Balding man with mustache and goatee

Red Dolly interview

Thursday, April 4, 2024– 3:15 p.m.

Red Dolly owns Red's Automotive Repair. Joey Kemp is one of his employees.

Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Red Dolly

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in to talk to us today. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Red Dolly: The name's Red Dolly, and I live above the garage.

Detective Murphy: And the address there would be?

Red Dolly: 1413 North Lamar Boulevard. And if you don't know the address, I'm paying too much to air that jingle.

Detective Murphy: I listen to the scanner more than the radio.

Detective Parker: Mr. Dolly—

Red Dolly: Call me Red.

Detective Parker: Red, then. Do you know why we asked you to come in today?

Red Dolly: You wanted to chat with me about Joey. That's still true, isn't it? I hope that wasn't just some kind of ruse.

Detective Parker: No ruse, Mr— Red. How long would you say Joey Kemp has been working for you?

Red Dolly: Oh, he must go back ten, fifteen years now. He does my billing, my ordering, payroll. Covers the registers when we're short.

Detective Parker: Would you consider the two of you to be friends?

Red Dolly: Not outside of work, and I don't actually see that much of him even at work. When I can find a mechanic who knows more about cars than I do, I'll spend some time inside, staffing the counter or the deli, chatting with my customers.

Detective Murphy: How would you describe Joey Kemp as an employee?

Red Dolly: He shows up when he's scheduled. Doesn't ask for time off except when he needs to bring his cousin to some appointment or other, not that he abuses the privilege. People seem to get along with him once they get past his sense of importance. Joey can rub you the wrong way until you get used to him.

Detective Murphy: It sounds as though he handles the money side of things.

Red Dolly: That's a fact. I don't have much of a head for figures, and I can't say I'm all that fond of computers either. I leave all that stuff to Joey, and he hasn't driven me out of business yet.

Detective Murphy: Have there been money issues?

Red Dolly: I don't charge what I charge for labor because I'm not trying to break even. Between the kids stealing candy, the cashiers messing up the registers, the waste at the deli, parts ordered and then the customer decides not to get the work done, it's a miracle sometimes that Red's keeps a roof over my head.

Detective Parker: Joey makes sure you stay in the black?

Red Dolly: He makes sure more money comes in than goes out.

Detective Murphy: Joey seems like a very valuable part of your operation. He ever ask for more money?

Red Dolly: I don't hold it against a man, him trying to get ahead.

Detective Murphy: You meet his requests?

Red Dolly: When I can. Some years, more money just isn't an option. But he's good about it. He knows what I'm making.

Detective Murphy: Have you ever wondered whether he's helped himself to the till?

Red Dolly: At the end of the day, I ask whether I'm able to pay my bills, whether the next day I'm going to be able to unlock the door and turn on the open sign. Is it possible Joey palms the occasional twenty? Slices off a few pieces of roast beef for himself? Takes home a brake pad? Here's what's important to me: can I still pay my bills?

Detective Parker: Takes home a brake pad?

Red Dolly: First thing I thought of. Easier than a transmission, anyway. Alls I'm saying is I got no complaints when it comes to Joey. Maybe his fingers are a little sticky, but I've had people who backed their truck up to the front doors.

Detective Murphy: How's he with customers? Patient? Easily irritated? He ever take a swing at somebody?

Red Dolly: Just at me, but then I probably deserved it. You don't want to be talking about his cousin. I certainly learned that the hard way.

Detective Parker: He hit you?

Red Dolly: Swung is all. Bit awkward about it too, although I wouldn't have wanted to have made the comment if we'd been standing in the garage. A heavy wrench might have helped him with his balance.

Detective Murphy: Who would you say he's closest to?

Red Dolly: Zina, his cousin.

Detective Murphy: I meant at work.

Red Dolly: Between Red's, taking care of Zina, and that church, he doesn't have much time for socializing.

Detective Murphy: He must talk to somebody at work.

Red Dolly: Not as friends, not that I've seen. Like I said, he's a nice enough guy, but Joey, he puts some people off.

Detective Parker: Does he talk about the church much?

Red Dolly: I think he knows not to. Not that I got any problems with his church, mind you, just that most of the people working for me are waiting to punch out so they can go out and have some fun. For most of them, Sunday morning is when you sleep it off.

Detective Parker: People must have asked him about Pastor Martinson.

Red Dolly: I expect so. Not every day you work with someone who's murdered.

Detective Murphy: Well, thanks for coming in. You think of something that might be of interest, you give us a call.

Red Dolly: Will do. And don't forget that address. This week, buy three tires and get one free. Get an oil change, half a pound of sliced cheese is on the house.

Interview ended – 3:47 p.m.


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