Gwen Carver interview
Sunday, April 19, 2020 – 11:30 a.m.
Gwendolyn Carver had the female lead role in Dalton Kimbrough's film.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Gwen Carver
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name, age, address, and occupation.
Gwen Carver: Gwen Carver; 20. I live at 211 Anderson Way, and I'm a student.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Carver, who discovered Dalton Kimbrough's body?
Gwen Carver: I did.
Detective Murphy: It wasn't Alonzo Marquez, as we were first led to believe?
Gwen Carver: No, it was me.
Detective Murphy: Was Alonzo with you when you discovered the body?
Gwen Carver: No, he was not.
Detective Armstrong: You were alone?
Gwen Carver: Yes, but Alonzo was close behind me. As soon as I heard the gunshots, I went running to the room. And as for everyone else, I don't know if they heard them, or if they chose to ignore them, but I was the first one in the room.
Detective Murphy: Did you immediately go inside the room?
Gwen Carver: No, the door was locked. I started beating on it, and then I kicked it in. And when I got in the room, he was dead, and there was a machete sticking out of the desk. That was the first thing I noticed.
Detective Murphy: What else did you notice?
Gwen Carver: Actually, that wasn't the first thing I noticed. I remember now. The tree outside was shaking. The branches were moving as if a heavy wind was blowing. The limbs rattled; I remember the sound. And the water was running in the bathroom. And the music was playing. I was in the room by then, and I screamed. That's when everyone came running.
Detective Armstrong: Who arrived first?
Gwen Carver: Alonzo.
Detective Armstrong: And then? Do you recall who came next?
Gwen Carver: Dave and Roy were right behind Alonzo, but he was in the room freakin' out, and he wouldn't let me out of the room, and he wouldn't let them into the room, and nobody knew what was going on. It was like all of our nightmares come to life.
Detective Murphy: When did the others come?
Gwen Carver: I don't remember seeing any of them upstairs. No, I take that back. Kayla stuck her head in several minutes later, but Alonzo was trying to keep everybody back. He wouldn't let anyone come in and wouldn't let me leave. I finally screamed at him to let me by.
Detective Murphy: Why wouldn't he let you by?
Gwen Carver: He just kept yelling for everyone to calm down. He would say, "Everybody freeze! Everybody just chill for a minute! What's happened?"
Detective Armstrong: What about Teddy? Did you see him?
Gwen Carver: I think he was in Dalton's room at some point, but I was so freaked out, I don't really know exactly what happened for a little while. I don't remember actually seeing Teddy until we came downstairs. He was acting really strange, and Johnny and Dave were trying to subdue him.
Detective Armstrong: What was the matter?
Gwen Carver: I don't know. All I remember is going into my room and falling on the bed. I felt sick.
Detective Armstrong: What was Teddy saying?
Gwen Carver: He was laughing. He was insane with laughter, I… I only vaguely remember.
Detective Armstrong: Did he go upstairs?
Gwen Carver: He was running all over.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone touch Dalton or anything around him after you found him?
Gwen Carver: Not to my knowledge.
Detective Murphy: Did you touch anything when you went into the bedroom?
Gwen Carver: No. I just started crying. Alonzo turned the water off. I don't know if he touched anything else.
Detective Armstrong: What music was playing?
Gwen Carver: I don't know, let's see … I think it was that Uncle Tupelo song "Give Back the Key to My Heart." I really like that song. It makes me feel happy for some reason, but I don't think it will ever again.
Detective Murphy: Did you look outside the window?
Gwen Carver: Yeah, but I didn't see anyone. By the time I finally went to look, though, whoever it was would have gotten away. And I know that's what it was—the killer getting away—because it wasn't windy enough to rattle those limbs, and I arrived right after I heard the three gunshots. At first, when I heard the shots, I had just assumed Dalton had shot himself, but how could he shoot three times? Once I realized that, I was afraid whoever shot him was still in the room like in the closet or under the bed. That's why I was so frantic to get out.
Detective Murphy: Where were you when you heard the shots?
Gwen Carver: I was in the upstairs bathroom.
Detective Armstrong: What were you doing up there? Wasn't your bedroom downstairs?
Gwen Carver: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: Then why were you using the bathroom upstairs?
Gwen Carver: I wasn't.
Detective Armstrong: What were you doing?
Gwen Carver: Crying.
Detective Armstrong: Why were you crying?
Gwen Carver: Because… I had gone upstairs to see Dalton, and I went to his door and heard the music playing. Then I heard his voice, and it sounded like he was talking to someone.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear the other person's voice?
Gwen Carver: No. Just Dalton's, and that song.
Detective Armstrong: Why would that make you cry?
Gwen Carver: I thought it was Kayla... or somebody else. See, Dalton and I had been seeing each other throughout the shoot, and I guess I was just upset because I thought he was sleeping with somebody.
Detective Armstrong: Who else would it have been?
Gwen Carver: Who knows? I just didn't know.
Detective Murphy: Would he have been sleeping with Kayla?
Gwen Carver: Maybe. They were together at one time. Actually, when we arrived on set, that's why she was there. She was with him. But then he and I became close, and soon he had chosen me over her.
Detective Murphy: Was there a rivalry between you and Kayla?
Gwen Carver: It was kind of unspoken, kind of not.
Detective Armstrong: What does that mean?
Gwen Carver: Yes, I guess there was a rivalry.
Detective Armstrong: Did she threaten you?
Gwen Carver: No. She was just very hateful. And rightly so, I guess. I mean, I did make off with her man. I didn't realize…
Detective Armstrong: Tell me, did you regularly visit Dalton at that hour of the night?
