Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12:30 p.m.
Frank Tuttle worked with Andrea Stover at Oxtales and was her former boyfriend.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Frank Tuttle
Detective Armstrong: Hello, Frank. Thanks for coming in.
Frank Tuttle: Hey, Ted. Long time, no see.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah, we don't get out much these days. Too damn tired to do much of anything on the weekends. Anyhow, you know why you're here. We need to talk with you about Andrea Stover and her death. I know it'll be hard, but any information you can give will help us out a lot.
Frank Tuttle: I got it.
Detective Armstrong: First things first. For the record, can you state your name and address?
Frank Tuttle: Sure. Frank Tuttle, 202 North 14th, Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Let's start with Oxtales Theatre. You work there?
Frank Tuttle: That's right. I'm the stage manager, and I do some acting too.
Detective Murphy: How long have you worked there?
Frank Tuttle: Um, it's been a while now, six, seven years.
Detective Armstrong: How did you first get involved?
Frank Tuttle: I just heard through the grapevine. I really don't remember. There was a job opening, and I applied for it. I was looking to support myself through the arts, so I went for any kind of paying job.
Detective Murphy: This was the stage manager job?
Frank Tuttle: That's right.
Detective Armstrong: And you've been stage manager ever since?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Is that a full-time job?
Frank Tuttle: Nah. I wish! I'd love to be just working creatively all the time.
Detective Murphy: So is it, what, 20 hours a week?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, it is now. It started at 15 and went up to 20 a while ago, maybe about three years ago. But I pretty much spend all my time doing that when I'm not at the day job.
Detective Murphy: The day job is what?
Frank Tuttle: At the college. At the blues archive, that's 15 hours a week.
Detective Armstrong: What about music? Any gigs lately?
Frank Tuttle: Nah. Not enough time. I definitely miss it, though. I've been talking with Tate—you know, from the Kudzu Kings—about maybe jamming with them sometimes.
Detective Murphy: All right. So is Oxtales where you met Ms. Stover?
Frank Tuttle: That's right. I guess you could say that. I mean, I'd seen her around. I'm sure we'd been at the same parties and what have you before then. I didn't talk to her or anything. You know, once you're part of the community here, working in the arts, you kind of start to see the same faces. Maybe you don't know them, but you know who they are.
Detective Murphy: Okay. So the first time you talked with her was at Oxtales?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah. I guess it was the year I started there. She was acting in a show, and then she was appointed director.
Detective Armstrong: How did you get along?
Frank Tuttle: You mean at first?
Detective Armstrong: Sure, start at the beginning.
Frank Tuttle: Um, I guess we got along fine. I really respected her vision right from the beginning, you know? She had a vision and went for it, and I really like that.
Detective Armstrong: So you supported her controversial works?
Frank Tuttle: Totally. For me, the only way to get to the heart of these issues is to subvert the theatrical paradigm, you know, using the shock value of violence and depravity to reinforce broader themes.
Detective Armstrong: Gotcha. You had no problem with nudity?
Frank Tuttle: Uh-uh. I was totally into it. The freedom to just be in the moment with nothing between me and the audience, it was total bodily expression. Really liberating.
Detective Murphy: Okay. So would you say Ms. Stover was easy to work with?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah. I mean, I had no problem with, you know, being part of her vision. I was in service of her vision, and I realized that. You definitely knew that was your role when you worked with her.
Detective Armstrong: So she kept a pretty tight rein on things?
Frank Tuttle: Uh, I wouldn't say that. I mean, she had ideas about everything—the costumes, the lighting, what have you. To my mind, that's great. You want a director with, like, an all-encompassing idea of how the production should be presented. I would say she pushed us all to a higher plane.
Detective Armstrong: All right, sure. What about personally, then? Would you say you were friends?
Frank Tuttle: That's right. It's a pretty small group in terms of staff. There's just me, Dale, Sheila, Ethan, and now Henry the last couple years. And Andrea, of course. So we're all pretty much friends in one way or another, hang out together.
Detective Armstrong: Specifically about Andrea, how would you describe your relationship?
