Mary Jones interview #2
Friday, May 7, 2021 – 4:10 p.m.
Mary Jones and her daughter have been good friends with the Dubois family for years. The detectives asked her to come in again to discuss some recent developments in the investigation.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Mary Jones
Detective Murphy: Good afternoon, Mrs. Jones. Thank you for coming in today.
Mary Jones: You're welcome. Have you found Barbara's killer yet?
Detective Armstrong: That's why we asked you to come in and talk to us today, Mrs. Jones. Some things have come up since your last interview that we need to clarify.
Detective Murphy: But first, would you state your name and address for the record, please?
Mary Jones: Mary Jones. 1622 Pierce Avenue, Oxford.
Detective Murphy: Will you please tell us again what time you last saw or talked to Barbara Dubois?
Mary Jones: In the dining room, right after the dinner.
Detective Armstrong: And you never saw her or spoke to her again?
Mary Jones: No.
Detective Murphy: Where did you go after the dinner?
Mary Jones: Billie Jo and I went to our room and to bed.
Detective Murphy: But you didn't hear Billie Jo get up, get dressed, and sneak out?
Mary Jones: I must have been really tired. And I'm a very sound sleeper. Once I get to sleep, I—
Detective Armstrong: You may as well stop right there, Mrs. Jones. You're just digging a deeper hole for yourself with your lies.
Mary Jones: Lies? How dare you—
Detective Murphy: Yes, lies, Mrs. Jones. You must realize Billie Jo told us all about hearing you talk to someone on the phone, then sneak out of your room. Who did you call, Mrs. Jones? Who did you meet that night?
Mary Jones: Oh, you can't believe Billie Jo. She loves to tease and play little jokes. She doesn't think of it as telling lies. She just—
Detective Armstrong: No, Mrs. Jones! No joke. And the more you lie, the worse it makes you look. Are you ready to go to prison for the murder of Barbara Dubois?
Mary Jones: No, no! I didn't kill her. I loved her. I would never hurt her. I was just trying to get Barbara and Bill back together.
Detective Murphy: Then you need to tell us the truth. Now, who did you call to meet you?
Mary Jones: You've got to understand. Barbara and Bill had been separated for seven years, and they had been lied to even though— well, it just wasn't fair to two young people who had been so much in love. They deserved to be together. They were meant to be together.
Detective Murphy: Please don't try to change the subject. Let's get back to the night of the murder.
Mary Jones: But that's what I'm talking about. You see, their mothers conspired to keep them apart by lying to them and had kept it up for seven years. After losing my Elliott, I realized what it's like for two people who truly love each other to be kept apart… and I— well, I decided to do something about it.
Detective Armstrong: What was that?
Mary Jones: I wrote to Bill telling him to come to the pageant. If I'm guilty of anything, I'm guilty of that.
Detective Armstrong: Then who did Billie Jo overhear you calling?
Mary Jones: I'd tried to call Bill but couldn't get him, so I called Barbara.
Detective Murphy: So you did talk to Barbara?
Mary Jones: Yes. I arranged to meet with her in the laundry room. I figured we'd have privacy there at that hour. I didn't think anyone else needed to be in on what I was going to tell her.
Detective Murphy: What time was that, Mrs. Jones?
Mary Jones: I called her as soon as I thought Billie Jo was asleep. It was maybe 10 minutes after 11:00 p.m. I'm not sure exactly.
Detective Armstrong: Then you went directly to meet Barbara?
Mary Jones: Yes. We met in the laundry room. We talked for a long time. I told her all I knew about her mother lying to her. Barbara wasn't feeling at all well. She said her stomach felt terrible, and she even threw up.
Detective Murphy: Did you tell her about Bill's mother lying to him?
Mary Jones: Yes. I told her all I knew about everything.
Detective Murphy: What was her reaction?
Mary Jones: I thought she would be very angry, but she just looked at me with that sad look she'd get in her eyes when she was hurt. I saw her look that same way after she got home from Atlanta that first year after her baby— after she lost the baby. And sometimes, I'd catch her looking at Billie Jo that way.
Detective Armstrong: How long did you and Barbara talk, Mrs. Jones? It's very important. You may have been the last person to see her alive—except the killer, of course. Unless…
Mary Jones: Detective! How could you possibly think I killed her? Why would I do that? I was the one who wanted her to have a happy future, the one who told her the truth. You have to believe me. I didn't kill her. Please believe me!
Detective Murphy: So what time did you leave her?
Mary Jones: I really don't know. We talked for several minutes. It seemed like a long time. After all, I told her that her mother lied to her and Allie lied to Bill to keep them apart all these years. It wasn't comfortable for either of us. She was sad that her mother would do something so drastic to keep her in the pageants. She was angry with her mother and Allie—and me—but she was excited about telling Bill and making it right again between them.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, yes, we understand all that, but what time did you and Barbara separate, and where did you both go then?
Mary Jones: I don't know what time it was. I sent her back to her room to go to bed. I was worried about her. She didn't look well, and she seemed a bit dizzy and disoriented. That last time I saw her, she gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and went out the door. I never saw her or talked to her again, but she was certainly alive when she left. You have to believe me!
