Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 11:00 a.m.
Doug Jordan is an employee at Laughlin Auto Body in Oxford.
The detectives talked to him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Doug Jordan
Detective Magee: Okay, Doug, let's start with your name and address, please.
Doug Jordan: Doug Jordan. 504 Martin Luther King Drive here in Oxford.
Detective Magee: We've discovered quite a bit since we last spoke. I think you've been holding out on us.
Doug Jordan: What do ya mean?
Detective Magee: You tell me. What was your relationship with Daniel Collier?
Doug Jordan: I went over this with y'all before. We worked together. I showed him the ropes when he was new. That was it.
Detective Beckwith: So you're not going to admit to anything extracurricular?
Doug Jordan: Why would I? I ain't gonna admit to stuff I didn't do.
Detective Beckwith: That's okay. We only want you to admit to the stuff you did do. Like steal from Laughlin's shop.
Doug Jordan: You'd hafta be an idiot to steal from Laughlin. He'd kill you.
Detective Beckwith: That's why you had Daniel do it for you, right?
Doug Jordan: Wrong.
Detective Magee: We have a witness and evidence that Daniel was running stolen car parts for you to sell to your buddies in Corinth.
Doug Jordan: That's a made-up story. I don't know what you're talkin' about. If Daniel was stealin' parts and sellin' them, that was his mistake, not mine.
Detective Magee: That's not all we have on you, Doug. We have evidence of both the timing and the route that Daniel was taking. Every single outing began or ended at your house. How do you explain that?
Doug Jordan: You're makin' it up.
Detective Beckwith: We can corroborate Daniel's trips to your house with the external cameras of the Oxford Intermediate School across the street.
Doug Jordan: So the kid came over to the house for beers a couple of times. Big deal.
Detective Magee: C'mon, now. You just told us that you didn't have a personal relationship with Daniel.
Doug Jordan: So? We ain't personal. Beers are jus' beers.
Detective Beckwith: There's something else you should know, Doug. We just pulled a body out of a swamp with one of your stolen car parts weighing him down.
Detective Magee: Odds are pretty good that it's Daniel.
Doug Jordan: Sweet Jesus!
Detective Magee: The way I see it, Doug, is that either you're guilty of killing Daniel and throwing him in that swamp, or someone at your work set you up for the fall. Either way, things don't look good for you.
Doug Jordan: Have y'all talked to Laughlin yet?
Detective Beckwith: What do you think?
Doug Jordan: I never killed the kid.
Detective Magee: Without telling us the truth and filling in the pieces, the evidence is going to keep leading right back to you over and over. It doesn't make a lick of sense to keep quiet on a few stolen car parts. Copping to stolen car parts is nothing compared to a murder charge and then finding yourself on death row. But we can't help you if we don't know your story, and we won't know your story unless you tell it.
Doug Jordan: It was Dan's idea.
Detective Beckwith: What was?
Doug Jordan: Skimmin' parts off Laughlin. Dan was runnin' parts for the shop from Laughlin's parts dealers in Memphis in October and November. He got the idea to take a part or two from some of the bigger runs, believin' that Laughlin's kid wasn't doin' inventory like he was supposed to.
Detective Magee: Was Gage actually doing the inventory correctly?
Doug Jordan: Heh, he wasn't doin' it at all. I would've never agreed to steal anything if Gage knew what the hell he was doin'.
Detective Beckwith: So how exactly did you steal from Laughlin?
Doug Jordan: Well, after Dan did a big run, we'd unload it before Gage came down on the floor, except for one valuable part that we'd leave in either my or Dan's car. After we finished the unloadin', I'd go up and tell Gage in the office that the load was in, and he'd okay it.
Detective Beckwith: So if Dan was both the mastermind and the main player of this operation, why did he need you?
Doug Jordan: I knew the ins and outs of the shop better than Dan. He wanted someone he could trust.
