Carl Dixon interview
Sunday, May 21, 2023 – 1:30 p.m.
Carl Dixon called 911 to report he had discovered the body of Devlin Beauchamp at Mr. Beauchamp's North Lamar Boulevard residence.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the scene.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Carl Dixon
Detective Murphy: For the record, sir, could you please state your name and address?
Carl Dixon: My name is Carl Dean Dixon. I live at 818 Country Club Circle, Oxford, MS.
Detective Murphy: You know the victim, sir?
Carl Dixon: Yes, he is— was… Devlin Beauchamp, my business partner.
Detective Murphy: What business are you in?
Carl Dixon: We own a restaurant called Home Plate. Maybe you know it? We're on University Avenue, right near the campus. The kids love our barbecue. Can't even get in the place on a Saturday night.
Detective Murphy: The street number on University Avenue is…?
Carl Dixon: 1404.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, I realize you've been through some of the details with the first officer about finding Mr. Beauchamp's body, Mr. Dixon, but I'm afraid I do need you to go through it again. I hope you're up to it.
Carl Dixon: I understand, detective.
Detective Murphy: You don't feel too upset talking to us here in Mr. Beauchamp's home, do you?
Carl Dixon: No, ma'am, long as we stay down here in the living room, I expect I'll be fine.
Detective Murphy: All right then. Can you tell us how you came to discover Mr. Beauchamp?
Carl Dixon: I found him in the tub… his head all… you know, there was so much blood and all… looked like his head was caved in… crushed. Gives me the chills to think of it.
Detective Armstrong: Why did you come to Mr. Beauchamp's home, sir?
Carl Dixon: Oh, I see. Well, he was due in this morning. He comes in every morning about 8:00 to start the sauce. Trade secret, won't let anyone know the recipe, so he's the only one who can make it. So, every morning he comes in at 8:00 and starts.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Beauchamp wouldn't allow anyone else to make the sauce? Is the recipe written down anywhere for safekeeping?
Carl Dixon: Yes, sir, and kept in a safe deposit box. Of course, I also have a key to the box since we're partners, for all the good it would do me. Can't cook a lick. I guess it sounds ridiculous having a barbeque recipe locked up in a bank vault, but it's the whole key to our success. Without it, we're just another barbecue joint.
Detective Murphy: We understand, Mr. Dixon. So, Mr. Beauchamp didn't arrive at the restaurant at 8:00, and what did you do?
Carl Dixon: I didn't do anything. I wasn't at the store yet. I usually don't arrive until 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning. The prep cook started calling him about 8:00, I guess.
Detective Murphy: The prep cook?
Carl Dixon: Yeah, Joe Hampton, the day cook. He opens up with Dev. Joe gets the ribs and chicken going, and Dev makes the sauce.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Hampton would have been able to let himself in without Mr. Beauchamp?
Carl Dixon: Yeah, the opening cook and the closing cook each have a key to the place and know the combination for the alarm. Otherwise, Dev and me would have to be there twenty-four hours a day.
Detective Armstrong: I get it. So, Mr. Hampton called Mr. Beauchamp how many times, how often?
Carl Dixon: Several from what Joe said. By the time I arrived, he was frantic because the brunch crowd was going to start coming in, and we didn't have nearly enough sauce made up and ready to go. And I guess he'd been calling me too, but my ringer must've been turned off. I swear I didn't hear the phone.
Detective Murphy: And what time was that, sir?
Carl Dixon: What time was what?
Detective Murphy: What time did you actually arrive at the restaurant?
Carl Dixon: I expect it was 10:30 or 10:40 a.m. I ended up sleeping in this morning. Just wasn't feeling myself for some reason.
Detective Murphy: What happened once you arrived at the restaurant?
Carl Dixon: Soon as I got Joe settled down, I called Dev myself. Just like Joe said, no answer, just the voicemail. So I got in my car and came over.
Detective Armstrong: How did you get into Mr. Beauchamp's house, sir?
Carl Dixon: I have a key. Just like he has a key to my house in case of emergencies.
Detective Armstrong: Does anyone else have a key to Mr. Beauchamp's house that you know of?
Carl Dixon: I suppose somebody might, nobody I know of. He has a lot of friends and such… hard to say.
Detective Murphy: Okay, so you let yourself in with the key? And then what did you do?
Carl Dixon: Like you said, I let myself in. I called out, and he didn't answer. I guess I was pretty ticked because I figured he spent the night carousing and was just sleeping it off.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Beauchamp had a habit of carousing?
