Adam Cooper interview #2
Thursday, December 15, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.
Adam Cooper discovered Jackson Walker was dead.
Detectives Murphy and Parker talked to him outside Walker's apartment building.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Adam Cooper
Detective Murphy: Mr. Cooper, I think it's high time we have another chat.
Adam Cooper: I can't imagine what we'd have to chat about. I've told you everything I know.
Detective Murphy: I'm not convinced that you have.
Adam Cooper: I'm sorry you feel that way. I don't know what else to say.
Detective Parker: How about giving us your name and address again for the record?
Adam Cooper: Adam Allen Cooper. I live at 524 Audubon Lane, Oxford.
Detective Murphy: I'm not going to waste your time, Mr. Cooper. Let's get down to brass tacks. We know about your physical altercation with Mr. Walker last month.
Adam Cooper: I'm not going to deny it.
Detective Parker: But you were never going to mention it either… at least, not to us.
Adam Cooper: It's because the fight was irrelevant. I let my anger get the best of me one time. That's it.
Detective Murphy: Tell us, in your own words, what happened.
Adam Cooper: I said it was irrelevant.
Detective Parker: We'll be the judge of that. Answer Detective Murphy's question.
Adam Cooper: We had a disagreement about his peer review of one of my papers. He was overly critical, especially in portions of the paper that, frankly, went beyond his expertise. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I thought he was too captious to be a peer reviewer of my work or anyone else's.
Detective Murphy: And what did he say?
Adam Cooper: He said I should write more intelligent papers that actually come to a point.
Detective Parker: And you said?
Adam Cooper: I told him that maybe he wasn't as brilliant as his student fan base thinks he is. That he couldn't follow my arguments because he's one dumb son of a b***h.
Detective Parker: So you insulted him first.
Adam Cooper: I called it as I saw it. He's the one that tacked on the comment that I was just "sexually frustrated" now that I was alone. As he turned away from me, he said, "I guess no sock is safe in your house."
Detective Murphy: Let me guess. That's when you punched him.
Adam Cooper: Right in the back of the neck as hard as I could. There is no doubt that the guy pushes my buttons. But, look, I didn't kill him.
Detective Parker: The way I see it, you had every motive in the world to kill him.
Adam Cooper: Yeah? And I'd be everyone's first suspect. That's why y'all are hounding me and everyone I know, right? That fight with Jack almost cost me my career. I learned my lesson. I moved on. Why can't you?
Detective Murphy: Because we're sure you haven't moved on, Mr. Cooper.
Adam Cooper: What do you mean by that?
Detective Murphy: Tell us about your relationship with Sylvia Mason.
Adam Cooper: You mean, other than it's over?
Detective Murphy: Maybe for her. How about you?
Adam Cooper: Fine. Sylvia and I started dating a year ago. Things were great at first, and then we had a rough patch this summer. I thought she was cheating on me. She told me I was being jealous and that I was the only man for her. Like a sucker, I believed that. Anyway, I thought that everything was fine this fall.
Detective Parker: Then Sylvia dumped you when she found new love in an old friendship with Jackson?
Adam Cooper: What are you talking about, "old friendship?" Sylvia didn't even know Jackson until I introduced her to him this May.
Detective Parker: Where?
Adam Cooper: At Ole Miss' Commencement.
Detective Parker: She said she first met him at a McDonald's ten or so years ago.
Adam Cooper: What? That's what she told you? You believed that? Wow, and I thought I was a sucker.
Detective Parker: Do you think that Jackson was the man Sylvia was seeing on the sly this summer?
Adam Cooper: I don't have proof.
Detective Parker: But you think so.
Adam Cooper: Yeah, I think so.
Detective Murphy: All the more motive for you to kill Jackson.
Adam Cooper: Damn it, I don't know how I can get it through your thick skulls that I didn't kill the guy!
Detective Parker: Maybe by providing an actual alibi.
Adam Cooper: I told y'all every place I went the weekend before Jackson died. Someone had to have seen me. Go check!
Detective Murphy: We did. A clerk at Shades remembered you that Saturday.
Adam Cooper: See, there you go.
Detective Parker: She remembered that you bought matching pairs of sunglasses. A Christmas gift, no doubt.
Adam Cooper: Sure. So?
Detective Parker: Maybe for Sylvia, since after shopping, you drove right by her place.
Adam Cooper: How did you know that?
Detective Parker: I didn't. I took a guess. So, now, tell us the whole story. What were you doing at Sylvia's?
