Myra Olander interview
Friday, September 1, 2023 — 9:00 a.m.
Weldon Foyle told detectives he was working for Myra Olander at the time Kristi Waterson was killed.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed Ms. Olander at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Myra Olander
Detective Murphy: We appreciate you coming in today, Ms. Olander.
Myra Olander: Let's just please get this over with.
Detective Murphy: Can you please state your name and address?
Myra Olander: Myra Olander. I live at 3342 Delay Road, out near Yocona.
Detective Murphy: And what is your occupation?
Myra Olander: I'm a potter and ceramics maker.
Detective Armstrong: You seem uncomfortable, Ms. Olander.
Myra Olander: I don't mean any disrespect, but I know how the system works. I'll be honest with you—I don't really trust the police. I'm telling you that now because I'm sure you can either find that out about me or else you already know that, but I'm here trying to do the right thing and get this over with as soon as possible.
Detective Murphy: What is the right thing?
Myra Olander: To confirm that Weldon Foyle was working for me on the night that teacher was killed.
Detective Murphy: Is that what you think we want to talk about?
Myra Olander: It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Weldon said you interviewed him. He said he told you what he was doing that night. I was sure you would contact me for confirmation.
Detective Murphy: Weldon talked to you?
Myra Olander: Of course. I mean, a young, hard-working kid is interrogated by the police. Of course, he's going to talk about it. You don't ask the people you interview to keep it confidential, do you?
Detective Murphy: No. What exactly did Weldon tell you?
Myra Olander: That you asked him questions and thought he might be a suspect. I'm telling you now, detectives, you're wrong. That boy couldn't hurt anyone.
Detective Armstrong: And Weldon asked you to talk to us?
Myra Olander: He did not. He didn't have to. He is a good boy, and he doesn't need to be involved in this. He has entirely too much to do—his schoolwork, his jobs—to have his time taken up with nonproductive matters.
Detective Murphy: I see. Does Weldon often confide in you?
Myra Olander: He does not confide in me. He works for me, and very hard, I might add. Oh, sometimes he tells me about school or about his other work, but it's only polite conversation.
Detective Armstrong: What did he say about his instructors at the university?
Myra Olander: Ha! He said you'd ask about that.
Detective Murphy: And so we are. During your conversations, polite or otherwise, what did Weldon say about his instructors at the university?
Myra Olander: It's no secret he didn't like that one who was murdered. However, Weldon never spoke harshly of his instructors.
Detective Armstrong: Who did he speak harshly of?
Myra Olander: Weldon and I once discussed the injustices of the educational, political, and social systems, detective, but he never threatened or implied a threat against that Instructor Waterson in any way in my presence.
Detective Murphy: What else did he say we'd ask about?
Myra Olander: About the night that instructor was killed.
Detective Armstrong: So then let's cut to the chase. Was Weldon working for you on Saturday night?
Myra Olander: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: What time did he start work?
Myra Olander: He arrived about 6:30 p.m. or so.
Detective Murphy: What was he doing?
Myra Olander: I believe he cleaned the yard, and then after it got dark, he came in and started scraping and sanding my screened-in porch. I want to paint it, but it's got several layers of old, nasty paint already on it. He worked on getting that off for several hours.
Detective Murphy: What time did he leave?
Myra Olander: I don't remember exactly. It was after I went to bed, but I was up until about 2:30 in the morning. So it was pretty late.
Detective Armstrong: So Weldon spent from about 6:30 in the evening until after 2:30 the following morning working at your house?
Myra Olander: Yes. He was there the entire time. I will testify to that under oath in court, if necessary.
Detective Murphy: That may or may not be necessary, but thank you for letting us know. What else did Weldon tell you to say, other than that you would testify?
Myra Olander: Weldon did not tell me to say I would testify. He didn't tell me to say anything. I don't like it when people tell me to do things. That's a good way to get me to do just the opposite.
Detective Murphy: I see. And during all this time Weldon was working at your house, what were you doing, Ms. Olander?
Myra Olander: I had several projects going: two pots and a pickle pot, and I also read two of my pottery magazines.
Detective Armstrong: How often does Weldon work for you?
Myra Olander: He comes out maybe once a week. Definitely once every other week. So he's out to my place pretty regularly.
Detective Murphy: And you work as a potter?
Myra Olander: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: Does that pay enough to support hiring a handyman on such a regular basis?
Myra Olander: I'm not sure that my financial condition is any of your business, but some years ago, I was involved in a traffic accident caused by a large trucking company's negligence. I received a fair settlement. I'm not wealthy by any means, but it provides enough for me to get by and to pay for work on my home.
Detective Murphy: How much land do you have out there?
Myra Olander: Only a couple of acres.
Detective Armstrong: That's not much land for hiring someone so often.
Myra Olander: My house is over a hundred years old, and it's not some antebellum mansion, either. It's not always in the best shape. Plus, the accident I mentioned earlier left me with some chronic back problems. When you might go outside and mow your grass, I can't do that, so even the most basic home maintenance issues require me to hire help.
Detective Murphy: And Weldon provides that?
Myra Olander: Yes.
Detective Murphy: How did you meet him?
Myra Olander: He was referred to me by the Ole Miss Career Center. They have a service where you can post jobs for students. They sent him to me, and I've had him ever since then.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe Weldon?
Myra Olander: He's a good kid. He works incredibly hard and has had a tough life, so I'm glad to be able to throw him some odd jobs now and then.
Detective Armstrong: Have you ever known him to act or speak violently?
Myra Olander: He has never acted violently. As to his speech, in this country, one is still free to speak their mind—at least for now. As I said before, he never threatened or implied a threat against Instructor Waterson.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea where he went after he left your house that night?
Myra Olander: I assume he went home. Weldon works too much to go out partying. If he's not working or studying, he's asleep.
Detective Murphy: I see. Thank you for your time, Ms. Olander. We may need to speak with you again.
Myra Olander: I don't see why, but if it's necessary to make sure you don't bother Weldon anymore, I'd be happy to do so.
Detective Armstrong: You're very gracious, Ms. Olander. Thank you.
Myra Olander: You're welcome.
Interview ended – 9:35 a.m.