Steve Kirby interview
Monday, February 12, 2001 – 1:00 p.m.
Steve Kirby was Missy Hammond's high school boyfriend.
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
- Steve Kirby
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming down to talk to us today.
Steve Kirby: I'm glad to do anything I can.
Detective Murphy: Please state your name and address.
Steve Kirby: Steven Kirby. I live at 210 Sisk Avenue in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: And where are you employed?
Steve Kirby: I'm a co-owner of Complete Computing Specialists. Our offices are over at 309 East Jackson Avenue.
Detective Murphy: You said you're a co-owner. There are other owners of the business?
Steve Kirby: Yes, my partner, John Boudreau, and myself are the primary owners. My wife, Maureen, has a small share of the business too.
Detective Murphy: Can you tell us how you knew the victim, Missy Hammond?
Steve Kirby: Sure, we went to high school together. We dated for a couple of years back then.
Detective Murphy: And when did you break up?
Steve Kirby: It was late winter, early spring of our senior year.
Detective Murphy: Why did you break up?
Steve Kirby: Just dumb kid stuff, I guess. I went out with this other girl. Nothing really happened, but still, you could say I cheated on Missy. After that, she kept saying that she couldn't trust me.
Detective Armstrong: Did you two try to work things out?
Steve Kirby: Sure. We got back together a couple of times that spring, but it never really lasted.
Detective Armstrong: How did you feel about that?
Steve Kirby: I was crushed. I really cared about her. And to know that I screwed it up by just being stupid, that's hard to take. But, then again, I guess most kids at that age think their relationships are a matter of life and death.
Detective Armstrong: What about you now? You're married?
Steve Kirby: Yeah, I married a local girl, Maureen, in 1997. Maybe you know her, Maureen Kirby? Used to be Maureen Silver.
Detective Armstrong: The name sounds familiar. I might recognize her if I saw her. So you've been married for about four or five years now. Did you have any communications with Missy after you got married?
Steve Kirby: Not for a while. But we had been talking a little bit lately.
Detective Murphy: About what?
Steve Kirby: Nothing much. Just catching up. It was really tough when we broke up. I'm afraid we didn't do it under the best circumstances. But all that was a long time ago. I didn't see any reason for us to hate each other anymore. And Oxford is such a small town, we were going to bump into each other sooner or later.
Detective Murphy: How did this new phase of communication begin?
Steve Kirby: I just called her up. After I heard that she got divorced, I called to say that I hoped she was doing well. And after that, we started chatting every now and then.
Detective Murphy: Just chatting?
Steve Kirby: Well, uh, yeah. What do you mean?
Detective Murphy: What was the current nature of your relationship?
Steve Kirby: We were friends.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever try to get back together with Missy?
Steve Kirby: No. I'm married. Why would I do something like that?
Detective Armstrong: I don't know. That's why I'm asking.
Steve Kirby: No, it was nice talking to her again. But I wasn't trying to cheat on my wife, if that's what you're asking.
Detective Armstrong: How did your wife get along with Missy?
Steve Kirby: I don't know that she did. I mean, I don't think they really knew each other.
Detective Armstrong: Didn't you all go to high school together?
Steve Kirby: Yes, but Maureen and Missy weren't really friends. They probably knew each other to say hi, but they didn't run in the same circles, you know?
Detective Armstrong: Did your wife know that you'd been talking to Missy?
Steve Kirby: I don't know whether she did or not.
Detective Armstrong: How can you not know? Did you hide it from her?
Steve Kirby: What are you getting at? I wasn't— I didn't— Look, Maureen knows Missy and I used to go out back in high school. Would she be happy that I was talking to Missy? Maybe not. But I wasn't going out of my way to hide it from her. I just didn't make a big deal about it because it wasn't a big deal. I don't know why you're trying to make it more than it was.
Detective Murphy: Let's leave that for now. So you were just friends with Missy. What did you two talk about?
Steve Kirby: A lot of it was just catching up. She told me about her life in the years since I knew her, and I told her about mine. We talked a lot about what different people were doing since we all went to college. That sort of thing. We talked about work and sports. Nothing in particular.
Detective Murphy: You and Ms. Hammond were catching up for the last three years or so?
Steve Kirby: Three years?
Detective Murphy: You said you called her when you heard she was divorced. Her divorce was final in 1998.
Steve Kirby: Well, I didn't find out right away. It was a while later when I heard.
Detective Murphy: How long after the divorce did you hear about it?
Steve Kirby: I don't remember. Not too long ago.
Detective Murphy: How did you hear?
Steve Kirby: I don't know. I guess someone mentioned it, but I don't remember now.
Detective Murphy: On January 26, there was a phone call from Missy's house to your office. Do you know who at your office took this call?
Steve Kirby: Yes, I believe I did.
Detective Murphy: And the caller was Missy Hammond?
Steve Kirby: Yes
Detective Armstrong: What did you talk about?
