Tuesday, June 14, 2022 – 6:02 p.m.
Montalvo "Monte" Marcos is a grad student in the English Department at the University of Mississippi and was the victim's teaching assistant.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him in the English Department conference room on the University of Mississippi campus.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Monte Marcos
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in today, Mr. Marcos. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Monte Marcos: Montalvo Marcos. I go by Monte. I live at 1621 Grand Oaks Boulevard.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. How did you know Douglas Reed?
Monte Marcos: I am a student at Ole Miss, and he's one of my professors. Also, I'm his T.A.
Detective Parker: What's a T.A.?
Monte Marcos: Teaching assistant. Sorry, I thought everybody knew what T.A. meant.
Detective Murphy: Well, even if we do, we need to be specific for the record.
Monte Marcos: Oh. Okay, got it.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe your relationship with Professor Reed?
Monte Marcos: It was fine. We got along okay.
Detective Parker: Did you like him?
Monte Marcos: Sort of, yes. I mean, I liked him, but I didn't like the way he acted.
Detective Parker: For instance?
Monte Marcos: He was smart, and he worked hard, but he didn't trust that, I guess, so he would undermine other people's work. Or take credit for it. His own achievements weren't enough, so he also had to try to make others look bad.
Detective Murphy: How would you characterize his relationships with the other professors and staff in the English Department?
Monte Marcos: Strained. But he had influence, so people didn't mess with him.
Detective Murphy: People like Laurence Bricker?
Monte Marcos: Professor Bricker? I'd have to say that Professor Reed tormented him a bit, but I don't think anyone else minded. Professor Bricker is hard to get along with, and I think others in the department vicariously enjoyed it when Professor Reed badgered him.
Detective Murphy: Badgered him how?
Monte Marcos: Professor Bricker is a Tolstoy fan. What he's doing at Ole Miss in Faulkner country, I'll never understand. Anyway, for instance, when Professor Reed would pass Professor Bricker in the hallway, he'd say something crude, like, "Suck it, Bricker. Tolstoy is a douche."
Detective Parker: How would Professor Bricker react?
Monte Marcos: Well, it would make it worse because it was so hard for all the rest of us to keep a straight face, but Professor Bricker would usually just go a little rigid, give an audible "harrumph," and march back into his office.
Detective Parker: Did you observe tension between Professor Reed and anyone else in the department?
Monte Marcos: People kind of walked on eggshells around Professor Reed. He was a bit volatile, so nobody wanted to press him.
Detective Murphy: Which people?
Monte Marcos: Professor Hemphill, for one.
Detective Murphy: Jake Hemphill?
Monte Marcos: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Were you concerned that the friction between them might become violent?
Monte Marcos: Professor Hemphill didn't push. Reed would try to bully Jake to get his way, but Jake could handle himself, and they were peers. Jake has all the smarts and talent, but he's missing Reed's swagger. Plus, when Reed tried to pull stuff, Jake had the department secretaries on his side, so Jill and Carol provided preventive maintenance and damage control. For the record, that's Jill Osborne and Carol Fitch, who work in the office.
Detective Parker: Thank you. Did Professor Reed know that the secretaries were protecting Professor Hemphill?
Monte Marcos: I think so. He suspected, anyway.
Detective Murphy: Did Doug Reed ever ask you to run personal errands for him?
Monte Marcos: No, he had Jill for that. Since she was "just a secretary," he felt justified. He treated her like crap.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever see her react with anger toward him?
Monte Marcos: I never saw Jill react with anger toward anyone. She and Carol are both very nice. They would be frustrated, and Jill could get flustered and emotional but not angry. Not outwardly that I ever saw, anyway.
Detective Murphy: What about Dan Johnson?
Monte Marcos: I don't think Professor Johnson felt threatened by Reed. It seemed to me that Reed was more of an irritation to Professor Johnson. Reed complained a lot, caused friction in the department. But Professor Johnson would let it all go on the tennis court. I could always tell when the Professor had handed Reed his ass when they played. Reed would come back from a game and be extra demanding.
Detective Parker: How did you feel about that?
Monte Marcos: I loved it. It gave me a chance to prove my worth in the department. Show that I could take it. Like Reed, I'm somewhat of a rising star, but I wanted everyone to know I was earning it.
Detective Murphy: Were you competitive with Doug Reed?
Monte Marcos: No, I didn't have to be. I've already been published, and that happened on my own—no riding the coattails of anyone in the department. I think Reed knew I didn't really need him in order to succeed. And athletically, I think he was afraid I'd wipe the floor with him, so he never took me on.
