Woman with long dark hairThursday, February 4, 2021 – 8:15 a.m.

Virginia Brooks is the victim's widow.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Virginia Brooks

Virginia Brooks: Again? Again, Ted? This is the fourth time I've been here for questioning. What is wrong with you people? How could you possibly believe I have anything more to tell you? Why aren't you getting Spense's killer locked away?

Detective Armstrong: Name and address first, please.

Virginia Brooks: I'm Virginia Brooks, and I live at 439 Chandler Avenue.

Detective Armstrong: We feel an arrest is imminent, Virginia, but before we get into anything, we need to go over this paper with you.

Virginia Brooks: This is a Miranda warning!

Detective Armstrong: That's correct.

Virginia Brooks: Are you advising me of my rights? Am I under arrest?

Detective Armstrong: We have to follow procedure, Virginia. A special prosecutor will be appointed to handle Spenser's case, so we have to make sure all the I's are dotted, and all the T's are crossed. I'm sure you understand. So you have the right to remain silent. Anything you—

Virginia Brooks: I know my rights, Ted. I was married to a lawyer for 20 years. Plus, they're printed right here on the paper.

Detective Armstrong: Perfect. Then just initial the blanks next to each one, and fill out and sign the bottom.

Virginia Brooks: I can't believe you're making me do this.

Detective Murphy: We're not making you do it, Virginia. If you're not comfortable, you don't have to sign it. But if you decide not to, the bosses won't let us talk to you anymore about the investigation.

Virginia Brooks: Why? I'm the victim here. And Spense, of course, but he's not here to tell you how ridiculous this is.

Detective Armstrong: It's not just you. Anyone we talk to at this stage of the investigation will get a Miranda warning. It's just—

Virginia Brooks: Procedure. Yes, so you said.

Detective Murphy: You probably heard it from Spense a million times—sometimes it all comes down to the paperwork.

Virginia Brooks: Fine. Here you go.

Detective Armstrong: Thank you. You told us before that you knew about Spenser's infidelities. Would you say there were women you weren't aware of?

Virginia Brooks: I have to confess that I've wondered about that many times, but I don't have an answer. I know Spense wasn't the most faithful man, but I can't believe that it happened very often.

Detective Armstrong: Can you give us the names of any of the women you knew about?

Virginia Brooks: Oh, I don't have any names. I just knew. When you've been married as long as we were, you just know.

Detective Murphy: So, you weren't aware of his affair with Christy Arnold?

Virginia Brooks: Not at all. I wasn't aware of that until you mentioned her name to me. And even then, I wasn't sure that it happened. So you're saying there actually was an affair? With Christy Arnold?

Detective Armstrong: Wesley didn't say anything?

Virginia Brooks: Wesley?! Wesley knew? Wesley told you that?

Detective Murphy: Yes, Virginia, he saw them together. He didn't tell you?

Virginia Brooks: Oh, no! No! No! Oh, poor Wesley. I had no idea Wesley knew what his dad was doing. I need to go. I have to talk to Wesley.

Detective Armstrong: We'd really appreciate it if you could give us a few more minutes.

Virginia Brooks: All right, but be quick about it. I need to talk to my son.

Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Now, you're sure that Wesley never even hinted that he might've known about Spenser's relationship with Miss Arnold?

Virginia Brooks: He didn't breathe a word to me. I wish he had. What he must have gone through keeping that to himself.

Detective Armstrong: He must've really struggled with it. He told us how angry it made him.

Virginia Brooks: He did?

Detective Armstrong: He also told us he was at Wall Doxey at the time Spenser was shot.

Virginia Brooks: He what?

Detective Armstrong: It's looking like Wesley is the one who killed your husband.

Virginia Brooks: No, you're wrong! Wesley didn't do it!

Detective Murphy: He's your son. Of course, you'd want to believe that, but he put himself at the scene at the time Spense was shot.

Virginia Brooks: He told you he shot Spense?

Detective Murphy: Not yet, but it's weighing on his conscience. You can see it when you look at him. He'll tell the whole truth eventually.

Virginia Brooks: No, this isn't right.