Gwen Carver: Sometimes. It was innocent enough. I knew Dalton was up at that hour. He always woke up at 4:00 a.m. to work on the script or watch the dailies. I just wanted to be with him and listen to him talk about the movie. I loved to hear him talk about it. It made me remember why I wanted to make it.
Detective Murphy: Were you discouraged otherwise?
Gwen Carver: Yes. It wasn't coming together like I'd hoped, like he hoped either. It was a really frustrating time during the shoot because everyone was getting impatient. They didn't really want to be there anymore.
Detective Armstrong: Then why did everybody stay?
Gwen Carver: Because Dalton had sway over them.
Detective Armstrong: How's that?
Gwen Carver: I don't know. People just listened to him.
Detective Armstrong: Any idea who might have wanted him to stop talking, who might have wanted him dead?
Gwen Carver: I don't know. I mean, what does it take to kill somebody? I don't even understand that. What does someone have to do to you to make you want to kill them?
Detective Armstrong: Sometimes, a person kills another person because they've been hurt. Did Kimbrough hurt anyone? Did he hurt you?
Gwen Carver: I don't know. He…
Detective Armstrong: What about Kayla? Did he hurt Kayla?
Gwen Carver: She was pretty upset with him. He wasn't the most patient person with her, or with anyone who interrupted his progress.
Detective Armstrong: Did he physically hurt her?
Gwen Carver: Sometimes, I think. Yes.
Detective Armstrong: Did he physically hurt you?
Gwen Carver: I can't…
Detective Murphy: Gwen, we understand this whole thing is upsetting, but it's very important for you to level with us. We need to find out what happened here.
Gwen Carver: Dalton was a perfectionist, and if he thought someone wasn't giving it their all, he saw it as them trying to hurt him. So in a sense, he used violence as self-defense. He got into it with Roy one day, but to tell you the truth, Roy was asking for it. They were all asking for it. He just… Dalton had a problem with collaboration. He wanted to get you into his mind, and when people were reluctant, he forced himself on them.
Detective Murphy: Did he force himself on you, Gwen?
Gwen Carver: He did, in a sense. In another sense, I was a willing participant. He was right, you know. We're all just unwilling participants in everything we do. We have no right to complain about the things that are against us. He thought we deserved no mercy.
Detective Armstrong: And he showed none?
Gwen Carver: No, that's just it. One on one, he was a compassionate man. He was … a frustrated man. He could only express himself in the present, and this film was proving it. He'd let it get away from him.
Detective Armstrong: This still doesn't make any sense. Why were you still there, even after he forced you to stay? Am I right, he forced you to stay?
Gwen Carver: He didn't have to because I'd fallen in love with him.
Detective Armstrong: And the others?
Gwen Carver: I don't know about the others. I didn't care.
Detective Murphy: Was there anyone else besides y'all in the crew? Did anyone else ever visit the lodge?
Gwen Carver: Yeah, a couple of people. There was a girl, an actress who wanted to be in the movie. She just barged in and kind of crashed the scene, you know. Dalton got real mad. He yelled at her and chased her away.
Detective Murphy: Why did he do that?
Gwen Carver: He was very resentful of people who didn't take the job seriously. He thought it was a way of life, and you had to respect it with your whole self. He hated those theatrical people like this girl, but not as much as he hated the money men. He had a terrible time with the executive producer, Chuckie Mulroney. There was a bad argument on the front lawn that I missed, but I heard about it.
Detective Murphy: What was that about?
Gwen Carver: Something to do with the fact that Chuckie wanted to be on the set and watch the filming. He thought he had every right to because he'd put a lot of money into the film, but Dalton said he had no rights whatsoever. Of course, after that, Chuckie wanted his money back, but Dalton wouldn't give it to him. It was an investment, and he couldn't back out that easy.
Detective Armstrong: You never spoke to Mulroney?
Gwen Carver: No.
Detective Armstrong: And what about the girl?
Gwen Carver: No.
Detective Murphy: What was the girl's name?
Gwen Carver: Cheyenne Wyoming. At least, I think that's what she said. Dalton got real mad if he heard anyone even mention her, so we never really talked about her after that day.
Detective Armstrong: Did Kimbrough have something against women? I get the impression that he was violent toward you women.
Gwen Carver: He was just passionate, and that's sometimes mistaken for violence.
Detective Armstrong: And violence can often be mistaken for passion. If you're passionate about something, you love it. You don't want to harm it. Right?
Gwen Carver: I don't know, but I do know that whatever he did to Kayla, she deserved it.
Detective Murphy: But you and Kayla didn't get along, so that's not exactly an unbiased opinion, is it?
Gwen Carver: No, we didn't get along. She was a b****, if you'll pardon me. She wanted to sabotage Dalton's movie.
Detective Armstrong: Tell us about the role you played in the film.
Gwen Carver: She's a tease, but she's smart and kind of dangerous. She's a good foil for the lead character, Darl. She likes to play mind games with him. She has a very lethal sexuality, which was somewhat of a stretch for me. I've never been overtly sexual, and in this role, I had to experiment with that side of myself.
Detective Armstrong: And did Kimbrough help you experiment with that side of yourself?
Gwen Carver: Is that relevant?
Detective Armstrong: I think so.
Gwen Carver: I don't have to answer that. What are you asking?
Detective Armstrong: I'm asking you, did Kimbrough seduce you?
Gwen Carver: Sexually?
Detective Armstrong: Sure.
Gwen Carver: I don't have to say. Detective, this is public record, isn't it? I'd like to speak to a lawyer before continuing.
Detective Murphy: Okay, listen, Gwen. That'll do for now. If we have anything more, we'll be in touch.
Gwen Carver: Fine then. That's that.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your cooperation.
Interview ended – 12:27 p.m.