Older man with reddish-brown receding hair and a salt-and-pepper mustache

Chester Hawkins interview

Monday, March 6, 2023 – 10:45 a.m.

Chester Hawkins was apprehended outside the Whitehall Community Center when he claimed he wanted to confess to the murder of Ambrose Garrett.

After an examination at Baptist Memorial Hospital found him physically healthy, Hawkins was transported to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for questioning. Mr. Hawkins was still highly agitated upon arrival at the Sheriff's Department and was detained until he was calmer.

By mid-morning, he was in a more appropriate state of mind, and Detectives Armstrong and Murphy sat down to talk with him.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Chester Hawkins

Detective Armstrong: Good morning, Mr. Hawkins.

Chester Hawkins: How do you know who I am?

Detective Armstrong: You told Deputy Watson.

Chester Hawkins: Who?

Detective Armstrong: Deputy Watson. At the Whitehall Community Center.

Chester Hawkins: Where?

Detective Murphy: Why don't you introduce yourself again? Can you tell us your full name and where you live?

Chester Hawkins: Chester Brinkley Hawkins. 158 Oak Place.

Detective Murphy: Good. Now, Mr. Hawkins, what were you doing at the Whitehall Community Center last night?

Chester Hawkins: Murder.

Detective Murphy: Who did you kill?

Chester Hawkins: The man. I had to stop the face. Following me, eyeballs burned out, too much pain. Take the medicine.

Detective Murphy: Which man?

Chester Hawkins: I found him. I found him there, and I cut him open. The knife goes all the way in and sticks in the bone of the spine. Wedges right in there, and you can't pull it out. Then all that blood. It's a bitch to clean if you don't have water.

Detective Murphy: Who did you cut open?

Chester Hawkins: I told you. The man.

Detective Armstrong: Okay. What do you do for a living, Mr. Hawkins?

Chester Hawkins: Kill people.

Detective Armstrong: How do you mean?

Detective Murphy: Do you work here in town?

Chester Hawkins: No, no. That's all over. Missy takes care of me.

Detective Murphy: Who is Missy?

Chester Hawkins: My daughter. She takes their souls. That's her job. All gone.

Detective Murphy: So, Missy lives with you at 158 Oak Place?

Chester Hawkins: Right.

Detective Murphy: Anyone else?

Chester Hawkins: Her husband. His name's Roy.

Detective Murphy: Okay. Good. Now, what time did you get to the community center?

Chester Hawkins: I waited until dusk. Shadows are cover. I had the knife, and I ran. The guns were useless.

Detective Murphy: You own a firearm?

Chester Hawkins: No.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do while you were waiting?

Chester Hawkins: Waiting?

Detective Armstrong: What happened after you got to the community center?

Chester Hawkins: What are you talking about?

Detective Armstrong: You said you got to the community center at dusk.

Chester Hawkins: No. No! Wrong. I got there, and right away, it was a trap. You people trapped me. I had to confess. Right away, I'm a prisoner.

Detective Murphy: Okay. So you got there, and Deputy Watson detained you?

Chester Hawkins: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Why did you go to the community center?

Chester Hawkins: The man. I was following him. He led me here.

Detective Murphy: Who is he?

Chester Hawkins: Burned-out eyeballs. You don't want to mess with him.

Detective Armstrong: Now, a minute ago, you said he followed you.

Chester Hawkins: What?

Detective Armstrong: You said you killed him because he was following you.

Chester Hawkins: No. That would be stupid. He's the one. He's the medicine man. I killed the other one. I'm here to confess to my crime. I want to be accountable.

Detective Murphy: Who's the other one?

Chester Hawkins: Who?

Detective Murphy: The one you killed.

Chester Hawkins: Nobody.

Detective Armstrong: Mr. Hawkins, who is Ambrose Garrett?

Chester Hawkins: I don't know. Nobody.

Detective Armstrong: Who is Julie Arbuckle?

Chester Hawkins: Who?

Detective Armstrong: Do you know someone named Julie Arbuckle?

Chester Hawkins: No.

Detective Armstrong: What about Delilah Garrett?

Chester Hawkins: I don't know. I don't think so.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone inside the community center last night?

Chester Hawkins: When?

Detective Murphy: When you got there.

Chester Hawkins: Blind men and body bags. Lights, too many lights. There's no cover when there's light. Tell them to turn off the spotlights.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone leaving?

Detective Armstrong: Maybe sneaking out?

Chester Hawkins: Why?

Detective Armstrong: We're wondering if you saw anything that might help us solve the crime.

Chester Hawkins: I told you. I did it. Please. You have to understand. I did it. I did it! I'm the one. Didn't you see my hands?

Detective Armstrong: Yeah. What about them?

Chester Hawkins: All that blood. It's too much! Too much light. You have to watch out for him.

Detective Armstrong: So that was blood you had all over you at the community center?

Chester Hawkins: What else?

Detective Armstrong: Chester, it wasn't blood. We know that. What was it?

Chester Hawkins: The blood of burned-out eyeballs and stolen souls and prisoners like me.

Detective Murphy: All right, Mr. Hawkins. Let's call it a day.

Chester Hawkins: Are you going to put me back in jail?

Detective Murphy: No, your daughter's going to take you home now. But you should stay in town in case we need to talk again.

Chester Hawkins: We will.

Interview ended – 10:59 a.m.


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