Frank Tuttle: Um, I don't know. She and I got along from the start, and I think I helped her relax. You know, I tend to clown around and joke, and I think she liked that.
Detective Murphy: Were you romantically involved?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, at one point. I guess it was a few years ago. We dated for a couple of years, but it was pretty casual in terms of commitment.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean by casual?
Frank Tuttle: What, like did we sleep together?
Detective Armstrong: For starters.
Frank Tuttle: Well, yeah.
Detective Armstrong: And was this exclusive? Were you thinking about getting serious?
Frank Tuttle: No. Andrea's a very liberated person. She likes freedom, and so it wasn't her top priority. She wasn't like some other women who want a ring after six months, like, want you to settle down and get a 9:00-to-5:00 job. No way. And that suited me fine. I mean, what else could a guy ask for—a lot of sex and no commitment, right?
Detective Armstrong: So the relationship wasn't exclusive?
Frank Tuttle: Um, I guess I would say we were monogamous, but we didn't talk about it. It was just that we were seeing so much of each other, there wasn't time for anyone else. But we weren't living together or anything.
Detective Murphy: How did you get along at work when you were dating?
Frank Tuttle: Fine. No problems.
Detective Murphy: Did it cause problems with the group?
Frank Tuttle: Uh-uh. It wasn't like she played favorites.
Detective Murphy: Was she dating anyone else in the group at the time?
Frank Tuttle: Uh, no. Not that she told me, and I believed her. She was like that—honest. She didn't sneak around in terms of other men. She told me whatever I asked. I always knew where I stood. I… I'm sorry. It's tough, you know?
Detective Murphy: Of course. Just take your time. You ready? All right. Were you still seeing each other at the time Ms. Stover died?
Frank Tuttle: No, I wouldn't say that. We tailed off a few years ago. We didn't break up or anything, but Andrea was ready for a change. She wanted to spend time with other people. I mean, we didn't have a big relationship discussion or any of that crap, you know? She just told me she didn't want to be too serious. She wanted some space, so that's how it happened. It was natural.
Detective Armstrong: What about you? How did you feel about that?
Frank Tuttle: Um, well, like I said, that suited me fine. We still got together off and on, pretty regularly, in fact.
Detective Murphy: What about when she was incarcerated and after her release? Were you involved romantically during that time?
Frank Tuttle: Well, obviously, when she was locked up, we weren't seeing each other. I mean, I visited her maybe once a month, but it wasn't dating. We were mainly just catching up.
Detective Armstrong: What about after she got out?
Frank Tuttle: After she got out … right. I guess I'd say we were back to the casual thing. We got together once. It was a nice weekend. We were getting back in touch spiritually and sexually. We had some beautiful moments, really exquisite.
Detective Armstrong: So you were seeing each other?
Frank Tuttle: I guess you could say that, but we got together just that one time.
Detective Murphy: So it sounds like you were pretty invested in her work. You gave her your full support. You were in a relationship, and she was the one backing off. Isn't it fair to say you were in love with her, and maybe she wasn't returning the feeling?
Frank Tuttle: No. Not at all. I wouldn't say that. Like I said, I was a happy man. The sex was great. What more can you ask for?
Detective Murphy: Would you say you were more serious than she was?
Frank Tuttle: No. You know, I've been seeing other people, so it's not like anything was a one-way street. It was a balance.
Detective Armstrong: Who else were you seeing?
Frank Tuttle: Sheila and I got together. She and I are seeing each other.
Detective Murphy: Sheila is who?
Frank Tuttle: Sheila Love, she's an actress, really the main actress. She and I got involved, I don't know, maybe in late 2020.
Detective Murphy: Sheila is with Oxtales too?
Frank Tuttle: That's right.
Detective Murphy: So you said late 2020. That would have been after Ms. Stover was in prison?
Frank Tuttle: I guess so, uh-huh.
Detective Murphy: And you're still dating?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: What about when Andrea was released? How did she feel about you and Sheila?
Frank Tuttle: Uh, like I said, she didn't care.
Detective Armstrong: She knew about it?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, I told her.