Detective Parker: You're that good?
Monte Marcos: Any sport, any court.
Detective Parker: Well, you're young.
Monte Marcos: So are you, but it doesn't keep you from jumping in with questions, does it?
Detective Murphy: Did you witness any interactions between Professor Reed and Dr. Andrew Carlson?
Monte Marcos: Yeah, and it wasn't good.
Detective Parker: How so?
Monte Marcos: Reed wouldn't leave Dr. Carlson alone. It came to the point where Dr. Carlson was obviously uncomfortable with Reed's relentless pursuit of some kind of collaboration. Once he got to town for the conference, Dr. Carlson was ducking behind trees—literally and figuratively—to avoid contact with Reed. Dr. Carlson had said no, but apparently, for Reed, no did not mean no.
Detective Parker: Did you see this refusal to accept no for an answer carry over in Professor Reed's attitude toward women?
Monte Marcos: I never saw a woman say no to Reed. The man had charisma and wasn't afraid to use it. Nora Percy was his steady girlfriend, and she put up with his constant womanizing.
Detective Murphy: Did she ever speak to you about it?
Monte Marcos: Not as such. He seemed to be really into her when they were together, but he would go off with other women, and Nora would just try to shrug it off.
Detective Murphy: Any woman in particular?
Monte Marcos: Any woman he found attractive. Except for students. Never students. I think he had lots of one-nighters, except not always at night. Sometimes he would see someone more than once.
Detective Murphy: Did that happen recently?
Monte Marcos: Well, I can't prove anything, but I think he and Yvonne Boyd, who works at the conference center, were seeing each other.
Detective Parker: Why do you think that?
Monte Marcos: Because I saw them together quite a bit, and I'm pretty sure they weren't planning the conference.
Detective Parker: When was the last time you saw Professor Reed?
Monte Marcos: Sunday night at the conference center— I mean the dinner. At Rowan Oak.
Detective Murphy: At the conference center or at Rowan Oak?
Monte Marcos: Rowan Oak. The dinner. I meant to say dinner, but I said center.
Detective Parker: What time?
Monte Marcos: What time, what?
Detective Murphy: Mr. Marcos, you are an intelligent young man with a bright future. I would suggest you take a moment to collect your thoughts, so you don't unnecessarily incriminate yourself. You were asked a straightforward question, which I will repeat, and then I will require a straightforward and truthful answer.
Monte Marcos: You don't need to repeat the question. I was at the YCCC. The conference center. I followed Reed there… I…
Detective Parker: What time was that?
Monte Marcos: I saw him leave Rowan Oak at about 8:30 p.m. I followed him.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Monte Marcos: Earlier in the day, he was really pissed about Jake and Dr. Carlson going to lunch without him.
Detective Parker: How do you know that?
Monte Marcos: He told me. He was furious about it. He was screaming about how they were disrespecting him and what he was going to do about it.
Detective Parker: What was he going to do about it?
Monte Marcos: He didn't tell me. He just said, "I hope they've enjoyed their careers because when I'm through with those two, they'll be lucky to be hired as greeters at Walmart."
Detective Murphy: Did you confront Professor Reed at the YCCC?
Monte Marcos: No. He didn't know I was there. I got him on video messing with Jake and Dr. Carlson's presentation. He never saw me. I took the video on my cell and went right back to Rowan Oak.
Detective Murphy: What time did you return?
Monte Marcos: 9:00 p.m. I checked my cell when I got into the building. I had turned off the ringer before I got the video.
Detective Parker: You'll need to surrender that video to us, Mr. Marcos.
Monte Marcos: Yes. I understand.
Detective Murphy: Did you share the video with anyone?
Monte Marcos: No. No one.
Detective Murphy: No one knows you took that video of Douglas Reed?
Monte Marcos: No.
Detective Murphy: Do you see anyone else at YCCC while you were videorecording Douglas Reed?
Monte Marcos: No. Just Professor Reed.
Detective Parker: Mr. Marcos, did you kill Douglas Reed?
Monte Marcos: No! No, I didn't. I just took the video and went back to the dinner.
Detective Parker: Where were you between the time you returned to Rowan Oak at 9:00 on Sunday evening and 7:00 yesterday morning?
Monte Marcos: I left Rowan Oak at around 10:20 p.m. and went home. Yesterday morning, I left home at about 7:05 and drove to YCCC for the conference breakfast.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone see you leave your house yesterday morning?
Monte Marcos: I don't think so.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Mr. Marcos. We're through for now, but we'll take that video before you go.
Interview ended – 6:35 p.m.