Duffy's patron canvass

On the evenings of Thursday, July 17, and Friday, July 18, 2014, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy and other investigators interviewed patrons at Duffy's Bar & Grill, 2201 Jackson Avenue West.

They spoke with 51 patrons, of whom 27 were present the night of Thursday, July 3, and/or the night of Sunday, July 13.

The 27 patrons were questioned about:

  • any unusual circumstances the night of July 3, and whether they had seen Andrew Fine and his wife, Cynthia, in the bar.
  • whether they had seen John Reagle and the hand he brought to the bar the night of July 13.

The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.


Cooke

James Cooke
963 W McDowell Road, Jackson, MS

Cooke said he and his wife, Brianna, were at Duffy's Bar & Grill the night of July 3, 2014. He said they were sitting at a table in the back of the bar near the pool table, and he could see everything that was going on at the end of the pool table closest to where he was sitting.

Cooke said it was the first time he and his wife had been to Duffy's. He said he and his wife were to see family who lived in Oxford and had a room at a hotel near Duffy's. Cooke said they had come back to the hotel around 9:00 p.m. after visiting their relatives that evening, and they wanted to relax and have a beer and a snack before heading back to their room.

Cooke said the only thing they witnessed while they were there was a loud guy shooting pool and doing a good job at it. Cooke said the man and his partner ran the table the entire time the Cookes were there.

Cooke said he decided to contact the YCSD after seeing a news report on TV about the sheriff's department's search for witnesses who had seen a man in the early morning hours of July 4. Cooke said he and his wife thought the description of the man sounded like the man they had seen at Duffy's.

Cooke said he and his wife live only about 150 miles from Oxford and had been planning to travel to Oxford again to finish family business. After speaking with YCSD detectives, Cooke made arrangements to meet with an investigator at Duffy's for this interview.

Coyle

Timothy Coyle
1310 South Lamar Boulevard, Oxford, MS

Coyle said he was at Duffy's Bar & Grill the night of July 3, 2014, and on the night of July 13, 2014.

Coyle said he is quite familiar with Andrew Fine because of competition on the pool table. Coyle said both he and Andrew enjoyed competing in eight-ball and have played each other for money and for drinks on numerous occasions, including the night of July 3.

Coyle said there has always been a rivalry between Andrew and himself when it comes to competitive things like playing pool or other games. Coyle added that Andrew was a bad loser and often threw temper tantrums, but that the tantrums did Andrew no good because the pool table speaks for itself and Andrew succeeded only in "making an ass of himself."

Coyle said Andrew had invited him on a few occasions to join him at what he called his "party pad" in the country when Duffy's was closing, but Andrew was not yet ready to call it a night.

Coyle said he had accepted one invitation a few months ago but not subsequent ones because the house was so far from his own home that getting back home after a long night of drinking was difficult.

Coyle added that the lack of basic amenities like electricity and running water at the house made it uncomfortable to spend the night there.

Re: July 3, 2014

On July 3, Coyle said he was sitting at a booth with two friends, Paul Norton and Dave O'Dell. Neither Norton nor O'Dell was present at Duffy's at the time of this interview.

Coyle said that on that night, he was sitting in the third booth, which overlooks the parking lot. He said he and his friends did not arrive at Duffy's until later in the evening, perhaps around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.

Coyle said he saw Andrew Fine at Duffy's the night of July 3, along with his wife, Cynthia Fine, and his brother, Carl Fine.

Coyle said Andrew was flashing a wad of money around on July 3 and wanted Coyle and a friend to play Carl and him in a game of pool for $50. Coyle said he got Andrew to play for $20 instead.

Coyle said he kept an eye on the Fines' table while he was there to make sure things didn't turn ugly because sometimes that happened very quickly with Andrew, and Coyle wanted to get out of the way as fast as possible if he had to.

Coyle said he noticed several visitors at the Fines' table. He said he didn't understand "why the hell that guy, Dudley, who went out with Cindy in high school, would dare go to the table" because that was the kind of thing that sometimes triggered Andrew's temper

Coyle said when he heard Andrew and Cynthia Fine begin to argue, he assumed Dudley's presence was the cause.

Coyle said Eddie Dooley also sat at the Fines' table for a time and, sometime after Dooley left, Andrew noticed his watch missing.

Coyle said he wouldn't have thought too much about it, but he remembered seeing Andrew take his watch off when Coyle and Norton were playing pool against Andrew and Carl for the $20. Coyle said he did not recall what Andrew did with his watch after he took it off.

Coyle said he and his friends left Duffy's just before last call, around 12:45 a.m. He said they saw Carl Fine pulling out of the Duffy's parking lot in his Jeep when they exited Duffy's.

Coyle said he saw nothing unusual in as they were leaving and said he has not seen the Fines since that night at Duffy's.

