Smiling woman with long dark hair

Robyn Dykman interview

Monday, July 21, 2014 – 1:30 p.m.

Robyn Dykman was Andy Fine's sister-in-law.

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


Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming into the office this afternoon, Mrs. Dykman.

Robyn Dykman: You're welcome. What do you want from me?

Detective Armstrong: Well, first, please state your name and address for the record.

Robyn Dykman: Robin Campbell Dykman. 202 Williams Avenue.

Detective Murphy: Now, Mrs. Dykman, we'd like to learn more about Andrew Fine and your sister. Can you help us?

Robyn Dykman: I really don't know what you want from me. I don't know anything about who killed Andy.

Detective Murphy: I understand, but he was your brother-in-law, and maybe you can help us understand Mr. Fine and, of course, your sister's relationship with him. Could you do that?

Robyn Dykman: I guess so. Poor Cindy's so broken up over this whole thing. I'd sure like to see it cleared up. Who could have done such a terrible thing?

Detective Armstrong: That's what we're trying to determine, Mrs. Dykman. Now for starters, how long had you known Mr. Fine?

Robyn Dykman: I don't know exactly, but ever since Cindy started dating him. They were married nearly 20 years, so a while longer than that.

Detective Murphy: You must have been pretty young then.

Robyn Dykman: Yes, I was about 14, I guess. It seems like a lifetime ago.

Detective Murphy: How would you characterize your relationship with him?

Robyn Dykman: I don't know what you mean. He was Cindy's husband, my brother-in-law. He was family.

Detective Murphy: Yes, but we don't always get along with everyone in the family, do we? How did you and Andy get along?

Robyn Dykman: Oh, he was okay. In fact, he could be rather charming when he wanted. Especially with the ladies.

Detective Armstrong: Oh? Was he charming to you?

Robyn Dykman: Oh, sure. When he wanted something. He tried to get on my good side. I talked to him a few times about how he treated Cindy. I didn't always like the way he acted toward her. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, he was so smooth. He could talk his way out of most anything.

Detective Murphy: What did he do that you didn't like?

Robyn Dykman: Well, he'd gotten so grouchy with her all the time. She couldn't do anything right, according to him. I hated the way he talked to her, put her down, always on her back about something she did—or didn't do—that he didn't like. He'd gotten to be a real pain in the— well, he just didn't treat her right.

Detective Murphy: How did she handle that?

Robyn Dykman: She was getting so beaten down mentally and emotionally. It was really taking a toll on her, but she always said everything was okay. That Andy loved her, so it was okay.

Detective Armstrong: Did he physically hurt her, too?

Robyn Dykman: Yeah. She would deny it, but I know he whacked her whenever he felt like it. I'd seen the bruises and the swelling and the cuts around her mouth.

Detective Murphy: What did you do about it?

Robyn Dykman: There wasn't anything I could do except be here for her when she needed me. I'd tried to get her to go to the Domestic Violence Project for counseling. I have a friend who is a counselor there. But Cindy wouldn't do it. I even tried to get her to leave Andy, but she said she loved him and he needed her.

Detective Murphy: Did you keep encouraging her to do something even though she resisted your suggestions?

Robyn Dykman: I finally just gave up and prayed a lot. I know enough about domestic violence to know it was escalating, and she was in danger. To tell the truth, I was afraid he might kill her.

Detective Armstrong: So you had reason to want him dead, didn't you?

Robyn Dykman: I had reason to want him out of my sister's life, but dead? No, I don't think so. I just wanted him to leave her alone. My life is dedicated to nursing people back to health, not killing them because I don't like the way they act.

Detective Armstrong: Not even when you felt your sister was in danger?

Robyn Dykman: Oh, no. Oh, my God. You can't think I had anything to do with Andy's death!

Detective Murphy: It's okay, Mrs. Dykman. Would you like a glass of water, a soda, or coffee? Take a few minutes to get yourself together?

Robyn Dykman: No, thank you, Detective. I'm all right. Sorry about the outburst, but this whole thing is so … well, it's upsetting. Cindy is about out of her mind trying to figure out what happened and why.

Detective Armstrong: Yes, and we'd like to know too. What do you know about Andy's relationship with other people? His boss and coworkers, for example?

Robyn Dykman: I really don't know. Andy bragged how much Mr. Laughlin trusted him and gave him special jobs, and the other workers were jealous of him because he had an in with his boss. Andy was so full of it, though. You could never tell how much was truth and how much was bull— ah… exaggeration.

Detective Murphy: How well did Cindy know Mr. Laughlin?

