The detectives talked to a Mugshots bartender about Detective Tatum's patronage there

Thursday, May 24, 2018 – 3:15 p.m.

Claude Myrick is a bartender at Mugshots, a bar Detective Tatum reportedly frequented.

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

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Claude Myrick

Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in, Claude. Would you state your name and address for the record?

Claude Myrick: Sure thing. Claude Myrick. 105 Longest Road, Oxford.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, Claude, you know we're investigating the death of Detective Charles Tatum?

Claude Myrick: It's a damn shame what happened to ole Charlie. He was a good man. We're all going to miss him.

Detective Murphy: So you knew Charlie?

Claude Myrick: Oh sure. He came into the bar pretty regular. Almost every Wednesday night and sometimes he would drop in other nights.

Detective Murphy: This is the bar where you work?

Claude Myrick: That's right. Mugshots on Merchants Drive off West Jackson.

Detective Armstrong: Y'all are open on Sundays?

Claude Myrick: Like you don't know the answer to that one, Ted. Yeah, we're open Sundays — beer and wine only, of course, no liquor — but people still like to come in to get something to eat, play a little pool. We have what they call a brown bag permit, so people can bring in their own liquor on Sundays if they want to, and we'll sell 'em mixers or whatever they want to go with it.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw Charlie in the bar? Do you remember?

Claude Myrick: Last week. Seems like longer with what happened.

Detective Armstrong: What day of the week? Was it one of his regular visits?

Claude Myrick: Yes, I do believe it was Wednesday. 

Detective Armstrong: You believe it was last Wednesday or you're sure it was last Wednesday?

Claude Myrick: It was Wednesday. Charlie always comes in on Wednesday. He hasn't missed one since … yesterday.

Detective Armstrong: Take your time, Claude. We're all struggling with this.

Detective Murphy: I don't suppose you remember what time he came in, do you?

Claude Myrick: No, not really. After the dinner rush, I'd say, but I don't remember any more specifically than that.

Detective Murphy: Do you know what time he left?

Claude Myrick: Let me think… not too long before closing, I think. Maybe around 12:30 a.m.? That's just a guess.

Detective Armstrong: What can you tell us about Charlie that night? What kind of mood was he in? Did he come in alone? Did he meet anyone or talk to anyone while he was there?

Claude Myrick: Whoa, whoa, whoa. One question at a time. He was in a pretty good mood, as I recall. Laughing and joking with folks. Having a pretty good time.

Detective Armstrong: Did he come in alone?

Claude Myrick: Yep, he sure did.

Detective Murphy: Was that unusual? For him to come in alone?

Claude Myrick: Nope, he usually came by himself. There were always plenty of people around that he knew, lots of cops and people like that.

Detective Murphy: He didn't come in with his girlfriend?

Claude Myrick: You mean that gal from the bank? She came in with him a few times, but she didn't seem to really take to the place. He usually came in without her.

Detective Murphy: Did he ever talk to you about his girlfriend?

Claude Myrick: No, not really. I think he would've liked it if she had come in with him more, but what're you going to do? Once your woman decides she doesn't like something, there's not much you can do to change her mind.

Detective Armstrong: Did Charlie ever meet anyone there? Like an appointment or a date?

Claude Myrick: Sometimes. Sometimes he'd meet Jason or Sarge for a beer or something like that. Is that what you mean?

Detective Armstrong: Right. Did he ever meet any women there?

Claude Myrick: Not that I can think of. Not in a way that seemed like something that was prearranged. He talked to the female customers a fair amount, just casual conversation, but I don't remember him ever having a date or a meeting where he met the woman at the bar instead of coming in with her.

Detective Armstrong: Did Charlie have any casual conversations with any women that last time he was in?

Claude Myrick: I'm sure he did. He was always popular with the ladies, knew how to talk to them. Not like some cops that come in there.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know who he talked to that night?

Claude Myrick: I don't. I'm usually pretty busy on Wednesdays. I didn't have time to notice.

Detective Armstrong: You didn't notice if he was paying attention to any woman, in particular, that night?

Claude Myrick: Well… now that you mention it, seems like there might have been one. I think it was that night, but I can't say for sure.

Detective Armstrong: You know who it was?

Claude Myrick: No, I didn't know her. Seems like she was young. And pretty. Don't remember seeing her before. You know what, though? We got some regulars who come in every most every night including Wednesday, rain or shine. Maybe one of them might know who that girl was. Why don't y'all come in tonight, and I'll point 'em out to you?

Detective Murphy: That's a date, Claude. Did you notice whether Charlie left with this woman that night?

Claude Myrick: Not that I know of. Charlie didn't usually do things like that. But any man would be tempted if a sweet, young thing was coming on to him. We're only human after all, you know. So I wouldn't say it's impossible that he left with her, but it wasn't like him to pick up a woman in a bar for a one-night stand.

Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you can remember about Charlie that night? Anything that was out of the ordinary in his behavior? What he was wearing? What he had to eat and drink? Who he talked to or didn't talk to? Anything like that?

Claude Myrick: Nothing comes to mind. He was just the same ole Charlie as always, but let me think on it. If I remember anything, I'll give you a ring.

Detective Armstrong: Okay, we appreciate that Claude. Thanks again for coming in, and we'll see you tonight.

Interview ended – 3:53 p.m.

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