Man with reddish-brown hair in a sporting goods store

Lyle Nelson interview #2

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 – 11:00 a.m.

Lyle Nelson is the owner of the Happy Hunter store and was a friend of Frederick Miller's.

Detective Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Lyle Nelson

Detective Murphy: Thank you for taking the time to stop by the department, Mr. Nelson.

Lyle Nelson: No problem, Officer Murphy. What else do you need to know?

Detective Murphy: Well, first of all, it’s Detective, not Officer.

Lyle Nelson: Oh, no. My apologies…. Detective. Sometimes I can be so clueless.

Detective Murphy: Before we get started, would you give your name and address for the record, please?

Lyle Nelson: Sure thing. I'm Lyle Nelson, and I live at 302 Dogwood Drive.

Detective Murphy: Let’s talk about Marc Huddleston. Did Frederick ever talk about Marc?

Lyle Nelson: Marc comes into the Happy Hunter all the time. One of the best archers I’ve ever seen.

Detective Murphy: Good enough to make the shot that took down your friend?

Lyle Nelson: It would take an expert to make that shot, and Marc does have the skills.

Detective Murphy: Did Frederick ever mention Marc as someone who made his job difficult?

Lyle Nelson: He followed a strict code of not naming names when it came to his students.

Detective Murphy: Marc wasn't just Frederick's student, though, was he? He was also the kid dating Frederick's daughter.

Lyle Nelson: Not anymore, he wasn't, but even if he was, Fred still wouldn't have said anything about him as a student.

Detective Murphy: Last time we talked, you said Frederick told you he thought one of his students was cheating. Did he ever say if Marc was involved in that?

Lyle Nelson: Once again, Frederick never said outright who the student was, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I can see Marc as the type to bend the rules to get what he wants. Not enough to kill someone but certainly enough to cheat on a test.

Detective Murphy: A few people have told us that Frederick had an argument with a student who wouldn’t take off his hat. Did he mention it to you?

Lyle Nelson: No, but that doesn’t surprise me. That’s something that he would get mad at. He was always saying how disrespectful kids were.

Detective Murphy: He never said if this student was Marc?

Lyle Nelson: Nope.

Detective Murphy: We've also been told that Frederick had a gambling problem.

Lyle Nelson: You’re kidding me.

Detective Murphy: We’re just going on the information we’ve heard. Do you know anything about that?

Lyle Nelson: Jeez, and I’m sure people have been talking like they don’t have anything else better to do in this town.

Detective Murphy: What do you know about Frederick’s gambling habits?

Lyle Nelson: We had friendly wagers.

Detective Murphy: What do you mean by friendly?

Lyle Nelson: Small amounts of money. It was all in good fun, nothing serious.

Detective Murphy: What do you consider a small amount?

Lyle Nelson: Twenty to fifty bucks tops.

Detective Murphy: That amount could add up over time, right?

Lyle Nelson: Well, it could, but he was usually good about paying up. And so was I.

Detective Murphy: Did he owe you any money when he died?

Lyle Nelson: Yeah, he did, but it was no big deal.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember how much?

Lyle Nelson: I can’t recall the exact amount, but I wasn’t worried about it.

Detective Murphy: What did you usually bet on?

Lyle Nelson: Sports.

Detective Murphy: What kind?

Lyle Nelson: Any kind. Football, basketball, baseball, you name it.

Detective Murphy: Did the two of you have any sort of ongoing conflicts because of gambling?

Lyle Nelson: No, we just joked about it all the time like, “Hey, If you don’t pay up, I’m going to get some of my goons to shake you down.” We liked to bust each other’s chops.

Detective Murphy: Did you ever call him at the church?

Lyle Nelson: Oh yeah. I’d leave him messages all the time like, “You better pay up!” It was hilarious.

Detective Murphy: Was there anyone who gambled with you guys? Someone who might take gambling debts a bit more seriously?

Lyle Nelson: I don’t think so. As far as I know, Fred didn’t bet with anyone else. I think it was just our thing. He never mentioned anybody else.

Detective Murphy: Have you ever used violence to solve problems, Mr. Nelson?

Lyle Nelson: No.

Detective Murphy: What do you think would push someone over the edge to kill a person?

Lyle Nelson: Uncontrolled anger. And I’m sure some sick people just enjoy killing.

Detective Murphy: But you’re a hunter, right? You must like killing at a certain level.

Lyle Nelson: I’m offended by what you’re implying. Yes, finally placing the aim on a buck you’ve been tracking all day is exciting, but it’s a sport. And last time I checked, not even close to murdering someone.

Detective Murphy: I’m sorry, Mr. Nelson. I’m not trying to insult you.

Lyle Nelson: Okay, then. Is there anything else you need to know?

Detective Murphy: We've heard some rumors that Caroline was having an affair. Do you know anything about that?

Lyle Nelson: As I said, people in this town do like to talk. It’s just a bunch of malarkey.

Detective Murphy: Frederick never said anything to you about it?

Lyle Nelson: He never mentioned it. If Fred thought that his wife cheating, I’m sure I would have heard all about it.

Detective Murphy: And you never told him about it, even though you'd heard the rumors about his wife and he was supposedly your good friend?

Lyle Nelson: He was my good friend, and that's exactly why I didn't tell him. I wasn't going to get him all worked up about a bunch of lies.

Detective Murphy: Did he get worked up over his wife a lot?

Lyle Nelson: No. Why would he?

Detective Murphy: You never gave him any reason to be suspicious about what she was doing, where she was spending her time or their money?

Lyle Nelson: No. Why would I do that?

Detective Murphy: Okay, Mr. Nelson. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap things up today?

Lyle Nelson: No, Detective, I can’t really think of anything else.

Detective Murphy: All right then. We'll be in touch if we need anything else. Thanks again for coming in.

Lyle Nelson: You’re welcome.

Interview ended – 11:22 a.m.


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