Interview 4: Virginia Brooks, widow of former D.A. Brooks
Wednesday, March 27, 2011-8:15 a.m.
The witness, Virginia Brooks was the spouse of D.A. Spenser Brooks, whose body was found in Wall Doxey State Park. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department, and was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- Detective Samantha Murphy
- Virginia Rose Brooks
Virginia Brooks: Again? Again, Ted? This is the fourth time I’ve been here for questioning. What is wrong with you? How could you possibly believe I have anything more to tell you? Why aren’t you getting Spense’s killer locked away?
Detective Armstrong: Name and address first.
Virginia Brooks: I’m Virginia Rose Brooks and I live at 439 Chandler Avenue.
Detective Armstrong: We feel an arrest is imminent, Virginia, so just bear with us. You have already informed us that you knew about Spense’s infidelities, so would you say there were women you weren’t aware of?
Virginia Brooks: I have to confess that I have wondered about that many times, but I don’t have an answer. I know Spense wasn’t the most faithful man, but I can’t believe that it happened very often.
Detective Armstrong: Can you give us names of any of the women you knew about?
Virginia Brooks: Oh, I don’t have any names. I just knew. When you’ve been married as long as we were, you just know.
Detective Murphy: So, you weren’t aware of his affair with Christy Arnold?
Virginia Brooks: Not at all. I wasn’t aware of that until you mentioned her name to me. And even then I wasn’t sure that it happened. So you’re actually saying there was an affair? With Christy Arnold?
Detective Armstrong: Wesley didn’t say anything?
Virginia Brooks: Wesley?! Wesley knew? Wesley told you that?
Detective Murphy: Yes, Virginia, he saw them together. He didn’t tell you?
Virginia Brooks: Oh no! No! No! He called me the day you interviewed him and told me that you suspected him of murdering his father, but you hadn’t arrested him yet. Oh poor Wesley. How can I bear this? I had no idea Wesley was aware of his dad’s unfaithfulness. I need to go. I have to talk to Wesley.
Detective Armstrong: We still have some questions. We suspect that Wesley did, in fact, tell you about seeing Spense and Miss Arnold together.
Virginia Brooks: Well, you’re wrong. He didn’t breathe a word to me. I wish he had. What he must have gone through keeping that to himself.
Detective Armstrong: I don’t believe you. I think he did tell you. We found the tire tracks from your car at the scene. Also you used Spense’s computer to search for the cabin and then checking to find out when cabin 11 would be free. Maybe Wesley is the murderer.
Virginia Brooks: He didn’t! You’re wrong! In the end it was Spense himself who confessed to the affair, but I knew there was someone. I followed him one evening. He picked her up and drove to the park. When he started toward the campground area, I stayed back and waited a while. Then I drove very slowly from cabin to cabin until I found his car parked in front of cabin 11. I sat there imagining what was going on inside. It was hard not going inside because I was screaming inside my mind.
Detective Murphy: I know this is hard for you, Virginia. I understand. Here, take some tissues and pull yourself together.
Detective Armstrong: We know that you are a very strong woman, Virginia. Take a minute. We have plenty of time. No hurry.
Virginia Brooks: Alright, I can go on now. It’s a relief to get this out in the open. I plotted and planned all the way home on how I could take my revenge on Spense for what he had done to break my heart.
Detective Armstrong: You said that Spense told you himself about Miss Arnold. When did that happen?
Virginia Brooks: I’m tired of keeping it all inside. It’s eating me up. He told the same week he was murdered.
Detective Murphy: Tell us what Spense said to you Virginia?
Virginia Brooks: Stop asking me all these questions! This was my marriage. It’s none of your business!
Detective Murphy: We need to hear it all, Virginia. You know that, don’t you? Maybe we should call Wesley in.
Virginia Brooks: No, no, don’t do that. He doesn’t need to endure more than he must have already endured. I wanted to protect him from all this.
Spense told me he needed to talk to me and so we went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. That’s where we always discussed things. He told me he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce. He said her name wasn’t important. When he said that he wanted a divorce my world just stopped. It was such a shock. I couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t accept it.
Detective Murphy: What happened then?
Virginia Brooks: I crumpled. Spense caught me and held me. We were married 20 years and he still cared for me, but someone else had stolen his heart. I begged him not to leave me. I said I’d do anything. After a while, he said okay. He said he’d stay and see what happened. He carried me to bed, but he didn’t get in the bed with me. He went to the guest bedroom and slept there.
Detective Murphy: But he changed his mind, didn’t he? Was he planning on marrying Miss Arnold?
Virginia Brooks: How do you know all this? Wesley doesn’t know that, does he? I wanted to frame that woman to protect Wesley and so he would learn the dangers of infidelity.
Detective Armstrong: So, what happened when Spense told you he was still leaving?
Virginia Brooks: He said he’d stay with me until we got our affairs in order. He said I could have the house and whatever I needed. He said none of those things were important to him. He said he’d go on supporting Wesley and me until I could manage on my own. He said he didn’t want me out of his life. We were close and he didn’t want to change that, but he was in love with her and had to be with her. I tried to tell him that I would let him go to her as much as he wanted, but we could still keep our marriage intact. I loved him so much.
Detective Armstrong: He wouldn’t accept that arrangement would he?
Virginia Brooks: No. He had made up his mind and nothing I said would change it.
Detective Armstrong: What happened Sunday morning, on January 30th?
Virginia Brooks: Each day that passed, my self-pity turned more to anger. I couldn’t bear the thought of him with another woman. It just ate away at me and I decided that if he wouldn’t end it, I would.
Detective Armstrong: Go on.
Virginia Brooks: I was very careful. I planned it all down to a tee. I discovered that Cabin 11 was free on that Sunday. I had checked a couple to times before, but it wasn’t free. That Sunday it was, so I wrote a note for Spense from an anonymous writer. The note asked Spense to meet him at the park that morning at Cabin 11 because he, the writer, had some information about Alderman Collins, who was accepting bribes. I put it in the mail box. I asked him to make a detour on his way, to pick up some printer paper. That would give me time to take care of things before I also went to the park. After he left I took the note and burned it. I flushed the ashes and got ready to leave the house.
Detective Murphy: And then?
Virginia Brooks: I drove to the park. I didn’t drive all the way to the cabin. I walked until I saw Spense. He was so intent on finding out what he could about Collins that he never even heard me creeping up behind him.
I..I…said, Spense? He turned, and I saw the question in his eyes when he saw the gun in my hand. You see, he had no idea I had a gun. He knew I hated guns. I had remembered a story he told me about where crooks were able to buy illegal guns and I went there the day before and bought one. I pulled the trigger and shot him. Between the eyes. I think he died instantly.
I felt dead, too. I turned around and somewhere on my way to the car; I threw the gun into the woods.
I thought there would be evidence in the cabin about Christy Arnold, since he was meeting her there. She would be arrested for murder. A fitting end.
Detective Armstrong: Place your hands behind your back, Virginia. I have to cuff you. Officer Winston will read you your rights. We’ll see you in court.
Interview ended: 9:45 a.m.