Rupert Coates follow-up interview
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 4:06 p.m.
Rupert Coates was the victim's husband. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him at the residence he shared with the Diane Coates. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Rupert Coates
Detective Armstrong: Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Rupert Coates: Rupert Coates. 210 Elm Street. Oxford, Mississippi
Detective Armstrong: We have some information we need to clarify with you, Mr. Coates.
Rupert Coates: OK. What can I do for you?
Detective Armstrong: Well, for starters, you mentioned your wife's, shall we call it, rivalry with Sandra Moss.
Rupert Coates: Yes, that's right.
Detective Armstrong: What was your take on how Ms. Moss felt about that?
Rupert Coates: I never talked to Sandra about it, but I can imagine it caused her some grief at the office.
Detective Murphy: In what way?
Rupert Coates: Well, it's obviously not easy being the boss of someone as ambitious and talented as Diane, who's always looking over your shoulder, waiting for you to slip up.
Detective Armstrong: Is that what your wife was doing, Mr. Coates? Looking over Ms. Moss's shoulder, hoping she'd make a mistake?
Rupert Coates: Well, Diane never came right out and said it, but she implied that Sandra was jealous of her organizational abilities. In fact, come to think of it, Diane said one time she couldn't wait for Sandra to "slip up." I heard her say many times what she would do if she was the "head conference lady."
Detective Armstrong: What about the other people in the office? How did they feel about Diane's talents and ambitions?
Rupert Coates: I don't have a clue, but maybe they would like someone in that position as decisive as Diane.
Detective Murphy: When we first talked with you, you said your marriage had been – let me check my notes – "a bit strained lately but it wasn't anything serious," and that was because both of you were so involved in your jobs. We've talked to some other folks who seem to think there was more to it than that. What about that?
Rupert Coates: Other folks? Who? What did they say?
Detective Murphy: It doesn't matter who said what, sir. The point is that you weren't completely honest, and we need you to help us out here.
Rupert Coates: I don't know what you mean.
Detective Murphy: Well, Mr. Coates, were you with your wife at the time she had her TIA in December?
Rupert Coates: No, the hospital called me when she was in ER.
Detective Murphy: Do you know who was with her? Who called 911?
Rupert Coates: Yeah, it was that guy, Landon Talbert or something.
Detective Armstrong: What time of the day or night was that?
Rupert Coates: Uh, well… the hospital called me at, oh, 2:00 a.m. or so. Woke me up.
Detective Murphy: You were at home then?
Rupert Coates: Yeah, in bed, sound asleep.
Detective Armstrong: And where was your wife?
Rupert Coates: She told me she would be out of town that weekend at a writers' conference. She did that to prepare for the Barksdale Literature Conference.
Detective Armstrong: But she was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital, so she really hadn't been out of town, right?
Rupert Coates: Yeah, it looked that way.
Detective Armstrong: So she and this other man were together, right?
Rupert Coates: I assume so since he was still at the hospital when I got there. We didn't talk, and I never did ask Diane.
Detective Murphy: You didn't ask her who he was or about their relationship?
Rupert Coates: No, I didn't. We didn't talk about it then or ever.
Detective Murphy: Do you know if she still had a relationship with him at the time of her death?
Rupert Coates: No, and I really didn't want to know. Our life was OK. I didn't need to know all that other stuff.
Detective Armstrong: So the fact that your wife was having an affair with another man didn't concern you?
Rupert Coates: You're damned right it concerned me! It concerned me a hell of a lot, but that doesn't mean I have to blab about it all over town. It was personal, and I don't talk about personal things to just anybody.
Detective Murphy: Did your wife know how you felt about her affair?
Rupert Coates: She should have known! We were married until death do us part, after all.
Detective Armstrong: She knew that you knew about the affair, and she knew that you didn't like it, but she did it anyway. Is that what you're saying?
Rupert Coates: I guess that's the way it was.
Detective Armstrong: So it sounds like your wife didn't really love you?
Rupert Coates: That's a horrible thing to say, especially at a time like this. I just lost my wife, after all. How can you say something like that to me?
Detective Armstrong: It seems obvious to us. It's not our fault if your wife didn't love you, and not saying it doesn't mean it's not true.
Rupert Coates: Get out! Get out of my house right now! I'm not talking to you anymore.
End interview - 4:24 p.m.