Steve Kirby: Nothing much that I remember. I'm sure it just had something to do with their new computer. When Missy and her daughter got the computer, she often called me with questions about this or that.
Detective Armstrong: And that's what this call was? Computer advice?
Steve Kirby: Well, I can't say that I remember for sure, but probably.
Detective Armstrong: You really can't remember? Think hard now.
Steve Kirby: No. I'm sorry, but I just don't remember every small phone conversation that I have. It probably was about the computer though. I'm almost positive.
Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to Missy again after that call?
Steve Kirby: No.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see her after that call?
Steve Kirby: No.
Detective Armstrong: So this was your very last conversation with her ever, but you can't remember what you talked about?
Steve Kirby: No, not really. At the time, I didn't know I would never get to talk to her again so I didn't memorize everything we said.
Detective Armstrong: If you had known, you would have memorized the conversation?
Steve Kirby: Not necessarily, but I probably would have paid a lot more attention.
Detective Murphy: After you took the call, where were you for the rest of the afternoon on the 26th?
Steve Kirby: I was at work until about 6:30. Then I went home.
Detective Murphy: Was anyone else in the office then?
Steve Kirby: No. My partner was out of town, and my wife runs her errands on Fridays. She goes by the accountants, the bank, the post office, that kind of stuff. So no one was there until she came back about 6:15. Then we left.
Detective Murphy: Where did you go?
Steve Kirby: Home.
Detective Murphy: Just you?
Steve Kirby: No, me and my wife, we both went home.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone see you arrive home?
Steve Kirby: Not that I know of.
Detective Murphy: What kind of car do you drive, Mr. Kirby?
Steve Kirby: A Honda Accord.
Detective Murphy: What color is it?
Steve Kirby: Green.
Detective Murphy: Do you park it on the street?
Steve Kirby: It just kind of depends. You know how parking can get on the Square, especially if it's a Friday or Saturday. If I can, I park on Jackson. But I just leave it where I can find a spot.
Detective Murphy: Where did you park it on January 26th?
Steve Kirby: I'm not sure. I think we got a spot on Jackson when we came in that morning, but Maureen went out that afternoon, and I don't remember where she parked when she came back.
Detective Armstrong: You and your wife drive to work together?
Steve Kirby: Most of the time. I mean, we're going to the same place, so why not?
Detective Armstrong: Do you have a second car?
Steve Kirby: Yes. I have a '66 Mustang that I'm fixing up, but we usually leave it at home unless one of us has a meeting or something and our schedules are out of sync. Maureen doesn't like to drive it, so when we take separate cars, she takes the Honda and I drive the Mustang.
Detective Murphy: All right, in your so-called friendly conversations with Missy, did she mention anything about scheduling a doctor's appointment for her daughter, Liddie?
Steve Kirby: Well, no. I don't think so.
Detective Murphy: She had an appointment for that following Monday morning. She didn't mention having to take Liddie to the doctor?
Steve Kirby: No, I don't think I remember that.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Kirby, I'm just going to ask you straight out. Are you the father of Missy's daughter?
Steve Kirby: No! Why would you ask something like that?
Detective Armstrong: Because that doctor's appointment was almost certainly to get a paternity test for Liddie. If you do the math of when you two broke up, it's at least possible that you're her father. Let me ask you again, what was the nature of your relationship with Missy Hammond at the time of her death?
Steve Kirby: I told you. We were just friends. How many times do I have to say that?
Detective Armstrong: I gotta level with you. We've been given information that you were trying to get back together with her. And we've been told that you were beginning to think that you might be Liddie's father.
Steve Kirby: OK, look. We did talk about it. You said so yourself that it's mathematically possible that I'm the father. I had asked her about it. Sometimes she said that she didn't know. Other times, she said maybe.
Detective Murphy: Did you want to know? Did you push her to have a paternity test?
Steve Kirby: Of course I'd like to know if I have a daughter out there. But, at the same time, Liddie recognizes Roger Hammond as her father. Whether that's a good thing or not, who knows? But I was apprehensive about doing anything that might hurt Liddie.
Detective Murphy: Why the evasion? Why didn't you tell us this in the first place?
Steve Kirby: It's pretty personal, you know. And I don't want anything getting out and being distorted and hurting my wife.
Detective Murphy: Anything else you've told us that isn't true?
Steve Kirby: I don't think so.
Detective Murphy: What about trying to get back together with Missy?
Steve Kirby: Look, we talked about it. You know? God, if Maureen finds out… but I don't know how much of it was real. It was nice talking to her again. We were really close once. We were each other's first loves, you know, and you always have some amount of affection for that person… But I don't know if now it was just being nostalgic or what.
Detective Murphy: So you guys talked about getting back together, but never acted on anything?
Steve Kirby: No! I've told you that. I'm married, and I've done nothing wrong.
Detective Murphy: Then you don't have anything to be concerned about. Thanks for your time. I'm sure we'll be talking again.
End interview – 1:39 p.m.