Eugenia Stillwater interview #2
Monday, March 6, 2017 - 1:00 p.m.
Eugenia Stillwater is married to Blake Stillwater, who was having an affair with the victim.
The detectives contacted her to come in for another interview and sent a deputy to transport her to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Eugenia Stillwater
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in. Now, for the record, please state your name and address.
Eugenia Stillwater: Eugenia Tate Courtney Stillwater, 238 Highway 6 West.
Detective Murphy: Okay, Mrs. Stillwater. I think it's time you told me the truth.
Eugenia Stillwater: What do you mean?
Detective Murphy: I mean, the last time we talked, you didn't exactly tell me everything, now did you?
Eugenia Stillwater: I told you everything you needed to know.
Detective Murphy: No, ma'am. You didn't. You didn't tell me you had hired a private investigator to follow your husband. You didn't tell me that private investigator had given you your husband's mistress's name and address. You didn't tell me she had given you photographs of your husband with his mistress. You didn't tell me that you had given one of those photographs to your son.
Eugenia Stillwater: That's none of your business.
Detective Murphy: I hate to break it to you, ma'am, but it is my business. And you already know that we found the file of information the P.I. gave you when we searched your home.
Eugenia Stillwater: You had no right to take those things. They're private.
Detective Murphy: The search warrant gave us the right.
Eugenia Stillwater: Well, that may be true technically, but you should have more respect for people's privacy, especially people of our stature in the community. We prefer not to air our dirty laundry in public.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Stillwater, virtually everyone we've spoken to in this town knows your husband is unfaithful. You do know that, don't you?
Eugenia Stillwater: I don't know anything of the kind.
Detective Murphy: Fine. The point is, you need to tell me why you concealed the fact that you'd hired a private investigator.
Eugenia Stillwater: I've already said, it was none of your business.
Detective Murphy: Let me tell you what troubles me about that. Within three days of the time you received the photographs from Pam Thompson, Ms. Holloway was killed. And when we first talked to you, you didn't mention anything about the information you got from the private investigator. That makes me think you have something to hide, Mrs. Stillwater. Something more than just some compromising photographs of your husband.
Eugenia Stillwater: It would seem, Detective, that I have nothing left to hide since you barged into my home, violated my privacy, and took the one thing that could humiliate me most.
Detective Murphy: If it was so humiliating, why did you give your son a picture of your husband with his mistress?
Eugenia Stillwater: I wanted him to see what his father was doing to us.
Detective Murphy: Who is "us?"
Eugenia Stillwater: Scooter and me. Our family.
Detective Murphy: You didn't give Scooter the picture so that he'd be able to recognize Wendy Holloway when he went out looking for her?
Eugenia Stillwater: Of course not!
Detective Murphy: He already knew what she looked like?
Eugenia Stillwater: I— no. No, he didn't.
Detective Murphy: So he wouldn't have been able to recognize her if he hadn't seen that photograph?
Eugenia Stillwater: I… I suppose not.
Detective Murphy: So you had to give him the photo so he'd be able to pick her out of the crowd when he went to confront her like you asked him to.
Eugenia Stillwater: I never! I never asked him to talk to her.
Detective Murphy: He just went off and did that on his own?
Eugenia Stillwater: He's a grown boy. He doesn't need his mother to tell him what to do.
Detective Murphy: Is that right? It's my understanding that the two of you are quite close.
Eugenia Stillwater: What of it? My son is devoted to me and I to him. There's not a thing in the world wrong with that.
Detective Murphy: Well, there is if you persuaded him — out of his devotion to you, of course — to kill Ms. Holloway for you.
Eugenia Stillwater: What on earth— have you lost your mind, Detective?
Detective Murphy: Did you ask your son to kill Ms. Holloway or otherwise imply that's what you would like him to do?
Eugenia Stillwater: Of course not. What kind of person do you think I am? Or my son, for that matter? You get one thing straight! That woman may have been a thorn in my side — in our sides — but we did not kill her. I didn't kill her. My son didn't kill her. Neither one of us had anything at all to do with her death. I…
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Stillwater? Ma'am? Try to get hold of yourself. Crying isn't going to help anything, now. Let me fix you a glass of water. Here you go.
Eugenia Stillwater: Thank you. I'm sorry. This whole thing has just been such a strain. I don't know what came over me.
Detective Murphy: What whole thing, ma'am?
Eugenia Stillwater: This… affair Blake was having. It was bad enough when I just suspected it, but when Pam gave me those pictures… well, there was no denying it anymore. My marriage was in trouble, big trouble. I just didn't know what to do.
Detective Murphy: So what did you do?