Adam Cooper: All right… I overheard some of Jackson's TAs talking about a rumor that he wasn't at work that Friday because he had a fight with his girlfriend, not because he was sick.
Detective Murphy: And you were hoping that the rumor was true?
Adam Cooper: When I drove by Sylvia's, she wasn't there. So I went to Jackson's apartment building, and sure enough, Sylvia's SUV was there, right next to his Audi.
Detective Murphy: How do you know that it was Sylvia's SUV?
Adam Cooper: Not too many Expeditions in the world have the license plate "SYL YOLO."
Detective Parker: Did you stop?
Adam Cooper: No. I stepped on the gas.
Detective Parker: What did you do next?
Adam Cooper: I drove around for a while. I admit I couldn't get out of my own head. Sylvia was my first real relationship, and I wanted her back.
Detective Murphy: Then what did you do?
Adam Cooper: I went to El Charro for the biggest margaritas they had. It's a good thing that they cut me off. I would have just kept drinking.
Detective Parker: Where did you go after El Charro?
Adam Cooper: Home. I'm glad there weren't any family pets that thought to jump out in front of my car. I wasn't in any state to drive a wheelbarrow at that point.
Detective Murphy: All right, I feel that we might have some honesty coming from you finally. So tell us what you were doing on Sunday after church when you weren't watching the Saints, who we know were on bye that weekend.
Adam Cooper: I was nursing a hangover. Church helps a bunch of things, but hangovers are not one of them. So, detectives, you have to believe me when I tell you that I just went home. That's it. I don't remember what NFL games were on because I just went back to bed. I got up an hour later, and Sylvia was still there in my head.
Detective Parker: What did you do?
Adam Cooper: I called her. I think I needed some closure of some kind, I guess. Or maybe reassurance. Something. Anyway, we talked, and Sylvia told me that Jackson was the perfect man for her, that they were talking about marriage, and that things couldn't be better for them. It was the coffin nail to what little shred of hope I had for us. Sylvia laid it on thick, I have to tell you.
Detective Murphy: What do you mean?
Adam Cooper: She told me she broke up with me because I was the pathologically jealous type. That no matter what she did to convince me otherwise, I'd still be suspicious. She said my jealousy pushed her to cheat with Jackson. That I was the reason she found her soulmate in Jackson. Then, she asked if what she said made me angry.
Detective Murphy: Did it?
Adam Cooper: No. In the past, I think I would have been furious. She seemed to expect that I would be furious over the phone. But I wasn't. I finally saw our relationship was over, and I realized I was probably to blame. I told her that I wouldn't call her again. That I planned to live and let live.
Detective Murphy: What did she say?
Adam Cooper: She had a weird reaction. She said, "I know how much you loved me. Don't do anything rash!"
Detective Murphy: To whom? To Jackson?
Adam Cooper: To myself, maybe? But I was calm with her on the phone, so I don't know. I wished her a Merry Christmas and put down the phone.
Detective Parker: Then what did you do?
Adam Cooper: I called Jackson.
Detective Parker: What? Why?
Adam Cooper: To apologize.
Detective Parker: For?
Adam Cooper: For everything. For the fight. For pining after Sylvia when it was obvious to everyone that she wasn't coming back to me. I even apologized for giving him sausage as his Secret Santa when I knew he was a vegan.
Detective Parker: What did he say?
Adam Cooper: He accepted my apology, but it was clear over the phone that Jack was sick as a dog. I said my piece, and that was that. He told me he needed to go back to bed to rest. I said, "Okay, " and I swear, that was the last time I talked to him. Are you sure he didn't die of COVID or the flu or something? I'm telling y'all he was really sick.
Detective Parker: How could you tell over the phone?
Adam Cooper: He was coughing and sounded almost drunk like he could have taken too many meds. He kept saying how tired he was.
Detective Murphy: Did you tell Sylvia that you were going to call Jackson after you got off the phone with her?
Adam Cooper: No.
Detective Murphy: Do you know Joshua Walker?
Adam Cooper: No. Is he a relative of Jack's?
Detective Murphy: Yes, his brother.
Adam Cooper: I've never met him.
Detective Murphy: Okay, Mr. Cooper, we've got what we need for now, but we may need to talk to you again in the future. If and when we come back, you need to be as forthright as you have been today.
Adam Cooper: So I'm not going to be arrested for murder?
Detective Parker: Not today.
Interview ended – 10:34 a.m.