Detective Armstrong: And she didn't care?
Frank Tuttle: No.
Detective Murphy: And do you care that she didn't care?
Frank Tuttle: What do you mean by that? Because I already said, I was completely fine with our situation.
Detective Murphy: And what about Sheila? Did she know you'd dated Andrea?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah. Everyone knew. It's a small group.
Detective Murphy: So how did she feel about Andrea coming back?
Frank Tuttle: She didn't say anything to me about it. She's not the jealous type anyway.
Detective Murphy: Did you tell Sheila you were seeing Andrea?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, it was all above board. I told her we just had to see where it was going. I wanted to be open to whatever experiences lay ahead. Live in the moment.
Detective Murphy: I see. So since Andrea's release, you've been dating both of them?
Frank Tuttle: That's right. You could say that.
Detective Armstrong: What about Andrea? Did she mention seeing anyone else romantically since her return?
Frank Tuttle: No. She didn't mention anything.
Detective Armstrong: All right then. Let's talk a little about "Snopes." What was it about?
Frank Tuttle: It was a multimedia piece about Faulkner, the local author. In the story, he had an affair with a black girl, his nanny's daughter. So the piece was about interracial relationships and the social taboos against that. It was radical, deeply radical.
Detective Armstrong: Well, a lot of people thought it was radical for the sex scenes.
Frank Tuttle: Right. So, like, that's what I was talking about in terms of using shock value to make a bigger point. The dance choreography was suggestive, for sure. That was meant to shock the audience, to make them question their reaction and whether the shock was about blacks and whites being together sexually or just the sex itself or what.
Detective Armstrong: Uh-huh. And you supported staging this?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: What was your involvement with the three minors involved?
Frank Tuttle: Minors? Oh, the kids, right. Well, I don't know exactly how they came to be involved, but they wanted to volunteer, and doing backstage work was where we needed the help. The acting was all taken care of at that point. So I worked with all of them, showing them the ropes. Mark was really into it. The others, I think, tagged along more for fun.
Detective Murphy: You know Mark's last name?
Frank Tuttle: Gable. He's still around. Not on staff, but he's done some acting a couple of times, and I sometimes get him to do the sound.
Detective Murphy: How old is he now?
Frank Tuttle: Uh, he graduated last year. He's at the college now, so he must be 19, 20. I haven't asked, but he's on his own, got a place and all that.
Detective Armstrong: All right. So they were under your direction backstage?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah. Look, I want to be helpful here, but we've kind of been over all this, right? I mean, that case is closed.
Detective Armstrong: We aren't looking to prosecute further in that case. You don't need to worry about that. We just need to ask a couple more questions about it to get a better understanding of what went on.
Frank Tuttle: Okay, got it. Hey, like I said, I'm trying to help, but, you know, I don't want to stir up trouble.
Detective Murphy: Right. So you were supervising the boys. Did you encourage them to get involved in terms of the sex acts?
Frank Tuttle: Well, they weren't sex acts. It was a choreographed dance routine. But no, they weren't involved. They were really just learning the tech stuff.
Detective Armstrong: When you were arrested, you pleaded guilty and were sentenced to community service work. Why did you go that route?
Frank Tuttle: You mean rather than fighting it? Um, I guess for me, I wanted to get it behind me. I was so sick of the publicity and all that. I thought it would be good to get it over with and move on, get back to work. I remember doing the I-Ching, and I came up with Retreat.
Detective Armstrong: What does that mean?
Frank Tuttle: Quote: "It is of great importance that you do not confront or struggle with opposing forces and become involved in a futile situation." So it seemed better to get back to making art instead of fighting in court. I wanted to turn around the negative energy pointed at us and deflect it right back into creating more art.
Detective Murphy: And Andrea? She fought the charges.
Frank Tuttle: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: How did you feel about that?
Frank Tuttle: Well, um, I was worried about how it would all turn out. I just felt like the forces against us were pretty dark and powerful, and sometimes the thing to do is to let the darkness win and wait for morning.
Detective Murphy: So you didn't support her fighting the charges?
