Older woman with dark hair

Theora Fennelly interview

Saturday, July 15, 2023 – 3:45 p.m.

Theora Fennelly is Katy Brown's maternal grandmother.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Theora Fennelly

Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in, Mrs. Fennelly. We're so sorry for your loss. I'm sure this must be difficult.

Detective Murphy: Can we get anything for you?

Theora Fennelly: Thank you, detectives. May I have some tissues? Thank you. Why would anyone want to harm Katy?

Detective Murphy: Mrs. Fennelly, are you able to continue?

Theora Fennelly: Yes, detective.

Detective Murphy: Would you state your name and address for the record?

Theora Fennelly: Theora Fennelly. 231 Chandler Avenue in Oxford.

Detective Armstrong: What time did Katy arrive at your house?

Theora Fennelly: Around 8:30 a.m. We had a light breakfast and chatted. Katy's such a sweet girl, beautiful and bright. She was a good student, and she loved being a cheerleader. She and I were very close. I'm so very proud of her. I can't believe she's gone. She's been through so much.

Detective Armstrong: Take your time, Mrs. Fennelly. What was she going through?

Theora Fennelly: Katy told me Jennifer Adams has been giving her a hard time. There was a lot of tension between them, and Katy was upset about it. She thought it was distracting for the team.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know the source of the tension between the girls?

Theora Fennelly: Katy and Jennifer competed for the captain's position on the cheerleading team. Of course, Katy won. She's so much better than that Jennifer. Katy said Jennifer threatened her because she thought she should be the captain. Jennifer claimed Katy only got the position because she was the coach's pet, which really upset Katy. She worked hard to be captain. No one gave it to her.

Detective Murphy: Did Jennifer threaten Katy?

Theora Fennelly: Katy said Jennifer told her she would make sure the coach's pet got what was coming to her, and then Jennifer would be the team captain. Katy always kept an eye on Jennifer during practice, just in case she tried something.

Detective Murphy: Did they always have a competitive relationship?

Theora Fennelly: Katy and Jennifer have known each other since they were kids. Katy used to go to their house to play with the dogs, but she never felt comfortable around Jennifer. She said Jennifer didn't seem to care for anyone but Jennifer.

Detective Murphy: Maybe you heard that Jennifer is the one who found Katy in the woods. Do you think she could have harmed Katy?

Theora Fennelly: I can't imagine anybody would kill over a cheerleading captain position. I just don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Take your time, ma'am. Would you like some water?

Theora Fennelly: Yes, that would be nice, detective.

Detective Murphy: Mrs. Fennelly, would you like to take a break?

Theora Fennelly: I'm sorry, but this is very difficult. I would like to continue, please.

Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who might be angry at Katy besides Jennifer?

Theora Fennelly: Everyone likes Katy. It's hard to imagine her having enemies.

Detective Murphy: She never mentioned anyone else she might've had a disagreement with?

Theora Fennelly: Well, she did talk about these two girls who were bothering her, Sherry Guyton and Wanda Martin. Sherry was on the cheerleading squad until she broke her ankle practicing a new routine. She blamed Katy, which was just ridiculous.

Detective Murphy: And Wanda Martin?

Theora Fennelly: The Martin girl is angry that the girl's volleyball team had to disband because of budget cuts. As if that was Katy's fault. Katy's boyfriend would probably be able to tell you more about those girls.

Detective Armstrong: And who would that be?

Theora Fennelly: Tim Howorth. He's a good boy.

Detective Murphy: You were very close to Katy. Is there anything or anybody she might have mentioned that now seems possibly significant?

Theora Fennelly: She did say a homeless man was lurking around the field when they were practicing. I saw him near the house once and hollered at him to go away. He did, and I haven't seen him since.

Detective Murphy: Was Katy scared of this man?

Theora Fennelly: No, not scared exactly. I think he just made her uncomfortable. She felt like he was watching her.

Detective Armstrong: Was that your impression when you saw him? Was he watching Katy?

Theora Fennelly: Oh, I don't know. Most of those people are crazy, aren't they? Who knows what they're doing?

Detective Murphy: Were you worried about Katy's safety?

Theora Fennelly: I was at first, but I told him to go away, and he did, so he's probably harmless.

Detective Armstrong: Would you recognize this man if you saw him again?

Theora Fennelly: I'm not sure I would. I really didn't get a very good look at him.

Detective Murphy: If you do happen to see this homeless man again, please give us a call.

Theora Fennelly: I will.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in today, ma'am. I know this was difficult.

Theora Fennelly: You've both been very kind. I only wish I could've been more help. Please find whoever did this horrible thing to my precious Katy.

Interview ended – 4:12 p.m.


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