Will Sands interview
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – 3:00 p.m.
Will Sands is a longtime bartender at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill, where Gretchen Doyle and Andrea Stover met the night Andrea died.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Will Sands
Detective Armstrong: Good to see you, Will. Thanks for stopping by this afternoon.
Will Sands: You know me. Always happy to help.
Detective Murphy: It's been a while. Do you still know the drill?
Will Sands: Oh yeah. Will Sands, 1002 College Hill.
Detective Armstrong: You heard what happened to Andrea Stover?
Will Sands: Hard not to. Everybody's talking about it. She came in the night it happened, you know. She was a nice lady. Real shame what happened to her.
Detective Murphy: Did she come in alone that night?
Will Sands: Nah, she came in with her friend, Gretchen.
Detective Murphy: You know Gretchen too?
Will Sands: She comes in from time to time, enough for me to know her drink, not enough to be on a last name basis.
Detective Murphy: How often did Andrea come in?
Will Sands: Maybe once a week the last month or so.
Detective Murphy: Did she come in alone or with someone?
Will Sands: She came in with Gretchen a few times. Maybe once by herself but she didn't stay long.
Detective Murphy: Does Gretchen usually come in on her own or with friends?
Will Sands: She comes in alone a fair amount. She strikes me as the quiet type, you know, not afraid to spend an evening on her own. Otherwise, she came in with Andrea a few times like I said.
Detective Murphy: Does Gretchen ever come in with anyone else?
Will Sands: Could be. Nobody that stands out.
Detective Murphy: Did she ever mention any of her friends to you?
Will Sands: No, she's never been much for talking about herself that I know of. She always asks about me, how I'm doing, things like that, but she's not one for sharing her woes across the bar.
Detective Murphy: Gretchen has woes?
Will Sands: Everyone has woes, Sam. Besides bartenders, no one knows that better than you folks.
Detective Murphy: Truer words…
Detective Armstrong: Gretchen ever say anything to you about her love life?
Will Sands: Not really.
Detective Armstrong: Not really?
Will Sands: Well, come to think of it, she did mention a few times about her friend Andrea coming back to town. She was real excited about it. The way she talked, I thought maybe there was a little something between them.
Detective Armstrong: But?
Will Sands: But once I saw them together, I didn't think so anymore. Don't get me wrong. There was real affection between those two. Anyone could see that. But I didn't get a relationship vibe off of them. You know what I mean.
Detective Armstrong: You ever run across this woman? Her name is Ursula.
Will Sands: I don't recognize her from the photo. Maybe if I saw her in person. She got something to do with Gretchen and Andrea?
Detective Murphy: Tell us about that night Gretchen and Andrea were at The Roadhouse.
Will Sands: Nothing special I can think of. They came in together and sat at their usual table. I brought them G and Ts. They were there for a couple of hours. I let them stay while I was closing up.
Detective Armstrong: Did you notice anything unusual about them that evening? Did either of them seem upset or emotional?
Will Sands: Not really. Andrea seemed a little tired, a little beat down if you know what I mean. But they were just talking. Actually, Gretchen was listening a lot, and Andrea was talking. I guess every once in a while Gretchen would put her hand on Andrea's arm like she was encouraging her or something. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Detective Armstrong: Did you hear what they were talking about?
Will Sands: No.
Detective Armstrong: Nothing?
Will Sands: You know me. I give my customers their space. Unless someone's sitting at the bar in the mood to chat, I pretty much get their orders and leave them alone.
Detective Armstrong: How much did they drink?
Will Sands: Two G and Ts each. Gretchen had some water. Andrea asked me for a bitters and soda.
Detective Armstrong: With a gin and tonic?
Will Sands: Hey, I don't judge. People have different tastes. Some folks like a bitters at the end of the night.
Detective Armstrong: She seem like she was having stomach problems?
Will Sands: You know, you could be right about that. I told you she didn't look 100%.
Detective Murphy: What happened at the end of the night? The three of you leave together?
Will Sands: Actually, no. I was still closing up shop when they left. Gretchen thanked me for letting them stay a little longer. Then they headed to the door.
Detective Murphy: You let them go out alone?
Will Sands: Now, you know ol' Will better than that. I walked them out to their cars.
Detective Murphy: What time was that?
Will Sands: After midnight. Maybe 12:15, 12:20.
Detective Murphy: Did you happen to see where they were headed?
Will Sands: No. I made sure they got in their cars, and then I went back inside to finish up.
Detective Murphy: Did you see any other cars or people around?
Will Sands: None that I recognized.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean by that?
Will Sands: There was a green sedan on the far side of the lot that I didn't know.
Detective Armstrong: You get the make and model? Maybe a license plate?
Will Sands: Sorry. I didn't look too close right then. I figured if it was still there when I went to leave, I'd make a note of those details. You all did a good job cleaning up our parking lot back when, but I keep an eye out to make sure no funny business starts up again.
Detective Armstrong: What else did you notice about it? Old or new? Foreign or domestic?
Will Sands: I'd say … not more than ten years old, but whether it was American or not, I couldn't tell you. Cars like that all look pretty much the same these days, it seems like.
Detective Murphy: When you left, was it still there?
Will Sands: Nope. I saw it drive out right after Gretchen and Andrea.
Detective Murphy: Did you see which way they went?
Will Sands: I believe Gretchen went west on Jackson, and Andrea and the green car went east.
Detective Armstrong: Have you seen that car since?
Will Sands: Not that I can recall, but I haven't been looking for it either.
Detective Murphy: Were you the last person to leave for the night?
Will Sands: Yeah. I finished closing up, and I left maybe 20 minutes later out the back.
Detective Armstrong: Have you seen Gretchen since that night?
Will Sands: No, but that's no surprise. I bet Gretchen is real cut up over all this.
Detective Armstrong: Anything else you can think of that might help us out?
Will Sands: Not that I know of. I sure hope you all have some other leads and aren't counting on ol' Will to break the case for you.
Detective Armstrong: You've helped us more than you know, Will. Don't you worry about it.
Detective Murphy: If you think of anything, give us a call.
Will Sands: Will do. You two come on in for lunch this week, and I'll fix you up. It's been too long, and it'd do you good to take a break from all this mess and have a good meal.
Interview ended 3:38 p.m.