Canvass – Community Center area
The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department conducted a canvass in the vicinity of the Whitehall Community Center, looking for potential witnesses who might have seen or heard anything on the night of March 5, 2023.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
Name: Ione Margulis
Address: 214 Huntington Place, Oxford, MS 38655.
Mrs. Margulis, 45, is a secretary/receptionist at the local newspaper.
She and her family were returning from a gathering at her mother's home around 8:00 p.m. on March 5, 2023. Margulis wondered why the lights were on in the center, although there didn't seem to be any activity inside.
She started to phone Mr. Garrett, whom she knew was the HOA president, to notify him that someone had left the lights on, but was distracted by one of her children and then forgot about it. She thought no more about it until she saw the sheriff's department vehicles there later.
She was not aware of anyone entering or leaving the community center between 8:00 p.m. and the arrival of the Sheriff's Department.
Name: Charles Muldoon
Address: 124 Huntington Place, Oxford, MS 38655
Mr. Muldoon, 26, works as a waiter at Proud Larry's and lives with his parents while attending graduate school at Ole Miss.
Muldoon said he was driving home from work around 7:15 p.m. on March 5, 2023, and he had to wait to turn into his driveway when several cars drove past his house. He thought it strange to see so many cars in the neighborhood on a Sunday night but heard no other unusual noise that evening, nor did he see anything or anyone out of the ordinary in the area.
Muldoon mentioned that Chester Hawkins had wandered past the Muldoon house later in the evening, headed in the direction of the community center and muttering to himself, but Muldoon did not consider this an unusual occurrence as he has seen Mr. Hawkins walking around the neighborhood on numerous occasions at various times of the day and night.
Name: Jonathon Nielson
Address: 101 Huntington Place, Oxford, MS
Mr. Nielson, 53, is a math teacher at Yoknapatawpha High School.
Nielson said he was emptying the trash from his house to the outside containers around 9:00 p.m. on the evening of March 5, 2023. He noticed the lights were on in what appeared to be the meeting room at the community center. He thought this strange because he had been out in his yard around 7:15 p.m. when he saw most of the cars pull out of the parking lot and figured the meeting was over by then.
When asked if he went to the March 5 HOA meeting, Nielson said he'd gotten tired of the constant wrangling over petty rules and quit attending several months ago.