Neal Caine interview #2
Friday, October 29, 2021 – 2:45 p.m.
Neal Caine is a member of the Yoknapatawpha Players board.
Detectives Beckwith and Magee talked to him again at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Neal Caine
Detective Beckwith: Thank you for taking time to speak with us again, Mr. Caine. You remember Detective Magee?
Neal Caine: I do. And, please, call me Neal.
Detective Beckwith: Let's start with your name and address.
Neal Caine: Neal Caine, 445 Turnberry Court, here in Oxford.
Detective Magee: Okay, Neal, we'd like you to discuss any conflicts that might be occurring on the Yoknapatawpha Players board.
Neal Caine: Do you mean between the members or between members and the troupe?
Detective Magee: Either. Both.
Neal Caine: What does this have to do with Scott's accident?
Detective Beckwith: We're not entirely sure that it was an accident.
Neal Caine: What? You think Heath did it on purpose?
Detective Beckwith: I never said that. We're looking at any and all possibilities.
Neal Caine: Okay, well, I guess the board was split on whether we should make immersive plays or take a more conservative route.
Detective Magee: Where did you come down on that issue?
Neal Caine: I've lived my whole life as a risk-taker. Go big or go home, like they say. Anna wanted to go in a new, exciting direction with immersive plays, and we have plenty of money on the board to make her dreams come true. So I back Anna.
Detective Beckwith: It's not because you were dating her at one time?
Neal Caine: Ah. You have been asking questions. It's not a secret that I dated Anna or that I think that she's a wonderful director. Does it color my decision to back her? I don't know. Maybe unconsciously to a degree. But, personal life aside, I can't see how a reasonable person in my situation wouldn't back Anna.
Detective Magee: Maybe because she was interested in Scott.
Neal Caine: Lots of people are interested in Anna. She's smart. She's creative. She's beautiful. I had my shot.
Detective Magee: So you and Scott were friends?
Neal Caine: We weren't getting beers after work if that's what you're getting at, but I didn't dislike the guy. He was just a guy at the theater.
Detective Beckwith: All right, who else on the board agreed with Anna's vision?
Neal Caine: Erv did. Martin agreed initially, but then he understood that if the audience participates in a play, they essentially become the main character. Martin always thinks he should be the lead.
Detective Magee: Did that cause problems with the cast and crew?
Neal Caine: Yes. Ask anyone. Scott hated Martin. They had different personalities. In prior performances, Martin's ego caused last-minute changes that would make life hell on the stage manager. Martin was also the swing vote on the board, and I think Scott had a feeling that Martin was going to vote against Anna's immersive plays in the future.
Detective Beckwith: Which would put Anna's job in jeopardy?
Neal Caine: If Anna doesn't have the troupe's creative power, she would likely quit before she'd be fired.
Detective Magee: What did Martin think of Scott?
Neal Caine: From what I saw, Martin was dismissive of Scott and…
Detective Magee: What?
Neal Caine: I just realized that Martin left in the middle of the play to go backstage in the place where we found Scott's body.
Detective Beckwith: Did you see him do it?
Neal Caine: Yeah, and when he came back, he had a club instead of the guns he was using earlier.
Detective Magee: What kind of club?
Neal Caine: I don't know. I was too far away at the time. I was getting ready to enter the maze at the end of the play. Maybe like a baseball bat?
Detective Magee: Did you see him use the club on any of the zombies?
Neal Caine: No, Kyler Birdsall grabbed me and told me to get into the maze. I didn't really see too much of Martin the rest of that day.
Detective Beckwith: You said Martin was a swing vote on the board. Which other people on the board disagreed with Anna's vision for the troupe?
Neal Caine: Cherie and Heath were against Anna constantly.
Detective Magee: Why?
Neal Caine: Because Cherie's jealous of Anna. Cherie's best days, if she had any, are behind her. She's just a tired old rag at this point.
Detective Magee: Isn't Cherie younger than Anna?
Neal Caine: Chronologically, maybe, but in her years, Cherie's been voluntarily used and abused in ways most of us couldn't imagine—booze, drugs, men, you name it.
Detective Beckwith: How do you know any of this?
Neal Caine: Unlike you cops, I was able to visit the back room of the Rebel Yell before it closed.
Detective Magee: Refresh me on the Rebel Yell. It's infamous, I know.
Neal Caine: Yes. Well, before the owner killed that cop, his back room was the place in Yoknapatawpha where nothing was off-limits. I saw coke there, uppers and downers. The more money you had in your pocket, the less the women wore. I had my share of lap dances there, but I know some guys paid for more. One of those guys was Glenn Atkinson. Those kinds of places put a helluva lot of miles on a girl, and Cherie worked there for a few years, so you do the math.
Detective Magee: Did Ervin Cyr visit the Rebel Yell as well?
Neal Caine: He sure did. Surprised that an upstanding doctor in the community would stoop so low?
Detective Beckwith: Nope. Old detectives don't surprise that easily.
Detective Magee: Did Ervin Cyr have a thing for Cherie the stripper?
Neal Caine: Well, he didn't avert his gaze at the Yell, I can tell you that. Besides, who do you think did Cherie's boob job?
Detective Beckwith: Seriously?
Neal Caine: Heh, thought you didn't surprise that easily. Yep, Glenn paid for them. Erv made them.
Detective Magee: Before or after Glenn and Cherie were married?
Neal Caine: Before. Cherie was still working at the Yell, letting customers try out the merchandise.
Detective Beckwith: Would Ervin still be interested in Cherie?
Neal Caine: I don't know. I can tell you that Heath is interested in her. She knows it and profits by it. She's always scheming, so I couldn't tell you if she and Erv got something going. What I do know is that Erv and Cherie got placed on the same team during the zombie play and ran off together during the big battle. I wish I could tell you what they were doing, but I couldn't see them.
Detective Magee: But didn't you say earlier that Ervin was supportive of Anna's immersive plays?
Neal Caine: Yeah, he was when it was first proposed, but running from zombies as a 60-something-year-old might change your mind.
Detective Magee: All right, I think you've given us a lot to check up on. I'm sure we'll be speaking again in the near future, so expect another call.
Neal Caine: No problem. See y'all.
Interview ended – 3:16 p.m.