Man with gray hair & glasses and smiling woman with blonde hair

Howard & Marion Neidelmen interview #3

Friday, June 5, 2020 – 2:30 p.m.

The Neidelmens are Zoe Chase's parents.

They contacted Detective Murphy to get some additional information.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Howard Neidelmen
  • Marion Neidelmen

Detective Murphy: This is Detective Murphy.

Marion Neidelmen: Hello, Detective. This is Marion Neidelmen. My husband and I wanted to talk to you if you have a moment?

Detective Murphy: Of course, Mrs. Neidelmen. What can I do for you?

Marion Neidelmen: Let me just get my husband on the phone. Howard? Come in here. I've got that lady detective from Oxford on the phone.

Howard Neidelmen: Hello?

Marion Neidelmen: Okay, you're on speaker.

Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Neidelmen. What can I—

Howard Neidelmen: We read in the news where you searched some people's houses for evidence in Zoe's case.

Marion Neidelmen: Does that mean you've found out what happened?

Howard Neidelmen: Did you find out why our daughter died?

Marion Neidelmen: Have you arrested someone?

Detective Murphy: We haven't arrested anyone yet, but we do have two people of interest. We believe one or both of them were involved in your daughter's death.

Marion Neidelmen: Why did they do it?

Howard Neidelmen: What did they have against Zoe?

Marion Neidelmen: When are you going to arrest them?

Detective Murphy: Right now, we're waiting for test results from the Crime Lab. Once we have those, I expect we'll move forward with an arrest or arrests.

Marion Neidelmen: When will that be?

Howard Neidelmen: Will these tests take a long time?

Detective Murphy: I think we should have some preliminary answers within a few days.

Howard Neidelmen: Good.

Marion Neidelmen: That's wonderful.

Howard Neidelmen: But will those test results tell you why they did it?

Detective Murphy: You may need to brace yourselves for some difficult information in the coming days, Mr. and Mrs. Neidelmen.

Marion Neidelmen: My goodness.

Howard Neidelmen: What kind of difficult information?

Detective Murphy: Certain information about your daughter that may be hard for you to hear.

Howard Neidelmen: What do you mean?

Marion Neidelmen: Why would it be hard for us to hear?

Detective Murphy: There have been some allegations that Zoe wasn't the sole author of her upcoming book.

Howard Neidelmen: Nonsense.

Marion Neidelmen: Who would say such a thing?

Detective Murphy: We haven't completed a full analysis yet, but the evidence suggests that the allegations are correct, at least to some extent.

Howard Neidelmen: How could that be?

Marion Neidelmen: Zoe would never do such a thing.

Detective Murphy: I can't get into the details with you since the investigation is still ongoing, but it looks like another author gave Zoe a manuscript to read, Zoe built on that manuscript, and then submitted it as her own. I'm sorry. I know that's probably upsetting to hear, but I didn't want you to be blindsided by it when it comes out.

Marion Neidelmen: I can't believe…

Howard Neidelmen: Why would she…?

Marion Neidelmen: And this has something to do with what happened to her?

Detective Murphy: Yes, it looks like it.

Marion Neidelmen: Oh, no.

Howard Neidelmen: Who was it?

Detective Murphy: Who was who?

Howard Neidelmen: Whose manuscript did she…?

Detective Murphy: Mallory Benson.

Marion Neidelmen: That nice woman? We met her at the funeral. She couldn't have…

Howard Neidelmen: Who is the other one?

Marion Neidelmen: The other one?

Howard Neidelmen: She said they had two people of interest.

Detective Murphy: Peggy LeClaire.

Marion Neidelmen: That can't be right. Both of them were so kind to us.

Howard Neidelmen: Are you sure?

Detective Murphy: We're as sure as we can be at the moment.

Howard Neidelmen: Which one of them did it?

Detective Murphy: We're not sure.

Marion Neidelmen: But these test results, they'll tell you who?

Detective Murphy: We believe so.

Howard Neidelmen: But you have an idea of which one of them it was. Why won't you tell us?

Marion Neidelmen: Howard.

Detective Murphy: I don't want to tell you anything we can't back up with evidence.

Howard Neidelmen: I don't care about evidence. I care about who hurt our girl.

Marion Neidelmen: Howard! It's not the detective's fault.

Detective Murphy: It's all right. I understand. As soon as we have any more information, we'll share it with you.

Marion Neidelmen: What will happen to her book now?

Howard Neidelmen: What difference does it make, Marion?

Marion Neidelmen: Zoe worked hard on it, and I want to know.

Detective Murphy: I'm not sure. You'll need to discuss that with Zoe's agent or her publisher.

Marion Neidelmen: You mean it might not get published now?

Detective Murphy: I couldn't say. That's a possibility, but maybe they can work something out. You'll have to ask them. You know how to get in touch with Zoe's agent?

Marion Neidelmen: Kathy Silverman, yes, we have her number.

Detective Murphy: Good. I'm sure she can talk to you about what might happen next with the book.

Marion Neidelmen: Of course. Thank you.

Detective Murphy: Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Marion Neidelmen: No, I don't think so.

Howard Neidelmen: You've given us a lot to think about.

Detective Murphy: Okay, well, I'll let you know when we have someone in custody. In the meantime, I hope you won't talk to the press or anyone in Yoknapatawpha County about what we've discussed today.

Marion Neidelmen: No, of course not.

Howard Neidelmen: We won't tell anyone. You can count on that.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. I appreciate your cooperation. If you have any more questions, I hope you won't hesitate to call me.

Marion Neidelmen: Thank you, detective.

Detective Murphy: Goodbye.

Interview ended – 2:52 p.m.



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