White-haired woman with dark-rimmed glasses, looking displeased

Zina Jacinto interview #2

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 – 9:30 a.m.

Zina Jacinto resides in the same neighborhood where the social experiment, Under Glass: The Study of Generation Z in the Real, is located.

Detectives Beckwith and Magee stopped by her home to talk with her again.


  • Detective P. Beckwith
  • Detective J. Magee
  • Zina Jacinto

Zina Jacinto: Hello again, detectives. Zina Jacinto, 423 Turnberry Circle, Oxford. What can I do for you today?

Detective Beckwith: We have a couple more questions, Ms. Jacinto.

Zina Jacinto: Please, let's not stand on ceremony, detective. I'm a miss, not a mizz, and anyway, I prefer to be called Zina. As you know,  I'm always happy to help, so fire away.

Detective Beckwith: Right. I'd forgotten.

Zina Jacinto: Well, I forgive you. With all of this terrible business surrounding the murder house of sin, it's no wonder you can't keep a little detail like my name in your head. That's precisely why I keep my notebook and pencil at the ready. It's "old school," as the kids say, but it's never failed me.

Detective Magee: Zina, in your observation of the Under Glass house, did you ever notice any of the residents in the backyard?

Zina Jacinto: Goodness, detective, I wouldn't know any of the residents.

Detective Magee: Did you see anyone of college age in that backyard?

Zina Jacinto: Yes, once I saw two young women sunbathing in the backyard, but I doubt I could identify anyone.

Detective Beckwith: What if we showed you photos?

Zina Jacinto: Not likely.

Detective Magee: Why not? Don'tt you record descriptions of people in your little notebook?

Zina Jacinto: Well, yes, detective, I do. I record all manner of helpful information in my "little notebook." However, unless you have photos of the backsides of these young women, I'll not be able to identify them. I unfortunately caught them face-down, tanning their bare buttocks.

Detective Beckwith: Okay, thank you, Zina. Last time we spoke, you said you saw a beautiful woman go into the control shed.

Zina Jacinto: You mean the little shack where Mr. Biffle and his associate worked?

Detective Beckwith: Yes.

Zina Jacinto: I think I could identify her from a photo. But then, twice, I saw Mr. Biffle's associate skulking around outside the door as if he were waiting for someone. I didn't think much of it until the third time, when I saw him whisk someone inside the shack.

Detective Magee: Did you see who?

Zina Jacinto: No, it was dark, and I was trying to stay out of sight. What I saw was someone scurrying from the area at the back of the house and across the yard toward the shack where the associate was holding the door open. Once inside, the associate closed the door.

Detective Beckwith: Did you hear anything?

Zina Jacinto: No, nothing. I recorded the date and time in my "little notebook" and went home.

Detective Magee: How tall was this person?

Zina Jacinto: No idea. They were hunched and holding something over their head.

Detective Magee: What were they holding over their head?

Zina Jacinto: A blanket, maybe? A sheet? I could tell the person was trying to avoid security cameras. Anyway, it successfully obstructed the view. Otherwise, I would have recorded the description in my "little notebook."

Detective Beckwith: Thank you, Zina. The information you have provided, not just on this case, but on other cases as well, has been invaluable.

Zina Jacinto: Thank you, detective. Is that all?

Detective Magee: What makes you think they were dodging security cameras instead of, say, bracing themselves against the cold?

Zina Jacinto: The path they scurried wasn't direct. This person made a wide berth around a particular section of the yard. If I were cold, I'd make a beeline for shelter. Again, I prefer to deal with facts. Baseless speculation isn't my style. There may be dozens of reasons, some innocent, some nefarious, some carnal, some scientific. It's a rabbit hole that Idon'tt wish to explore. 

Detective Beckwith: We have a photo here of a gentleman named Chas Laughlin. Have you seen him in the area lately?

Zina Jacinto: Gracious no, detective. I know of Mr. Laughlin, and if I had seen him around that house, I would've notified law enforcement immediately.

Detective Magee: Why is that?

Zina Jacinto: I have my doubts that Mr. Laughlin has ever had altruistic motives. As I told you before, my initial concern with Mr. Biffle's business enterprise was that it would attract an undesirable element. In my view, Mr. Laughlin belongs to that element.

Detective Magee: Why do you think that?

Zina Jacinto: Mr. Laughlin's business practices are questionable. Coincidentally, somewho'vee questioned those practices were met with physical violence. His auto repair shop isn't well-rated, but it's always bustling. Sometimes in the wee hours.

Detective Magee: Have you personally observed this?

Zina Jacinto: The business practices? No, but he's visited my neighbor, Victor Jennings, more than once, and I understand y'all are investigating Mr. Jennings for criminal activity. I say this because it speaks to the undesirable element I'm referring to. The ratings? Online reviews tell the story. The librarian is very helpful with internet searches. My church friends confirm that story. With a few field trips past the auto shop at various times, day and night, I've had further confirmation.

Detective Beckwith: Thank you, Zina. What about the woman in this photo? Do you recognize her?

Zina Jacinto: I don't know her, but I've seen her. She was the one I mentioned last time, with the cleavage. I saw her slip into the...what did you call it? Control shed?

Detective Magee: What about her?

Zina Jacinto: I see several photographs there. Can't we just lay them all down at once?

Detective Beckwith: Of course. Now, take your time and look carefully.

Zina Jacinto: Don't I always? Now let me see. No, no, no, my goodness, he's handsome, but no, no, no—oh! Glory hallelujah, I recognize this one. I believe that's the Vance girl.

Detective Magee: Which one?

Zina Jacinto: The younger one. Jessilee is her name.

Detective Magee: Vance?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. Jessilee Vance.

Detective Magee: So, not first name "Jessi," last name "Lee?"

Zina Jacinto: Heaven's no. Jessilee, all one word, last name Vance.

Detective Beckwith: Okay, thank you, Zina. Before we go, would you mind if we got a copy of the information you've been collecting in your notebook? It sounds like it could be very important.

Zina Jacinto: Of course. I'm always happy to help.

Detective Beckwith: Wonderful. Thank you again, Zina. We appreciate your time today.

Zina Jacinto: You're very welcome. Oh, and Detective Magee, I do have descriptions of the tattoos on the backsides of the sunbathing young women. Should solving the case come down to that, it's all in my "little notebook." Have a blessed day.

Interview ended – 9:53 a.m.


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