Frank Tuttle: I told her, "I'm your friend. I'm here for you. Whatever you want to do, I'll be here for you." But I also told her I didn't think she could win.
Detective Murphy: Did you argue about that?
Frank Tuttle: Nah, I wouldn't say that. We were trying to decide what to do is all, and we took separate paths. She was under more pressure. There was more coverage so I can understand she felt a duty for her art to make a stand. I just didn't think it would turn out well. I guess maybe it was fate.
Detective Armstrong: Did she talk about the media coverage from the trial?
Frank Tuttle: Sure, we all did. It was awful. Like I said, the forces of darkness.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean by that?
Frank Tuttle: Well, like, for example, Penelope Young. You definitely feel she stood to benefit from others' misfortune. She thrives on negative energy.
Detective Armstrong: Was she the only force of darkness you were worried about?
Frank Tuttle: No. That group from Oxford concerned parents or whatever, they were on our case for pornography, but their hatred was more evil than anything we could have staged. How can people hate art so much, be so threatened? I don't get it, you know? It's a play. It's ideas. This is a free society, and that's what it's about—creating ideas, exploring ideas, asking questions.
Detective Murphy: What about since Andrea returned?
Frank Tuttle: Well, she mentioned the flyer, of course. It was being handed around all over town. Otherwise, we didn't talk about it.
Detective Murphy: Which flyer?
Frank Tuttle: The one those concerned parents people made about her. Talk about spreading evil.
Detective Armstrong: Did she ever mention any threats?
Frank Tuttle: No. I bet there were some, but maybe she wanted to shut them out and move on. I don't know, but we really didn't talk about it much.
Detective Armstrong: She didn't talk about her sex offender registration?
Frank Tuttle: Um, no, never mentioned it.
Detective Armstrong: Didn't talk about her probation officer?
Frank Tuttle: Uh-uh. Nothing. She really wanted to move on and get back to the art, I think.
Detective Murphy: All right then, let's talk about Oxtales and what that was like when Andrea returned. What happened exactly? She came back and got her old job back?
Frank Tuttle: Pretty much. There wasn't any question about that as far as I can tell. She just brings so much energy and creativity to the group. It was great to have her back.
Detective Murphy: You're saying the group suffered while she was away?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, of course, we all missed her and worried about her.
Detective Murphy: But artistically speaking, was there a drop in quality?
Frank Tuttle: I wouldn't say that, no. It was different, is all. Dale's vision is on a different track in terms of being more political than Andrea's. To me, it's like they each bring something to the table, and their creative forces combined are really powerful.
Detective Armstrong: You got some pretty good reviews last year.
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, "Black Boy in the Closet." Like I said, it's not, like, about quality. It's a different style, is all.
Detective Armstrong: All right. So, seeing as how Dale's vision was different from Andrea's, did he seem upset about having her back?
Frank Tuttle: No, totally not at all.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't notice any change in his attitude?
Frank Tuttle: He didn't say anything, but he's a pretty quiet guy. He keeps to himself in terms of emotions. I guess he was a little moody, but he gets that way sometimes. Just seems to give off, like, a negative vibe. But he and Andrea were right back to working together like always.
Detective Armstrong: What was that like exactly? How did they work together?
Frank Tuttle: Well, like, for example, Andrea would make decisions about the blocking for a scene, and then he would maybe suggest a couple of changes, and they would talk those out and come up with a synthesis.
Detective Murphy: So they argued?
Frank Tuttle: I wouldn't say that, no. I guess, to me, he was coming from a different tangent, but the goal was the same, and they ended up with a creative solution that was better than where they started. It's like they were on a journey together.
Detective Murphy: Did Andrea ever mention being angry with Dale? In your words, she had an all-encompassing idea of how things should be.
Frank Tuttle: Right, but like, that didn't mean she wouldn't listen to anyone else. She could work with suggestions. I mean, sure, every once in a while, we would talk about him, about his ideas, but it wasn't about anger. It was more like a discussion of abstract ideas, his theory of art and hers, and how, like, they could come together.
Detective Murphy: Did you agree with her opinions of Dale's ideas?
