Slender balding man with dark hair

Dale King interview #3

Sunday, March 6, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.

Dale King was the assistant director of Oxtales Theatre when Andrea Stover was alive. He came to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department with his attorney, Rex Mickles.

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


Detective Armstrong: For the record, Mr. Dale King voluntarily appeared at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department this morning accompanied by his attorney, Rex Mickles, and he wishes to make a voluntary statement. Will you please state your name and address for the record?

Dale King: Dale King. 2162 S. Lamar Blvd., Oxford, Mississippi.

Detective Armstrong: And you wish to make a statement. Is that correct?

Dale King: Yes. I guess so.

Detective Armstrong: I thought you had definitely decided you wanted to volunteer a statement about the death of Andrea Stover.

Dale King: But that's just it. I didn't kill her! I had no part in her death at the Oxford Centre. I didn't even know she was going there.

Detective Murphy: It's okay, Mr. King. Just take your time, and tell us what you want us to know. We're here to listen.

Dale King: I know you found some rhubarb leaves in the back of my pantry. I admit I made some rhubarb bars with the leaves in them and gave them to Andrea the night of the potluck. I know rhubarb leaves are poisonous, so I dried some, ground them up, and put them in the bars without nuts that I made especially for her.

Detective Murphy: Were you hoping to poison her, Mr. King?

Dale King: I'd had it with the wreckage she was making of Oxtales. I couldn't stand by and let her do that again. It took so much work to heal the mess she made with "Snopes," and now she wanted to do it again with "Trees" — and stupid Owen was going to let her. I should have poisoned him too.

Rex Mickles: Careful, Dale. I know you want to clear this up, but I caution you not to say too much. And don't say anything you don't want to be on the record.

Dale King: I'm so sick of this whole mess. I gave Andrea the rhubarb bars with the leaves in them, but I didn't kill her!

Detective Murphy: But you wanted her dead, didn't you? And you intended for the rhubarb bars to poison her?

Dale King: Okay, yes. But she was alive when she went to Oxford Centre, so I didn't kill her. Someone else beat me to it. And besides, I know now that I couldn't have killed her with the dosage I gave her.

Detective Armstrong: Unfortunately, Mr. King, the intent was there. You'll probably have to face attempted murder charges.

Dale King: I know, I know. I understand that. But I had nothing to do with her falling and dying. I could never resort to that kind of violence. And won't it count for something that I came in voluntarily?

Detective Murphy: We'll have to see what the District Attorney says about that, Mr. King.

Detective Armstrong: You don't think dying from poison is violent?

Dale King: It's not like bleeding to death.

Detective Armstrong: Well, that's beside the point, I guess. Tell us how you kept from poisoning the whole Oxtales bunch at the potluck.

Dale King: I made two batches of rhubarb bars: one with nuts for the rest of the company and one for Andrea without the nuts. Then I told them there was something extra in their batch.

Detective Murphy: Spell it out for us, Mr. King.

Dale King: I didn't exactly say it, but they got the message that there was marijuana in theirs. They actually claimed their batch tasted great. I didn't have any trouble getting them to stay away from Andrea's bars.

Detective Murphy: How did you manage that?

Dale King: I only made a few for Andrea, and I made a big batch for the rest of the group. That way, I figured anyone who sneaked one of hers would look like they were stealing from her. I kept a close watch on her plate of bars, but no one else went near them.

Detective Murphy: How did you add the leaves into the batter?

Dale King: I ground them up and put them in with the rhubarb.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember how many leaves you used?

Dale King: Probably not more than three or four. I didn't want to use too many because it might change the flavor. And, of course, I was afraid to taste them, so I had to guess.

Detective Murphy: Did you want her dead, Mr. King?

Dale King: I just wanted her gone. I wished she'd disappear, but I knew that wasn't realistic.

Detective Murphy: Why did you want her to disappear?

Dale King: I just couldn't stand what she was doing to the company again. All my work was going in the toilet, and Oxtales would be a laughing stock again. I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to do something.

Detective Armstrong: How long had you been planning her death?

Dale King: Why do you have to put it like that? I wasn't planning her death.

Detective Armstrong: You were just planning her disappearance.

Dale King: Yes, exactly. I came up with the idea earlier that week as I was watering my indoor plant—which, by the way, I hope you're taking care of now that you've impounded it.

Detective Armstrong: We're on top of it. Go on.

Dale King: I remembered my dad telling me the leaves were poisonous, so I cut a few off the plant and set them aside to dry to use for the potluck. I wasn't sure it would work, but I figured it was worth a try, so I just did it. I guess I didn't really think it through. I'm not sorry she's out of my life, but the way she died … how horrible.

Detective Murphy: Were the rhubarb leaves the only poison you used?

Dale King: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Did you put any type of poison in Ms. Stover's food or drink at any other time?

Dale King: No, I didn't.

Detective Murphy: Did you decide to do this before or after you and Ms. Stover argued and she left you the note?

Dale King: What note?

Detective Murphy: You know what we're talking about.

Rex Mickles: You don't have to say anything, Dale.

Dale King: That's okay. It's no secret that Andrea and I were in serious opposition over the direction Oxtales was taking. She left me a note after rehearsal the Monday evening before she died, saying we needed to talk.

Detective Murphy: Did you?

Dale King: We spoke on the phone, yes, later that night. It was about a week before she died.

Detective Murphy: Tell us about that conversation.

Dale King: We were perfectly cordial, although we didn't really come to a resolution. In fact, she was essentially saying it was her way or the highway. I can't say the idea came to me at that moment, but it was shortly thereafter—Tuesday or Wednesday—that I set aside the leaves.

Rex Mickles: I wouldn't go any further, Dale. Detectives, let's leave it at that for now until my client and I have time to discuss the matter further.

Detective Armstrong: All right. Now, Mr. King, tell us again about your movements on the night Andrea died.

Dale King: I've told you over and over. I went to Murff's with Frank and Sheila after the rehearsal. I left Murff's around midnight and went straight home, and then I talked to my brother, Rob, on the phone around 12:25 a.m. We both checked, and our phone bills show that. Doesn't that prove I wasn't near Oxford Centre? Anyway, after the phone call, I went to bed.

Detective Armstrong: Do you have a cell phone, Mr. King?

Dale King: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: So you could've been on the phone with your brother and at Oxford Centre, couldn't you?

Dale King: You don't think my brother would've noticed if I was killing someone while I was on the phone with him?

Detective Armstrong: He's your brother. He might be inclined to cover for you.

Rex Mickles: My client has answered all the questions he intends to for today, Detective Armstrong.

Detective Murphy: Do either of you have anything you want to add, Mr. King? Mr. Mickles?

Rex Mickles: Yes, for the record, I would like to reiterate that Mr. King requested to come here to the sheriff's office today to make a voluntary statement, which should be considered when any charges are contemplated.

Detective Murphy: Thank you, Mr. Mickles. Nonetheless, Mr. King, we need to book you now.

Dale King: I understand.

Interview ended – 10:27 a.m.