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Can Roger satisfactorily explain the life insurance policy?

Wednesday, March 7, 2001 – 2:50 p.m.

Roger Hammond is the victim's ex-husband.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Roger Hammond

Detective Murphy: Thanks for your time again.

Roger Hammond: How many times are we going to have to go through this? This is just ridiculous.

Detective Armstrong: We'll go through it as many times as necessary. You do want us to solve this crime, don't you?

Roger Hammond: Of course, but I don't see why you have to pester me all the time. Let's get this over with. I'm Roger Hammond, and I live at 4314 Mockingbird Lane.

Detective Armstrong: Hey, you're learning.

Detective Murphy: So where've you been, Roger? You were supposed to be here at two o'clock.

Roger Hammond: Look, I've got a life to lead, a job to do. I got tied up at work.

Detective Murphy: You could have called us to let us know you'd be late.

Roger Hammond: Yeah, well, I didn't.

Detective Murphy: We noticed. Makes it seem like you're not taking this too seriously.

Roger Hammond: Why should I? You always ask me the same dumb questions, and I already told you everything I know. I'm not the one you're looking for here, so you oughta just leave me alone and spend your time looking for the person who actually killed Missy.

Detective Armstrong: You'd do well to check that attitude, son.

Detective Murphy: Here's an easy one for you, Roger. What is the policy at your dealership for delivering cars to customers?

Roger Hammond: What do you mean?

Detective Armstrong: Geez, he can't even answer that one.

Detective Murphy: How do you prepare a car before a buyer picks it up?

Roger Hammond: Well, we clean it up, fill up the tank. Just the usual stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Detective Murphy: Do you put temporary tags on the car?

Roger Hammond: It just depends. I guess if the buyer has already filled out all the paperwork, they might go ahead and register the car. Usually people just do that right before they drive off the lot.

Detective Murphy: So the tags go on the car when they drive away?

Roger Hammond: Yeah, that's probably the most common thing. We don't usually do that in advance. Why?

Detective Armstrong: We're just curious, Roger.

Detective Murphy: Now, we still have some questions about this life insurance policy that was on Missy.

Roger Hammond: This is crazy! How many times do we have to go over this?

Detective Murphy: Until we get the answers we need. Now, tell us about this policy.

Roger Hammond: I've told you a hundred times. It was taken out in case anything ever happened to Missy. It's for Liddie. Now, I don't know what else I can possibly say.

Detective Armstrong: How come you're still named as the beneficiary, even though it's been years since y'all divorced?

Roger Hammond: I'm still Liddie's dad. If anything ever happened to Missy, I'd still have to take care of her.

Detective Armstrong: Oh, like you are now?

Roger Hammond: Maybe I'm not right now, but she'll be back with me soon and I will be taking care of her.

Detective Armstrong: Oh yeah? How do you figure? You're not even allowed to so much as see her right now.

Roger Hammond: That'll change soon enough. My lawyer's going to get the ball rolling very soon on getting me custody of my daughter back.

Detective Armstrong: What if she's not your daughter, Rog? Then what're you gonna do?

Roger Hammond: What do you mean?

Detective Armstrong: I mean we're gonna have those paternity results in our hands in the next couple days, and then we'll really know what's what. Maybe you should tell your lawyer to hold off on that custody thing until you find out. No point in it if you're not even Liddie's father.

Roger Hammond: What are you saying? Do you know something?

Detective Armstrong: That's why you killed Missy, isn't it? So she wouldn't get the test done and prove you're not Liddie's father?

Roger Hammond: That's ridiculous. I did not kill Missy.

Detective Armstrong: Oh that's right. I forgot. You killed her for the life insurance payoff, didn't you?

Roger Hammond: I didn't kill her for anything! I already told you that money's for Liddie, not me.

Detective Murphy: So you and Missy talked about this life insurance policy, and it was a conscious decision to leave you as the beneficiary? So you could take care of Liddie with the money, of course.

Roger Hammond: We debated about it. Sometimes we thought of changing the paperwork. Other times we talked about just keeping it the same. It's not like it was something that came up every day.

Detective Armstrong: Seems weird to me that someone who took out a protection order against you would want you to get two million bucks.

Roger Hammond: Well, that's just your opinion.

Detective Murphy: Who opened that policy, Roger?

Roger Hammond: We did. What kind of stupid question is that?

Detective Armstrong: Was it you or was it Missy?

Roger Hammond: It was both of us.

Detective Murphy: Who signed the paperwork?

Roger Hammond: That's a dumb question. You know that Missy would have had to sign things.

Detective Armstrong: What do you think would happen if we did a handwriting analysis, Roger?

Roger Hammond: You'd find Missy's handwriting!

Detective Murphy: Sure about that?

Roger Hammond: Of course.

Detective Armstrong: I guess we'll find out.

Detective Murphy: I wonder if Missy even knew about this policy. I wonder if little Roger here didn't take out that policy himself and keep it a secret from her. Maybe forge her signature, keep it paid. All that kind of stuff, just in case anything ever happened.

Roger Hammond: You wonder a lot, Detective. But you know what? I'm sick of this harassment. You drag me in here — what, three times now? — to ask me stupid questions. You invade my privacy and go through all my personal possessions looking for god-knows-what. You just keep wondering all you want, but I'm getting out of here. You guys want to talk to me again, call my lawyer.

Detective Armstrong: Sure thing, Roger. You tell that lawyer to be expecting our call.

End interview – 3:11 p.m.

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