Detective Murphy: Do you know how Wesley got the gun?

Virginia Brooks: Wesley has never had a gun in his entire life.

Detective Murphy: How can you be sure? It's possible for someone to buy a gun, and even the people closest to them wouldn't know about it. Isn't that right?

Virginia Brooks: Wesley did not kill his father!

Detective Murphy: He wanted to protect you from finding out Spenser was cheating on you. He told us that.

Virginia Brooks: Oh my— listen to me. I don't know what Wesley told you, but he did not kill Spenser, no matter what he thought he knew.

Detective Armstrong: How do you know?

Virginia Brooks: Don't try to involve Wesley. It was Spense.

Detective Armstrong: What was Spense?

Virginia Brooks: He told me himself about that … tramp.

Detective Armstrong: What did he say?

Virginia Brooks: Stop asking me all these questions! This was my marriage. It's none of your business!

Detective Murphy: I know it's hard, but you need to tell us what Spense said to you, Virginia.

Virginia Brooks: Spense told me he needed to talk to me, and so we went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. That's where we always discussed things.

Detective Murphy: When was this?

Virginia Brooks: About two weeks before ….

Detective Murphy: What did he want to talk about?

Virginia Brooks: He told me he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce. When he said that, my world just stopped. It was such a shock. I couldn't believe it. Couldn't accept it.

Detective Murphy: Did he tell you who the woman was?

Virginia Brooks: He said her name wasn't relevant.

Detective Murphy: How did you respond?

Virginia Brooks: I begged him not to leave me. I said I'd do anything. After a while, he agreed to stay and see what happened. But that night, he slept in the guest room.

Detective Armstrong: What happened after that?

Virginia Brooks: I could tell he was still seeing her, despite what he said.

Detective Armstrong: How did you know?

Virginia Brooks: One day—only a few days after he promised he recommit to our marriage—Spense called and said he'd be working late. I knew what that meant.

Detective Armstrong: What?

Virginia Brooks: He was going to be with her.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Virginia Brooks: I followed him when he left work. He picked her up and drove to Wall Doxey. When he started toward the cabins, I stayed back and waited a while so he wouldn't see me.

Detective Armstrong: And then?

Virginia Brooks: Then I drove very slowly from cabin to cabin until I found his car parked next to Cabin 7, where it couldn't be seen from the main road. I sat there imagining what was going on inside. It was hard not going inside because I was screaming inside my mind.

Detective Armstrong: Did you confront them?

Virginia Brooks: No. I was afraid of what would happen if I did. I thought he might leave me right then. So I just left.

Detective Murphy: Did you ever talk to Spense about it?

Virginia Brooks: Yes. It took me a day or two to work up the nerve, but I told him I knew he was still seeing her.

Detective Murphy: What did he say?

Virginia Brooks: He told me it wasn't going to work. He said he still cared about me, but he couldn't stay married to me while he was in love with someone else.

Detective Murphy: That was it?

Virginia Brooks: I tried to tell him that he could see her as much as he wanted to, and we could still keep our marriage intact.

Detective Armstrong: He didn't go for that?

Virginia Brooks: No. He had made up his mind, and nothing I said would change it. He said he'd provide for Wesley and me financially, and I could have the house and whatever else I wanted because none of those things were important to him.

Detective Murphy: That must've hurt.

Virginia Brooks: All he cared about were the practicalities of leaving us. He wasn't thinking at all about what it would do to Wesley and me.

Detective Murphy: Was he planning on marrying Christy Arnold?

Virginia Brooks: He didn't say that, but I'm sure he was. That's the kind of man he was.

Detective Armstrong: What happened that Saturday morning he died?

Virginia Brooks: Why are you asking me? Why don't you ask the tramp?

Detective Armstrong: It's not her vehicle we can prove was at the scene.

Virginia Brooks: What, my car? Of course, my car was there. Spenser was driving my car that day.

Detective Murphy: Not the Cadillac, Virginia, the SUV. We know it was there, and you were the one driving it.

Virginia Brooks: I don't know what you're talking about.

