David Woolworth interview
Sunday, April 19, 2020 – 3:45 p.m.
David Woolworth played a supporting role in Dalton Kimbrough's film and helped out with crew duties when he wasn't on-screen.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- David Woolworth
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name, age, address, and occupation.
David Woolworth: Most definitely. My name is David Woolworth. I'm 43. I live at 316 County Road 288, and I'm a physics professor at Ole Miss. And I'm also playing with this band now. It's really great getting into the club scene and everything around here.
Detective Murphy: You said your address was 316 County Road 288.
David Woolworth: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: That's the lodge. You don't live there.
David Woolworth: It's the only place I've got. I moved out of my other place before the shoot. I've got nowhere else. I was hoping maybe I could catch a ride back out there with one of you guys.
Detective Armstrong: David, that's a crime scene. It's sealed.
David Woolworth: Yeah, but….
Detective Armstrong: You can't stay there. So where are you going to stay tonight?
David Woolworth: Up in the Proud Larry's office, above the restaurant maybe?
Detective Armstrong: That doesn't sound too good. Got another plan?
David Woolworth: I dunno. Roy'll probably let me stay with him.
Detective Armstrong: Now, David, how are we gonna find you if we need you?
David Woolworth: I'll be around. C'mon, I'm not going anywhere. Look, I'll give you my office number on campus, 915-XXXX.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. Can we get to some questioning now?
David Woolworth: Yeah, it's your show, man. Go right ahead.
Detective Armstrong: All right. Tell us how you met this Kimbrough.
David Woolworth: Uh, let's see… Cooters'… I met him at a party one night. He told me what he was doing, and I said I'd be glad to help. I didn't think he was serious. I've been around all kinds of guys who want to make a movie or put on a play. It hardly ever happens. I told him I could act. I love to act. So anyways, I see him around town all the time, and he keeps stopping me and asking me. Finally, he stops me one day and pulls a script out of his backpack and says, "I got a role for you. It's this guy named Paolo." I get the role of a Mexican guy. I mean, that's cool, don't get me wrong, but me? A Mexican guy? Tell me Kimbrough wasn't casting against type. I loved how this guy was thinking.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, sure. Then what?
David Woolworth: So then I read it. It sounds fun. I had a sabbatical and needed time to write my new book. It's kind of a self-help book telling people how to fight insomnia by applying chaos theory to circadian rhythms. I admit, a self-help book sounds a little light compared to some of my other books like Non-logic and Paradox in Chaos Theory, which was just reprinted by University Press. But that one is no best-seller, and that's why I had to write this one. I need the cash.
Detective Murphy: Okay, okay. So you joined the crew and moved in, right?
David Woolworth: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: What was the date?
David Woolworth: January 6th.
Detective Murphy: Who was there by the time you got there?
David Woolworth: Everybody. I was the last one.
Detective Murphy: What did you notice when you moved in? What was going on at the lodge?
David Woolworth: Well, there were some good drugs out there. Mind you, I didn't take many. But it was definitely in the plenty.
Detective Armstrong: Who had it?
David Woolworth: Huh? Oh no. You're not getting me to rat on anybody. We're here about a murder, correct? Don't turn this into a drug bust, man.
Detective Armstrong: Dammit, Woolworth, settle down. Just tell us who supplied the drugs. He's already in custody.
David Woolworth: Whistle?
Detective Armstrong: Whistle?
David Woolworth: S***.
Detective Armstrong: What did Whistle have?
David Woolworth: Man, nothing. Just some pot. Some pills. They were prescription.
Detective Armstrong: Cut the act. We know what was up there. We just need to know how much there was. We need to know if this killing is drug-related.
David Woolworth: No way, man. Haven't you seen by now, the whole world is drug-related? We're all on medication, only the doses are different. To say that one murder is drug-related is to say they're all drug-related. Besides, what does it matter to you? You just want to know who did it, right?
Detective Armstrong: A-plus, Professor. Who did it?
David Woolworth: I don't know. I was sleeping, man.
Detective Murphy: Now you slept in the upstairs bunk room with three other guys, correct?
David Woolworth: Well, yeah, but we were all in separate beds.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah, yeah, we know. Now, what woke you up this morning?