Frank Tuttle: I mean, sometimes I thought his ideas were pretty good, and I would say so, and we'd talk about it. I guess sometimes she was frustrated at first, but it would always end up being productive, discussing where to go next, and so to me, that's positive energy.
Detective Murphy: Was there any conflict about nudity? Maybe taking it down a notch in terms of controversy?
Frank Tuttle: Um, no, I wouldn't say that. I guess, to me, I'd say it was an ongoing discussion about the direction the group would take, where we wanted to be artistically. But it wasn't conflict like people were shouting or throwing things. It was all positive to my mind.
Detective Murphy: Did Andrea have much contact with Dale outside the group? Did they see each other socially?
Frank Tuttle: No, not that I know of. I'm pretty sure they saw enough of each other at work, you know?
Detective Murphy: What about Dale? Are you and he friends?
Frank Tuttle: I wouldn't say friends. We do hang out together, but I don't know him too well personally. Like I said, he's a quiet guy.
Detective Murphy: What about the other members of the group? Sheila? How did she and Andrea get along?
Frank Tuttle: Um, as far as I could tell, everything was fine.
Detective Murphy: Sheila wasn't angry?
Frank Tuttle: No. She got along fine with Andrea. She really appreciated the opportunity to be part of a high-profile group.
Detective Armstrong: She didn't say anything to you in private about being angry or upset with Andrea?
Frank Tuttle: Uh-uh.
Detective Murphy: She wasn't jealous of Andrea, given your history with her?
Frank Tuttle: Like I said, no. She didn't say anything to me.
Detective Murphy: All right. What about the other members of the group? You mentioned Ethan. Who's that?
Frank Tuttle: Ethan, he's the playwright. Ethan Lewiston.
Detective Armstrong: How did he and Andrea get along?
Frank Tuttle: Fine as far as I know.
Detective Armstrong: He didn't have any problems with Andrea's management style?
Frank Tuttle: No. I mean, she'd want him to rewrite scenes every so often, but she totally respected his work, and he knew that. They had a really positive relationship in that way, kind of like Andrea and Dale.
Detective Armstrong: Was there conflict?
Frank Tuttle: There were artistic differences, sure. But I see that as all positive.
Detective Armstrong: Ethan never mentioned being angry with her?
Frank Tuttle: No way. Look, we're all professionals, you know. It's not like we're going to beat each other up over a scene. Art is about ideas—tolerating and nurturing ideas, not tearing them down. We could have artistic differences and still be friends.
Detective Murphy: Were Ethan and Andrea friends?
Frank Tuttle: Sure. Um, I mean, we'd go out after rehearsals, go for drinks, that kind of thing. I don't know if they were friends outside that context, but they got along.
Detective Murphy: Okay. And what about Henry? Who is that?
Frank Tuttle: Henry Jackson, he's the lead actor. Young guy.
Detective Murphy: How did he get along with Andrea?
Frank Tuttle: Great.
Detective Murphy: No artistic differences, as you call them?
Frank Tuttle: No. He's pretty serious. He liked the material. It's challenging to really bring out all the facets of Andrea's work. He's a little cocky sometimes, but he really liked working for her.
Detective Armstrong: Cocky in what way?
Frank Tuttle: Um, just that he's definitely an up-and-comer. You know? He wants to make it in terms of acting, being a star, and so he loved being in the spotlight. That's all.
Detective Murphy: Was Owen Norris around at all after Andrea returned?
Frank Tuttle: No. I think he stopped by once just to say hello, but he didn't stay or watch rehearsals or anything.
Detective Armstrong: Anything unusual you noticed about him?
Frank Tuttle: You mean unusual by normal standards or unusual for Owen? He's a pretty unusual guy already.
Detective Armstrong: Unusual for Owen.
Frank Tuttle: No, not at all. I think he was just, you know, thrilled to have Andrea back.
Detective Armstrong: Tell us about the play you were working on.
Frank Tuttle: Sure. It's called "The Trees." It's a really political work about the incestuous nature of local politics: big business and corporate interests in bed with the politicians.
Detective Armstrong: Is it sexually explicit?
