John Morrison interview
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 – 3:45 p.m.
John Morrison worked at a local restaurant where Max Snyder hosted a private party for key people involved in the Elvis conference. He contacted the YCSD about what he saw at that dinner party.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- John Morrison
Detective Murphy: Good morning.
John Morrison: Hi, I apologize for waiting so long to contact you.
Detective Murphy: Will you state your name and address, please?
John Morrison: Yes. My name is John Morrison, and I live in Oxford, over at 300 Kelley Lane.
Detective Murphy: When you called, you said you had some information for us.
John Morrison: Yes, I was one of the servers at a private party hosted by Max Snyder.
Detective Parker: Where was it?
John Morrison: In the private dining room at McEwen's.
Detective Parker: Nice.
Detective Murphy: When was this party?
John Morrison: It was just after New Year's. The Thursday after New Year's, I think.
Detective Murphy: And why are you just now coming forward? Why not as soon as you heard about the murder?
John Morrison: I was afraid of losing my job if I did.
Detective Murphy: And you aren't afraid now? What's changed since then?
John Morrison: I have a new job now.
Detective Murphy: All right. So what can you tell us?
John Morrison: There was a lot of arguing going on. The dead guy, Jared Plunk? He was getting a lot of flack from everybody.
Detective Parker: Before we get into the details, can you tell us who was at this party?
John Morrison: I think I can tell you a little. I didn't get all the names, but I did hear the first names of most of the people who were arguing. And we all knew who Mr. Snyder was because he was the host. Anyway, Mr. Snyder was the loudest. And then, let's see. There was also Peter, Yvonne, Sonya, Taylor, Ally, Carl, and some more that I didn't catch their names. Well, and that Jared Plunk guy too, of course.
Detective Murphy: What was the occasion for this party? Do you know?
John Morrison: I think somebody said it was for people involved in putting on some Elvis Presley conference. Do people still care about Elvis Presley?
Detective Murphy: How many people would you say were there?
John Morrison: I'm not sure. It wasn't too big. Maybe 15 or 20?
Detective Parker: And what happened that you think we should know about?
John Morrison: I didn't hear it all, but it started with Mr. Snyder and Jared Plunk. They were talking privately, and they were quiet, but you could tell it was intense, you know? I overheard Mr. Snyder asking Jared to show him some letters. Jared said no, and Mr. Snyder sort of lost it.
Detective Parker: In what way?
John Morrison: He accused Jared of trying to sabotage the conference with those letters. Mr. Snyder said he had a right to see them, but Jared said he would have to wait and find out with everyone else. They got kind of loud, and that's when the others got involved.
Detective Murphy: How did they get involved?
John Morrison: One woman started yelling that Jared was a scam artist and he lied to steal her place as speaker. He kind of laughed when she said that and said, if she wasn't so boring, she wouldn't have lost the job. That just made her yell more.
Detective Murphy: How did the other people react?
John Morrison: Well, that guy Peter got in the middle of it and accused Jared of killing his sister. Jared said Peter knew his sister had always been crazy, and he couldn't blame him because she finally went off the deep end. I thought Peter was going to punch him, but that guy Taylor stopped him.
Detective Parker: How did he do that?
John Morrison: He told Peter that Jared wasn't worth it. Jared said they deserved each other because they were both failures and misery loves company. Then everyone was yelling.
Detective Murphy: Was there anyone who didn't argue with Jared Plunk?
John Morrison: That one lady, Yvonne, I don't think she talked to him at all. I don't know why.
Detective Parker: Was a woman named Alison there?
John Morrison: Yeah, Ally. I mentioned her, right?
Detective Parker: Did she argue with Jared?
John Morrison: Not really. She was mostly drinking. She looked like she'd rather be anywhere else.
Detective Murphy: What about a girl named Kelly?
John Morrison: No, I don't think so.
Detective Murphy: Someone named Rose?
John Morrison: Not that I remember.
Detective Murphy: Carl?
John Morrison: No. Wait. Maybe? I'm not sure.
Detective Murphy: Quentin?
John Morrison: No.
Detective Parker: A woman named Lindsey?
John Morrison: That's Mrs. Snyder, isn't it? Yeah, she was there. She was trying to get everyone to calm down, not that it did any good. I felt bad for her. It seemed like she just wanted to have a nice party, but once the arguing started, there was no way that was going to happen. It was one of the worst party disasters I've ever seen.
Detective Parker: How so?
John Morrison: Not because of us. The food was great, the drinks were great, and the service was excellent.
Detective Murphy: We're not blaming you or your former employer. How was it a disaster?
John Morrison: It was like everyone hated that Jared guy, and he seemed like he really got off on pissing them off, but maybe he was just giving as good as he got. I don't know why they invited him. If he hadn't been there, everybody probably would've had a great time.
Detective Parker: How did Jared treat you and the other servers?
John Morrison: He was great to us. Gave me a $20 tip. Some other people too. I don't know why those people hated him so much, but they definitely did.
Detective Murphy: How did the evening end?
John Morrison: I'm not sure. I was back and forth to the kitchen and the bar a lot, and one time when I came back, he was just gone. Jared, I mean.
Detective Murphy: Was he the only one who left?
John Morrison: No, Ally was gone too. I think maybe they came together. I hope he drove because she was in no condition. If I'd seen them leaving, I would've made sure, but I didn't. Because drinking and driving is terrible, and I would never let—
Detective Murphy: We appreciate your vigilance, Mr. Morrison. Did you see or hear anything else we should know about?
John Morrison: Not really, but…
Detective Parker: But what?
John Morrison: When I was leaving the room right before Jared left, I heard someone say, "I'm going to kill you, Jared," and someone else said, "You should. He deserves to die." But people say stuff like that all the time when they're mad. It doesn't mean anything.
Detective Parker: Who said those things?
John Morrison: I don't know. They were both male voices, but I didn't see who was talking.
Detective Murphy: Would you recognize the voices if you heard them again?
John Morrison: I'm not sure. It's been a while. I don't want to promise anything.
Detective Murphy: I understand, but at some point, we might ask you to try anyway.
John Morrison: All I can say is I'll do the best I can.
Detective Parker: Thanks. And thank you for coming forward… finally. Too bad you didn't give us this information sooner.
John Morrison: I'm sorry, but if you want to talk to me again, I'll be available.
Interview ended – 4:07 p.m.