White-haired woman with dark-rimmed glasses, looking displeased

Zina Jacinto interview

Friday, October 20, 2023 – 8:30 a.m.

Zina Jacinto resides in the same neighborhood where the social experiment, Under Glass: The Study of Generation Z in the Real, is located.

Detectives Beckwith and Magee spoke with her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective P. Beckwith
  • Detective J. Magee
  • Zina Jacinto

Zina Jacinto: Hello, detectives. So nice to see you. I know the drill. For the record, my name is Zina Jacinto, and I live at 423 Turnberry Circle, Oxford. I have some information you may be interested in hearing.

Detective Magee: Is that so?

Zina Jacinto: Now, don't be skeptical, Detective Magee. I'm aware of my eccentric reputation, and I'm sure you're aware that my pesky little observations of the goings-on in my neighborhood have proved helpful in more than one investigation, correct?

Detective Beckwith: Correct, Miss Jacinto.

Zina Jacinto: Please, call me Zina. I insist. Now, so we can get straight to my information, rest assured, I did not personally know or associate with the victim, Mr. Hoyt Biffle, nor any of the residents of his house of sin. I did, however, pray for them all.

Detective Beckwith: Thank you, Zina. If you don't mind, we're going to refer to that house as the Under Glass house. Did you ever speak to him?

Zina Jacinto: No, no. He was very business-like. Professional. He and his assistant worked from the outbuilding in the backyard, as far as I could tell.

Detective Magee: Were you watching that house?

Zina Jacinto: Yes, among others. I watch for unusual activity around my home, and I write it down in my notebooks. I record information like vehicle descriptions, dates, times, license plate numbers, physical description of people, length of time they've parked, where they go, how long they stay. Sometimes, I make notes on overheard conversations or phone calls.

Detective Beckwith: So you noticed Hoyt Biffle and someone else maintaining a regular schedule going in and out of the building in the backyard?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. Oh, and once, I saw a very beautiful young woman slip inside.

Detective Beckwith: You're sure it wasn't Mr. Biffle or his assistant?

Zina Jacinto: Quite. Not to put too fine a crude point on it, but neither gentleman has the equipment necessary to make the cleavage that was so clearly visible.

Detective Magee: Had you seen her around before?

Zina Jacinto: Yes, I'd seen her walking in the neighborhood and going in and out of the house.

Detective Beckwith: Would you recognize her if you saw her again?

Zina Jacinto: I believe so, yes.

Detective Magee: What was your concern about Mr. Biffle's house?

Zina Jacinto: At first, naturally, I was concerned that it would become a party house. Loud with lots of visitors. But Mr. Biffle ran a tight ship, ironically. I came to appreciate his respect for the neighbors and the neighborhood, also ironically.

Detective Beckwith: But you continued to monitor Mr. Biffle and his property?

Zina Jacinto: Well, no. Early on, I became aware of someone spying on the house. Or on those inside the house, rather. Peeping in the windows. That's what I continued to monitor. I have it documented.

Detective Magee: If you saw someone peeping in the windows or spying, why didn't you report it?

Zina Jacinto: Because, at first, it was just a thing flying around.

Detective Beckwith: A thing?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. A thing, not a person. But then I did some research, and I realized that thing was a flying camera. And it didn't limit its voyeurism to Mr. Biffle's place. I've seen it outside of my own house and floating around other homes in my neighborhood.

Detective Magee: You saw a thing floating around your house, Miss Jacinto?

Zina Jacinto: Yes, and you didn't couch your skepticism very well, Detective Magee. I first noticed the thing when I heard the strangest sound outside my window, like a giant mosquito with a basso profondo.

Detective Magee: Floating around your house was a giant mosquito with a what?

Zina Jacinto: Basso profondo. Low bass. Like the voice of Ezio Pinza. Look him up, Detective Magee. You won't regret it. Twenty-two years at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Bellissimo. Pinza, not the giant mosquito, which was not a mosquito but rather a drone. Oh! Drone! I think it's called a drone because of the sound it makes.

Detective Beckwith: And you saw this drone more than once?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. Often. I have numerous sightings recorded. Date, time, location, how long the horrid thing hovered, where it went afterward.

Detective Magee: You chased the drone?

Zina Jacinto: Absolutely. And I know where it lives. I followed it all the way home. I sure got my steps in that day.

Detective Beckwith: And you've seen it at the Under Glass house?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. At the windows peeping inside. Numerous times.

Detective Magee: You followed it to a house in your neighborhood?

Zina Jacinto: Yes. The Tinley house. When I got there, no one was outside, so I couldn't be sure the drone belonged to them. So a few days later, I heard a familiar basso profondo buzz, and instead of following it, I made my way to the Tinleys. Outside, in the front yard, in broad daylight, Mrs. Opal Tinley was sitting in a lawn chair with a remote control device.

Detective Beckwith: And you're certain it was the remote control for the drone?

Zina Jacinto: Yes, of course, Detective Beckwith. This is not my first rodeo. I waited until she landed it in her yard, picked it up, and walked into the house with it. She was flying that confounded thing the day before yesterday. Maybe she caught some video in Mr. Biffle's backyard.

Detective Magee: Did you notice any other unusual or suspicious activity around the Under Glass house?

Zina Jacinto: No, not suspicious, but that Concerned Oxford Parents group sure made some trouble.

Detective Magee: What kind of trouble?

Zina Jacinto: Blocking driveways, littering, noise pollution with their yelling. Don't get me wrong. I do not agree with what goes on in that house, but apparently, Mr. Biffle wasn't doing anything illegal. For them to loudly call attention to it was tacky, I thought. After all, scripture tells us to pray privately. That's Matthew 6:6 if you want to look it up.

Detective Beckwith: Was anyone in particular a problem?

Zina Jacinto: Not that I noticed. It was a collective problem. That Ben Morgan is a very showy Christian. Makes me wonder what he's hiding. Personally, I think they just wanted to see themselves in the newspaper. I'm not sure one of those people took to their knees to lift that house, its occupants, or Mr. Biffle in prayer.

Detective Beckwith: Would you be willing to share the information you've collected with us, Zina?

Zina Jacinto: Of course. Don't I always, Detective Beckwith?

Detective Magee: Do you have it with you, by chance?

Zina Jacinto: Of course, Detective Magee. I'm not so lonely that I need you to send someone out to my house. That would be a terribly inefficient waste of time. There's a murder to solve.

Detective Magee: Yes, of course. Thank you for coming in.

Zina Jacinto: You're welcome. I'm always happy to help.

Interview ended – 8:53 a.m.


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