Frank Tuttle: Well, that was still up in the air. We definitely wanted to give it an edge, for sure.
Detective Armstrong: Are you still working on it?
Frank Tuttle: No, not now. We haven't been back to rehearse yet. It's been a little hard for everyone. Dale hasn't called rehearsals yet.
Detective Armstrong: Will it still be produced?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, I guess so. It's just going to be hard … without Andrea. She was … such a creative force. God, this is really hard to talk about.
Detective Murphy: Dale is in charge of the production now?
Frank Tuttle: That's right.
Detective Armstrong: How will that work out?
Frank Tuttle: I guess it will be fine. He definitely has ideas, a vision of how to move forward … so I would say we're still planning to go for it. It just won't be the same.
Detective Murphy: Is Dale going to be the director from here on out?
Frank Tuttle: I imagine so, yeah.
Detective Murphy: How do you feel about that?
Frank Tuttle: Well, I guess it will be … a change in direction. I'm sorry. I just miss her vitality. It's kind of tough.
Detective Armstrong: I know. Take your time.
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, thanks. So, yeah, I think we'll definitely be fine with Dale. Like I said, it's just a different vision. A different way of looking at things, at the material. But he and Ethan get along fine—we all do—so we'll be able to move on.
Detective Armstrong: All right. I know it's going to be difficult, but we need to talk about the night Andrea died. What happened? You were all at rehearsal, I gather. When was that?
Frank Tuttle: Right, rehearsal started around 1:00 p.m. It takes a while for everyone to get there and get started, but we worked pretty much straight through until 5:30 p.m. or so. We brought potluck so we didn't, you know, have to go out, and we could just keep the focus going. Plus, you know, it's kind of a nice way to be together, coming together over a meal.
Detective Armstrong: What did you eat?
Frank Tuttle: I don't know. I hardly remember. Dale's a terrific cook. He brought dessert, and Sheila made her big Caesar salad. Andrea brought a casserole, which I'm sure her mom made since Andrea's not really the casserole type. I did a vegetarian Madras curry and, um, there was soup and homemade bread.
Detective Murphy: Did you drink alcohol?
Frank Tuttle: No, we still needed to keep working. We just had water, or I guess some people had Cokes from the machine.
Detective Armstrong: How was the rehearsal going?
Frank Tuttle: Well, I guess it was fine. We were just trying to work through the third scene and talking about the direction to take.
Detective Armstrong: And over dinner, what did you talk about?
Frank Tuttle: Oh, nothing much, I guess. We talked about the food and recipes, and things like that. But we didn't talk much. Ethan went outside to smoke a cigarette. We all just had some down time.
Detective Armstrong: What happened after dinner?
Frank Tuttle: Um, we just picked up where we left off, but we didn't make it too far. We weren't seeing the path toward resolution of the scene. So after a few hours of back and forth, Andrea just decided to call it a night.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of back and forth?
Frank Tuttle: You know, between her and Dale and Ethan about the staging and dialogue. They were all bringing different viewpoints to the table, and it just seemed like they were stuck in a rut, so there wasn't much point.
Detective Murphy: Did this kind of thing happen often?
Frank Tuttle: Sure, sometimes. It wasn't a constant thing, but it's part of the process. It's part of the nature of collaborative work.
Detective Murphy: So what time did rehearsal break up?
Frank Tuttle: I guess it was around 9:30 p.m.
Detective Armstrong: Did you go directly home?
Frank Tuttle: No. Dale and Sheila and I went to Murff's Tavern.
Detective Armstrong: Andrea didn't come with you?
Frank Tuttle: No, she wanted to spend some time on her own. I'd actually been hoping we'd go home together, but she didn't want that.
Detective Armstrong: Were you angry about that?
Frank Tuttle: No, totally not at all. Of course, now, looking back, I'm thinking if she had … this wouldn't have happened, you know?
Detective Armstrong: Meaning what?
Frank Tuttle: Well, just that … whatever happened to her … wouldn't have, because she wouldn't have been there in that place. God, this is hard.
Detective Armstrong: We're nearly done. Just a few more questions. Did she leave with the rest of you?
