Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 12:00 p.m.
Will Sands is a bartender at The Roadhouse, where Veronica Smith had drinks with some friends the night she died. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Will Sands
Detective Armstrong: Thanks for coming on in again, Will.
Will Sands: My pleasure.
Detective Armstrong: We won’t keep you too long, Will. That way, you can really say the words “my pleasure” when you mean it and go. How about that?
Will Sands: OK.
Detective Armstrong: Why don’t you state your name and address for the record?
Will Sands: My name's Will Sands. I live at 1002 College Hill Road, Oxford, Mississippi, USA.
Detective Murphy: You look tired, Will.
Will Sands: Well, I didn't leave The Roadhouse until after sunrise. We had a bachelor's party there, and the bride decided to throw her own bash. You think of Gettysburg, only with both sides staggering drunk. They really tore the place up too.
Detective Armstrong: You call the police?
Will Sands: And ruin the happy couple's future? No. Love will do that. And until then, may they continue to ask for forgiveness with really, really big tips.
Detective Murphy: Now, you didn't let them drive home in that state, did you, Will?
Will Sands: No. Both parties arrived and left in limousines, thank you very much, and competing companies too. That marriage is going to be interesting.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know Veronica Smith?
Will Sands: You mean the doctor that offed herself? Oh, that’s sad. You know, for the longest time, I thought her name was Victoria. See, I dated a Vicky Smith in high school.
Detective Armstrong: Were you and the doctor on speaking terms?
Will Sands: Well, as much as anyone could be on speaking terms with their bartenders.
Detective Murphy: So Dr. Smith drank at The Roadhouse?
Will Sands: All the best do. You know, she was there that night she died. But of course, you knew that, huh?
Detective Armstrong: Can't put one over on you, Will. But you knew that. So what time did she arrive?
Will Sands: During the dinner rush, but I didn't get a chance to talk to her, no. She sat at a table with some friends of hers and had dinner and drinks. I think she was the first one to leave. I took a moment to glance over, and she was gone.
Detective Murphy: How did she seem?
Will Sands: Well, you know, not exactly what you'd expect for someone that was about to do what she did. I don’t know. Maybe she wanted to throw one last fling or didn't want to ruin things for her friends until they heard what happened.
Detective Murphy: You overhear anything they discussed?
Will Sands: During the rush dinner hour, it’s difficult to hear even people ordering drinks at the bar. But I can tell you there was a lot of laughter coming from that table.
Detective Murphy: Really? Even from Dr. Smith?
Will Sands: Sure. The lady had quite a sense of humor.
Detective Armstrong: That's not what we're hearing from other people.
Will Sands: Maybe they didn't see her after a couple of rum and Cokes.
Detective Armstrong: Is that her drink?
Will Sands: When she's with friends drinking, but when she’s at the bar, it's mostly brandy, and our more expensive brand too.
Detective Armstrong: Did she drink alone a lot?
Will Sands: Well, no, not really. Not if I was there and the other patrons. You've always got friends when you're at The Roadhouse.
Detective Armstrong: When she sat at the bar, what did she talk about?
Will Sands: She talked mostly about her daughter, Haley. She just really was very, very proud of Haley. I just don’t understand how she could do what she did, knowing how it would affect her daughter.
Detective Murphy: The night she was there with her friends, did she focus on them or was she looking around the room like she was watching for someone?
Will Sands: You mean like her husband?
Detective Murphy: Or anybody else.
Will Sands: No, that’s not really the impression I got. Then again, I was real busy that night.
Detective Armstrong: Did her husband ever join her at The Roadhouse?
Will Sands: She either came in alone or she sat with her female friends.
Detective Armstrong: Now, how often did she do one or the other?
Will Sands: Well, dinner and drinks with her friends once a week. Sitting at the bar, two or three times a week.
Detective Murphy: Nobody ever joined her at the bar?
Will Sands: Sure, they tried. But a woman, obviously successful, by herself, well, she's going to be approached all right.
Detective Murphy: And?
Will Sands: She would send them on their way, and then she'd give me a little half-wink to let me know that she knew what was what.
Detective Murphy: So did she ever leave soon after that as if she didn't want to be seen with the person in a public place?
Will Sands: Now you see? You obviously didn't really know Dr. Smith, did you?
Detective Armstrong: Well, now, that's why we're talking with you, Will. You know all.
Will Sands: Well, you know, I don't know. I don’t understand really why she would do what she did. I mean—and then just leaving her daughter Haley there to deal with it all alone.
Detective Murphy: What about her husband?
Will Sands: Don't get me wrong. I mean, she never said an ill word about her husband. But then again, she would go out of her way to never mention her husband unless it was to talk about how Haley and her father did this or did that.
Detective Armstrong: Do you mean Haley's actual father, Veronica's first husband, or Veronica's second husband?
Will Sands: See? That’s what I mean. I didn't know there was two.
Detective Murphy: OK, Will, before we let you go, is there anything else you can think of that you want to tell us about Veronica Smith?
Will Sands: I'm going to miss her. Not many women like her.
Interview ends: 12:12 p.m.