February 16, 2010, 3:30 p.m.
Debra Nicole Lane is a 32-year-old white female who was staying in Cabin 4 at Wall Doxey Park and found the victim. She is also allegedly responsible for organizing a poker game in Cabin 11, near where the victim was found. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff’s Department and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness’s knowledge and consent.
- Detective: Ted Armstrong
- Detective: Samantha Murphy
- Witness: Debra Lane
Detective Armstrong: Before we start, please state your name and address again.
Debra Lane: Debra Nicole Lane, 509 South 11th. What’s up?
Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in again. We wanted to talk more about what you were doing at Wall Doxey Park the day you discovered Mr. Brooks’ body.
Debra Lane: Sure. You’ve got to know all there is to know by now, though. Am I right?
Detective Murphy: We wish we did. Remind us what you were doing out there.
Debra Lane: Knitting, hiking, listening to opera. De-stressing. I was there two nights.
Detective Murphy: How did you get out there?
Debra Lane: I drove.
Detective Murphy: What kind of car?
Debra Lane: A Subaru Outback from, like, 2001 – it was Harris’ before we met.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone else join you that weekend?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Murphy: Did you go into cabin eleven?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Murphy: Last time you said you’d never stayed there.
Debra Lane: That’s right.
Detective Murphy: Then why did you reserve it on December 11?
Debra Lane: December 11. That’s a Saturday, right?
Detective Murphy: You must know.
Debra Lane: That was two months ago. I’m lucky if I can keep this week’s schedule straight. But okay, sure, that must have been the weekend of the poker match.
Detective Murphy: What was the poker match?
Debra Lane: I like to play. It’s a numbers thing. Programming, music, whatever – it’s all about the patterns. Harris, too, he’s a math professor. We both play online sometimes. Nothing serious, we stick to the games that are like fifty cents. A few of the guys in the local private room for Oxford sounded like they wanted to get together. So I offered to set it up.
Detective Murphy: What did that entail?
Debra Lane: Reserving the cabin. I brought in some food and booze. Managed the money.
Detective Murphy: Did you take a cut?
Debra Lane: Sure. Ten percent. After expenses it was maybe a hundred bucks. But you know, the holidays, Django’s birthday – it was a no-brainer.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn’t you tell us about this the last time?
Debra Lane: It was totally unrelated, obviously. When I was there and found that man’s body, that was my own time. Not work. Spenser Brooks – I read about it online, after we talked.
Detective Armstrong: Who was at this game?
Debra Lane: Sorry. There’s a confidentiality agreement. We never met face to face anyway – I went in and got everything set up. Left before the game. It was at five. But like I said, it had nothing to do with finding the body.
Detective Armstrong: We know for sure Byron Brooks was there.
Debra Lane: No comment.
Detective Armstrong: Hector, Chet, Raymond – who are we missing?
Debra Lane: I don’t have to tell you. Am I right?
Detective Murphy: Yes. You don’t have to say anything. And we don’t have to overlook this little violation of Section 87, Chapter 1 of the Mississippi Code.
Debra Lane: You’re going to charge me?
Detective Armstrong: The fine is five hundred dollars per incident. Now last time we talked you said you went to Wall Doxey the weekend after school let out – was there a second game? Because that would actually put us at a thousand.
Debra Lane: No, I screwed up the date.
Detective Murphy: So is this something you do routinely?
Debra Lane: No. There was only the one game. Like I said, I can’t keep all the schedules straight off the top of my head. It was the first time I’d done it – I lost my job this past fall and I’m part-time now, plus freelancing. I don’t turn down a chance to make a few bucks. Although if you throw the book at me, obviously it’s not going to be worth it.
Detective Murphy: Obviously.
Detective Armstrong: We need the names, Debra.
Debra Lane: Did you go around busting all the Super Bowl betting pools, too?
Detective Murphy: Please tell us.
Debra Lane: They won’t found out I told you, right?
Detective Armstrong: We already know some of them.
Debra Lane: Okay. Can I look at my phone? The names are there.
Detective Murphy: Knock yourself out.
Debra Lane: Okay. Byron Brooks. Yeah, he ended up winning. Raymond Carver – now, see, that’s not a real name. I didn’t really care, just so long as the money came into the Paypal account.
Detective Murphy: Keep going.
Debra Lane: Hector Daniels. Chet Fairleigh. William Frye. Zachary Kline. Daniel Luftwig. Obie Trice.
Detective Murphy: Okay, thank you.
Debra Lane: That last one’s fake, for sure. You know that, right?
Detective Armstrong: We got it.
Debra Lane: So are you going to charge me?
Detective Armstrong: We’ll have to discuss it with our superiors.
Detective Murphy: Spenser Brooks wasn’t there?
Debra Lane: No. Not that I knew.
Detective Murphy: You’d never met him?
Debra Lane: No. Although, now that I’m looking at it – Byron Brooks – any relation?
Detective Armstrong: Did you see Byron Brooks the weekend you were at the park in January?
Debra Lane: No one came up and introduced themselves to me. Like I said, I wouldn’t recognize him.
Detective Murphy: What about any of the other players?
Debra Lane: Same thing. Wouldn’t know them, didn’t meet them.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you’ve neglected to tell us about Spenser Brooks’ death?
Debra Lane: No. Only it still bugs me to think about it. How I could maybe have seen who did it.
Detective Murphy: Okay. You can go for now.
Detective Armstrong: We’ll be in touch about that code violation.
Interview ended 3:57 p.m