Gary Wilson interview
Sunday, February 4, 2024 - 11:15 p.m.
Gary Wilson was at the party when Blake Jenson died.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Gary Wilson
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for your patience tonight. We need your name and address for our records.
Gary Wilson: I'm glad to be here if I can help in any way to find out what happened to Blake. I loved him like a brother, and I can't believe he's gone.
Detective Armstrong: We're sorry for your loss. Your name and address, sir?
Gary Wilson: Yes. Sorry. My name is Gary Wilson, and I live at 867 Fillmore Avenue, Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: How did you get to know Blake Jenson?
Gary Wilson: I first met Blake when he came to the School of Engineering. He was an exceptional student and very likable.
Detective Armstrong: And?
Gary Wilson: And we occasionally had conversations about his band, Random Deeds. Blake invited me to come see them perform at Proud Larry's. I went and enjoyed the music, so I went to a few more shows. We got to know each other better through conversations in between breaks.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Wilson, don't you think you're a bit old to be hanging out with your students?
Gary Wilson: I don't hang out with all my students. Blake and I had a lot in common. He lived here most of the time alone without his family. My family is in Colorado, and Blake was like having a younger brother. I visited him at his home on occasion, and we played video games.
Detective Murphy: Tell us what happened tonight.
Gary Wilson: Blake invited me to come over to watch him and this guy named Stix battle in Guitar Hero. Blake was great at Guitar Hero, and he usually squashed me in the game, so I wanted to see these two guys who were both better than me play against each other.
Detective Murphy: What time did you get there?
Gary Wilson: Around 7:00 or 7:15 p.m. The pizza guy had just delivered food, and the place was a madhouse. People were running around getting money for the guy. I just tried to stay out of the chaos.
Detective Murphy: Where were you when the lights went out?
Gary Wilson: I was standing in the kitchen watching all the commotion. I saw the lights across the street were still on, so I figured the breaker had flipped. I went to the utility room, which was right off the kitchen. I knew the breaker box was located there.
Detective Murphy: How did you know that?
Gary Wilson: Like I told you, I've been to Blake's before. It wasn't the first time he'd flipped a breaker by plugging too many things into the same circuit. The wiring in older houses can be tricky.
Detective Murphy: Okay, so you went to the utility room. Then what?
Gary Wilson: I always carry a small flashlight on my keychain because sometimes it's easier than dealing with the flashlight on my phone. Anyway, I went to the breaker box and flipped the switch, and the lights came back on.
Detective Murphy: What did you see or hear when the lights came back on?
Gary Wilson: The first thing I heard was a girl scream. Everyone was running to see what was going on. I walked into the rec room, and Blake was lying on the floor. Someone was shouting call 911. Kent Erdell was talking on his cell phone, so I assume he was talking to 911.
Detective Murphy: Go on. You're doing fine.
Gary Wilson: I heard someone say Blake was dead. I was just frozen in my tracks. I couldn't move. It was all so surreal. I saw Kent and that Baldwin guy—I think his name is Ron—go over and move the guitar aside. Everyone was quiet, and some were crying.
Detective Murphy: What did you do?
Gary Wilson: I felt as the oldest person there, I should have taken charge, but I felt so helpless. I was having a hard time keeping myself under control. It didn't seem real. In a few minutes, the police arrived, and later, they brought all of us here.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see or hear anything out of the ordinary?
Gary Wilson: That guy Stix was walking around swearing under his breath. He was angry because he didn't get to challenge Blake. He must not have realized Blake was dead.
Detective Armstrong: Anything else?
Gary Wilson: One thing that I thought was strange was one of the girls, Bree. She was standing close to where Blake was lying and staring at the floor. She looked like she was in a trance. She was just staring at the floor.
Detective Armstrong: Was she looking at Blake, or was there something else on the floor she was staring at?
Gary Wilson: I couldn't tell you. She was just … staring.
Detective Armstrong: Did you try to talk to her?
Gary Wilson: No. I'm ashamed to say I didn't try to comfort Bree or anyone. I was just frozen. I couldn't process what was happening.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Wilson, you seem to be well acquainted with the people at the party. Are all of them your students?
Gary Wilson: No, not all of them, but I've met them before at Blake's.
Detective Murphy: All of them?
Gary Wilson: Yes. No. I've never seen that Stix kid before, but everyone was talking about him and the big Guitar Hero face-off, so I know who he is.
Detective Murphy: You mentioned Ron Baldwin. Who is that?
Gary Wilson: I've seen him at Proud Larry's a few times when Random Deeds was playing. He must be friends with someone in the band.
Detective Murphy: And he was at the party when the lights came back on?
Gary Wilson: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: He wasn't there when the first officers arrived.
Gary Wilson: Huh. I guess that's right. He probably took off. I think he's had some run-ins with the law in the past, so he was probably scared.
Detective Armstrong: Is that what he usually does? Takes off when there's trouble?
Gary Wilson: I wouldn't know. I've only seen him a few times, and he's not the friendly type. But if I had to guess, I'd say yes.
Detective Murphy: Are you seeing anyone?
Gary Wilson: Excuse me?
Detective Murphy: Are you dating anyone right now?
Gary Wilson: Detective, I—
Detective Murphy: I'm not asking you out, Mr. Wilson. I'm asking about your life as part of an investigation.
Gary Wilson: Oh, I— of course. No, I'm not seeing anyone right now.
Detective Murphy: Are you, by any chance, interested in someone who was at the party? Is that why you were there?
Gary Wilson: Absolutely not! They're kids, much too young for me to consider— How can you even ask that?
Detective Armstrong: Thank you again for your cooperation tonight, Mr. Wilson. If you think of anything that might help us find out what happened to Blake, please give us a call.
Gary Wilson: Of course. Anything for Blake. Good night, detectives.
Interview ended – 11:37 p.m.