Robyn Dykman: As far as I know, just from seeing him at the shop when she'd go there to take Andy his lunch or the car or something.

Detective Armstrong: Did Cindy and Mr. Laughlin ever see each other when Andy wasn't around?

Robyn Dykman: No, I don't think so. Cindy was shy around Andy's work. I don't think she even knew Mr. Laughlin… Hey, what are you saying? That you think Cindy and Mr. Laughlin had a thing going? You're terrible!

Detective Armstrong: It's not possible?

Robyn Dykman: You're trying to say Cindy was unfaithful to Andy? No way! She loved that bum. She was faithful to him, even if he wasn't to her. She always stuck up for him no matter what he did.

Detective Murphy: Well, what about Andy's brother, Carl? What was going on with him?

Robyn Dykman: Carl? He's family too. There was nothing going on with Cindy and him except they were in-laws. Carl is to Cindy like I was to Andy — in-laws.

Detective Murphy: We kind of got the impression Carl was maybe still stuck on Cindy. I understand he dated her before Andy did. Was Carl still bitter that Andy took her away from him?

Robyn Dykman: Bitter after 20 years? Oh, come on now. Aren't you stretching this a bit, Detectives? I will say one thing for Carl. He didn't like the way Andy treated Cindy either. He's always tried to stay out of their business, but I know he was getting fed up with the way Andy pushed Cindy around. He told me recently he was going to talk to Andy about it.

Detective Murphy: And did he talk to Andy about Cindy?

Robyn Dykman: I don't know. I guess you'd have to ask him. He was just concerned for Cindy.

Detective Armstrong: And then there's Cindy's old buddy and ex-boyfriend, Dudley Brinkman. What about him? He's not family. Just what is he to your sister?

Robyn Dykman: You know… you are something else! Dudley is a good guy. Serious and sensitive. I always felt he had a soft spot for Cindy, but they are just longtime, dear friends. He was concerned about her like I was. In fact, I talked to him a couple of times about Cindy and how worried I was about her. In the strictest confidence, of course, but I knew Dudley could keep his mouth shut. I didn't want Cindy's business blabbed all over town. She had enough to deal with.

Detective Armstrong: That's a nice description of your relationship with Dudley, but what about Cindy's?

Robyn Dykman: Friends. That's all there is. That's all they were. You're trying to make all this more than it really was. Cindy was a loyal, loving, caring, faithful wife. And no matter how you try to make up something more, there is no more. I've known Dudley as long as my sister has, and he's just a downright good friend.

Detective Murphy: Now, Mrs. Dykman, I know this is difficult, but we need to ask you about the night Andy disappeared. Where were you the evening and night of July 3rd?

Robyn Dykman: Bill and I stayed in. We aren't great party people. We just had a usual quiet evening at home. We went to bed about 11:00, I guess, and we were home all night.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Andy at any time that evening?

Robyn Dykman: No, I hadn't seen Andy for a week or so.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember exactly when was the last time you saw him?

Robyn Dykman: Let's see. We all went to my folks' house for dinner the Sunday before the holiday. I couldn't tell you the date without looking at a calendar.

Detective Armstrong: Did anything unusual happen that day. With Andy and Cindy?

Robyn Dykman: Heavens, no. Andy was always on his best behavior when my folks were around. That day he was sweet as pie to Cindy, and everybody else for that matter. He wasn't his usual obnoxious self. I told you he could turn the charm on and off. That's how he conned Cindy all the time. I guess that Sunday was one of his charming days.

Detective Murphy: And that was the last time you saw Andy?

Robyn Dykman: That's right. I see Cindy at least once a week, and we talk on the phone most every day, but I'll admit Bill and I didn't go out of our way to be around Andy lately. We only tolerated him for Cindy's sake and only when we had to.

Detective Armstrong: Now to get back to the early morning hours of July 4th. Your sister stayed with you?

Robyn Dykman: That's right.

Detective Murphy: Would you tell us how that came about?

Robyn Dykman: Well, Bill and I were in bed asleep. As I said, we'd gone to bed about 11:00. I woke up when I heard Bill getting up and saying, "Who the hell is that at this time of night?" My first thought was that something had happened to Cindy, and I was scared. I followed Bill to the front door. He looked out, then unlocked and opened the door when he saw it was Cindy.

Detective Armstrong: What time was that?

Robyn Dykman: It was very late. I don't know what time, exactly. Maybe 3:00 or 3:30? I'm not sure, but I know it was very late.

Detective Murphy: Go on. What happened then?

