Very tan man with receding gray hair

Gene Collins interview

Monday, January 25, 2021 – 10:54 a.m.

Alderman Gene Collins is rumored to be the subject of a probe by the Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney's Office.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy spoke to him at his floral shop.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Gene Collins

Detective Murphy: Thank you for seeing us on short notice, Mr. Collins. It was kind of you to fit us into your busy schedule.

Gene Collins: Busy is an understatement, so I hope this won't take too long. I've got appointments to keep.

Detective Murphy: Would you state your name and address for the record, please?

Gene Collins: I'm Alderman Gene Collins, and I live at 810 Lincoln Avenue, right here in little old Oxford.

Detective Murphy: Mr. Collins, we'll do our best not to take up too much of your time. I'm sure you know why we've come to see you.

Gene Collins: Let's see, Spenser Brooks takes a bullet in the head, and I get a visit from the sheriff's department. I assure you I had nothing to do with that, and please … call me Alderman.

Detective Armstrong: So … Mr. Collins … how did you and District Attorney Brooks get along?

Gene Collins: Couldn't stand the SOB. Arrogant and cocky to a fault. That guy was something else, or at least he thought so.

Detective Armstrong: So you and the DA weren't exactly best buddies. How about telling us why?

Gene Collins: I'll tell you why. Besides being a jerk, that punk Brooks accused me of taking bribes.

Detective Armstrong: I haven't heard about any charges being filed. When did he accuse you?

Gene Collins: Have you been living under a rock? It was all over the papers. He didn't have the cajones—pardon my French—to accuse me face-to-face, so he just made insinuations to the media, which they ran with, of course. And all the while, he's got his people hassling me.

Detective Armstrong: Hassling you how?

Gene Collins: He had people following me, phoning me, harassing me and my friends. His people are only interested in cheap character assassination. I assure you I haven't done anything wrong.

Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to the DA about this alleged harassment?

Gene Collins: Sure, I tried, but he didn't want to listen. All he cared about was how many convictions he could get.

Detective Armstrong: That was basically his job, wasn't it?

Gene Collins: He was supposed to lock up criminals, not try to make political hay by going after innocent, high-profile people like me.

Detective Armstrong: Right.

Detective Murphy: Is there anyone else you can think of that may have wanted to kill Spenser Brooks?

Gene Collins: How about half of Yoknapatawpha County and a couple neighboring counties as well? Most people didn't like him one bit. He never gave a damn about justice. All he wanted was another notch in his gun, and to hell with whether the person was guilty or not.

Detective Murphy: So, no, you don't know of anyone specific?

Gene Collins: Well, I certainly hope you're going to check out that Jill Ross.

Detective Murphy: Do you think she wanted him dead?

Gene Collins: She wanted to be the DA so bad she could taste it. Now that Brooks is dead and gone, it's her job to take. She's like a mad dog when she wants something. I ought to know. She's harassed me enough.

Detective Armstrong: What about you, Mr. Collins?

Gene Collins: What about me?

Detective Armstrong: Didn't you want DA Brooks dead? Sounds like you had plenty of reasons of your own.

Gene Collins: I'm appalled by your accusations. I had nothing to do with Brooks's death.

Detective Armstrong: Where were you on Saturday when the DA was murdered?

Gene Collins: That is none of your business. If you're going to accuse me of a crime, you can just talk to my lawyer. Far as I'm concerned, this interview is over. You can see yourselves out!

Interview ended – 11:07 a.m.



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