Carl Dixon: Dev liked the ladies, and that's a fact. A might too much if you ask me. But he was young and handsome. I guess I didn't blame him.
Detective Armstrong: When did you find Mr. Beauchamp?
Carl Dixon: I don't know exactly. I came in the front door, and it was obvious he wasn't downstairs, so I headed up to his bedroom.
Detective Armstrong: Why was it obvious?
Carl Dixon: Because it was dead quiet. Not a sound. When I got to the bedroom, I didn't see him, but I heard water dripping and went for the bathroom.
Detective Armstrong: Was the bedroom door shut? Did you open the door?
Carl Dixon: I think it was open… yeah, 'cause I just walked right in.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, so you entered the bathroom from the main bedroom, not from the hallway?
Carl Dixon: That's right.
Detective Armstrong: Was the bathroom door shut?
Carl Dixon: No, it was kind of half closed. The door was ajar, I guess you'd say. So I guess I pushed it open to go in, and… it's funny, I was so ready to give him hell for scaring all of us, and my god… I saw him. There's blood everywhere… made me sick to my stomach. Could hardly tell it was him…
Detective Armstrong: Are you sure it is him, sir? It is Devlin Beauchamp?
Carl Dixon: Oh yes, it is. It is.
Detective Armstrong: You're positive? It couldn't be anyone else?
Carl Dixon: Well…who else could it be? I mean, who else would be in his tub? He has that tattoo of the naked girl on his lower back… it's him.
Detective Murphy: What did you do next, Mr. Dixon? Did you do anything to try to help him or determine if he was alive?
Carl Dixon: I guess I must have checked his pulse in his neck. I didn't feel no pulse. I ran out back and called 911. After which, I lost my lunch.
Detective Armstrong: Where exactly did you lose your lunch, sir?
Carl Dixon: In the bushes, just outside the back door by the kitchen.
Detective Armstrong: Outside?
Carl Dixon: Yes, sir, outside at the kitchen door, there's a bush, some sort of bush, out there just next to the kitchen door.
Detective Armstrong: You had lunch before you came?
Carl Dixon: No, sir, just an expression. I mean to say I vomited.
Detective Armstrong: Got it.
Detective Murphy: And aside from taking Mr. Beauchamp's pulse, did you touch anything?
Carl Dixon: I probably did. I might've touched the doorknob to come in. I might have touched the tub when I leaned over him… you know, to see?
Detective Armstrong: Did you touch the walls, the sink, anything else?
Carl Dixon: I don't believe so. I had no interest in staying in that room. I don't mind telling you it scared the hell outta me, so I got out as soon as I could. I'm pretty sure I didn't touch anything else.
Detective Murphy: And you didn't move anything, take anything out of the room? Anything at all?
Carl Dixon: No, ma'am, what would I have moved? There was nothing to move.
Detective Murphy: All right.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you saw Mr. Beauchamp alive?
Carl Dixon: Last night, before closing. About 10:00 p.m.
Detective Murphy: Anything unusual happen last night?
Carl Dixon: Unusual?
Detective Murphy: Yes, did Mr. Beauchamp do or say anything that seemed out of character for him? Was he nervous or upset about anything?
Carl Dixon: No, not really. Not that I could tell.
Detective Armstrong: Was Mr. Beauchamp having any problems, to your knowledge? Personal or business?
Carl Dixon: Not that I know of, but I think if he was, he would've told me. So I guess the answer is no.
Detective Murphy: You and Mr. Beauchamp were close? Friends?
Carl Dixon: Yes, I like to think so.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Beauchamp have any enemies or anyone have a grudge against him that you know of? Disgruntled employees, ex-girlfriends, jealous husbands or boyfriends? Anything like that?
Carl Dixon: I don't believe so. People really like Dev. He has lots of friends.
Detective Murphy: So, just prior to his death, did Mr. Beauchamp display any odd or unusual behavior? Start keeping secrets, disappear for periods of time, close the door when he took phone calls, not show up for work when expected—other than today, of course?
Carl Dixon: No, not that I noticed. Dev was Dev. You know, sometimes he was moody, just like anybody…but nothing that struck me as curious.
Detective Murphy: And except for today, his routine was what it has always been? He hadn't varied it, changed anything in his schedule? Not at all?
Carl Dixon: Well, ma'am, I wasn't watching him every minute. I suppose he might have made changes, but none that I noticed.
Detective Armstrong: Anyone have any arguments or fights with Mr. Beauchamp before his death?
Carl Dixon: Sure, we argued a good bit. Me and Dev. But just the usual stuff… I want to watch costs. He doesn't. I'm the penny pincher. He's the temperamental chef.
