Elliot Fowler interview

Elliot Fowler, the victim's pharmacistMonday, November 25, 2013 - 2:20 p.m.

Elliot Fowler was the victim's pharmacist. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him in his office at the Walgreens on University Avenue. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Elliot Fowler, R.Ph.

Detective Murphy: Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

Elliot Fowler: No problem. Whatever I can do to help. I've gone ahead and pulled Mrs. Coates' files.

Detective Murphy: That's a big help, but before we get into the details, would you just state your name and address for the record?

Elliot Fowler: Of course. Elliot Fowler. 200 Jefferson Avenue in Oxford.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, do your records indicate that Diane Coates had purchased any prescription medications at this pharmacy in the last year?

Elliot Fowler: Her most recent prescription was for warfarin.

Detective Murphy: And when did she have that prescription filled?

Elliot Fowler: It says here on May 20, 2013. I wasn't on duty that day. But it was for 10mg qd, oh, once a day. It was for a 3-month supply with one refill for another 3 months.

Detective Murphy: Do you have the name of the prescribing physician there?

Elliot Fowler: Yes, it was… Lipinski. John Lipinski.

Detective Murphy: Would there have been any kind of standard warning given with this medication?

Elliot Fowler: Well, really it has the potential to interact with anything. We stress to the patient to consult with his or her dietician or doctor prior to taking anything at all. Even over the counter stuff, like herbal products or cold medicine. Also, even just what they eat should be checked. Vegetables with high vitamin K content, like spinach, may interact with the medication.

Detective Armstrong: What about alcohol?

Elliot Fowler: Well, again, that should be discussed with the physician. But my experience is that a glass of wine every once in a while would be OK, but I, of course, would not tell that to a patient.

Detective Armstrong: I see. Was Diane Coates using any other medication?

Elliot Fowler: Um, she was given a prescription for Ciprofloxacin, um, Cipro, an antibiotic, in March of this year. It was completed and no refills were given. So at the time of the warfarin prescription, no, she was not on anything else, according to our records, at least.

Detective Murphy: And do you have the name of the prescribing physician for that one?

Elliot Fowler: Yes, it was Dr. Lipinski again.

Detective Murphy: Let's move to the warfarin refill. Was the prescription ever refilled?

Elliot Fowler: Yes. It was requested over the automated phone line. That system has really helped us out a lot. But, yes, on July 19, 2013, it was refilled.

Detective Armstrong: Did Mrs. Coates pick it up?

Elliot Fowler: No, I remember because I was working that day. Actually, a man picked it up.

Detective Armstrong: A man? Can you describe this man?

Elliot Fowler: Well, I don't know. He was medium height, medium weight, brown hair, I think. Kind of average. But I do remember that he had on an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, the old kind with the lower case A.

Detective Armstrong: Did this man tell you his relationship to Mrs. Coates? Was it her husband?

Elliot Fowler: I admit, I assumed it was her husband, just because it seems logical that it would be. But I've never seen him and the man didn't introduce himself as her husband, so I couldn't honestly tell you.

Detective Armstrong: Did you speak with him at all?

Elliot Fowler: Yes, I did. I remember. I asked him if she was having any problems with the medication, and if her blood levels were steady. The strange thing is, now that I think about it, it probably wasn't her husband because he just said, "Fine," took the bottle and left. "You're not going to be winning Husband of the Year, are you," I remember thinking to myself, "Your Braves' glory days are behind them now, jerk."

Detective Armstrong: If you saw him, would you be able to recognize him?

Elliot Fowler: Um, his Braves cap was kind of dipped below his eyes, so I would guess not. I could probably at least tell you who he's not.

Detective Murphy: Mr. Fowler, you said this man came in to pick up the refill back in July?

Elliot Fowler: That's right.

Detective Murphy: Well, that was four months ago, but your recollection of him is pretty detailed. Why is that? You must have had a lot of customers since then.

Elliot Fowler: I'm not sure. I guess part of it is looking at the customer record, which usually jogs my memory. Plus, there was that old style Braves cap. You don't really see those much anymore. That lower case A was replaced with a capital A back in the early 80s, if I remember correctly. It's pretty unusual to see it these days, so I couldn't help but notice it.

Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you can think of about this man or about Mrs. Coates' prescriptions that you haven't told us?

Elliot Fowler: No, I don't think so. But if I do, I'll give you a ring.

Detective Armstrong: We'd appreciate that. Thanks for your time.

End interview - 2:41 p.m.

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