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The detectives tried to get Liddie to open up about what she witnessed around her mother's murder

Tuesday, February 6, 2001 – 2:00 p.m.

Lydia "Liddie" Hammond is Missy Hammond's seven-year-old daughter. She was found at the crime scene with her mother's body.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department in the presence of both a court appointed psychologist and a court appointed attorney. The interview was recorded with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Lydia "Liddie" Hammond
  • Nancy Carson, psychologist appointed to the minor Lydia Hammond
  • Andrew Drummond, counsel appointed to the minor Lydia Hammond

Nancy Carson: Hi, Liddie. Do you remember me? We talked a few times last week and then again yesterday?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Nancy Carson: And do you remember all these other nice people? That's Mr. Drummond, and over there is Detective Armstrong and Detective Murphy. Do you remember seeing them before?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Nancy Carson: We're all your friends here, and we just want to help you. You don't have to be scared because no one here is going to hurt you. OK?

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Nancy Carson: Now, Detective Armstrong and Detective Murphy need to ask you some questions. They're going to want to talk about your mommy. I know it makes you sad to talk about her, but it's really important so you should try to tell them whatever you can remember. OK?

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Nancy Carson: And if you get too sad, we can always take a little break. OK?

Liddie Hammond: OK.

Nancy Carson: Detectives?

Detective Armstrong: Hi, Liddie. My name is Detective Armstrong. How are you today?

Liddie Hammond: Fine.

Detective Armstrong: We talked to your Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria today. They said to tell you hi and they love you.

Liddie Hammond: I didn't get to see them on Friday.

Detective Armstrong: I heard about that. Do you miss them?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember the last time you saw them?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Liddie Hammond: We went skating.

Detective Armstrong: Roller-skating?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Are you a good roller-skater?

Liddie Hammond: No. I'm still learning how. But I'm better than I used to be.

Detective Armstrong: I bet you are. What else did you do with Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria the last time you saw them?

Liddie Hammond: Got ice cream.

Detective Armstrong: Oh yeah? What's your favorite kind of ice cream?

Liddie Hammond: Bubble Gum.

Detective Armstrong: That's a good one. My granddaughter Rachel likes that kind too. What did you do after you got ice cream?

Liddie Hammond: Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria took me home.

Detective Armstrong: Did they go inside with you?

Liddie Hammond: No, they don't do that. Sometimes Mama Gloria gets mad at…

Detective Armstrong: Did Mama Gloria get mad at your mommy sometimes?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: So that's why they didn't go inside with you?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: How do they know if you got in the house OK?

Liddie Hammond: I blink the porch light for them so they know.

Detective Armstrong: And did you do that that night?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Liddie Hammond: I…

Nancy Carson: It's OK, Liddie. You be a brave girl and tell Detective Armstrong what you did next.

Liddie Hammond: I looked for Mommy.

Detective Armstrong: Did you find her?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Where was she?

Liddie Hammond: Sleeping.

Detective Armstrong: Were you surprised that she was sleeping?

Liddie Hammond: No. Sometimes she takes a nap.

Detective Armstrong: Had you ever come home before and she was sleeping?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: So what did you do when you saw she was sleeping? Did you wake her up?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: Why not?

Liddie Hammond: Because sometimes Mommy is grumpy if I wake her up.

Detective Armstrong: Like the dwarf named Grumpy from the Snow White story?

Liddie Hammond: Hee. Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: So when you saw that your mommy was asleep, what did you do?

Liddie Hammond: I was sleepy too.

Detective Armstrong: So what did you do?

Liddie Hammond: I put my pajamas on and got in Mommy's bed.

Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you sleep in your own bed?

Liddie Hammond: Mommy likes me to sleep with her.

Detective Murphy: All the time?

Liddie Hammond: Just sometimes.

Detective Armstrong: Were there any lights on in your mommy's room?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: Were you scared?

Liddie Hammond: No. The hall light was on.

Detective Murphy: Were there other lights on in the house?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Murphy: Was the TV on in the living room?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Did you fall asleep in your mommy's bed that night?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to her before you went to sleep?

Liddie Hammond: I told her good night.

Detective Armstrong: Did she say anything?

Liddie Hammond: No, she was asleep.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Liddie Hammond: I went to sleep.

Detective Murphy: Did you wake up during the night?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Murphy: Did you hear anything strange during the night?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Murphy: When did you wake up?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Murphy: Were you still in your mother's bed when you woke up?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember why you woke up?

Liddie Hammond: Grandpa was knocking on the door.

Detective Armstrong: How did you know it was him?

Liddie Hammond: I saw him.

Detective Armstrong: Before you opened the door?

Liddie Hammond: No, after.

Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to your mommy before you opened the door?

Liddie Hammond: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: What did you say?

Liddie Hammond: I said, "Mommy, somebody's at the door."

Detective Armstrong: What did she say?

Liddie Hammond: Nothing. She was still sleeping.

Detective Murphy: Were you surprised she was still sleeping?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Murphy: Do you know why she didn't wake up to answer the door?

Liddie Hammond: No. She looked… funny.

Detective Murphy: Funny how?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: What made her look funny?

Liddie Hammond: I don't know. She had a bruise on her neck.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember where on her neck?

Liddie Hammond: On her whole neck.

Detective Armstrong: OK. So what did you do?

Liddie Hammond: I opened the door so Grandpa could come in.

Detective Armstrong: And then what happened?

Liddie Hammond: He asked me where Mommy was, and I told him she was sleeping.

Detective Armstrong: What did he say?

Liddie Hammond: He went into her room to wake her up.

Detective Armstrong: And then what happened?

Liddie Hammond: He came out. He looked sad.

Detective Armstrong: What did he do?

Liddie Hammond: Called somebody.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know who he called?

Liddie Hammond: No.

Detective Armstrong: What did he do after that?

Liddie Hammond: He called Uncle Johnny.

Detective Armstrong: How do you know?

Liddie Hammond: I heard him talking to him.

Detective Armstrong: What did he say?

Liddie Hammond: He said to come over.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know why?

Liddie Hammond: I went to Uncle Johnny's house.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know why you went to Uncle Johnny's house?

Liddie Hammond: Grandpa said someone was coming over to check on Mommy, and I should go to Uncle Johnny's.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Liddie Hammond: We waited for Uncle Johnny to come.

Detective Armstrong: How did you feel about that?

Liddie Hammond: I was scared.

Detective Armstrong: Why were you scared?

Liddie Hammond: Because… something was wrong with Mommy…

Nancy Carson: Detective, I think we should stop now.

Detective Murphy: OK.

End interview – 2:26 p.m.

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