Detective Armstrong: Temperamental?
Carl Dixon: Sure, the way creative people are. You know, they see the world how they see it, not always how it really is. Makes it a little hard on us regular folk, but you learn to accept people's quirks.
Detective Murphy: We found a fountain pen in the bathroom near the bathtub, but we didn't find any paper or notebooks. Any idea of what Mr. Beauchamp would have been doing with the pen?
Carl Dixon: I'd guess that he was writing in his journal. It was a daily ritual of his—apparently, a family tradition of sorts.
Detective Murphy: Excuse me?
Carl Dixon: Dev always preached about how important it was to keep journals, record one's life for posterity, I suppose. It was a habit he learned from his mother. From what he said, each night, he'd write down the noteworthy moments of his day while relaxing in the tub.
Detective Armstrong: We haven't found a journal.
Carl Dixon: Well, I find that odd. If he had a fountain pen with him, he was writing something, and if he was writing something, it would have to be his journal. After all, you don't jot down the grocery list in the tub, do you?
Detective Armstrong: And you didn't remove anything from the bathroom? You didn't find the journal and put it somewhere?
Carl Dixon: No. I did not. Like I said, I didn't touch or move nothing. I just got out of there quick as I could.
Detective Armstrong: And you didn't touch or move him in any way?
Carl Dixon: No, sir, I did not, except for taking his pulse like I told you. I could barely look at him. The condition he was in… scared the hell outta me, I don't mind telling you.
Detective Armstrong: Did your partner have a life insurance policy?
Carl Dixon: We had partner insurance, yes. Beyond that, I don't know if he carried any personal insurance.
Detective Armstrong: You're the beneficiary of the insurance you do know about?
Carl Dixon: It's a standard policy that would enable me to continue to operate the business in the event of his demise or vice versa. This is very common in business. But I assure you, I don't stand to make a million dollars, sir.
Detective Armstrong: What do you stand to make?
Carl Dixon: Enough to keep my business from going under. No trips to Hawaii or even the Walmart.
Detective Murphy: Does Mr. Beauchamp have any family here in Oxford that we can contact? Or, if you know, elsewhere?
Carl Dixon: I think he has a brother, but I don't know how to reach him. I never met him. Now that I think of it, I don't even know his name. According to Dev, they didn't get on very well. But I guess that ain't so unusual… brothers spatting.
Detective Murphy: Can you tell us where you were last night?
Carl Dixon: I was at the restaurant until midnight. I closed out the register, put the money in the safe, locked up, and went home.
Detective Armstrong: Can anyone corroborate that?
Carl Dixon: Yeah, my night cook walked out with me. Tom Bridges is his name.
Detective Murphy: And you went directly home from the restaurant?
Carl Dixon: I stopped at the Chevron, the one on Lamar, and got a pack of smokes, then I went home.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you get home?
Carl Dixon: I expect it was about 12:30 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: You live just over on Country Club? Not far from here.
Carl Dixon: That's right, just a couple minutes by car.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Dixon, did anyone see you come home, a neighbor perhaps?
Carl Dixon: I'm pretty sure I woke my daughter when I got home.
Detective Murphy: What's your daughter's name and age?
Carl Dixon: Kat— Katherine Dixon, she's 21. She lives with me at the Country Club address.
Detective Murphy: I see. So we can reach her at the address on Country Club?
Carl Dixon: Yes, she also works part-time at the restaurant as a waitress.
Detective Murphy: Good, okay, we'll make a note of that. You say you think you woke her last night? What makes you think so? Did she get up, say anything to you?
Carl Dixon: I saw her light go on in her room for a second. I called out and said it was just me and she should go back to sleep, and then the light went out.
Detective Armstrong: So, you didn't actually see your daughter when you came home?
Carl Dixon: No, detective, I didn't see her, but she was there.
Detective Murphy: And what did you do once you had assured your daughter you were home?
Carl Dixon: I had a smoke and went to bed. Next thing I knew, it was morning, and I was running late for work.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anyone who would have any reason to do this to Mr. Beauchamp?
Carl Dixon: No, ma'am, I Can't. Like I said, everybody liked Dev. I can't think of a soul who'd want to see him dead.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for staying and answering our questions. We may need to talk to you again, so please don't leave town without telling us.
Carl Dixon: I'm staying put, ma'am. Got nowhere to go but work. Guess I better go break the news to everybody.
Detective Murphy: I guess you better. Good day, sir.
Interview ended – 2:13 p.m.