Dani Bonner interview #2
Thursday, May 28, 2020 – 3:07 p.m.
Danielle Bonner was a close friend of Zoe Chase.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her in her home.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Dani Bonner
Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?
Dani Bonner: Danielle Bonner, 425 Van Buren, Oxford.
Detective Murphy: Thanks for letting us come again to your home and on such short notice, ma'am.
Dani Bonner: No problem, Detectives. Have you made any progress?
Detective Armstrong: Progress, ma'am?
Dani Bonner: About who did this awful thing? Do you know who did it?
Detective Murphy: Well ma'am, naturally we have suspects, but while an investigation is still ongoing, it wouldn't be appropriate to speculate with anyone outside the department. You understand?
Dani Bonner: Oh, of course. But if you change your mind, I have some theories of my own.
Detective Murphy: Well, I'm sure you have, but for now, we've just got a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind?
Dani Bonner: Yes, of course.
Detective Murphy: You remember when we first talked to you that we asked if you knew the identity of the other men Zoe had been seeing?
Dani Bonner: Yes, and I told you I didn't know who they were.
Detective Murphy: Well, ma'am, you were her best friend, and frankly, we have a hard time believing you knew nothing.
Dani Bonner: Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I don't know their names if that's what you mean.
Detective Armstrong: Could you tell us what you did know? You do know something about it, don't you?
Dani Bonner: Well, she never did tell me their names. That is the honest truth. Zoe was so secretive about things sometimes… I know one of them lived in Memphis. He is a doctor, a prominent one, she said, and… he was married.
Detective Armstrong: Is that when you got nervous about Zoe flirting with your husband? When you found out she ran with a married man?
Dani Bonner: I told you, we cleared that up. She wasn't making a pass at Ed. And besides, Ed would never have responded anyway. He's just not like that. I was crazy to even think it. He hasn't looked at another woman since the day we met., and that's a fact.
Detective Murphy: What else did she tell you about the Memphis doctor?
Dani Bonner: Well, he gave her the Cartier watch, I think. And he liked adventurous sex.
Detective Armstrong: Define "adventurous."
Dani Bonner: Anything goes, I guess… long as it didn't hurt. Zoe wasn't into pain. Hell, she cried if she got a paper cut. But you know, whatever single people do these days.
Detective Murphy: Sounds like you didn't approve.
Dani Bonner: Well, whether I approved or not, Zoe did what she wanted. I imagine you've learned that by now.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. We get it. What about the other man? We know there were at least two of them, from what she wrote in her journals.
Dani Bonner: You read her journals? She'd have had a conniption if she knew…
Detective Armstrong: Really, Mrs. Bonner, we need your cooperation…
Dani Bonner: She said he was a congressman from California. He came to New Orleans a few times a year.
Detective Murphy: What else did she say about the congressman? Did he like adventurous sex, too?
Dani Bonner: She said he had his good points, though I don't think he was as adventurous as Memphis was. He did like to spend his money on her—trips and trinkets, whatever.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know of any way we might contact either the doctor or the congressman?
Dani Bonner: Only what I've told you.
Detective Armstrong: You don't know where she stayed with them in Memphis or New Orleans?
Dani Bonner: No, she never would tell me.
Detective Armstrong: What if you needed to get in touch with her? An emergency or something?
Dani Bonner: I could always just call her on her cell phone. She always had it with her.
Detective Armstrong: Any other men she ever mentioned? How did she feel about Steven Atwater?
Dani Bonner: You mean, personally? She never said. Do you think she was fooling around with him too? My God, even I wouldn't have guessed that. But then… that would explain the way he acted at the cookout.
Detective Armstrong: How's that?
Dani Bonner: As I said before, he was tense about her trying to push Kathy at him. It steamed him, that's for sure. I suppose that would make sense.
Detective Murphy: Did Zoe tell you she was involved with Steven, personally?
Dani Bonner: No. She didn't… but she was so strange the last couple of weeks … I thought it was me. Now, I'm wondering if she was in over her head with something.
Detective Armstrong: Like what?
Dani Bonner: I don't know. She was nervous and jittery and short-tempered. I couldn't say anything to her without her flaring up. I thought it was me, maybe she'd outgrown our friendship. I don't know. I just don't know.
Detective Armstrong: Could it have been about her new book?
Dani Bonner: I don't know. Maybe. She never talked to me about the book. She was very secretive about it.
Detective Armstrong: Was that unusual?
Dani Bonner: Yes and no. Sometimes she talked to me about her writing, but she also loved her secrets. This book was a big deal for her. Maybe she was afraid talking about it might jinx it. I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Do you or your husband own any firearms?
Dani Bonner: Ed has a few. Why?
Detective Murphy: Do you know what kind?
Dani Bonner: No, I don't know anything about guns.
Detective Murphy: Do you mind if we take a look?
Dani Bonner: Sure, if you want to. He keeps them in the gun safe back here so the girls can't get at them.
Detective Armstrong: He has a nice collection.
Detective Murphy: We're not interested in the rifle or the shotgun, but we would like to take this Browning Renaissance pistol with us to run some tests if that's okay with you.
Dani Bonner: Tests? What kind of tests?
Detective Armstrong: Just a few lab tests. It's no big deal, and we'll take good care of the pistol while we have it.
Dani Bonner: I guess that would be okay. I'm sure Ed won't mind. Is it going to help you find out who did this to Zoe?
Detective Murphy: Every piece of information helps, ma'am.
Dani Bonner: Okay, then.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, ma'am. We'll let you get back to your day now. We'll be in touch if we have any other questions.
Dani Bonner: Any time, Detective. Goodbye.
Interview ended – 3:28 p.m.