Sunday, October 31, 2021 – 3:05 p.m.
Woody Herron is the Assistant Stage Manager for the Yoknapatawpha Players.
Detectives Beckwith and Magee had him brought into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department again for more questions.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Woody Herron
Detective Magee: Woody, you are being held in connection with Scott Bryant's death. You have been read your rights. Do you understand them?
Woody Herron: Yes. Oh my God, am I going to jail?
Detective Beckwith: It depends on what you've done, Woody.
Woody Herron: But I haven't done anything.
Detective Beckwith: That's not what we've been hearing from some of your friends.
Woody Herron: What?
Detective Magee: Just relax, and answer our questions truthfully, and we'll do what we can for you.
Woody Herron: Does that mean, if I answer all the questions, you'll let me go?
Detective Beckwith: What it means is that if you don't answer the questions, we have no choice but to keep you longer.
Woody Herron: All right. I need some water. I can barely swallow.
Detective Magee: Here's a bottle.
Woody Herron: I wish it was whiskey…
Detective Magee: State your name and address for the record.
Woody Herron: Woodrow Wayne Herron, 2219 Lee Loop, Oxford.
Detective Magee: Now we need to run through where you were during the rehearsal's climactic zombie battle once more.
Woody Herron: Starting from the zombie alarm?
Detective Beckwith: How's that?
Woody Herron: We had an air raid siren go off during the play to increase the tension just before the big zombie battle.
Detective Beckwith: Who set that off?
Woody Herron: Scott, from backstage near the place he died.
Detective Magee: Yes, then, where were you when the siren went off?
Woody Herron: On the south side of the performance area. I sent zombie-actress Essie Joplin out to attack the audience as they were leaving the mobile lab, and the other zombie actors were attacking through the lab.
Detective Magee: After you sent off Essie Joplin, where did you go next?
Woody Herron: I waited a bit for the zombies to chase the audience deeper into the camp, and then I went to the north side of the theater's performance area to circle around the audience and attack Janet's character on cue.
Detective Beckwith: So when you circled around the audience, did you go backstage near the mobile lab?
Woody Herron: No. I stayed in the performance area.
Detective Beckwith: Can anyone else vouch for your location during this time?
Woody Herron: I don't know. I went behind the backs of the zombie actors. Maybe Martin might have seen me?
Detective Magee: He hasn't said so.
Woody Herron: Well, he was fighting the zombies, so he probably didn't notice me. But the circle maneuver I made was necessary because it gave the illusion that zombies were everywhere.
Detective Magee: Still, you have no one to corroborate your story that you stayed in the performance area until you attacked Janet's character?
Woody Herron: I guess not.
Detective Beckwith: Remind us what happened after you attacked Janet?
Woody Herron: She's scripted to die in the play, and I dragged her backstage near the maze.
Detective Magee: Where did she go once backstage?
Woody Herron: She went to put on makeup north of the evacuation point so she could erupt through the secret door at the end of the play.
Detective Magee: How long did you stay backstage?
Woody Herron: A couple of minutes.
Detective Beckwith: Did you see Martin or Heath back there?
Woody Herron: No.
Detective Magee: Did you see Neal or Denis back there?
Woody Herron: No, I didn't see anyone besides Janet and then Anna when she came in. I went to the secret door and looked into the evacuation point.
Detective Beckwith: Why did you do that?
Woody Herron: To see if any audience members had reached the evacuation point.
Detective Magee: And why would that matter?
Woody Herron: Because I was scripted to go back to harass the audience members in the maze if none had reached that point.
Detective Magee: Was anyone there?
Woody Herron: Just Neal. So I went back to the performance area to menace Kyler Birdsall's character, who was scripted to be the last person to enter the maze.
Detective Magee: I have a couple of pictures of an object to show you—here. Do you recognize this?
Woody Herron: Uh, it's the prototype Scott used to create the prop clubs in the play.
Detective Beckwith: Prototype?
Woody Herron: Yes, the model Scott was using to make the other clubs. Jeez, Scott did a heck of a job on that. It looks like real wood.
