Bearded man with a receding hairline

Richard Brown interview

Sunday, July 16, 2023 – 10:15 a.m.

Richard Brown is Katy Brown's stepfather.

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


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Richard Brown

Detective Armstrong: I know this is a difficult time, Mr. Brown, so we appreciate you coming in this morning. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Richard Brown: Of course. I'm Richard Atticus Brown, and I reside at 202 Williams Drive here in Oxford. Tell me, detective, are you close to finding the coward that took my Katy?

Detective Armstrong: We're doing everything we can, Mr. Brown. We'd like to start with you telling us about your day yesterday.

Richard Brown: Well, Saturdays are really the only chance I get to be with my family and to unwind from my work week. I slept in late. I believe I woke up around 9:00 a.m., had some coffee, and read the paper. I was in the shower when we were notified of the incident involving Katy.

Detective Murphy: Was anyone at home with you?

Richard Brown: Well, my wife had gotten up earlier than me, and I did hear the back door open and close several times. That must've been Katy leaving and Lauren going out to get the paper.

Detective Murphy: Did you see Katy before she left?

Richard Brown: No, I did not, and I will always regret that. If I had just gotten myself out of bed a little earlier, I could've seen her one more time.

Detective Murphy: Where was your son?

Richard Brown: I believe he was in his room sleeping. That's where he usually spends his weekends. Not a lot of ambition in the boy, although I expect that's true of most teenagers these days—except for Katy.

Detective Murphy: Oh really?

Richard Brown: Katy was an amazing person. Anything she wanted to do, she could do. Not too many teenagers like that in today's world.

Detective Murphy: Sounds like she was very special.

Richard Brown: Special is understating it. Anything she tried, she excelled at. She put her whole heart and soul into everything she did.

Detective Murphy: Yes, sir. Did she—?

Richard Brown: She would've been the next CEO of our family business, and she would've taken it further than anything my grandfather could have imagined. She was an exceptionally talented young lady. Perfect … just perfect … now she's gone.

Detective Murphy: It must be a comfort to know you still have Cody to follow in your footsteps.

Richard Brown: There's still a lot of time before I have to worry about that. Plenty of good years left in me.

Detective Murphy: You're not sure Cody could run your business?

Richard Brown: I don't know. He hasn't shown the kind of spirit Katy has.

Detective Armstrong: Isn't he the school mascot?

Richard Brown: He is the mascot, yes.

Detective Armstrong: Doesn't that require him to be enthusiastic, spirited?

Richard Brown: I guess that's true in a way. I'd rather he was on the football team, but that wasn't in the cards. The first time I threw a pass to him, he missed it and broke his nose. Never could catch a ball.

Detective Armstrong: We can't all be athletic. Cody's young. He still might make a decent successor.

Richard Brown: I suppose. He's no Katy, but he is a Brown.

Detective Murphy: Did the fact that Katy wasn't your biological daughter give you any pause when it came to your plans for her to run your family business one day?

Richard Brown: Katy was and always will be my daughter. No matter what. We may not have shared DNA, but we shared what was important—values, ambition, character.

Detective Murphy: You take a lot of pride in your family name, don't you, Mr. Brown?

Richard Brown: Of course. We've been members of this community for over a hundred years, and the name Brown is respected everywhere.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know where Katy was going when she left yesterday?

Richard Brown: She was going to see her grandmother on the way to cheerleading.

Detective Armstrong: Was that something she typically did, or was this an unusual occasion?

Richard Brown: Going to see her grandmother or going to cheerleading?

Detective Armstrong: Either. Both.

Richard Brown: Katy's very close to her grandmother, so she stops by to see her a lot. As far as cheerleading, Katy's wholly dedicated to the team's success. That's why they made her the captain.

Detective Armstrong: Of course. What can you tell us about Katy's friends?

Richard Brown: What about them?

Detective Armstrong: Who was she close with? Was she having trouble with anyone?

Richard Brown: How could anyone not like Katy? She was always willing to help and never had an unkind word to say about anyone.

Detective Armstrong: Is that right?

Richard Brown: Are you calling me a liar?

Detective Armstrong: No, sir, it's just unusual. Teenagers usually have a lot of ups and downs, even with their best friends.

Richard Brown: Well, I don't know what teenagers you know, but Katy wasn't like that. I know that cheerleading squad wouldn't have been half as good without her. A few weeks ago, Katy mentioned that she wondered what they would do if she left.

Detective Armstrong: Was she thinking of leaving?

Richard Brown: I'm not sure. I do know she was a little disappointed in the some of the girls, but I don't believe she would quit. I think she was just thinking out loud.

Detective Murphy: Did she tell you who she was disappointed in?

Richard Brown: No, Katy wasn't one to name names. She wasn't a tattletale.

Detective Murphy: Well, did she tell you why she was disappointed in them?

Richard Brown: No, but it was probably something they did.

Detective Murphy: Something they did to Katy?

Richard Brown: Of course not. More likely, it was something Katy thought was inappropriate. I don't know. She didn't tell me the specifics.

Detective Murphy: I see. Did she mention the possibility of leaving the squad to anyone else?

Richard Brown: Not that she told me.

Detective Murphy: Could she have told someone without your knowledge?

Richard Brown: No, my daughter and I were very close. I think I was probably her closest friend and confidante.

Detective Armstrong: That's nice to hear. A lot of teenagers don't get along with their fathers, not to mention their stepfathers.

Richard Brown: There was no "step" about it. Katy was my daughter. She was everything to me. I… I don't know what I'm going to do without her. Are we almost finished here?

Detective Armstrong: Yes, Mr. Brown, I believe so. We appreciate you coming in with this being such a trying time for you. We may need to talk to you again later. Do you have any problem with that?

Richard Brown: Of course not. Whatever it takes to catch the bastard who did this to Katy.

Interview ended – 10:39 a.m.


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