David Woolworth: The gunshot blasts, man. There were like five or six of them, just blam! blam! blam! just blasting away in there. And I bolted upright in bed at the sound of that.
Detective Murphy: Who was in the room?
David Woolworth: I don't know 'cause as soon as I bolted up, I figured I was dreaming and immediately fell back asleep.
Detective Murphy: You didn't hear screaming?
David Woolworth: Yeah, but it was just an echo in my ear. What really woke me was Alonzo jumping out of his bunk. He nearly landed on my head.
Detective Murphy: And then what?
David Woolworth: Well, he bolted out of the room. Roy was standing there, wiping the sleep from his eyes. I don't know where Teddy was. I was all groggy, but then I heard Gwen screaming and crying. Roy and I ran down to Dalton's room, and that's when we knew it.
Detective Murphy: All right, where was Zeboe?
David Woolworth: He was in the bedroom, stomping around and reciting his lines, just kind of going nuts. And Alonzo was trying to keep us out, and at the same time, he was grabbing for him. And there was Gwen just crying her eyes out. It was chaos.
Detective Murphy: Where were Johnny and Kayla?
David Woolworth: They came up after us. Everybody gathered around, just amazed. We couldn't leave that spot.
Detective Murphy: Did you go downstairs?
David Woolworth: No, I don't think so. Maybe a couple of them did. I was just lost in the sadness of it.
Detective Armstrong: Had Kimbrough been threatening to kill himself?
David Woolworth: No, not really, man. But he hadn't been right. There were some issues he was dealing with, which weren't entirely known to us. You know, I tried to keep out of everyone's business. After all, I had my book to work on.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever see him shoot at anybody?
David Woolworth: He shot his gun off all the time. All we had on that set was blank bullets. It was Alonzo's job to make sure of that. Of course, Alonzo didn't always do his jobs. He was out in the woods all the time.
Detective Murphy: What did he do out there?
David Woolworth: I don't know. No one knows.
Detective Murphy: Did Kimbrough shoot at Zeboe? Chase him up a tree?
David Woolworth: Probably. I think he did it a lot. Maybe I was missing something, but I always got a big kick out of that. I mean, they were blanks. He wasn't going to kill anybody.
Detective Armstrong: Blanks are still extremely dangerous. You don't just go shooting guns off at people. Just the sound alone…
David Woolworth: Yeah, but we all wore earplugs. Our characters wore earplugs. And we lived the roles of our characters.
Detective Murphy: Tell us about Zeboe. What was he like?
David Woolworth: He was depressed. Everybody's depressed. I don't understand it. I mean, Kimbrough was paying us a decent wage. We were out there, acting like kids. I mean, acting is just like being when you were a kid. You know, you start living your life in the classroom, like I have, you take on this certain duty to knowledge. It's… it's too constraining.
Detective Murphy: Dave! Focus. Tell us about Zeboe, and cut all that other stuff out.
David Woolworth: What? What do you want to know? I just told you!
Detective Armstrong: What made Zeboe stay out there?
David Woolworth: Blackmail, dude. Plain and simple blackmail. That's why all of them were out there.
Detective Armstrong: Yes! That's it. Tell us more.
David Woolworth: I wasn't being blackmailed.
Detective Armstrong: Who was?
David Woolworth: Zeboe. Man, I shouldn't even be telling you this. You're not gonna put this s*** out on the internet, are you? I don't appreciate that—
Detective Armstrong: David, this is a serious investigation. We're liable to have the media crawling all over us if this thing drags out. The sooner you tell us what you know, the sooner we can close this case, and the less chance all this gets out. Now tell us, what did Zeboe do? Why was he being blackmailed?
David Woolworth: He was having relations with one of the other guys on the set. Kimbrough caught it on videotape, man. He showed me the tape one night when we were up smoking— uh, we had some cigarettes and beer.
Detective Murphy: Who was he with?
David Woolworth: I'm not gonna tell you that. I don't know anyway.
Detective Murphy: Yeah, you do. Who was it?
David Woolworth: I can't tell you, chief. I honestly don't know. The other guy on the tape was too obscured for my eyes.
Detective Armstrong: How do you know it was a guy, then?
David Woolworth: Well… heh, heh. You know… you don't always have to see a person's face to know what sex he is if you know what I mean.