Detective Magee: That's because it is.
Woody Herron: I'd seen it before in Scott's car, but I didn't know he made the first one out of wood. The spikes still look fake.
Detective Beckwith: Are you saying you have never picked up this club?
Woody Herron: Oh, no. Scott was really protective of it. I saw it in the backseat of his car a day before the rehearsal, but he wouldn't let me look at it because he said it wasn't quite finished yet.
Detective Beckwith: What did you say?
Woody Herron: I didn't think much of it because Scott was always protective of his creations. He didn't want you to see any works-in-progress. He was a perfectionist that way. So I told him that he'd better hurry up with it because the rehearsal was only hours away. I offered to help.
Detective Magee: What did he say?
Woody Herron: He said he could get it done without my help. It didn't surprise me. He never let me do any prop-making outside the theater. I think he wanted to be there to make sure I did the work to his standard.
Detective Magee: And you couldn't tell that the club was wood that day?
Woody Herron: Not through the car window. Besides, I thought it was just a prop. Scott was a really great propmaker, so if it needed to be finished yet and there was time to do it, I trusted his judgment.
Detective Beckwith: Did any of the other crew members or actors know this club was real?
Woody Herron: Not that I know. If Martin picked it up, he should have realized instantly by its weight that the club was real. So Martin, during the performance, would have known.
Detective Magee: Okay, going back to the rehearsal itself, when was the last time you saw Scott alive?
Woody Herron: At the beginning of the play. Scott and I were running lights and sound backstage at the muster point. He fogged the area. Once Naboa's character got killed, Naboa came backstage to get his zombie makeup on. That was Scott and my cue to get moving.
Detective Beckwith: What was Scott's duty?
Woody Herron: To do the lights on the north side of the theater and be in place to sound the siren behind the mobile lab.
Detective Magee: Did he stay backstage to do these things?
Woody Herron: Yeah, as far as I know, because I left to do the same on the south side of the theater.
Detective Beckwith: Before you left, did you see Scott with the club designated for Martin's character—this club?
Woody Herron: No, but he was carrying something.
Detective Magee: What?
Woody Herron: Like a poncho or a raincoat.
Detective Beckwith: A raincoat? Where was this raincoat before?
Woody Herron: I don't know. I'd never seen it before. I just figured that he might be wearing it to hide his zombie makeup from the audience in case they caught a glimpse of him while he was doing his stage manager duties.
Detective Magee: Where is this raincoat now?
Woody Herron: Not a clue. Never saw it again. Why is a raincoat so important?
Detective Beckwith: It's probably nothing. I'll be right back.
Woody Herron: Maybe Denis made a script adjustment before the performance that required a raincoat that I didn't hear about. If so, it's probably still at the theater.
Detective Magee: Is Denis in the habit of making last-minute script changes?
Woody Herron: Well, it wasn't opening night, and immersive theater is new to us, so a late script change wouldn't be out of the question. Besides, I wasn't sure a zombie play would have been the best first choice as immersive theater if you wanted to keep your job as the troupe's playwright.
Detective Magee: Explain that.
Woody Herron: It's just a vibe I got that the board isn't too keen on some of the B-movie nature of some of Denis's scripts. Nothing says B-movie like zombies.
Detective Beckwith: Where are you getting that "vibe" from?
Woody Herron: If I had to say, from Cherie and Heath.
Detective Magee: Detective Beckwith, what have you got there?
Detective Beckwith: More pictures to show you, Woody. Take a good look at these three. It's the same raincoat at different angles. Is this the raincoat you saw Scott carrying backstage the day he died?
Woody Herron: I'd say so.
Detective Beckwith: With confidence?
Woody Herron: 95%.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, Woody, stick around. We'll be back shortly.
Woody Herron: I really want to go home. I didn't do what you're thinking I did, whatever y'all think I did.
Detective Magee: All you have to do is wait, Woody. Drink your water.
Interview ended – 3:33 p.m.