Ole Miss student canvass
Since Kimberly Pace's death, Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department investigators have conducted numerous interviews on the University of Mississippi campus.
Investigators talked to many students — both those who had taken one of Dr. Pace's classes and those who had not — to learn more about Dr. Pace and her interactions with the students, especially Patrick Richards, Carter Nichols, and any student who may have shown more than average interest in Dr. Pace.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
Name: Gary Biggs
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Franklin, TN
Mr. Biggs said he had heard rumors that a male student — first name Cody, last name unknown — was stalking a professor on campus.
Mr. Biggs said this male student lived on his floor in Stockard dormitory last year, but Mr. Biggs didn't know him well. Mr. Biggs said this student's roommate told him the student had a crush on one of his teachers.
Mr. Biggs did not know any of the other persons mentioned. He said that, as a biology major, he doesn't get around the English department that much.
Name: Echo Collier
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Newton, MS
Ms. Collier said she had taken Dr. Pace's class as a freshman. She did not know of any antagonism between Carter Nichols and Dr. Pace.
When asked if she knew about anyone stalking Dr. Pace, she dismissed the suggestion. She said she knew the male student people claimed was stalking Dr. Pace. She identified him as Cody Matthews from Philadelphia, MS, and described him as harmless.
Name: Hunter Drevey
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Jackson, MS
Mr. Drevey said he is a fraternity brother of Carter Nichols, although he was quick to point out his dislike for Mr. Nichols.
Mr. Drevey said he was waiting for his girlfriend at the Student Union when he saw Kimberly Pace in a heated argument with Carter Nichols in front of the Student Union on the Friday before Dr. Pace died. Mr. Drevey said he did not know what Mr. Nichols and Dr. Pace were arguing about but said he had heard Carter Nichols complain about Dr. Pace many times around the fraternity house.
Mr. Drevey said Mr. Nichols frequently expressed a desire to cause trouble for Dr. Pace and thought he might be able to blame any trouble on the rumored stalker. Mr. Drevey didn't know anything more about the alleged stalker.
Mr. Drevey said he often saw Dr. Pace out with students at various bars in Oxford, including City Grocery, Ajax, and Proud Larry's.
Name: Susan Hale
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Madison, MS
Ms. Hale said she did not know Carter Nichos but did know who might have been stalking Dr. Pace — a male with the first name "Cody."
Ms. Hale had overheard Echo Collier's assessment of Cody Matthews but disagreed with it, even though Ms. Collier is her sorority sister.
Ms. Hale described Cody, whose last name she didn't know until Ms. Collier said it, as a freak who she often saw wandering the campus alone and acting like he didn't want to be seen.
Ms. Hale said Cody Matthews would often go into bars where Dr. Pace was, take the first available seat closest to the door, and just sit there by himself. She said whenever anyone walked into Proud Larry's and saw Cody sitting by the door, they would know Dr. Pace was in the place somewhere.
Name: Naomi Johnson
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Memphis, TN
Ms. Johnson said she was one of Dr. Pace's students, but she had no idea why anyone would want to hurt Dr. Pace.
Ms. Johnson said she had heard rumors of the possibility of purchasing good grades but was unaware of anyone who had actually done it.
When asked about Dr. Pace's relationship with Carter Nichols and Patrick Richards, Ms. Johnson said she didn't know much about how Dr. Pace got along with Mr. Richards, but she seemed to like him, though it was hard to tell because Mr. Richards is pretty quiet. Ms. Johnson said Mr. Nichols doesn't get along with any teachers and added that the professors all hate him, and he despises all of them.
Name: Jeff Lincoln
Class / Hometown: Sophomore / Jackson, TN
Mr. Lincoln said he didn't know Carter Nichols or Cody Matthews. However, he grew up with Patrick Richards and described him as a hard-working kid who wouldn't harm anybody. Mr. Lincoln insisted that Mr. Richards did not write that Daily Mississippian column.
Name: Jennifer Wilkins
Class / Hometown: Senior / Albany, GA
Ms. Wilkins said she witnessed an argument between Carter Nichols and Dr. Pace outside the Student Union on the Friday before Dr. Pace died. Although Ms. Wilkins didn't know Carter Nichols, she identified him from a group of photographs as the one involved.
Ms. Wilkins, who is an art major, said she had been working on her senior project and walked over to the Student Union for a snack. She was sitting outside when she heard yelling. She recognized the professor from her article in the university paper, and she and a male student were screaming at each other. Ms. Wilkins said she only caught bits and pieces of their exchange but heard them talk about the column in the paper.
Name: Kristin Zhan
Class / Hometown: Junior / Bowling Green, KY
Ms. Zhan said she was one of Dr. Pace's students and had often observed tension between Dr. Pace and Carter Nichols. She said her assessment was that Dr. Pace wasn't going to put up with any of Mr. Nichols' behavior, and he hated her for it.
Ms. Zhan said she saw Dr. Pace and Carter Nichols arguing loudly in front of the Student Union. Ms. Zhan said she did not know what the argument was about, but she could tell from their body language and facial expressions that they were furious. She added that she considered calling the police to break up the standoff.
Ms. Zhan could not recall exactly when this argument occurred but thought it was shortly before Dr. Pace died.