Jill Osborne interview #2
Friday, June 17, 2022 – 3:30 p.m.
Jill Osborne has been the Administrative Assistant in the English Department at Ole Miss since 2018.
Because of some conflicting information acquired while interviewing other witnesses, specifically regarding the time Ms. Osborne left the Rowan Oak dinner, Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Jill Osborne
Detective Murphy: Good afternoon, Ms. Osborne. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Jill Osborne: Good afternoon, Detective Murphy. My name is Jill Osborne, and I live at 418 North 15th Street in Oxford.
Detective Parker: You seem much more comfortable this time, Ms. Osborne. Do you feel more prepared?
Jill Osborne: Yes, I do. Thank you, Detective Parker.
Detective Murphy: Were you prepared?
Jill Osborne: I'm sorry?
Detective Murphy: Did someone prepare you for this interview?
Jill Osborne: Oh, no, detective, nothing like that. Gosh, no. I just feel calmer, that's all. I've had time to calm down since the… the… since the, uh, conference. That's all.
Detective Murphy: I see. Well, that's good. It can make some people nervous to be interviewed again.
Jill Osborne: No, I'm ready to answer your questions.
Detective Parker: Were you familiar with Doug Reed's "Smoke Stick?"
Jill Osborne: I beg your pardon?
Detective Parker: His "Smoke Stick," did you ever see it?
Jill Osborne: Oh, good Lord, no! My relationship with Professor Reed was strictly professional. Strictly!
Detective Parker: Ms. Osborne, "Smoke Stick" is the name Doug Reed gave to his handgun.
Jill Osborne: Oh. Sorry, I misunderstood. Why would he name his gun "Smoke Stick?"
Detective Parker: Well, I have no idea, Ms. Osborne, and since he's dead now, we can't ask him. Please answer the question.
Jill Osborne: No, I never saw it.
Detective Murphy: Did you know that he kept a gun?
Jill Osborne: I don't think so.
Detective Murphy: Well, think hard before you answer, Ms. Osborne, because Carol Fitch said that everyone knew Doug Reed had a gun, and he called it his "Smoke Stick."
Jill Osborne: Carol said that?
Detective Murphy: Yes.
Jill Osborne: All right, Detective Murphy. Yes, I remember that I had heard somewhere that Professor Reed had a gun, but I had no idea what he had named it.
Detective Parker: Had you heard that he kept it in his car?
Jill Osborne: No, I don't know where he kept it.
Detective Parker: You never saw it in his car when you were collecting his laundry?
Jill Osborne: Not that I recall.
Detective Murphy: Well, I'm pretty sure that you would recall if you were picking up clothes and grabbed a handgun.
Jill Osborne: Oh, my gosh. Do you think it's possible that I touched it without realizing it and left my fingerprints on it?
Detective Murphy: No, I don't think it's possible to touch a firearm and not realize it, Ms. Osborne.
Jill Osborne: So it's unlikely that my fingerprints are on it?
Detective Murphy: I didn't say that.
Jill Osborne: Well, I didn't touch it. That I know of.
Detective Parker: Ms. Osborne, what time was it when you left Rowan Oak on June 12th?
Jill Osborne: It was 9:00 p.m. I left with Carol at 9:00 p.m.
Detective Parker: You're sure?
Jill Osborne: Yes, I'm sure. I know last time I said 9:00 p.m., then I said 9:30 p.m. But it was 9:00 p.m. I remember.
Detective Murphy: Why do you remember?
Jill Osborne: Because we talked to Monte for a few minutes, and it was 9:00 p.m.
Detective Murphy: Would it interest you to know that, according to Mr. Marcos, it was closer to 10:00 p.m. when he spoke with you and Carol Fitch?
Jill Osborne: No, I would have to say that he is mistaken. It was closer to 9:00 p.m.
Detective Parker: Did you speak with anyone else who could clear this up for us?
Jill Osborne: No, just Carol and Monte. I was really upset after Professor Reed yelled at me, so I just wanted to leave.
Detective Murphy: What time did he yell at you?
Jill Osborne: I don't remember. Earlier. Like 8:30 p.m., maybe?
Detective Murphy: Did anyone hear him yelling at you?
Jill Osborne: I don't remember, Detective Murphy.
Detective Parker: Your memory seems to vacillate between crystal clear and clear as mud, Ms. Osborne.
Jill Osborne: Yes, I know. I get very nervous and upset. I'm sure you've heard from others that I'm overly dramatic, Detective Parker. I don't respond well to stress.
Detective Murphy: That's fine, Ms. Osborne. Just answer as best as you remember.
Jill Osborne: I really don't remember what time he yelled at me. I'm just guessing 8:30 p.m., but it may have been earlier. It makes me feel so stupid for getting my feelings hurt and then being upset for so long … to the point of having to leave the event.
Detective Parker: Why did he yell at you?
Jill Osborne: He was really, really mad at me for not giving him a copy of the presentation that Dr. Carlson and Jake were giving the next morning. He had demanded that I give him a copy earlier in the day, but I knew that would be wrong, so I just avoided him for as long as I could. I thought he would behave better in such a public place at such an important event, but I was mistaken.
Detective Parker: Why was it wrong for you to give him a copy? Was it a big secret?
Jill Osborne: No, but Professor Reed was so upset about Jake being chosen by Dr. Carlson, and he had threatened to do something about it.
Detective Murphy: Do you have firsthand knowledge of these threats?
Jill Osborne: I heard it from Monte.
Detective Murphy: And did Mr. Marcos also share with you the video?
Jill Osborne: No, he didn't share it with me. He mentioned something about a video, but I didn't know what he was talking about. That was right before Carol and I left Rowan Oak.
Detective Parker: And what time was that?
Jill Osborne: 9:00 p.m., detective.
Detective Murphy: And you and Carol went back to your house, is that right?
Jill Osborne: Yes. Carol stayed until around midnight.
Detective Murphy: Did you have soft drinks? Or cocktails?
Jill Osborne: Neither. We drank a little wine and visited until I was feeling better.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Ms. Osborne. We appreciate your time today,
Jill Osborne: You're welcome, Detectives.
Interview ended – 3:59 p.m.