Eugenia Stillwater: Nothing. I didn't do anything. I wanted to confront Blake with what I knew, but I was afraid.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Eugenia Stillwater: I didn't know how he'd react. I was afraid he would leave me, that he would choose that woman over me. She was younger. She was prettier. She was probably even smarter. I didn't see how I could compete with that. So I just didn't say a word to Blake. I knew he was going out of town for several weeks. I suppose I was hoping their relationship would have cooled by the time he returned.
Detective Murphy: So you didn't confront your husband. Did you confront Ms. Holloway?
Eugenia Stillwater: Just with that message I left on her answering machine. That was all I had the nerve to do. I was afraid if I talked to her in person, I would get upset. I didn't— I didn't want her to see how much she was hurting me. I still have some pride, you know.
Detective Murphy: What about your son? Did you ask him to confront Ms. Holloway for you?
Eugenia Stillwater: No. Scooter is a wonderful boy. He could see how much this thing was hurting me. He was just trying to protect me.
Detective Murphy: How far do you think he would go to protect you?
Eugenia Stillwater: He certainly wouldn't kill anyone for me, if that's what you mean. Scooter is a kind and gentle boy. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I don't think he could kill anyone, even if he wanted to, and I know he didn't kill that woman.
Detective Murphy: How do you know he didn't?
Eugenia Stillwater: He would have told me if he had.
Detective Murphy: Oh. Okay…
Eugenia Stillwater: My son tells me everything, Detective. We're very close, and we have no secrets from one another.
Detective Murphy: How nice. So what you're telling me is that it was nothing more than a coincidence that Wendy Holloway was murdered when she was, just a few days after you got the pictures of her with your husband?
Eugenia Stillwater: That's correct. What else could it be?
Detective Murphy: Still, it was a pretty nice coincidence for you, wasn't it? All of a sudden, your problems were solved. Your husband's mistress was out of the picture, and you didn't have to worry anymore about your husband leaving you.
Eugenia Stillwater: That's not entirely accurate, Detective.
Detective Murphy: What do you mean?
Eugenia Stillwater: The mere fact that Blake's mistress is no longer… around does not mean our marriage is perfect now. Blake and I still have some issues to resolve, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Detective Murphy: Well, that's between you and your husband. The only thing that concerns me is finding the person or persons who killed Wendy Holloway.
Eugenia Stillwater: I am not that person, Detective, nor is my son.
Detective Murphy: What about your husband?
Eugenia Stillwater: I beg your pardon?
Detective Murphy: Do you think your husband might have killed Ms. Holloway?
Eugenia Stillwater: No! Why on earth would he do that?
Detective Murphy: Maybe she wanted to break off their relationship?
Eugenia Stillwater: I hope you have some other suspects, Detective, because you are really stretching now. My husband didn't kill her. No one in my family did. How many times do I have to say it?
Detective Murphy: I don't know yet, ma'am. As many times as it takes to convince me. But I'm not really interested in hearing you repeat it anymore today. I would like to hear what Sister Susannah's involvement in all of this was.
Eugenia Stillwater: What do you mean?
Detective Murphy: I mean, what did she do to help you with this situation with your husband?
Eugenia Stillwater: She gave me advice and counsel on the best way to win Blake back.
Detective Murphy: Did she give you anything else? Maybe the name of someone who could help you in a more tangible way?
Eugenia Stillwater: What on earth are you suggesting?
Detective Murphy: In her line of work, Sister Susannah comes into contact with a wide variety of people, not all of them upstanding citizens like you. In fact, I have to wonder how a lady like you got involved with a psychic like her in the first place.
Eugenia Stillwater: I don't have to explain myself to the likes of you, Detective.
Detective Murphy: That's true. If you don't want to help yourself, I can't force you.
Eugenia Stillwater: Sister Susannah has a gift, and she uses that gift to help people like me, people who have a problem they don't know how to solve.
Detective Murphy: Exactly.
Eugenia Stillwater: That may be the way your mind works, Detective. Maybe it's because of your job, or maybe you're just the kind of person who always sees the peccant side of everyone. But it's not the way my mind works or the way Sister Susannah's does.
Detective Murphy: I see. Is there anything else — anything at all — that you haven't told me?
Eugenia Stillwater: I—
Detective Murphy: Before you answer, let me warn you. If I find out that you've lied about anything else or failed to tell me about anything else, then I will be forced to assume that everything you've told me was untrue, and you'll find yourself in serious jeopardy of being arrested for the murder of Wendy Holloway.
Eugenia Stillwater: Detective, I did not kill that woman. I did not have anything to do with what happened to her. Now, I've told you everything I can think to, and if I've failed to mention something, it was purely unintentional. I don't know what else I can say or do to make you believe me.
Detective Murphy: I don't know either. Until we figure that out, do us both a favor and don't go on any long vacations. We'll be in touch with you.
End interview – 1:36 p.m.