Lisa Holman interview
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 – 9:30 a.m.
A woman claiming to be Lisa Holman contacted the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's office. A check to verify the identity of the caller proved she was, in fact, the Lisa Holman who had dated John Reagle and recently left Oxford.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy subsequently interviewed Ms. Holman by telephone at her place of employment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Lisa Holman
Detective Murphy: Thank you so much for contacting us. Before we start, will you please state your full name and address for the record?
Lisa Holman: My name is Lisa Marie Holman. My address is 5000 Claycut Road, Baton Rouge Louisiana. That's my sister's address, and she'll always know where to reach me when I get a place of my own.
Detective Murphy: How did you happen to know we were looking for you?
Lisa Holman: My friend Janet Ginsborough called me here in Baton Rouge when she heard the rumors Johnny was showing around a hand he claimed was mine. She was just checking to be sure I was alive, and well … and had both my hands. I'd called her when I was leaving Oxford and gave her my sister's address and phone number. Then I called y'all so you'd know Johnny was apparently playing some gruesome joke. Is he okay?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, he's fine. We're just trying to sort out some things here, Ms. Holman. If you can give us some information, it would be very helpful.
Lisa Holman: Anything I can do, I'd be glad to. You don't really believe Johnny had anything to do with the guy whose body you found on his property, do you? Johnny would never hurt anyone. He's just a big, fun-loving guy.
Detective Murphy: Well, if you can fill in some background on your relationship with him, it may help.
Lisa Holman: Okay, what do you want to know?
Detective Armstrong: Why don't you start with how you met him, when you moved in and then out? Then anything you want to add about him.
Lisa Holman: Well, I met him through my friend, Janet. She owns Haute Stuff, the beauty shop where I worked in Oxford. I was her receptionist and did some bookkeeping for her.
Detective Armstrong: And she knew John Reagle?
Lisa Holman: She'd known Johnny and Evelyn when they were married. Then when they split, she felt sorry for him. She knew he'd had a couple of flings, but thought I might like him. I'd been pretty lonely myself since Matthew and I called it quits in March. So Johnny and I went out a few times and really hit it off. We decided to move in together in early April.
Detective Armstrong: That's moving pretty fast. Things must have been going well.
Lisa Holman: They were until I got the DUI and went to an AA meeting, I realized how much of our social life involved drinking. I wanted to clean up my act and commit to the AA program, but Johnny wasn't interested. In fact, he still wanted me to go out drinking with him and got testy when I went to AA meetings instead.
Detective Murphy: That must've been hard for you.
Lisa Holman: It was. I knew the only way for me to succeed was to break away and do my own thing. I moved out when my sister called from Baton Rouge in mid-June to invite me to come stay with her until I got a job and got settled. In fact, she had a lead on a possible job more in line with my training and at almost double the pay I was making there in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: You up and left just like that?
Lisa Holman: I really had nothing to keep me in Oxford anymore, so when she called, I decided that was the time to make the break, and I moved to Baton Rouge. As I said, it was mid-June. The 15th, in fact.
Detective Murphy: Was Johnny ever rough with you or abusive when he was drinking?
Lisa Holman: Not at all! Johnny's a big overgrown kid. He'd never hurt anyone. He's funny and sweet and gentle. I'd have stayed if he'd just tried to get sober.
Detective Armstrong: Have you ever seen him get in a fight with another man?
Lisa Holman: No, never! In fact, he's the guy who'd jump in to break up a fight.
Detective Murphy: Have you seen or talked to him since you left?
Lisa Holman: No. I thought a clean break was the best. And to tell you the truth, I kinda thought he was glad to see me go. I'd been bugging him with AA, and he was tired of hearing about it.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever hear him mention Andy Fine?
Lisa Holman: Who?
Detective Armstrong: Andrew Fine?
Lisa Holman: Oh, the dead guy. Andy Fine… Andy Fine. Where have I heard that name? It seems to me Johnny did mention that name. Let me think about it for a minute... Oh, I know! That's the guy who owned that run-down house on Reagle Farm Road.
Detective Armstrong: What do you know about that house?
Lisa Holman: A while back, Johnny told me that he'd contacted the old lady who owned it to see if she'd lease or sell the property to him. She turned him down flat.
Detective Armstrong: And that was the end of it?
Lisa Holman: No. After she died, Johnny talked to this Andy guy who'd inherited it, but he wanted the house for some reason. Johnny was pissed because the guy didn't want to work the land. He just wanted the house to hang out and party. Every once in awhile, I'd hear Johnny mutter about that "no-good who just wanted to party." I thought it was kinda funny coming from someone who partied as much as Johnny.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Holman, do you think Mr. Reagle was angry enough at Andy Fine to have a violent confrontation with him? Maybe while he was drunk?
Lisa Holman: Oh, God, no! He might mutter and fuss about it to me, but he'd never be violent. You can't think Johnny had anything to do with that guy's death. I'll never believe that. It just isn't in Johnny to hurt anyone.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Ms. Holman, just a couple more questions. Have you been back to Oxford since you left June 15th?
Lisa Holman: No.
Detective Murphy: Where were you on the night of July 3 and early morning of July 4?
Lisa Holman: You've got to be kidding.
Detective Murphy: No, ma'am.
Lisa Holman: I was home with my sister and her family. We were getting ready for a Fourth of July party at her house.
Detective Armstrong: Did you know Andy Fine?
Lisa Holman: No. I never saw him, just heard his name from Johnny. Are we about through here? I have an appointment in a few minutes.
Detective Murphy: Yes. Thank you, Ms. Holman. Please call us if you think of anything that might help us on this case.
Lisa Holman: Will do. Is that all?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, thank you, Ms. Holman.
Lisa Holman: Well, goodbye then.
Detective Armstrong: Goodbye.
Interview ended – 9:53 a.m.