Friday, May 29, 2020 – 3:01 p.m.
Tammy Wilson is the personal assistant to Richard Bertuch, an editor at The Oxford Weekly Planet.
She contacted the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department to say she might have information pertinent to the Zoe Chase investigation. Detective Armstrong interviewed her by telephone.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Tammy Wilson
Detective Armstrong: For the record, please state your name and address.
Tammy Wilson: Tamara Wilson, I live in the Benbow Apartments, on Benbow Drive in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: We appreciate your contacting us in this matter, ma'am.
Tammy Wilson: Not at all. As I said, I think maybe I can clear up some confusion here.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am. What confusion is that?
Tammy Wilson: Regarding the whereabouts of Zoe's last column.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know the whereabouts, ma'am?
Tammy Wilson: Yes, it's here, at my office. In fact, I'm looking at it right now.
Detective Armstrong: How did you come into possession of it?
Tammy Wilson: Well, I was off a couple days are the time that Zoe was… well, when, you know. My daughter had a recital, and we had out of town relatives coming in, and well, I took a couple days of personal time.
Detective Armstrong: Which days were you off?
Tammy Wilson: Friday and Monday, so I had a long weekend, you know?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am, I understand. But about the column?
Tammy Wilson: Okay, sure. Sorry. Anyway, I guess Peggy did send it in. It was misfiled, and I just found it. I told Mr. Bertuch, and then I called y'all.
Detective Armstrong: Misfiled? How did that happen?
Tammy Wilson: Well, like I said. I was off for a couple of days, and that's when Peggy emailed it. While I was gone, there was another girl in the office covering for me some, and I guess she was trying to help by cleaning up the inbox. She moved the email into the Future Articles folder. See, we get all kinds of submissions to consider, and I go through them when I have the time. There's no rush on them, you see?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am, I'm beginning to.
Tammy Wilson: Then, when I got back, of course, I heard that Zoe's column was missing, but it just never occurred to me to look for it in that folder.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't the girl covering for you open the email? I'd think y'all were looking for it.
Tammy Wilson: I can only guess at an answer. She didn't recognize what it was, and she was trying to help by tidying up for me while I was away, but it's not her regular job. Let's just say she made some decisions based on incomplete information.
Detective Armstrong: I see. So, Peggy would have just assumed you had gotten it?
Tammy Wilson: Oh, sure. We've done this many times, but usually, I'm not on vacation when her emails come in.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know Peggy on a personal level? See each other socially?
Tammy Wilson: Yeah, I guess you'd say we're friends. We have lunch every couple of weeks or so.
Detective Armstrong: So, you would know something about her relationship with Zoe?
Tammy Wilson: Well, I guess some. But I'm sure she can tell you all about that.
Detective Armstrong: Was Peggy in the habit of complaining about Zoe?
Tammy Wilson: Oh, I guess Zoe ticked her off sometimes. Zoe ticked everybody off sometimes. Even Mr. Bertuch got exasperated with her, and he's a very patient man.
Detective Armstrong: Was there friction over columns coming in late like this one did?
Tammy Wilson: With who? Peggy and Zoe or Mr. Bertuch and Zoe?
Detective Armstrong: With either.
Tammy Wilson: Well yeah, with both of them, I guess. Sometimes the column came in late because Peggy was behind, but just as often it came in late because of Zoe. Now Mr. Bertuch might not have said so because he's a gentleman… he'd let Zoe blame it on Peggy, but he knew. A lot of times, it was Zoe's fault.
Detective Armstrong: When it was Peggy who got it in late, did she own up to it? Or was it just a free-for-all over whose fault it was?
Tammy Wilson: No, Peggy was pretty good about it. If she knew it was going to be late, she'd try to let me know. Sometimes though, she'd get behind, and the email would come in after hours.
Detective Armstrong: And when Zoe was the responsible party?
Tammy Wilson: Oh, she'd make up some big story about how Peggy was doing it to spite her and that she was going fire her over it. 'Course, she never did.
Detective Armstrong: And what did Peggy do in these instances?
Tammy Wilson: Do? I don't expect she did anything. Oh, she'd get perturbed about it. Sometimes we'd make jokes over it at lunch. Do Zoe impressions. You know? All in fun, of course… just to let off steam.
Detective Armstrong: Have a couple of beers and commiserate? That sort of thing?
Tammy Wilson: More like a couple of Cokes and laugh about it. I don't drink… and I don't think I ever saw Peggy take a drink either.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Ms. Wilson, anything else you want to tell us about this?
Tammy Wilson: No, sir, that's all I had to tell you.
Detective Armstrong: Can you forward a copy of the column to us?
Tammy Wilson: I'll let Mr. Bertuch know you want one. It's his decision, but I'm sure he won't have a problem with it.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, ma'am, you have Mr. Bertuch contact us then, will you?
Tammy Wilson: Surely.
Detective Armstrong: Thanks for contacting us, ma'am.
Tammy Wilson: You're welcome, Detective. Goodbye.
Detective Armstrong: Morning, ma'am.
Interview ended – 3:33 p.m.