Robyn Dykman: Bill opened the door, of course, and let her in. She was in such a state. She was crying and practically hysterical. Seems Andy had come home, dragged her out of bed and started in on her. Something about a watch. He never had to have a real reason. Anything that went wrong was her fault, according to him.

Detective Murphy: How did she end up at your house?

Robyn Dykman: I gathered that when he finally passed out, she got in the car and drove to my house. She wasn't dressed and was in her bare feet. She was dirty and tear-streaked.

Detective Murphy: When you say she wasn't dressed, do you mean she was naked?

Robyn Dykman: No, I mean she wasn't in regular clothes. She had her nightgown on. She didn't even have a robe or a jacket or anything over it.

Detective Murphy: It must have been upsetting to see her like that. What did you do?

Robyn Dykman: I got her in the shower, then got her into one of my nightgowns and put her to bed. I sat with her until she'd calmed down, and then I went back to bed. None of us got much sleep that night.

Detective Armstrong: What happened to the nightgown she was wearing that night?

Robyn Dykman: It was a mess. I threw it away and bought her a new one. She deserved it.

Detective Murphy: How did you say Cindy got to your house?

Robyn Dykman: She drove their car. She was sobbing and so upset, I really don't know how she managed it.

Detective Murphy: She drove to your house? You didn't go pick her up someplace?

Robyn Dykman: That's right. Didn't Cindy tell you?

Detective Armstrong: And she said she came from their house? Did she mention having been to the farmhouse?

Robyn Dykman: No. I'm sure of that. She was not at the farmhouse that night.

Detective Murphy: Tell us again what time she arrived at your house that morning.

Robyn Dykman: I told you. It was late Thursday night… or I guess it would have been Friday morning.

Detective Armstrong: Can you be more specific about the time?

Robyn Dykman: No, I really can't. We woke out of a sound sleep, and I was so upset about Cindy, I don't think I looked at my watch or a clock.

Detective Murphy: You said you thought it was 3:00 or 3:30. Does that sound about right?

Robyn Dykman: You know, I'd really rather not say because I don't remember for sure. Didn't Cindy tell you what time she got there?

Detective Armstrong: We'd like you to tell us from your best recollection.

Robyn Dykman: I'm sorry. I really couldn't tell you because I don't remember. That whole night is kind of a blur. Don't you have all you need from me? I've told you everything I can, and I'm due at work pretty soon.

Detective Murphy: How long did Cindy stay with you?

Robyn Dykman: What do you mean?

Detective Murphy: Did she just spend the night and go home the next morning? Or did she stay a couple of days?

Robyn Dykman: She stayed with us that night and a good bit of the next day.

Detective Armstrong: Why did she leave?

Robyn Dykman: What do you mean? She left because she went home. People go home because it's where they live.

Detective Armstrong: Didn't she come to your house in the first place because she wanted to get away from her husband?

Robyn Dykman: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: What had changed?

Robyn Dykman: I don't know. You're asking me to explain something I don't understand myself. Cindy was worried about Andy.

Detective Murphy: Why?

Robyn Dykman: She felt like she had to get home because he might need her. We were having a cookout, and she left right in the middle. She tried to stay because she knew I wanted her to, but finally, she just couldn't take it anymore, and she left.

Detective Armstrong: She couldn't take what anymore?

Robyn Dykman: The worrying about Andy. She thought he might be at home waiting for her and not knowing where she was, and that made her really tense about being at our house instead of there. She felt like she had to go home, in case he was there and needed her or in case he came back at some point and needed her.

Detective Armstrong: Really?

Robyn Dykman: Don't ask me. I'm just telling you like she told me. As far as I was concerned, she didn't need to go home at all. But there never was any talking sense with Cindy where Andy was concerned.

Detective Armstrong: Did you try to stop her?

Robyn Dykman: From going home? Sure. I told her I didn't think it was a good idea. I told her she could stay with us as long as she wanted to. But I'm her sister, not her keeper. I couldn't force her to stay.

Detective Murphy: Did Cindy call home before she left your house? To see if Andy was there?

Robyn Dykman: No, I don't think so. But I wasn't watching her every minute. She might have.

Detective Murphy: Did she make or receive any other phone calls while she was at your house?

Robyn Dykman: No, I don't think so. Now, like I said, I have to be at work soon. Is it okay if I leave now?

Detective Murphy: All right, Mrs. Dykman. We'll wind it up for today, but we may need to talk to you again.

Robyn Dykman: Okay, but I really have to go now.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in, ma'am. We'll be in touch.

Interview ended – 2:19 p.m.