Nora Percy interview
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – 3:05 p.m.
Nora Percy is an Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Business and was the victim's girlfriend.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her in her office on the University of Mississippi campus.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Nora Percy
Detective Murphy: Thank you for speaking with us today, Ms. Percy. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Nora Percy: Nora Percy. 115 Westbury Circle.
Detective Parker: Thank you. What is your association with Dr. Reed?
Nora Percy: He was my — jeez, it sounds so stupid to say at this stage of life — but he was my boyfriend.
Detective Parker: Yes, unfortunately, "boyfriend" is not very descriptive. What was your level of involvement with the victim?
Nora Percy: Doug. His name was Doug. We were … uh … a couple. Boyfriend and girlfriend. Special companions—
Detective Murphy: Were you sexually involved with Douglas Reed?
Nora Percy: Yes. Of course.
Detective Murphy: Lovers then?
Nora Percy: Yes.
Detective Parker: As opposed to friends with benefits?
Nora Percy: Well, no. We were a couple.
Detective Parker: Yes, so you said. In your opinion, how would he have described your relationship?
Nora Percy: I was his girlfriend, Detective.
Detective Murphy: Did he actually say that, or are you assuming that?
Nora Percy: What are you getting at?
Detective Parker: Well, hopefully, we're getting to the bottom of what happened to Dr. Reed. Please answer the question.
Nora Percy: He would say that I was his girlfriend.
Detective Murphy: Is that how he would introduce you? "This is my girlfriend"?
Nora Percy: Well, no. That wasn't his style.
Detective Murphy: Was this an exclusive relationship?
Nora Percy: Doug loved me.
Detective Murphy: Was he dating you exclusively?
Nora Percy: Well, yes. What Doug did outside of our relationship I wouldn't call dating.
Detective Parker: Were you on board with that?
Nora Percy: He loved me, and I loved him. I accepted Doug as he was.
Detective Murphy: Where were you between 7:00 Sunday night and 7:00 yesterday morning?
Nora Percy: I met Doug at the buffet supper at Rowan Oak on Sunday evening at about 6:10, and I stayed until about 10:15. I left home early yesterday morning, about 7:30, to meet with students who were preparing for final exams.
Detective Murphy: It's summer.
Nora Percy: Exams for summer school begin in about two weeks.
Detective Murphy: Can you provide names of witnesses who may have seen you?
Nora Percy: Of course. I was with Doug at dinner as his guest. I spoke with a number of his colleagues. Should I list them out?
Detective Parker: Yes. First and last names, please.
Nora Percy: I spoke with Dan Johnson when I arrived. He and Doug had played tennis on Thursday, and I was teasing him because Doug said he had "kicked Dan's ass." Dan's a good sport. He liked Doug.
Detective Murphy: Was that surprising?
Nora Percy: Doug could rub people the wrong way. He was enormously talented and smart, and he knew it. And he was handsome. Those qualities can make some people uncomfortable. Jealous even.
Detective Parker: Anyone in particular?
Nora Percy: Well, Jake Hemphill, of course. Jake was so competitive with Doug, to the point that he undermined Doug's opportunity to co-present with Dr. Carlson. Doug was livid.
Detective Parker: Dr. Carlson?
Nora Percy: Yes. Andrew Carlson. Apparently, he's a famous Faulkner expert. All I know is that Doug had been in direct contact with Dr. Carlson about a collaboration, and Jake swooped in, and suddenly Doug was out. I think Jill Osborne helped Jake make that connection, so Doug was upset with her too.
Detective Murphy: Do you know Jill Osborne?
Nora Percy: No, not really. She and Carol Fitch are the secretaries at the English Department, and I don't have contact with them. I just know of them through Doug. They made his life hell.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Nora Percy: Apparently, both of them are incompetent. Especially Jill.
Detective Parker: Did Doug tell you about any issues he had with Laurence Bricker?
Nora Percy: Everyone has issues with Laurence Bricker. That guy is a piece of work.
Detective Parker: Any serious disagreements?
Nora Percy: Not that I am aware of. Bricker can rub people the wrong way, like Doug but without all of the talent and good looks. He's a bitter man.
Detective Murphy: Were you with Doug the whole time you were at Rowan Oak?
Nora Percy: No, at about 8:15, he told me he was going to get a drink. I didn't see him after that.
Detective Parker: Did you find that strange?
Nora Percy: No. The bartender was attractive. I guess Monte thought she was too because he jumped up and followed Doug that direction. Sorry, Monte Marcos. He's Doug's T.A.
Detective Murphy: I see. Did you see Monte later in the evening?
Nora Percy: Yes, we spoke briefly. I asked if he had seen Doug. He said "Uh, no." That was sometime after 9:30, I would guess.
Detective Murphy: Would you write down the names and contact numbers of the students you met with yesterday morning, please? We'll just need to call them to verify your whereabouts.
Detective Parker: Can you think of anything else that might help us with our investigation, Ms. Percy?
Nora Percy: Well, Doug talked a lot to a woman named Yvonne. I gather she worked at the conference center as the events planner or something. But she called more than I thought was necessary since Doug didn't have decision making authority for the planning. Plus there were urgent meetings after business hours.
Detective Parker: Do you suspect she was one of his extracurriculars?
Nora Percy: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Were you jealous of her?
Nora Percy: I'm jealous of most attractive women, Detective, but not because of Doug. And I'm not the jealous rage type. Besides, he always came back to me. I didn't kill Doug. I loved him. I accepted him. I didn't try to change him.
Detective Parker: Would professional jealous rage be a possible motive, do you think?
Nora Percy: Absolutely. And Jake had it in spades. And I think Laurence Bricker did too. He seemed to quietly seethe over Doug's accomplishments as if Doug got things just because he was charming and attractive. But Doug was also smart, and he worked hard, too.
Detective Parker: Who would you talk to if you were conducting this investigation?
Nora Percy: Jake and Laurence. And also Monte because he could be sneaky. He pretended to be supportive of Doug, but Doug caught him running to Jake with information.
Detective Murphy: What information?
Nora Percy: I don't know specifically. Doug just mentioned that he caught Monte giving Jake information that Doug didn't want Jake to have.
Detective Murphy: Was there friction between Doug and Monte after that?
Nora Percy: Not exactly, but Doug started being careful about what he told Monte and was adamant that Monte not share any information without Doug's permission.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Ms. Percy. We'll contact you if we have any further questions.
Interview ended: 3:31 p.m.