Detective Murphy: Did you leave at the same time?
Mary Jones: I stayed behind to clean up. I'm afraid I didn't do a very good job. But I left a few minutes later and went upstairs. I went to Barbara's room to see if she was okay, but she didn't answer. I figured she'd gone to sleep or was in the bathroom and didn't hear me.
Detective Murphy: So what did you do?
Mary Jones: I went to our room. When I got there, I discovered Billie Jo wasn't in bed. I panicked. I was just going out to look for her when she was at the door trying to get in. That must have been just before midnight.
Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?
Mary Jones: I yanked that child in the room and really bawled her out, but I was so glad to see her. When I'd finished scolding her, we went to bed. She seemed shaken. I figured it was because I was so upset with her.
Detective Murphy: And Billie Jo never mentioned what she did or saw?
Mary Jones: No, she just went to bed and pulled the covers over her head.
Detective Armstrong: And you stayed in your room the remainder of the night?
Mary Jones: Yes, until Susan came in the morning and told me they couldn't find Barbara.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Jones, was there a financial arrangement between you and Susan Dubois?
Mary Jones: There was no arrangement. Susan sent us money for Billie Jo almost every month, and she paid for the adoption. We were so grateful. We couldn't have done it without her.
Detective Murphy: Where did Mrs. Dubois get the money?
Mary Jones: She said Barbara wanted us to have it for Billie Jo, for the child Barbara didn't have. And Barbara was like a big sister and more to Billie Jo. The money was from Barbara's sponsorships. That's what Susan said. And she told us we weren't supposed to know where it came from—Barbara didn't want us to know—so we never spoke of it.
Detective Armstrong: Seems awfully generous.
Mary Jones: You didn't know Barbara. If you did, you wouldn't be surprised at all. And Billie Jo made her so happy.
Detective Armstrong: It was a lot of money, though. And you did have a secret to keep about Barbara.
Mary Jones: I can account for every penny, detective. I have seven years' worth of receipts for everything from diapers to dental appointments. What was left over, I put into a trust fund for Billie Jo. Come to the house. See my records.
Detective Murphy: We may take you up on that, Mrs. Jones.
Mary Jones: Susan and I are friends, sort of. I mean, I didn't approve of what she did to Barbara and Bill, and I think Barbara should have followed her heart. But Susan was so kind to us when she didn't have to be.
Detective Armstrong: What is your relationship with Allie Lamar?
Mary Jones: I don't have one. I know of her, of course. Everyone does. But I've never met the woman. If I did, I don't think I could keep from giving her a piece of my mind for sending Bill away like that.
Detective Armstrong: What happens now? With Barbara gone, there's no reason for Susan Dubois to continue to send you money.
Mary Jones: Susan cares very much about Billie Jo too, detective. I don't know what's going to become of Susan, but Elliot provided for our family. Billie Jo and I will be taken care of, even if Susan never sends us another dollar.
Detective Murphy: What is your relationship with the Webbs?
Mary Jones: Erma and Rachel? I know Rachel casually through Barbara.
Detective Armstrong: Can you think of any reason that she or her mother might want to hurt Barbara?
Mary Jones: You think she's involved? I can't see Rachel doing anything to Barbara. They were too close.
Detective Murphy: Even though they were competitors? We know Rachel really wanted a ticket out of Oxford.
Mary Jones: Friendly competitors. They buoyed each other up. I can't see it. And Erma? Such a controlling woman. She might be pushed to such a thing, but I don't know.
Detective Armstrong: Did you have any contact with or see either of them that night?
Mary Jones: I saw them at the banquet and photoshoot, but not after that. Not at all.
Detective Armstrong: How about Ms. Freeman?
Mary Jones: Ingrid? That manipulative witch? I didn't have any contact with her whatsoever. She's as two-faced as they come. She's up to no good.
Detective Armstrong: How do you know that?
Mary Jones: She's always up to no good.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Jones, did you see or hear anything else that night at the pageant that might help us in our investigation?
Mary Jones: Between talking to Barbara and going crazy about Billie Jo, I didn't notice anything else that night, I'm afraid.
Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who might have wanted to hurt Barbara? Did she have any enemies?
Mary Jones: The closest thing Barbara ever had to an enemy was Ingrid Freeman, but to that girl, everyone is an enemy.
Detective Armstrong: We were told that Barbara and Ingrid were close friends.
Mary Jones: Whoever told you that is either blind or trying to pull some serious wool over your eyes.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Jones, we'd like to get blood and hair samples from you and Billie Jo.
Mary Jones: Whatever for?
Detective Armstrong: Just routine. It'll help us tie up some loose ends and may help us find Barbara's killer.
Mary Jones: All right. If it will help.
Detective Murphy: Anything else you can tell us, Mrs. Jones?
Mary Jones: That's all I know, detectives. God's honest truth.
Detective Murphy: Our investigation is ongoing, and we need you to keep what we've talked about today completely confidential.
Mary Jones: Oh, I understand. I won't breathe a word to anyone.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. We'll be in touch.
Interview ended – 4:54 p.m.