Jimmy Barton interview #2

Jimmy Barton is Elizabeth Barton's son and was at the Marshall family reunion.

Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 – 10:45 a.m.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Jimmy Barton

Detective Murphy: Here's some water for you, Mr. Barton.

Jimmy Barton: Thank you.

Detective Murphy: Mm-hmm.

Detective Parker: Mr. Barton, if you could please state your name and your address for the record once again?

Jimmy Barton: I live at 1710 Anderson Road, and my name is Jimmy Barton.

Detective Parker: You told us that you went to your mother's after the Marshall family reunion. Where did you go after that?

Jimmy Barton: I went home. It had been a long day, and I was feeling tired, and I needed a bath. I smelled like fish.

Detective Parker: Can anyone corroborate that?

Jimmy Barton: That I smelled like fish?

Detective Parker: Do you really think this is a time for jokes?

Jimmy Barton: No, no one can corroborate what time I got home. I live alone.

Detective Parker: Did you talk to anyone on the phone? Use the internet? Anything that could prove that you were at home?

Jimmy Barton: No. I took a bath and went to bed. That's it.

Detective Parker: Are you sure you didn't visit Oscar Knight?

Jimmy Barton: Oscar Knight? Why would I do that? I don't even know him.

Detective Murphy: Well, he insulted several people at the park that day, and one of them was your mother. Isn't that right?

Jimmy Barton: Yes, that's true. But that wouldn't explain why I would be interested in visiting him.

Detective Murphy: Well, didn't you want to punch him or something for the way he insulted your mother and ruined her normally pleasant day at the park?

Jimmy Barton: My gosh. Detective Murphy, I'm not that kind of guy. If I went around hitting everyone who said something I didn't like, I'd be in jail. No, I let stuff like that roll off my back. I didn't think the man was worthy of my attention.

Detective Parker: What if we told you that somebody saw you at the Rebel Inn?

Jimmy Barton: I would say that that— it was a lie. They didn't see me there because I wasn't there. Are you trying to frame me for the murder of a man I don't even know? You need a scapegoat or something?

Detective Parker: Do you have any more information about Mr. Knight than what you've already told us?

Jimmy Barton: Only small-town gossip. I heard Albert Plum's name mentioned a few times. I mean, from what I hear, he had a hard time controlling himself that day when he ran into Oscar Knight.

Detective Parker: So you think your boss killed Oscar Knight?

Jimmy Barton: No, of course not. Albert's not that kind of person.

Detective Murphy: I don't know. Maybe you're onto something. I mean, Albert does own a hardware store. He'd have access to anything he needed to cut up and dispose of Oscar's body.

Jimmy Barton: Anyone who works there or shops at the hardware store would have the same access.

Detective Murphy: Well, it'd be easier for someone who'd worked there regularly to know exactly what was needed and to be able to pick it up without any purchase records.

Jimmy Barton: Do you think someone could take things from the hardware store and no one would notice? We keep inventory.

Detective Murphy: Well, still, someone like the owner or a longtime employee would know how to hide those discrepancies, wouldn't he?

Jimmy Barton: Albert is not a killer. He would never do anything like that.

Detective Parker: So even though Albert had trouble controlling himself when it came to Oscar Knight, you didn't?

Jimmy Barton: Of course not. I've always been a very calm guy. Never have any troubles with nerves or anger management, no. And besides, I work in retail. I don't let silly remarks made by obnoxious people bother me.

Detective Parker: You don't just work in retail, do you? You have another job, right?

Jimmy Barton: Yeah, I deliver pizzas part-time. So what?

Detective Parker: That's kind of a dangerous job, isn't it?

Jimmy Barton: I know how to handle myself.

Detective Parker: Do you carry anything in case you need to defend yourself?

Jimmy Barton: That's against company policy.

Detective Parker: Well, sure, but it's kind of like it's the company policy that delivery drivers don't carry more than $20. It's just not true.

Jimmy Barton: What's your point?

Detective Parker: I'm just wondering if you carry anything in case you need any help. I mean, a cell phone, pepper spray, stun gun?

Jimmy Barton: Everyone has a cell phone, and I already told you. The other things would be against company policy.

Detective Murphy: Okay, well, let's get back to Oscar Knight if we can. You're telling me that you were not at all offended by the insulting remarks he made to your mother? You didn't feel like you wanted to get even?

Jimmy Barton: Come on, Detective, I'm a grown man. That kind of behavior is for children. And besides, Mother took care of it herself.

Detective Parker: Did she now? How'd she do that?

Jimmy Barton: Why, she left the park. You knew that already. She decided the best way to deal with Mr. Knight was to just leave and not have anything more to do with him.

Detective Parker: Maybe she decided to get even later that night. Maybe she decided to go to the Rebel Inn, and things got out of control.

Jimmy Barton: You can't possibly mean that, can you? Do you honestly think Mother could kill somebody? Oscar Knight was cut into pieces, wasn't he? I'll have to tell Mother how strong you think she is. She'll get a laugh out of that.

Detective Parker: It's not funny, Jimmy. Oscar Knight was murdered in a particularly horrible way. It would take someone who hated him or who completely lost control of their anger to do that to him.

Jimmy Barton: Even if Mother were consumed with hate or anger, she still couldn't kill someone. Especially someone bigger and stronger than her.

Detective Parker: How'd you know he was bigger and stronger than her? You said that you never spoke to him, let alone knew him.

Jimmy Barton: That's true, but I did see him. He was a big man, much bigger than Mother. Besides, this whole idea that Mother could hurt anyone is just asinine. Is this what you've come up with? Is— Do you need to solve this murder so much that you're willing to pin it on a woman my mother's age and size? I thought cops were smarter than that.

Detective Parker: We have to consider all the possibilities, which includes your mother and you. That's why you're here.

Jimmy Barton: Well, you're barking up the wrong tree, Detective. To me, Oscar Knight was a drunken man at a reunion who had no business even being there. The only time I even thought about him was when I read the news or heard others yakking about it. He's nothing to me.

Detective Parker: All right, Mr. Barton. You can leave. We're done—for now.

Interview ended – 11:12 a.m.


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