Monday, March 2, 2020 – 2:05 p.m.
Following up on information gleaned during a canvass of the Coles Point neighborhood, YCSD investigators located Simon DeVille, who may have been in the vicinity of Willie's Fuel & Bait Shop in the early morning hours of December 30, 2019.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed Mr. DeVille at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Simon DeVille
Detective Armstrong: Sorry to drag you down here, Mr. DeVille.
Simon DeVille: Not at all, not at all. I live alone. There's not much going on today that wasn't going on yesterday or will be tomorrow.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, sir. Just for the record, would you state your name, age, address, and occupation?
Simon DeVille: Certainly. My name, Simon DeVille. My age, 74. My address, 4497 Coles Point Road in Sardis, Mississippi. My occupation, retired engineer and full-time fisherman.
Detective Murphy: Mr. DeVille, we understand you may have been at or near Willie's Fuel & Bait late on the night of December 29, 2019, or early on the morning of the 30th. Is that correct?
Simon DeVille: Yes, I was.
Detective Murphy: Did you happen to see anything out of the ordinary there that night?
Simon DeVille: Well, ma'am, as you probably figured, I keep strange hours. I usually wake up at a quarter to 4:00 in the afternoon and do my business at night. Of course, I've made concessions to accommodate you and your police business. I'd usually be sleeping about now.
Detective Murphy: Yes, sir. We thank you.
Simon DeVille: No trouble at all. I just shift my schedule is all. Now, where was I?
Detective Murphy: You wake up at a quarter of 4:00.
Simon DeVille: Oh, yes. Well, you see, I enjoy frog gigging, and that was the activity that called me out in the wee hours of that very night. I usually head out from home around midnight with my bucket and flashlight and, of course, my frog poker.
Detective Armstrong: Gigging every night, that's a lot of frogs.
Simon DeVille: Depends what you want 'em for. See, I catch the frogs that Willie's wife Doreen serves over at the bait shop. She fries up the finest frog legs you'll ever eat. Maybe if you aren't too busy, we could take this interview over there and sample some?
Detective Murphy: Uh, We're kind of under the gun, I'm afraid.
Simon DeVille: Oh, I see, I see. Now, where was I?
Detective Armstrong: You were out frog gigging around midnight, you say. When did you return?
Simon DeVille: Yes, yes. I had me a good pail full of frogs when I decided to head back, I guess it was two hours later. Probably around 2:00 or so. Oh, yes, I remember it was 2:30 'cause I got one of them glow-in-the-dark watches. My niece sent it to me. She's been studying in Prague for the past two semesters.
Detective Armstrong: Which way did you return from the lake? I assume it was the lake.
Simon DeVille: Yes, correct, correct. I was down at the lake, on the bank there behind Willie's. And I was coming up around the left side of the building to get into the ice cooler. I always get me a bag of ice on the way home to keep the frogs cool, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, sir. Did anything happen while you were there?
Simon DeVille: You know that's right. I was walking around to that side, which is right there by the payphone, and I could hear some sniffling. Sounded like somebody crying or something.
Detective Armstrong: Was it a man or a woman?
Simon DeVille: It was a woman, and she must've heard me coming around there, crunching on the ground 'cause she hollered out. She had a sailor mouth on her, I tell you what. She cursed out into the night. You want me to say it?
Detective Armstrong: If you don't feel comfortable…
Simon DeVille: I don't mind saying it now. I never did curse around children, but we're all over 18 here, right?
Detective Armstrong: Heh. Yes, sir. What did she say?
Simon DeVille: She cried out, "Hey, you old **********, wherever you are! You better not ******* come around this corner 'cause I got a busted beer bottle, and I'll split your ******* face open!"
Detective Armstrong: What did you do?
Simon DeVille: Well, needless to say, I stood right where I was and kept my mouth shut. There wasn't no way in hell I was coming round that corner. I could tell by her voice she meant business. So I sat there and waited, and she sniffled a little more. My legs started getting cramped, but I didn't dare make a sound.
Detective Armstrong: What finally happened?
Simon DeVille: Well, a car pulled up out front in the gravel, and she called out to it. I remember hearing the door opening, and the little dinging bell was going. That's when the girl called out, "Is that you?" And I heard a woman's voice call back from the car, "It's me, honey. C'mon and get in." Then I heard the girl crunch across the gravel and get in the car. She slammed the door, and the car sped off, slinging gravel and the whole bit. I tell ya, I like to wet myself from the excitement. Took a nice long whizzer as soon as they left.
Detective Murphy: Did you get a look at the driver?
Simon DeVille: I caught a glimpse of a woman in the driver's seat. She had light-colored hair, and that's about all I could say about her.
Detective Murphy: Old? Young? Thin? Heavy? Black? White?
Simon DeVille: White. More than that, I couldn't say.
Detective Armstrong: What sort of car was she driving? Could you tell?
Simon DeVille: Yeah, I looked out as it was leaving, under the street lamp there. It was a dark red car. I placed it right off as one of them new Toyotas. And I even saw the tags, Yoknapatawpha County. Didn't get the letters though, I hate to say.
Detective Armstrong: Which direction did the car come from?
Simon DeVille: It came from the west, from Highway 6. And that's the way it left.
Detective Armstrong: Did you hear any other words exchanged between the two parties?
Simon DeVille: No, that was it. Just the "Is that you?" and the, "C'mon and get in, honey." They sounded familiar. Sounded sweet, a lot sweeter than when she threatened me with the busted bottle. Lord, have mercy!
Detective Armstrong: And you returned home after that?
Simon DeVille: That's right. Grabbed my bag of ice and took it to the house.
Detective Armstrong: And did you see the car again later or the next day?
Simon DeVille: No, sir. Not a wink of it.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know where Bobby Wannamaker's house is located?
Simon DeVille: He's that record producer, isn't he?
Detective Armstrong: That's right.
Simon DeVille: Yeah, I know where it is. I been gigging around there. He's never there.
Detective Murphy: Did you happen to walk by there that night?
Simon DeVille: No, sir. I just mainly stayed behind Willie's. Although that ain't too far from Wannamaker's place.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear any noises or voices coming from over there?
Simon DeVille: Nothing but the melodious tunes of the amphibians and cicadas, my friend. It's like music to these old tired ears.
Detective Murphy: Okay, then, Mr. DeVille. You've been a great help.
Simon DeVille: Anytime, young lady. And you folks or your deputies or whoever you can find with a healthy appetite, y'all come on up one evening, and I'll take you over to Doreen's kitchen, and we'll put down some frog legs. That sound good?
Detective Armstrong: You bet. Looking forward to it.
Simon DeVille: Well, all right.
Interview ended – 2:33 p.m.