Detective Magee: What would make him trust you more than the others?
Doug Jordan: Because I told him I needed a cut. See, he knew if Laughlin found out I helped steal his parts, he'd beat my ass at minimum, so Dan knew that he could trust me. Plus, I had an in with the buyers. So I told Dan I'd help him for a 70-30 split.
Detective Beckwith: What did he say to that?
Doug Jordan: 50-50. So I told him to forget it.
Detective Beckwith: So did he agree to the 70-30 split?
Doug Jordan: No, he was still negotiatin'. He said that he was doin' most of the work and takin' most of the chances. I said that he can't sell the parts without the buyers. Eventually, we agreed to 60-40, me.
Detective Magee: When did you start this process?
Doug Jordan: About a month before Dan quit. We would've gotten away with it too, but Dan got greedy.
Detective Beckwith: What do you mean?
Doug Jordan: He started to take some parts out of the shop's inventory, instead of jus' the runs, hopin' Laughlin wouldn't find out.
Detective Magee: But he did.
Doug Jordan: If you guys ain't bulls******* me, I guess he did.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, how did you set up the buys?
Doug Jordan: I sent Dan up to Corinth and Memphis to sell the parts, and then he came back to my house, and we split the money.
Detective Beckwith: Who are the buyers?
Doug Jordan: Aw, you know I can't tell you that.
Detective Beckwith: You can.
Doug Jordan: No, I really can't. They're old Laughlin guys from out-of-state. They go by nicknames of old NASCAR drivers. Dan had a name and number from one of the contacts he met during a run to Memphis in October. The contact's man, who said the contact knew me, said that if we were interested in some under-the-table dealing, then I should call the number.
Detective Magee: What did you do next?
Doug Jordan: I called the number and the contact, who called himself "Fireball Roberts," said that he could have his people at random places in Corinth to do the buys. He also set up a buyer named "Richard Petty" for us in Memphis.
Detective Beckwith: And you're telling us you don't know who Petty and Roberts are?
Doug Jordan: No, Dan went to all the buys. I couldn't identify any voices over the phone.
Detective Magee: Surely, you have some idea of who they are.
Doug Jordan: I'm not guessin' names. Guessin' names could be real bad for me. I'm telling you I don't know who they were. I didn't want to know on purpose.
Detective Magee: Why?
Doug Jordan: ‘Cuz I don't want to be at the bottom of a swamp with Danny.
Detective Beckwith: Do you believe that Daniel knew who he was selling to?
Doug Jordan: I don't think so, but by the end of December, he was worried about them. Dan was a real small guy, so on that last run he made to Corinth, he brought his brother along for muscle. I said it was a bad idea, bringin' another guy into the racket, but Dan had already told him what we were doin'. I told Dan I wasn't splittin' my share of the money with his brother.
Detective Magee: By "brother," do you mean brother by blood?
Doug Jordan: I assumed so.
Detective Beckwith: What was this brother's name?
Doug Jordan: I think Dan said it was Rod.
Detective Beckwith: Rod? Was this an older guy Dan was using for protection?
Doug Jordan: Nah, this Rod was a young guy around Dan's age.
Detective Magee: When was the last time you talked with Daniel?
Doug Jordan: After he got back from that last run to Corinth. Everything seemed fine. Then he was just gone. That weekend I went up to Corinth myself to see if I could find him or the buyers, but everybody had vanished. So I went to the strip club up there and got blind drunk to forget about it all.
Detective Beckwith: What day was it when you went to the strip club in Corinth?
Doug Jordan: New Year's Eve.
Detective Magee: As specifically as you can, where were you on January 2nd?
Doug Jordan: At home. I was puking my guts out on the 1st. Us old boys need more recovery time than we used to.
Detective Magee: Okay, Doug, we're going to let you go for now, but stay around Oxford. We'll likely come calling soon.
Doug Jordan: All right.
Interview ended – 11:34 a.m.