Balding man man with dark hair and salt-and-pepper facial hair

Max Snyder interview

Tuesday, January 2, 2024 – 10:30 a.m.

Max Snyder organized the conference where Jared Plunk was slated to speak.

Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him in a meeting room at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center (YCCC).


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Max Snyder

Detective Murphy: Thank you for meeting with us, Mr. Snyder.

Max Snyder: Is this going to take long? I need to get back. This is a terrible blow to the conference. I need to find someone to fill in for Jared. He was our featured speaker, you know. What happened here? Oh God, this is terrible! I don't know what I'm going to do.

Detective Parker: Slow down, Mr. Snyder. Take a deep breath, and let's start again. Slowly. Now, first, please state your name and address for the record.

Max Snyder: Oh, I'm sorry. It's just that this is so upsetting. My name is Max Snyder, and I live here in Oxford at 2216 Church Street.

Detective Murphy: That's better. We asked to speak with you because you're the organizer of this conference. Is that correct?

Max Snyder: Well, of course, I'm not the only one involved, but I guess you could say I'm the man in charge here.

Detective Parker: How well did you know Jared Plunk?

Max Snyder: Well enough to know he didn't deserve to be murdered.

Detective Murphy: Was he a friend of yours?

Max Snyder: I wouldn't call him a friend, more like an acquaintance or a business associate. We didn't really socialize unless it was absolutely necessary.

Detective Parker: It sounds as though you didn't like him much.

Max Snyder: It isn't necessary to like someone with whom one must associate, detective.

Detective Murphy: Was there a particular reason why you didn't like Mr. Plunk?

Max Snyder: I found him to be an egotistical bore. He thought he was so superior because he claimed to have some letters written by Elvis that would reveal a lot about the man—not all of it good, I guess. But then we all know Elvis was no angel. He was human, after all. Anyway, Jared was going to speak about the letters at the conference.

Detective Murphy: What's in the letters?

Max Snyder: I don't know. Jared was playing it pretty close to the vest, as it were.

Detective Parker: Do you think the letters had something to do with his murder?

Max Snyder: I have no idea, detective. It's just one aspect of Jared's life that's suspect.

Detective Murphy: What other aspects of his life are "suspect," as you put it, Mr. Snyder?

Max Snyder: Well, I heard him and his wife, Alison, arguing last night. She was looking daggers at him. I suppose that could carry over to an actual stabbing.

Detective Parker: What was the argument about?

Max Snyder: Are you accusing me of eavesdropping?

Detective Parker: Not at all. I just thought you might have caught a word or two that could give us a hint.

Max Snyder: I heard Alison say, "That woman." That's all I really heard. It was their body language that gave them away. They were both furious. Alison went off in a huff after that. There have been rumors and gossip about Jared and his extramarital dalliances for some time.

Detective Parker: Where and when did this argument happen?

Max Snyder: It was last evening at the welcoming cocktail party—a get-together for the featured speakers, discussion moderators, and workshop leaders. It was the last time I saw or spoke to Jared.

Detective Murphy: You said there'd been rumors about Jared's extramarital dalliance. Have you heard any names?

Max Snyder: I don't involve myself in tawdry gossip, detective.

Detective Murphy: Of course not, but sometimes we hear things even when we don't want to.

Max Snyder: I really wouldn't know. I can tell you that he insisted he must have no contact with the hotel lady.

Detective Murphy: The hotel lady?

Max Snyder: Yvonne. I've been coordinating details of the conference with her, but Jared said he'd walk if he had to deal with her.

Detective Murphy: Did he say why?

Max Snyder: Of course not. Jared wasn't the type to explain himself.

Detective Murphy: But?

Max Snyder: But I assumed he'd had a liaison with her at some point, and it had ended badly. I didn't ask. I didn't want to know. I just did what he asked. I have too many other things on my plate to get involved with that.

Detective Murphy: Did Yvonne ever say anything to you about not wanting contact with Jared?

Max Snyder: Of course not. She's a professional, and she's very good at her job. If she did have a liaison with Jared, I hope that won't make you think any less of her. She's been a big help to my wife and myself in preparing for this conference.

Detective Parker: Is there anyone else you know of who might want to hurt Mr. Plunk?

Max Snyder: Well, I know Sonya Davis had some hard feelings. We had talked with her previously about being the keynote speaker, but when Jared said he had the letters, we went with him instead. We figured he would be a bigger draw for the conference. Needless to say, Sonya was not happy and aimed her displeasure at Jared.

Detective Parker: Anyone else?

Max Snyder: Jared was a journalist, you know. Surely, there are people out there who've been unhappy about things he wrote. You might check on that.

Detective Murphy: We'll do that. Thank you.

Max Snyder: Are we about through here? I really need to get back to the conference. We have to find someone to fill in for Jared. I need to talk with my people and make sense of this chaos.

Detective Parker: You're going ahead with the conference?

Max Snyder: Absolutely! We have too much time and money tied up in this to let it go down the drain, but there are so many logistical details I need to see to. Would you excuse me? I'll be here at the hotel for the duration of the conference, and then you have my home address if you need me further.

Detective Parker: Okay, Mr. Snyder. We'll contact you later if necessary. Thank you for your cooperation.

Interview ended – 10:52 a.m.


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