Smiling young woman with brown hair

Paula Kruse interview #2

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – 3:17 p.m.

Paula Kruse is a close friend of Katy's boyfriend, Tim Howorth. After talking to Cody Brown, the detectives thought another conversation with Paula was in order.

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


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Paula Kruse

Detective Murphy: Please give us your name and address for the record.

Paula Kruse: I live at 859 Mississippi 7. We just talked, like, five minutes ago. What do you want from me now?

Detective Murphy: We have a few puzzling accounts we're trying to reconcile, and we're thinking maybe you can help clear up a few of them.

Paula Kruse: I can't imagine how I could possibly help you with anything. I already told you everything I know.

Detective Murphy: You told us before that Katy threatened Tim with spreading some lies about him. Is that true, or were you just trying to cover up for him?

Paula Kruse: I don't have to do a cover-up for Tim because he didn't do anything. And yes, Katy did threaten Tim. She wasn't the goody two shoes that she tried to make everyone believe. Katy was a real witch underneath all that sugar.

Detective Armstrong: What about you, Miss Kruse? Are you a witch, too? Did you do anything to try to break up Tim and Katy? Something underhanded and sneaky, maybe?

Paula Kruse: What are you talking about? If I have something to say, I spit it out. I don't sneak around.

Detective Murphy: Did you ever tell her what you thought? I mean, since you're so outspoken and you clearly have thoughts about Katy.

Paula Kruse: No, but I could have. I just didn't want to make things worse for Tim.

Detective Armstrong: Uh-huh. Do you know where Katy's locker was?

Paula Kruse: Obviously. Everyone knows that.

Detective Armstrong: Were you and Katy friendly? Is that how you knew where her locker was located?

Paula Kruse: Um, no. I couldn't stand her. But I had to pass her locker at least ten times a day like dozens of other lockers. I saw her there all the time. So what? Why is that important?

Detective Armstrong: We're just trying to find out if you knew where her locker was.

Paula Kruse: Are you asking everyone at the high school if they knew where Katy's locker was? What a joke! That's a big waste of time, but you don't care about spending the taxpayers' money doing stupid things like that, do you?

Detective Armstrong: I can't tell you how heartening it is to see one of our young people concerned about how the taxpayers' dollars are being spent.

Paula Kruse: I'm not one of your taxpayers, but I see how you could make that mistake since our taxes pay your salary.

Detective Armstrong: We never get tired of hearing people say that.

Paula Kruse: Hey, it's not my fault you decided to work for the man.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe you can help us cut down on our expenditures. Did you ever leave notes in Katy's locker? Nasty little notes?

Paula Kruse: No, I didn't. What makes you think I'm the one who did that? Did someone tell you that?

Detective Armstrong: So you agree that someone was leaving nasty notes in Katy's locker?

Paula Kruse: How should I know?

Detective Murphy: Didn't you just say that everyone passed Katy's locker every day? Do you think maybe some of those kids saw you at her locker?

Paula Kruse: It's possible, I guess, but I never did it.

Detective Armstrong: I think you're all hot air. Why are you afraid to admit that you left the notes? What could happen? You know we know, don't you?

Paula Kruse: What do you think you know?

Detective Armstrong: We know you left the notes. Someone saw you.

Paula Kruse: So what if I did? She didn't die from some stupid notes.

Detective Murphy: What were you trying to accomplish with the notes?

Paula Kruse: I wanted to freak her out. That's all. She walked around all the time like she was so much better than everyone else, and everybody still loved her. What is that?

Detective Murphy: And so?

Paula Kruse: And so I wrote a few notes to let her know not everyone thought she was so great. So what? It made me feel better, and she barely noticed. So what's the big deal? There's no law against writing notes.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe the notes weren't enough. After all, she barely noticed. Maybe you decided you needed to go further to get her attention. Grabbing her around the throat would do it.

Paula Kruse: Are you nuts? She wasn't worth that, not to me. Maybe somebody else was willing to risk prison, but not me, not for her. Do I need a lawyer?

Detective Murphy: If that's what you want, you can call a lawyer to come join us.

Paula Kruse: I'd rather just leave now.

Detective Murphy: All right, you can go, but you know we might be calling you back anytime.

Interview ended – 3:33 p.m.


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