Smiling young woman with light brown hair in a topknot

Julie Finch interview

Thursday, March 14, 2024 – 9:00 a.m.

Julie Finch is a graduate student at the University of Mississippi. The university identified her as the tour guide on duty at Rowan Oak on Wednesday.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Julie Finch

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming, Ms. Finch. Would you give us your name and address for the record, please?

Julie Finch: My name is Julie Finch, and I live at 503 Van Buren.

Detective Armstrong: We understand you were serving as the tour guide at Rowan Oak yesterday. Is that correct?

Julie Finch: Yes, that's right. We have tours of the home in the mornings between 10:00 and noon and again in the afternoons between 2:00 and 4:00. I did both shifts that day.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember anything unusual about your tours that day?

Julie Finch: No, not really. They were pretty much routine, although each one is unique because of the people who participate. Are you referring to that man who was killed on the grounds yesterday?

Detective Armstrong: Well, I'm sure you're aware we're investigating a homicide.

Julie Finch: Yes, and I figured you wanted to talk to me about that man since he was on one of my tours. At least, I think it was the same man.

Detective Murphy: What makes you think it was him?

Julie Finch: Well, I read that the murdered man was a German tourist, and the man on my tour spoke German. I heard him talking to his friend.

Detective Murphy: How did you know they were speaking German?

Julie Finch: I took German for a couple of years in high school. I couldn't really understand everything they were saying, but I know it was German.

Detective Armstrong: Would you describe the man on your tour for us?

Julie Finch: Let's see. He was a large, heavyset man with a balding head and a beard or goatee or something. He wore a black coat, kind of heavy.

Detective Murphy: You said he was with a friend?

Julie Finch: Yes, actually, two people—a man about his age and a young woman. She was quite pretty too, if you like that type.

Detective Murphy: What type is that?

Julie Finch: Oh, sort of flashy, if you know what I mean.

Detective Murphy: Flashy? You mean flashy like diamond jewelry, things like that?

Julie Finch: Oh no, no jewelry like that. I would have noticed diamonds in the daytime. It was more like her clothes were inappropriate. It was just an impression. I'm not sure exactly why.

Detective Armstrong: Tell us about the other man.

Julie Finch: He was thinner than the first man. And his hair wasn't as dark.

Detective Murphy: How did they act towards each other?

Julie Finch: They seemed to get along really well. They would talk, sometimes in German, and laugh. They especially seemed amused by Mr. Faulkner's office with the notes on the wall and the old typewriter. They mentioned the contrast with modern-day writing on computers. They seemed comfortable with each other.

Detective Murphy: And what about the young woman? Was she comfortable with them as well?

Julie Finch: She didn't seem comfortable, period.

Detective Armstrong: Would you explain what you mean?

Julie Finch: She acted bored as if she couldn't wait for the tour to be over. She sighed frequently and loudly and yawned a lot. It was kind of annoying, actually.

Detective Murphy: And did the gentlemen with her find it annoying?

Julie Finch: No, they seemed to be in good spirits and appeared to think it was funny.

Detective Armstrong: Ms. Finch, did you notice anyone else hovering around or showing an interest in the trio?

Julie Finch: No, I was concentrating on my tour group. It was a small group but friendly. I heard an older couple ask them where they were from, but I took it as just the typical tourist interest in other tourists.

Detective Murphy: Can you tell us anything else that stands out about that day or that tour?

Julie Finch: Well, I probably shouldn't say anything. It wasn't a big deal, really.

Detective Murphy: Why don't you tell us anyway, just in case?

Julie Finch: This job is part of my work-study. I don't want to lose it.

Detective Murphy: As long as you tell the truth, I can't see that happening.

Julie Finch: Well, that man who died, he had kind of a run-in with Mr. Broadwell. He's the curator at Rowan Oak and my boss.

Detective Murphy: What kind of run-in?

Julie Finch: I'm not sure exactly because it was after the tour was over. The German man saw Mr. Broadwell and went over to talk to him. They seemed to be getting along fine at first. He was probably saying nice things to Mr. Broadwell, flattering him. He likes that.

Detective Murphy: But something changed?

Julie Finch: I guess so. I don't know what the man said to him, but Mr. Broadwell got very upset all of a sudden. His face got all red, and he was yelling at the man but being real quiet about it so no one would hear. You know what I mean?

Detective Murphy: So Mr. Broadwell was upset?

Julie Finch: More like angry, I'd say.

Detective Murphy: Do you know what he was angry about?

Julie Finch: I couldn't hear, but he's yelled at me and other staff members like that before, and it's usually because he thinks we've done something inappropriate.

Detective Murphy: Like what, for instance?

Julie Finch: In his world, it means not showing the proper respect for Mr. Faulkner, his work, or his home, which could be wearing a sundress in the summer or making a joke he thinks is unseemly. That's his word: "unseemly." Anyway, things like that. Mr. Broadwell has really strong opinions about how people should behave on what he considers basically hallowed ground.

Detective Murphy: Did the German man do something that would've upset Mr. Broadwell?

Julie Finch: Not that I know of, but obviously, something happened. I guess you'd have to ask Mr. Broadwell, but please don't tell him I'm the one who told you. I don't need that kind of grief.

Detective Murphy: We'll be discreet, I promise. How did their interaction end?

Julie Finch: I was trying not to watch because I didn't want Mr. Broadwell to catch me looking, but I saw him shake his finger in the other man's face, and then he stalked off.

Detective Murphy: How did the German man respond?

Julie Finch: He just looked confused, to be honest. After Mr. Broadwell left him standing there, he just kind of wandered away and rejoined his friends.

Detective Murphy: Did Mr. Broadwell ever tell you anything about what they discussed?

Julie Finch: No, I'm sorry. He doesn't usually talk to me about things like that. In fact, I wouldn't have thought anything of it if that man hadn't died later.

Detective Murphy: Do you think Mr. Broadwell could've had something to do with that?

Julie Finch: Oh, no! Do you? I can't imagine Mr. Broadwell could do anything like that. Should I be worried? I have to tell you this has really spooked the tour staff.

Detective Armstrong: I'm sure it has, but there shouldn't be any need for concern. We're sure this was an isolated incident.

Julie Finch: I sure hope so! I don't enjoy being there with a murderer on the loose.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in today, Ms. Finch. If you should think of anything else, be sure to give us a call.

Interview ended – 9:21 a.m.


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