David Gregory interview
Friday, April 20, 2018 – 10:03 p.m.
David Gregory does pool maintenance for the Byrns family and was present when the body was found.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective T. Armstrong
- David Gregory
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name and address.
David Gregory: My name is David Gregory, and I live at 865 Buchanan Avenue.
Detective Murphy: Here in Oxford, right?
David Gregory: Yes, ma'am.
Detective Armstrong: Why don't you tell us a little bit about your pool cleaning service?
David Gregory: I do more than just clean. I repair and maintain. How big a pool are we talking about?
Detective Armstrong: This is an official investigation. You do not want to be making light.
David Gregory: Sorry.
Detective Murphy: How many clients do you service?
David Gregory: Around fifty. Some weekly, some not. I schedule clients in blocks. If someone needs more time, I go to the next client and come back later.
Detective Murphy: Needs more time?
David Gregory: I handle some really nice homes. It requires discretion. The owners like to know when I'm going to be there. Not that they have any cause for concern, but it makes some of them more comfortable.
Detective Murphy: Just relax, David. How long have you worked for the Byrns family?
David Gregory: Three weeks. I was referred by the Hendersons.
Detective Armstrong: Long enough for everyone in the Byrns family to have learned your schedule?
David Gregory: I can't speak for them, of course, but Alyx certainly knew when I was going to show up.
Detective Murphy: Why do you say that?
David Gregory: Alyx was a child who was enamored of a shiny new toy called sex appeal.
Detective Armstrong: In my experience, that toy is fairly common.
David Gregory: For Alyx, it was a game. Like everything with her.
Detective Armstrong: Didn't you just meet her a few weeks ago?
David Gregory: Three weeks was long enough to know that. To know everything about her. These rich kids don't take life all that seriously. They don't need to. They're cushioned.
Detective Armstrong: So you thought Alyx needed a lesson in how the real world operated.
David Gregory: Whoa! Don't be trying to pin that on me. I didn't touch her.
Detective Murphy: Tell us how your day went. How did it begin?
David Gregory: I woke up about 10:30. If I don't have any morning appointments, I stay up late writing. That's my thing.
Detective Armstrong: I thought pool cleaning was your thing.
David Gregory: The main reason I went into the pool business was it allows me to see people unguarded, on their home turf.
Detective Murphy: So you get your material from your clients?
David Gregory: The essence of a character. Whether he wears a three-piece suit or coveralls with an oval name patch, you can’t hide your true essence when you’re wearing nothing but swim trunks.
Detective Armstrong: What do you write, crime fiction? Serial killer stuff?
David Gregory: I'm a serious literary novelist. Or at least I will be.
Detective Murphy: Good luck with that. So you woke at 10:30.
David Gregory: Right, around then. I showered and ate. Loaded up the truck, and started my day. I had an 11:30, a 1:30 and a 3:30.
Detective Murphy: Is that your usual Friday schedule?
David Gregory: Depends. It's early in the season. In a month or two, Fridays will be more jammed, but it doesn't matter to me. I write every night of the week.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you leave your 1:30?
David Gregory: Maybe 3:15. I wasn't rushing since the Wallace place isn't that far from the Byrns place. As it happened, there was a car accident, and I arrived late thanks to the traffic.
Detective Armstrong: Was there someone at the Wallace residence who could confirm what time you left?
David Gregory: Mr. Wallace was there.
Detective Murphy: Did you pass anyone as you neared the Byrns residence?
David Gregory: Not that I remember.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone headed in the opposite direction? On foot? On a bike? In a vehicle? Anything?
David Gregory: That's not the type of thing I'd notice. Sorry.
Detective Armstrong: So what happened when you arrived at the Byrns residence?
David Gregory: Well, I passed Josh working the flowerbeds along the drive.
Detective Armstrong: Who's Josh?
David Gregory: Josh Carstairs. He's a landscaper. We have some clients in common, but it's not like we socialize or anything.
Detective Armstrong: Did he see you?
David Gregory: I suppose. I didn't really notice.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't honk? Call out the window?
David Gregory: The kind of people we work for wouldn’t appreciate that.
Detective Armstrong: So you saw the landscaper. Then what?
David Gregory: I parked and went to take a look at the pool so I’d know what tools to bring from the truck. I saw Alyx floating out there.
Detective Murphy: You see a lot of dead girls in the pools you maintain?
David Gregory: She was pretending to be dead. At least I thought she was pretending.
Detective Murphy: Why would you think that?
David Gregory: Last week when I arrived, she was swimming naked. She seemed disappointed by my lack of reaction, and so I thought this week she was merely raising the stakes. Like I said, she wasn't someone who took things seriously.
Detective Murphy: What did you do after you saw her there?
David Gregory: I went into the house and told Rachel the latest. Rachel cooks for the Byrns family.
Detective Murphy: Why? If you weren't going to give Alyx the response you thought she wanted, why didn't you simply go back to your truck and get your tools?
David Gregory: I guess I wanted some sympathy.
Detective Murphy: And why do you think Rachel would give you sympathy?
David Gregory: I usually go into the houses where I work. Wash my hands. Let them know I'm there. Find out if there are any special instructions. I've talked with Rachel about Alyx before, and I knew she would be sympathetic.
Detective Murphy: How long was it between seeing Alyx and going into the house?
David Gregory: Not long at all. As soon as I saw her, I went in and told Rachel.
Detective Armstrong: So then what happened?
David Gregory: Rachel said we should teach Alyx a lesson and call 911.
Detective Armstrong: Did that seem like a good idea to you?
David Gregory: At the time, yeah. And as it turned out, it's a good thing Rachel made the call. But I'm not in the habit of making spurious 911 calls if that's what you're implying.
Detective Armstrong: I’ll have to look up spurious, then get back to you about what I may be implying.
Detective Murphy: So Rachel calls 911. Then what?
David Gregory: Then she tells me to sit down, and she makes me a sandwich. It was a great sandwich. And then you guys showed up.
Detective Murphy: You didn't leave the kitchen after Rachel made the call?
David Gregory: No. Neither of us left. She made me a sandwich, and I ate it while she prepared dinner.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know of any reason why Alyx might have taken her own life?
David Gregory: I wouldn't be surprised if boredom weren't reason enough.
Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who might want to harm Alyx?
David Gregory: You mean kill her? Not by name, but the way she acted, I wouldn't be surprised.
Detective Armstrong: That will be all for now. You're free to go.
Interview ended – 10:52 p.m.