Neal Caine interview
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – 10:45 p.m.
Neal Caine, a member of the Yoknapatawpha Players board, called 911 to report an incident in which Scott Bryant was killed.
He was later transported to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department, where Detectives Magee and Beckwith spoke with him.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Neal Caine
Detective Magee: Mr. Caine?
Neal Caine: That's me.
Detective Magee: I'm Detective Magee, and this is Detective Beckwith. We'd like to ask you some questions about the incident tonight. Could we get your name and address for the record?
Neal Caine: Neal Caine, 445 Turnberry Court, Oxford.
Detective Beckwith: You were the individual that called 911 earlier tonight. Is that right?
Neal Caine: Yes, sir. That's true. When Woody found Scott trapped under the wall after the rehearsal, he ran to get us. He came in screaming, "I need help out here. A piece of the set fell on Scott!"
Detective Beckwith: Okay, slow down a bit here. Who was involved with the rehearsal?
Neal Caine: The crew, the actors, and the board members of the Yoknapatawpha Players.
Detective Magee: Which of these groups, if any, do you belong to?
Neal Caine: I'm on the board. The board members were involved in the rehearsal today because we were standing in as audience members. The play is an immersive play, which means the audience is expected to participate in the play along with the actors.
Detective Beckwith: As a board member, do you work outside the theater?
Neal Caine: Yes. I'm in construction.
Detective Magee: Okay, let's start from the beginning. What time did you get to the warehouse today?
Neal Caine: About 5:30 p.m. The rehearsal started at 6:00 p.m.
Detective Magee: What role did you have in the play?
Neal Caine: Like I said, I was part of the audience. As soon as the play started, we were directed into an army camp and introduced to a soldier who briefed us on a zombie invasion, you know, like a "Walking Dead" sort of thing.
Detective Beckwith: What was the objective of the play?
Neal Caine: The soldier paired me up with Heath Rushing, another board member. We were to assist medical personnel in creating a serum to stop the zombie infection if someone was bitten. Just before we could run to the nearby mobile hospital, the soldier got attacked out of nowhere by a zombie. It was so real that I was splattered with blood.
Detective Magee: What actors were playing the medical personnel?
Neal Caine: Anna Kessler and Janet Weber.
Detective Beckwith: All right, what happened next?
Neal Caine: Our group ran to the camp mortuary.
Detective Beckwith: For what purpose?
Neal Caine: To get a body part that was infected with the zombie virus.
Detective Magee: This is what passes for a play these days? I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what body part?
Neal Caine: An arm with the hand attached. We were only instructed to use a syringe to pull blood out of one of the infected bodies, but Heath, for some reason, just pulled a whole arm off a corpse.
Detective Magee: I guess it could have been worse.
Detective Beckwith: What did you do with this arm?
Neal Caine: We took it to the mobile hospital. There was a sort of research lab set up inside. The doctors claimed that we had to get a sample of the zombie infection from the arm to finish the serum.
Detective Magee: Okay, what happened next?
Neal Caine: Janet Weber's character, the doctor's assistant, shouted out that Heath had been accidentally infected by the arm's blood. She escorted him to the quarantine chamber, which was essentially a booth connected to the north wall.
Detective Beckwith: Did Heath go into the booth willingly?
Neal Caine: Yeah, I think, like me, Heath thought it was just part of this weird play.
Detective Magee: Okay, then what happened?
Neal Caine: Then a group of soldiers came into the lab, telling us to get out the back door, that zombies were coming. I left out the back, and this huge siren went off.
Detective Magee: Siren?
Neal Caine: The zombie alert, I guess.
Detective Beckwith: Did the zombies come at you at this point?
Neal Caine: I'm not sure because the soldier group told all of us to hide when we went outside the lab. I found a vehicle to hide behind at first.
Detective Beckwith: Did anyone hide with you?
Neal Caine: No, I was alone.
Detective Magee: Then what did you do?
Neal Caine: Then the sounds of the zombies fighting the soldier group got louder, so I moved to the back of the camp where a bunch of shelves were.
Detective Beckwith: Did you see anyone there?
Neal Caine: Yes, the actor Kyler Birdsall was there. He was playing a soldier and told me to go through the shelves and pallets to get to an evacuation point.
Detective Magee: Did you follow his instructions?
Neal Caine: Yes. Once all the audience members were at the evacuation point, the doctor and her assistant, now zombies, surprise-attacked us at the evacuation point. Birdsall's character killed them, and the play was over.
Detective Magee: How much time passed before you were made aware that Scott was injured?
Neal Caine: A few minutes, tops.
Detective Beckwith: Who discovered Scott's body?
Neal Caine: Woody, the assistant stage manager. He came running in through a backstage access area, the same place that Anna and Janet attacked us from, and screamed something like, "A piece of the set fell on Scott! I need some help!"
Detective Beckwith: What did you do?
Neal Caine: I ran into the backstage area to see if I could do something.
Detective Magee: What did you see?
Neal Caine: We ran all the way up to the backstage side of the mobile lab. The side of the lab had collapsed on Scott.
Detective Magee: Who ran up to the lab with you?
Neal Caine: Woody, he was in front of us. Then me and Denis Goodman and Erv Cyr.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, so what happened next?
Neal Caine: We lifted the wall off of Scott, and Erv checked to see if he had a pulse. He didn't, so Erv told me to call 911 while he started CPR.
Detective Magee: Did you call 911 right away?
Neal Caine: Yes.
Detective Beckwith: Do you have any idea how the wall collapsed?
Neal Caine: No, when I left the mobile lab part of the set, all the walls were intact.
Detective Magee: What did it look like from the other side before the wall fell?
Neal Caine: The wall was part of that quarantine booth. The booth pulled away from the wall as it fell.
Detective Beckwith: We saw that. Is there anything else you remember about the incident?
Neal Caine: No, after I called 911, y'all came, and the officers told me to go back to the safe point where we ended the play.
Detective Magee: Okay, we're done for now. I trust we can talk again if we have more questions?
Neal Caine: I have no problem with that.
Interview ended – 11:11 p.m.