Man with close-cropped dark hair and sparse facial hair

Ricardo Brutnell interview

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 – 10:23 a.m.

Ricardo Brutnell is a local businessman whose criminal history includes narcotics distribution, solicitation, and racketeering convictions.

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


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Ricardo Brutnell

Detective Murphy: Thank you for talking to us. We appreciate your willingness to come into the office.

Ricardo Brutnell: Not a problem, detective. I'm glad to help.

Detective Murphy: Can you please state your name and address?

Ricardo Brutnell: I am Ricardo Brutnell, and I reside at 203 Bramlett Boulevard.

Detective Murphy: And your occupation?

Ricardo Brutnell: I have many business interests, but for your purposes, you can record me as the owner of Brutnell Body Shop.

Detective Armstrong: Many business interests. Yeah, right.

Ricardo Brutnell: You should know, detective. You've examined my affairs quite extensively over the years, which, I'm sure, causes you no end of grief since you haven't been able to prove anything against me.

Detective Murphy: Quite an attitude there.

Detective Armstrong: Oh, that's nothing. Ricardo's actually being modest. He likes to talk all elegant and everything and act like he's Don Corleone.

Ricardo Brutnell: I'm just a humble businessman.

Detective Murphy: Anyway, can you tell us how you knew Charles Tatum?

Ricardo Brutnell: He arrested me some years ago. I believe he objected to the fact that I was providing shelter to wayward women—

Detective Armstrong: You were running the biggest brothel in northern Mississippi.

Ricardo Brutnell: Nevertheless, Officer Tatum arrested me, and he testified at my trial.

Detective Murphy: How did you feel about that?

Ricardo Brutnell: About him testifying? I had no opinion on the matter.

Detective Murphy: You weren't upset or angry or anything?

Ricardo Brutnell: He was doing his job. By the nature of my business, our paths intersected. Simple as that. He won that engagement, and I have won many others.

Detective Armstrong: This guy kills me. He acts like he's a lawyer talking about his competitor who beat him in court, and then they go out and play golf.

Ricardo Brutnell: I did buy Officer Tatum a cup of coffee one time. I'm no street corner thug. Let's be honest here. You know how I live. I make no bones about it. I conduct my business, and you try to stop me. You do what you do, and I do what I do. But I am far from being some hopped-up gangbanger with an attitude. I can't really see me riding around in my Mercedes "looking for five-oh so I's can pop a cap in they ass."

Detective Murphy: Charming. So you harbored no ill will towards Detective Tatum?

Ricardo Brutnell: As hard as it is for you to understand, no. I did not wish him any ill will.

Detective Armstrong: Spoken like a true Samaritan.

Ricardo Brutnell: You know as well as I do that if he tried to stop me, and I had to choose between his life and going back to prison, I would not hesitate to put him down. However, I have been focusing on legitimate and respectable business ventures lately—

Detective Armstrong: Bulls**t!

Ricardo Brutnell: —and I had no reason to cause Officer Tatum any harm.

Detective Murphy: Can you tell us what you were doing the last week or so?

Ricardo Brutnell: I was visiting family in Atlanta. I also had some business associates to meet there. I left for Atlanta on April 8th, and I just got back to town yesterday.

Detective Murphy: Give us the details: who you saw, where you went, what you ate, everything.

Ricardo Brutnell: Without hesitation. You see, I really have nothing to hide in this case. I'll be glad to give you any information you need.

Detective Murphy: Wonderful. Write it all down on this paper—names, phone numbers, addresses—and we'll check out your story with your family, your associates, their neighbors, the Atlanta PD, and whoever else we want to ask about you.

Ricardo Brutnell: I wish you well in your efforts. You'll find nothing amiss.

Detective Armstrong: Yeah, okay. Just write.

Interview ended – 10:41 a.m.


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