Detective Murphy: Okay then, enough said. Why was Whistle being blackmailed?
David Woolworth: Easy. Drugs. Had that on tape too.
Detective Murphy: And Kayla Mathis?
David Woolworth: She's addicted to danger. Wasn't happy unless there was some sort of crisis in her immediate vision. Adrenaline junkie.
Detective Murphy: But what was she being blackmailed for?
David Woolworth: No, no. There were two divisions of people — those who were being blackmailed into staying at the lodge, and those who were willing hostages, thus guests.
Detective Murphy: And who was being blackmailed?
David Woolworth: Okay, let's see. Zeboe, of course. Whistle. Mr. Marquez had done some nasty things.
Detective Murphy: Such as?
David Woolworth: Well, the story I heard was that Dalton somehow found out that Alonzo's parents had died and left him in charge of his younger brother and sister. And, well, there's no easy way to say this: he prostituted them. I know. It's a sad thing, and nobody even knows if it's true. I mean, there's no video surveillance on that, thank God, so it could be just a story.
Detective Armstrong: Who else?
David Woolworth: Johnny was just along for the ride. He was so enamored with the whole process. I'm telling you, Johnny was the only true professional among us. What can I say? I love this guy.
Detective Murphy: Didn't he want to leave?
David Woolworth: Oh, he was just a mess, but he couldn't leave. He was loving it too much.
Detective Armstrong: Tell us why Gwen Carver was there. What was she being blackmailed for?
David Woolworth: I couldn't get a read on her, man. I think she fell in love with Dalton.
Detective Armstrong: Did he rape her?
David Woolworth: What? No way. I think it was probably the other way around.
Detective Armstrong: What are you saying?
David Woolworth: I mean, she was a maniac. Couldn't get enough of him. They slept together every night. Hell, I thought she'd killed him. She was the only one who was ever in that bedroom. There sure as hell wasn't anybody else around for miles.
Detective Murphy: What about the people who came to the house?
David Woolworth: Who?
Detective Armstrong: Chuck Mulroney and Cheyenne Wyoming.
David Woolworth: Mulroney was a bad scene. He busted up in the house, swinging his arms like a big man and inspecting everything. What a boob! He started making suggestions, like, talking about Shane, "We need to dress her down." The guy's wanting to see more skin. Can you believe it? This guy's a f*****' doctor, and he comes in—
Detective Murphy: Who is Shane?
David Woolworth: Huh? Oh, Gwen. That was her character's name.
Detective Armstrong: Did Kimbrough get violent with Mulroney?
David Woolworth: Just yelled at him. Told him to get the hell off the property or else he was gonna strip his title of executive producer. Shot off a few rounds in the air. What a weasel that guy was.
Detective Armstrong: Did he ever come back?
David Woolworth: Hell, no. Would you?
Detective Murphy: What about the girl?
David Woolworth: Cheyenne Wyoming? She was great. She came in one day out of the blue, wanted to read for a part. She ran around in this crazy outfit doing this fantastic monologue, very Shakespearean. Wait, wait. How did it go? "My life is a comedy. A big fatty muddy pig of a comedy. Rejoice! In a flash, it turns to tragedy, and you join the jesters and revelers!" She was doing all these strange contortions. Like a clown on acid or Protizine. Have you heard of that? The astronauts created it when they were up there in space for several months—
Detective Murphy: What was Dalton's response?
David Woolworth: Oh, he was just showing off. Chased her out of there without ever giving her the benefit of the doubt. He was a sourpuss so much of the time. A cynic. A joker.
Detective Armstrong: And what about you, Dave? Where do you fit into all of this?
David Woolworth: Hey, man, I was content. It was like a vacation for me. I cleared my mind and wrote my book, just digging all the amenities. I mean, all the food and dope— dopamine. I mean, like, your brain works overtime, just being out in nature like that. Gets plenty of fresh, natural chemicals. But all good things must come to an end.
Detective Armstrong: You're right about that. You'll be around? We can reach you at this office number?
David Woolworth: That's right. Just leave a message if I'm not there.
Detective Armstrong: I'm sure we'll be calling. Thanks.
David Woolworth: Anytime, guys.
Interview ended – 4:51 p.m.