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Barbara Byrns interview #2

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 – 1:30 p.m.

Barbara Byrns is Alyx's stepmother. She has been married to Alyx's father, Paul, since Alyx was three years old.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Barbara Byrns

Detective Armstrong: Welcome back. State your name and address, please.

Barbara Byrns: Thank you. My name is Barbara Byrns, and I live at 604 College Hill Road, Oxford, Mississippi.

Detective Murphy: We need to go over some things from your last interview and discuss some new information that has come to our attention. Is there anything you'd like to tell us before we begin?

Barbara Byrns: Me? I have nothing to tell. Nothing to hide. Do you think I was somehow involved with Alyx's death?

Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Byrns, we'll be asking the questions. Got it?

Barbara Byrns: All right then. Go ahead.

Detective Murphy: You said you overheard Alyx arguing with Stephen before you left for work the day she died.

Detective Armstrong: The phone records show no calls to or from Stephen in the morning hours.

Barbara Byrns: Did I say that? I said, "before I went to work"? Well, that was a misstatement then. Please forgive me. I had just lost my daughter and—

Detective Armstrong: We aren't looking for excuses. Tell us what actually happened.

Barbara Byrns: I didn't mean to say it was before I left the house. It was after lunch, actually, around 1:00 p.m.

Detective Murphy: You told us you were at work all day.

Barbara Byrns: I was. After lunch, I realized I had left my flash drive at home. I went to get it. I was quickly in and out, but that's when I heard Alyx say something like, "Stephen, do not call me anymore," or something like that. I was only there for maybe three minutes.

Detective Murphy: You went home to get a flash drive?

Barbara Byrns: I worked at home the night before, editing the questions for an interview. I keep all of my work on a flash drive.

Detective Armstrong: You never use email to send documents? Or some kind of cloud software?

Barbara Byrns: No. I keep sole control of my interviewees and interview questions. I needed the most current version.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Alyx during the three minutes you were retrieving your flash drive?

Barbara Byrns: Yes, for a split second. She came through the front door as I was grabbing it off my desk. I said, "Hi," but she walked through and headed for the stairs. She was talking, so she didn't hear me.

Detective Armstrong: We've heard some disturbing stories about your daughter's behavior. Were you aware of how poorly she treated your chef?

Barbara Byrns: Yes, Alyx was very rude to Rachel. I asked her to tone it down on several occasions. I also asked Paul to make her stop, but he thought it was a harmless teenage phase. And if Alyx was a rude smart aleck to Rachel, it kept her from acting that way towards us.

Detective Armstrong: Rachel certainly didn't like it.

Barbara Byrns: Oh my God! Are you saying … Rachel killed Alyx?

Detective Armstrong: We've also heard Alyx swam naked and sunned topless on days when she knew Mr. Gregory was coming to work on the pool.

Barbara Byrns: Yes, David spoke to me about those incidents. We thought it best if he ignored Alyx, and we agreed we shouldn't tell Paul.

Detective Murphy: Why would you keep something like that from your husband?

Barbara Byrns: Paul wouldn't have believed it. He would have said David was a liar, and then he would've fired him.

Detective Armstrong: And you certainly wouldn't want that to happen, now, would you?

Barbara Byrns: Uh… well, no. It's hard to find good help these days.

Detective Armstrong: We have information that the nature of your relationship with Mr. Gregory was more than just employer-employee.

Barbara Byrns: I don't know what you mean.

Detective Murphy: Don't you?

Barbara Byrns: All right, I admit it. I was sleeping with David. That has absolutely nothing to do with Alyx's death. It is irrelevant. Stop investigating me, and go find the person who killed my daughter!

Detective Murphy: Please calm down.

Detective Armstrong: It does give you motive. Maybe you felt threatened by Alyx and were afraid David would drop you for her.

Barbara Byrns: That is ridiculous! She was my daughter, and she was a child. I loved her. Do you not understand that? You should be talking to Rachel. She had motive. She had feelings for David. She was always inviting him inside. Preparing him special food. And before you ask, I most definitely was not jealous of her.

Detective Armstrong: Are you pointing the finger at your chef now?

Barbara Byrns: That's not what I meant. I give up. I just cannot seem to say anything right today.

Detective Armstrong: Can anyone at the studio verify the time you left and the time you returned on the day your daughter was killed?

Barbara Byrns: No, the staff was out to lunch celebrating a birthday. Oh, I see what you're insinuating. I cannot believe you would think such a thing. I'm through talking. If you continue questioning my innocence, then I must insist on calling my lawyer.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in.

Barbara Byrns: Detective Armstrong, you said I could count on you to find the person who killed my daughter. Well, you're on the wrong track. I fear any faith I had in you solving this is now gone.

Interview ended – 2:12 p.m


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