freeman: A lot of things have changed since Barbara died. I decided it was something you should know, even if it reflects badly on some dear friends.
Detective Murphy: Does Rachel Webb have an eating disorder?
Ingrid Freeman: Yes. Rachel told me herself. She's had it since she was a teenager. Ask Rachel. Ask her mother. Erma hid that nasty secret from the world because she knew the bulimia would get Rachel disqualified if word got out. And I'll tell you something else.
Detective Murphy: What's that?
Ingrid Freeman: Erma Webb knows that Rachel told me.
Detective Murphy: Is that why you were blackmailing Erma Webb?
Ingrid Freeman: Who said I was blackmailing her, Detective Murphy? Rachel and I are best friends. You know that.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Freeman, people tell us that Barbara and Rachel were best friends. Why would Rachel want to do this to her best friend?
Ingrid Freeman: Rachel wouldn't do anything to hurt Barbara, but her mother would. Erma is as mean as they come. And as for Barbara and Rachel being best friends, that's a lie.
Detective Murphy: What do you mean?
Ingrid Freeman: Barbara treated Rachel like dirt to keep her in second place. Rachel hated Barbara as much as I did. Rachel had no one to confide in except me. Rachel trusted me—and only me—with her bulimia secret.
Detective Murphy: Or she trusted you, and you used it against her, by way of her mother. Or maybe you just found out somehow.
Ingrid Freeman: I resent the implication. Maybe Erma is just trying to control her daughter another way.
Detective Murphy: Even if Erma Webb did what you allege, that doesn't mean she killed Barbara.
Ingrid Freeman: Yeah, and it doesn't mean she didn't either.
Detective Murphy: It also doesn't mean that you're not involved.
Ingrid Freeman: You want to know something, detective?
Detective Murphy: Tell us.
Ingrid Freeman: I'm the only contestant who doesn't have a disqualifying secret—no black marks in my history. This was my big chance at winning, and I should have won. Now the pageant is canceled, and I'm so angry, I could—
Detective Armstrong: Kill?
Ingrid Freeman: No. Not me.
Detective Armstrong: Would someone else kill for you if you asked?
Ingrid Freeman: I wish. I wish I had someone who would do anything for me. Bill once told Barbara he'd do anything for her.
Detective Murphy: Ingrid, you're saying Barbara had a disqualifying secret?
Ingrid Freeman: You bet
Detective Armstrong: And just how would you know this?
Ingrid Freeman: A woman knows. You watch Allie Lamar and Susan Dubois. You watch them talk and then look at Barbara. There's a secret there.
Detective Murphy: And what's your involvement in all this?
Ingrid Freeman: None. Nothing.
Detective Armstrong: Let's see. We have an individual with a clear motive, who can't account for her whereabouts during the time of the murder, and who certainly had access to the kind of weapon used to commit the crime. This individual comes forward and points a finger directly at her rivals and at someone who may have cause to implicate her in an extortion scheme. What do you think of that, Murph?
Detective Murphy: I think that, despite what that individual did, I sure as heck wouldn't cross them off my suspect list. In fact, I might look at them even harder.
Ingrid Freeman: Detectives! I'm only trying to help.
Detective Murphy: The question is, Ingrid, just who are you trying to help?
Detective Armstrong: We're not going to find anything to make us think you're lying, are we?
Ingrid Freeman: I haven't said one untruthful word. I never do.
Detective Murphy: Do you have anything else you'd like to tell us?
Ingrid Freeman: No, not now. If I remember anything else, I'll call you.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for your information.
Ingrid Freeman: Are you going to arrest Erma and Rachel?
Detective Murphy: Which would disqualify them from future competitions and leave the door open to you?
Ingrid Freeman: I resent that implication too.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time, Ms. Freeman. I'm sure your information will be of assistance.
Ingrid Freeman: Any time, detectives. I'm just glad I could be helpful, that's all.
Interview ended – 2:49 p.m.