Detective Armstrong: Okay, that's fair. Maybe Welsey was driving it that morning, and you didn't get it until later in the day.

Virginia Brooks: No! It wasn't Wesley.

Detective Armstrong: Oh, that's right. He already told us where he parked that morning, and it wasn't along Wilkins Chapel Road.

Virginia Brooks: Wilkins— what?

Detective Armstrong: Did you and Wesley do it together?

Virginia Brooks: Wesley had no part of anything that happened to his father. You have to believe that.

Detective Murphy: The best way to make sure everyone knows that is to tell us what happened.

Virginia Brooks: I know.

Detective Armstrong: So, what happened that Saturday morning?

Virginia Brooks: You have to understand. Everything I believed, everything I trusted, everything I loved, he ripped it all away without a second thought.

Detective Murphy: That must've been very difficult.

Virginia Brooks: The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I couldn't bear the thought of him with another woman. It just ate away at me, and I decided that if he wouldn't end it, I would.

Detective Murphy: How were you going to do that?

Virginia Brooks: I checked online and saw that Cabin 7 was available that Saturday, so I wrote an anonymous note asking Spense to meet at Cabin 7 that morning to get proof that Alderman Collins was accepting bribes. I knew he wouldn't be able to resist that.

Detective Murphy: How did you get the note to him?

Virginia Brooks: I put it in our mailbox Friday afternoon.

Detective Murphy: Then what happened?

Virginia Brooks: Spense always picked up the mail out of the box when he came in from work, so when he came home that day, he found the note. He was so excited. He wouldn't tell me about it, of course, because it was about work, but I could tell.

Detective Murphy: Go on.

Virginia Brooks: The next morning, while he was taking a shower, I put the things for the rummage sale in his SUV. When he was about to leave, I told him I needed the SUV, and he could take my car.

Detective Murphy: Did he object?

Virginia Brooks: He was in a rush, so he just said okay and left. I gave it about two or three minutes, and then I left.

Detective Armstrong: Where was Wesley?

Virginia Brooks: Asleep in his room.

Detective Armstrong: And where did you go when you left?

Virginia Brooks: I drove to Wall Doxey. I didn't drive all the way to the cabin. I parked nearby and walked the rest of the way.

Detective Armstrong: Why did you do that?

Virginia Brooks: I didn't want Spenser to see me before it was time.

Detective Armstrong: Did you get to Wall Doxey before him?

Virginia Brooks: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: How did you manage that when he left first?

Virginia Brooks: I made sure my car didn't have enough gas to get to Wall Doxey, so he'd have to stop and fill up before he could drive up there.

Detective Murphy: What happened next?

Virginia Brooks: I waited until he drove in, and while he was parking in his usual spot, I went up on the front porch of Cabin 7.

Detective Murphy: And then?

Virginia Brooks: And then when he came around in front of the cabin, I waited until he knew it was me, and then I did what I went there to do.

Detective Murphy: You shot him.

Virginia Brooks: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Then what did you do?

Virginia Brooks: I left. I had errands to run.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Wesley at Wall Doxey?

Virginia Brooks: No, he wasn't there.

Detective Armstrong: He told us he was.

Virginia Brooks: I don't believe you.

Detective Murphy: Where did you get the gun?

Virginia Brooks: At a gun show in Tupelo. It was easy.

Detective Murphy: Did Spenser know you had it?

Virginia Brooks: Of course not.

Detective Armstrong: What happened to the note?

Virginia Brooks: What note?

Detective Armstrong: The one that sent Spenser to the park in the first place.

Virginia Brooks: Oh. I burned it and flushed the ashes.

Detective Murphy: Is there anything else you want to tell us about what happened?

Virginia Brooks: No.

Detective Armstrong: You understand what has to happen now, right, Virginia?

Virginia Brooks: Yes. I think I'd like to call an attorney now.

Detective Armstrong: You can do that as soon as you're booked.

Detective Murphy: Do you want us to call Wesley for you?

Virginia Brooks: No! I don't want him to know about any of this. He's been through enough.

Interview ended – 8:57 a.m.



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