Sunday, July 14, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.
Nicole Grayson is a friend of Monica Drum's and spoke with Monica the afternoon before she was killed.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Nicole Grayson
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Nicole Grayson: I'm Nicole Grayson. I live at 162 Courthouse Square.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, we came across your name in Monica Drum's office. Were you acquainted with her?
Nicole Grayson: Yes, I met her at one of my first shows at the C'est Belle Gallery, and we've been friends ever since. I can't believe I'm never going to see her again.
Detective Parker: We're so sorry for your loss. When did you talk to Monica last?
Nicole Grayson: Saturday afternoon. She called me to see if I wanted to meet her for a drink later, but I was going to Memphis with some friends to see "Hamilton."
Detective Parker: Do you remember what time that was?
Nicole Grayson: I'm not sure. Maybe 3:00 or so?
Detective Parker: What did the two of you talk about?
Nicole Grayson: Oh, Rick Hughes. We talked about him all the time. She was having some real problems with him.
Detective Parker: What kind of problems?
Nicole Grayson: He just couldn't accept that it was over. He kept calling her up, and they would argue about it, and then he would get mad. She said the people in the office were starting to talk.
Detective Parker: Talk about the two of them?
Nicole Grayson: I think so, but more about him. Most of the people in her office were behind her.
Detective Parker: How do you know?
Nicole Grayson: What do you mean?
Detective Parker: How do you know the people at the Eagle were behind Monica rather than Rick?
Nicole Grayson: Oh, she told me. But it was obvious. I mean, they like Rick, but they liked Monica more, especially after the thing on the 4th.
Detective Murphy: What thing on the 4th?
Nicole Grayson: At the 4th of July Celebration. They had some big fight in front of everyone. She was pretty outraged.
Detective Murphy: What they were fighting about?
Nicole Grayson: I don't know, but it could've been anything. Those two can argue about anything from how to get peace in the Middle East to whether it's raining or just drizzling. And they get just as upset about either one.
Detective Parker: Do you know what kind of fight it was?
Nicole Grayson: What do you mean?
Detective Parker: Just words? Did it get physical?
Nicole Grayson: Just words, I guess. She would've told me if he'd hit her or anything.
Detective Parker: Maybe she was embarrassed.
Nicole Grayson: I doubt it. She would've been pissed, not embarrassed if he'd hit her.
Detective Parker: Do you know if Rick has ever been violent with Monica?
Nicole Grayson: I don't think so. If he was, she never mentioned it, and we usually talked about everything relationship-wise.
Detective Murphy: You and Ms. Drum were close friends then?
Nicole Grayson: Yeah, I guess. Well, I mean, she didn't really seem to be too close to anyone. She didn't have time for that. We talked a lot on the phone, mostly about relationship stuff. We've been friends for a while, but it wasn't, like, best friends, you know?
Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who might've wanted to kill her?
Nicole Grayson: I don't know. She made plenty of people mad, but mad enough to kill her? Who would do that?
Detective Murphy: Did she ever say that anyone was threatening her or bothering her?
Nicole Grayson: No. I'm sure people said a lot of things to her, wrote letters to the editor and things like that, but she never took any of that personally. I don't think anyone said anything she was seriously worried about.
Detective Parker: You said earlier that Monica and Rick's relationship was over. What makes you say that?
Nicole Grayson: That's what she said, but it wasn't the first time she'd said that. I'm not sure Monica really wanted it to be over. They broke up and got together a lot. She kept telling me this time was really the end, but she was hoping for something to come out of it. She wanted to be friends at least.
Detective Parker: What did you think about Rick? You spent time around him, right?
Nicole Grayson: Yeah, I was around him sometimes. Monica and I double-dated occasionally, or I would be over at her place, and he would make dinner for her or whatever. I like Rick, but he wears his heart on his sleeve. You'd think that a guy who's such a good reporter would be a little tougher, you know, when it comes to hard knocks in the world, but their relationship just tore him up. He's not the type to talk about it, but you could tell he was devastated whenever things weren't good between them.
Detective Parker: Would you say that's he capable of killing someone?
Nicole Grayson: I don't think so, but love does strange things, you know? I really don't think so. But then I didn't think he would ever hit her either, and it sounds like you think he did, so now I don't know.
Detective Parker: What was the last thing Monica said to you about Rick, if you can remember?
Nicole Grayson: She said she was hoping he'd get the message and just be friends with her, and she hoped their working relationship would get back to normal somehow. That was the last thing she said about him. And that was actually the last thing she said to me because right after she said that, she had to go, and she hung up.
Detective Murphy: Do you know where she was when she called you?
Nicole Grayson: At her office.
Detective Murphy: And where were you?
Nicole Grayson: I was at home. We all met at my place and drove up to Memphis for the 6:30 p.m. show.
Detective Murphy: What did you do after the show?
Nicole Grayson: We went out for a late dinner and drinks in Memphis. We ended up staying the night in Memphis because it was late, and it was probably better if we didn't drive.
Detective Murphy: Good thinking. So, Nicole, if you were investigating this case, who would you talk to?
Nicole Grayson: I have no idea. I guess I'd talk to the people at the paper. They spent more time with her than anyone else.
Detective Murphy: Okay. Thanks for coming in. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions.
Interview ended – 11:26 a.m.