Friday, October 29, 2021 – 12:15 p.m.
Janet Weber is a Yoknapatawpha Players actress.
Detectives Beckwith and Magee talked to her again at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Janet Weber
Detective Magee: We appreciate your meeting with us again, Ms. Weber.
Janet Weber: I'm not sure what else I can offer since I told you everything I know last time.
Detective Magee: This won't take long. Please state your name and address for the record.
Janet Weber: Janet Faye Weber. I live at 3013 Bradley Cove, Apartment #4, in Oxford.
Detective Beckwith: Thank you. Ms. Weber, in your last interview, you said—and I'm paraphrasing here—that Heath was high, and his behavior in the mortuary gave you concerns about his abilities to continue in the play. Is that correct?
Janet Weber: Yes, that's accurate.
Detective Beckwith: Did you communicate your concerns to Anna?
Janet Weber: No.
Detective Magee: Why not?
Janet Weber: Well, first of all, it's Anna's pet project, and she's very controlling as a director. She doesn't always welcome collaboration of that nature.
Detective Magee: Not even when safety is a concern?
Janet Weber: She usually has things under control. She and Scott and Woody work out all the safety stuff. Maybe they anticipated Heath's state of mind, and that's why they planned for the idiot to be locked in a closet.
Detective Beckwith: Was that scripted?
Janet Weber: Yes. Like I told you before, Anna told me to quarantine Heath, so I put him in the quarantine room.
Detective Magee: Was it scripted that you lock him in?
Janet Weber: No. Just put him in.
Detective Magee: Did he think the door was locked?
Janet Weber: Obviously, since he panicked and knocked the set down.
Detective Beckwith: I want you to think very carefully before you answer the next question, Ms. Weber, because we don't think you were truthful the last time you answered it. Was he locked in?
Janet Weber: Well … yes, the door somehow got locked.
Detective Magee: And at some point, according to the script, you were supposed to let him out, correct?
Janet Weber: Yes, but I didn't have time. The zombies ambushed the lab, and I went out the back door with Neal and Anna. Heath was quiet, finally, and so I just felt relieved not to have to deal with him.
Detective Magee: Did the production have any safe words or tap-outs or any way to signal that something had gone sideways and the play needed to pause?
Janet Weber: There were signals, yes.
Detective Beckwith: So you could've paused the action to get Heath out of the quarantine room instead of rushing out the back door?
Janet Weber: He was quiet! I thought it was safer for everyone with him locked in there.
Detective Magee: Did you intentionally lock Heath in the quarantine room?
Janet Weber: Yes! Anna wasn't doing anything about him, and he was interfering with Neal's experience—and mine—and Anna's for that matter!
Detective Beckwith: Is that the only reason?
Janet Weber: Yes, of course.
Detective Magee: You're saying that you were motivated to lock Heath in the quarantine room to maintain the integrity of the immersive play?
Janet Weber: That's right.
Detective Magee: And after you locked him in there, he was quiet?
Janet Weber: Well, to be honest, you couldn't hear anything with all the sound effects. It was loud, and the space was surrounded by speakers, so between that and the live sounds from the actors, we couldn't hear Heath. Truthfully, I thought he just settled down in there.
Detective Magee: Well, thank you. We appreciate your being honest. So, what you're saying is, you locked him in a room and then couldn't hear whether he was just quiet or if he was screaming for help. Is that right?
Janet Weber: You don't understand! It was very chaotic, and the soldier actors were storming in and yelling, "get out, get out," so I ran out with Neal and Anna! I just— it just seemed— I thought he'd be safer in there.
Detective Beckwith: Thank you. What's your relationship with Cherie?
Janet Weber: Cherie? I'm not sure what you mean.
Detective Beckwith: It's a simple question, Ms. Weber. What is your relationship with Cherie Atkinson?
Janet Weber: Professional, I guess. She's on the board, I respect that, but I don't respect her. We're not friends. I'm not sure where this is going.
Detective Magee: Did she ever confide in you, or did you confide in her?
Janet Weber: Confide? No. Cherie's feelings for Anna are no secret. I guess we shared a little bit of that, but Cherie disagrees with Anna and makes it a personal vendetta. My disagreements with Anna are purely professional, and I keep them to myself.
Detective Beckwith: What are those professional disagreements based on?
Janet Weber: I think she is making a huge mistake by moving away from traditional plays. That's what has kept The Yoknapatawpha Players going for so long, and I think she's disrespecting our audience base.
Detective Magee: But you never told Anna your opinion?
Janet Weber: Not in so many words. Like I said, she's very controlling, and I want to continue to be cast in plays.
Detective Beckwith: Who, besides you and Cherie, wasn't on board with the immersive project?
Janet Weber: I never said I wasn't on board.
Detective Beckwith: I apologize. I thought you just said Anna is making a huge mistake by moving away from traditional plays.
Janet Weber: Okay, okay. Fine. As far as I know, everyone except Cherie and Heath wanted to give the immersive project a try.
Detective Magee: Just the board members?
Janet Weber: No, everyone. I had to keep my opinion to myself because all the actors and Scott and Woody were practically salivating over the play. Denis, of course, wrote awesome material for everyone except me. I'm always cast as the "assistant" or the "funny best friend," so I guess that's how he sees me.
Detective Beckwith: Do you resent him?
Janet Weber: No, it's just my life, I guess. Always the bridesmaid, you know?
Detective Magee: How do you know which board members were for and which against the immersive project?
Janet Weber: Anna held a meeting with the actors and crew after the board voted. She gleefully reported that Cherie, quote, had to go get Botox injections to eliminate the frown lines she got when it was a majority yes vote, end quote. She told us that Heath, the idiot, voted against to help Cherie save face. What a joke.
Detective Beckwith: What's the joke?
Janet Weber: The other board members are just weak. They're so taken by Anna. Erv's usually level-headed and business-minded. I mean, there was no hope for Martin. We knew he was going to vote yes so he could have his action hero moment. People lost their heads, I guess.
Detective Magee: When you say "taken by Anna," do you mean in a romantic way?
Janet Weber: No. Not anyone on the board. Neal and Anna dated, but Neal dumped her a while ago. But Scott had a big crush on Anna. It was so sweet, actually. I thought after Ginny died, Scott wouldn't ever want to date. As hard as it was, and as much as he loved Ginny, I was happy to see him trying to go on with his life.
Detective Beckwith: Did you ever have feelings for Scott?
Janet Weber: Romantic? No, never. I adored Scott, but it was all very platonic. He never crushed on me, and I never crushed on him. God, I miss him so much. He's really irreplaceable. I mean, Woody's fantastic. He's also a great guy and an amazing stage manager, but Scott…
Detective Magee: I think we can stop here. Thank you for your time, Ms. Weber.
Janet Weber: You're welcome, detectives.
Interview ended – 12:42 p.m.