Re: July 13, 2014

Coyle said he stopped in Duffy's for a few drinks the night of July 13 around 8:15 p.m.

Coyle said he knows John Reagle from seeing him at Duffy's many times over the years. He said Reagle was already at Duffy's when he arrived on July 13.

Coyle said Reagle approached him shortly after he arrived and showed him a plastic container. He said Reagle told him there was a human hand in the container and that it was the hand of Reagle's ex-girlfriend, Lisa.

Coyle said Reagle offered to take the lid off the container so he could get a better look, and before Coyle could answer, Reagle lifted the corner of the top of the container.

Coyle said as soon as he caught a whiff from the inside of the container, he told Reagle to "get that f****** thing the hell away from me." Coyle said he then took his beer and moved away from Reagle.

Coyle said he left Duffy's around 9:30 p.m. without speaking to Reagle again. He said he heard on the news the next morning that Reagle had been arrested "because of that stupid hand."

Huddlestein

Lawrence "Razz" Huddlestein
605 Happy Lane, Oxford, MS

Huddlestein said he was at Duffy's Bar & Grill on the night of July 13, 2014. Huddlestein said he arrived around 6:45 p.m. and joined his friend, Eddie Dooley, at a table. He said he and Dooley shared a pitcher of beer and a short time later, John Reagle came over to their table and sat down.

Huddlestein said Reagle told him and Dooley that he had something really cool to show them and asked how long they were planning to stay at Duffy's. Huddlestein said they told Reagle they would be there for a while, and Reagle got up and went to talk to someone else.

Huddlestein added that neither he nor Dooley believed Reagle actually had something to show them or, if he did, that it would actually be cool. He said they assumed it was another of Reagle's tall tales.

Huddlestein said Reagle approached Dooley and him again about an hour later, carrying a plastic container. He said Reagle sat down with them again and placed the container on the table.

Huddlestein said Reagle told them he had a human hand inside the container. Huddlestein said he could "sort of see through the plastic" of the container and what he could see did appear to resemble a human hand.

Huddlestein said he and Dooley assumed this was another of the pranks Reagle was always trying to pull, and they expressed their disbelief to Reagle. He said Reagle then offered to open up the container to give them a closer look, but both he and Dooley declined.

Huddlestein said it became clear that Reagle was going to stay at their table until he got the reaction he wanted, so Dooley told Reagle to open the container to let him see inside. Huddlestein said, when Reagle opened the container, Dooley made a big show of his reaction to the contents, going as far as to run from the table holding his nose.

Huddlestein said Reagle seemed satisfied with Dooley's response and left their table, taking the container with him. Huddlestein said he never really got a good look at what was inside the container.

Huddlestein said he saw Reagle showing the container to other patrons throughout the evening. He said he noticed that some people seemed to be disturbed by what they saw, and others thought it was funny that Reagle had managed to fool them.

Huddlestein said he left Duffy's that night around 9:00 p.m. and was surprised when he read in the newspaper the next day that Reagle had been arrested, though he thought the arrest might teach Reagle a lesson about taking a prank too far.

Nichole

Ashley Nichole
108 Cedar Hill Drive, Oxford, MS

Nichole said she was at Duffy's Bar & Grill the night of July 3, 2014, and was sitting at the bar when Andrew and Cynthia Fine entered.

Nichole said she noted the time because she had ordered a drink and some fries from the kitchen, and it seemed to take a long time to get her order. She said it was around 7:30 p.m. or thereabouts when the Fines came in.

She said she knows Andrew Fine because, although she doesn't typically frequent the bar during the week, she usually sees Andrew on the weekends when she comes in to "chill out" from the workweek. She said she went to Duffy's on the night of July 3 for the start of the long weekend.

Nichole said, shortly after Andrew and Cynthia Fine came in, Andrew's brother, Carl, came in. She said she knows more of Carl because she has "her eye on him" and thinks he is handsome.

Nichole said she became frustrated because it seemed that after the Fines came in, no one could get quick service anymore. She said the Fines were constantly ordering pitchers of beer, fresh glasses, food and so on. She said she also noticed Andrew and Carl were loud and playing pool the whole time.

Nichole said she had her back to them, but at one point, she thought it sounded like a fight was going to break out. She said she didn't know what the argument was about, but she was quite sure Andrew Fine was involved. She said she thought he was bad-mouthing his wife.

Nichole also said she saw Dudley Brinkman, who she has known since high school, come from the pool area and leave Duffy's immediately after the argument and she "would bet he was involved." She wasn't sure what time it was when Brinkman left but estimated it was around 11:15 p.m.

Nichole said it was quiet again until she left Duffy's around midnight. She said she saw nothing unusual in the parking lot as she left.

Nichole said she has not seen the Fines at Duffy's since that night.


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