Frank Tuttle: Um, no. When we left, she was still there. Everyone else was gone.
Detective Murphy: Did she mention she was going to Oxford Centre?
Frank Tuttle: No, not at all. She didn't say where she was going.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why she might have gone there?
Frank Tuttle: Not really, no. She was thinking it would be a good space for "The Trees," so maybe she wanted to check it out, but otherwise no. She didn't really like heights. I don't know what she was doing up there.
Detective Murphy: She was afraid of heights?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah. Years ago when we first got together, she showed me some poetry she'd written once about vertigo and falling and said she couldn't stand skyscrapers. That's why she didn't ever want to go to New York. It wasn't awful or anything. It's not like she couldn't walk up a flight of stairs, you know. It just wasn't something she did every day. But I guess she would have done it if it was for work, for her vision, you know?
Detective Murphy: So the last time you saw her was at rehearsal?
Frank Tuttle: Yeah, that's right. I still can't believe it.
Detective Murphy: Do you need a moment, Frank?
Frank Tuttle: No, go ahead. I want to finish this.
Detective Murphy: Okay. You've talked a lot about the theatre group and the staff. Was there anyone else in Andrea's life, other friends or family, who you knew?
Frank Tuttle: Sure. There's Gretchen, of course, and Andrea's parents. I only met Andrea's parents once or twice.
Detective Murphy: Do you know Gretchen's last name?
Frank Tuttle: Sure, it's Doyle.
Detective Murphy: And what about her? How did you know her?
Frank Tuttle: Oh, I met her a few times. A couple of times, the three of us went out. She's Andrea's best friend, not a theatre person at all.
Detective Murphy: Was she connected with Oxtales in any way?
Frank Tuttle: No, not at all. She's not a theatre type like I said. Pretty quiet. I don't think she even came to any cast parties or anything. She wasn't into the social scene here. Her energy was definitely introverted. Like, she wasn't self-centered or anything, but she didn't, you know, need to be the center of attention. She didn't need anything from you—praise, anything. Self-sufficient is, I guess, what I'd call it.
Detective Murphy: What was her relationship with Andrea like?
Frank Tuttle: Well, um, I only met her a few times, but it seemed like she was a good balance for Andrea. You know? Like she seemed like a good listener and Andrea liked that, I guess. Liked having someone who didn't have their own bullshit to bring to the conversation.
Detective Murphy: Do you know anything else about her or her relationship with Andrea?
Frank Tuttle: Um, what else? I mean, Gretchen's smart, and she appreciated Andrea's art. I could tell that. She really admired Andrea for the work she did. Andrea talked about her a lot, just in terms of mentioning what she was up to, like if she won an award for her design work or whatever. She didn't really go into what they talked about together or anything. It was like their sacred private circle. They were totally in touch.
Detective Murphy: Were they lovers?
Frank Tuttle: No, not since I've known Andrea. She mentioned once they'd experimented in college, but that was it as far as I know.
Detective Armstrong: Any other friends of Andrea's you know of?
Frank Tuttle: Not really, no. We were so closely tied in with the group. I mean, there were acquaintances we'd see at social events, other shows, what have you. But it wasn't like there was anyone else she hung out with regularly, that I can tell.
Detective Murphy: All right. One final question: is there anyone out there who might have wanted to do Andrea harm? Any enemies?
Frank Tuttle: No, not really. I mean, like I said, there are some pretty dark forces at work in terms of the COP people. I feel like they have a lot of hate. But no, I don't see that. I can't see how anyone would kill over that … over art. Art is about love, opening communication and sharing other visions, other worlds. It's not an act of hate. I just … don't understand it.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any theories as to who killed her?
Frank Tuttle: No. I try not to think about it. It's just so … awful. I try to find some kind of message in it, some way to accept what's happened and move forward. I don't know. Right now, though … I can't. I just … look, can we stop for now?
Detective Armstrong: Sure, Frank. Thanks for taking the time. If you think of anything else, will you call us?
Frank Tuttle: Sure.
Interview ended – 1:31 p.m.