Smiling young woman with long dark hair

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 – 8:15 p.m.

Mackenzie Collins is a housemate at Hoyt Biffle's "Under Glass."

Detectives Magee and Beckwith interviewed her at the Under Glass house.

Participants:

  • Detective P. Beckwith
  • Detective J. Magee
  • Mackenzie Collins

Detective Magee: Good evening, Ms. Collins. I'm Detective Magee. Detective Beckwith and I would like to ask you a few questions.

Mackenzie Collins: Like, now?

Detective Magee: If it's not a problem.

Detective Beckwith: It won't take long.

Mackenzie Collins: Okay.

Detective Magee: Let's start with your name and address.

Mackenzie Collins: Mackenzie Rae Collins. I live here at Under Glass. The address is 903 Muirfield Drive.

Detective Beckwith: Did Hoyt Biffle have you on the payroll here as an Under Glass girl?

Mackenzie Collins: Yes. Am I going to have to leave? I don't have anywhere to go.

Detective Beckwith: We're not throwing you out. We're just here to investigate your boss's death.

Mackenzie Collins: Okay.

Detective Magee: How long have you lived at Under Glass?

Mackenzie Collins: For a year or so.

Detective Beckwith: When was the last time you saw Hoyt?

Mackenzie Collins: This morning. I saw him talking to Kenny Ross—the tech guy who works Under Glass at night—outside by Hoyt's truck.

Detective Beckwith: Where were you when you saw them?

Mackenzie Collins: In my room. I could see them from my window.

Detective Beckwith: Earlier riser?

Mackenzie Collins: I like mornings. They're quiet.

Detective Magee: So when was the last time you talked to Hoyt?

Mackenzie Collins: Last Saturday, sometime late in the afternoon. I was going to get my hair cut, and Hoyt stopped me as I was leaving.

Detective Beckwith: What did he want?

Mackenzie Collins: He asked me if I wanted to go out with Tanya and him that night.

Detective Magee: Where were they going?

Mackenzie Collins: I don't know. They're always going somewhere to "be seen." It's not my thing, so I told him no. He would always ask me anyways whenever he wanted to party.

Detective Magee: Are you and Tanya the only ones he would ask to go out?

Mackenzie Collins: No, he'd invite all the housemates who wanted to party.

Detective Magee: Moving on, could you run through your day's events—what you were doing and where you went, if anywhere?

Mackenzie Collins: I spent most of the day here at Under Glass. If we don't have anything important to do, Hoyt has stressed that he pays us to stay at the house so that what we do can be recorded.

Detective Beckwith: So that means everything you did would be on tape somewhere in the control shed?

Mackenzie Collins: I would think so. I didn't do much this morning. I got up and studied. I'm a sophomore at Ole Miss, working toward a law degree one day. School is important to me.

Detective Beckwith: Were your housemates around?

Mackenzie Collins: In the morning, they were, I think. Like I said, I was studying. I have a test coming up in my Political Science course, and the TAs that Professor Enriques has are the worst. By late afternoon, I was the only one here at the house, though. I left at 4:00 p.m. or so for my night class on African History. The class starts at 5:00 p.m., but I left early to beat the rain.

Detective Magee: I assume the cameras would have caught you leaving?

Mackenzie Collins: I know they would have. There's one right at the door.

Detective Beckwith: Where did you go in that hour before your African History class?

Mackenzie Collins: I stopped at the Union for half an hour or so and then went to Ventress Hall for my class.

Detective Beckwith: When did you get back?

Mackenzie Collins: It was a power lecture, so I got home at 7:00 p.m. like usual. But I was met by the cops right away, which was not usual. I told them I lived here, and they eventually allowed me to go to my room. I first heard that Hoyt died when the cops told me that y'all wanted to talk to me at some point.

Detective Magee: Did you see Hoyt today?

Mackenzie Collins: No, but he doesn't really come into the house during the day. He's always out in the shed, working the cameras.

Detective Beckwith: Did Hoyt come into the house at night?

Mackenzie Collins: No, because if he did, he'd be on camera. Under Glass is about college life, not Hoyt's life.

Detective Magee: Have you ever been in Hoyt's shed?

Mackenzie Collins: I've looked in it before. It's super techy, which is not really something I'm into.

Detective Beckwith: Do you have any outside employment?

Mackenzie Collins: No, it's school or Under Glass for me. I have to keep my grades up to keep my scholarship. Under Glass was good for me since Hoyt pays me, and I didn't have to pay rent to live here. The house is close to the University, so everything was great. Now, if Under Glass closes, I don't know what I'll do.

Detective Magee: Well, you could get a job that doesn't involve taking your clothes off for the internet.

Mackenzie Collins: Yeah, because working the Ole Miss dining service is so much more glamorous and life-fulfilling. Anyway, we're not strippers. We aren't running nudie cams here.

Detective Magee: I was under the impression that the cameras were always on and recording.

Mackenzie Collins: Yeah, but all the housemates know where they are. I have little tricks so that the cameras don't get me much. Well-placed towels, strategically arranged furniture, and the total lack of a boyfriend worked for me.

Detective Magee: Hmm, seems like your boss wouldn't approve of that.

Mackenzie Collins: No, Hoyt encouraged me to stay coy. He said it was part of my nature and, anyway, he said the internet subscribers were always wanting "more Kenzie," so Hoyt kept the tease in to keep me what he called "semi-forbidden fruit."

Detective Beckwith: Who would you say were Hoyt's enemies, if he had any?

Mackenzie Collins: Oh, he had enemies, that's for sure.

Detective Beckwith: Who's at the top of the list?

Mackenzie Collins: Ben Morgan and the Concerned Oxford Parents group. They picket us constantly. They call themselves God-fearing but label us "whores" and "home-wreckers" and all kinds of horrible things. They're happiest if and when we cry, so I try to ignore them until I get into the house and let Tanya take care of them. I don't know what their problem is. None of them are watching the internet stream, so why would they care?

Detective Magee: Did Hoyt have other enemies?

Mackenzie Collins: I doubt Ole Miss thinks we're great for their reputation.

Detective Magee: Who else?

Mackenzie Collins: The city council, but that was political, not personal.

Detective Beckwith: What do you mean?

Mackenzie Collins: There were zoning issues with the shed out back. It was before I started working at Under Glass. Hoyt was still mad about how much wrangling it took to get the littlest thing from the council. I guess Hoyt was more mad at them than they were at him.

Detective Beckwith: Did Hoyt ever mention anyone on the council in particular?

Mackenzie Collins: No. He was harboring a grudge against them all.

Detective Magee: What about your housemates? Any of them have a problem with Hoyt?

Mackenzie Collins: Not right now, that I know of. I guess you'll ask them anyway.

Detective Magee: That's the job.

Mackenzie Collins: I don't really have any good reason why someone would do this to Hoyt. I mean, people didn't like that there's some nudity on his livestream, but still, it seems irrational to kill someone because of it. We have way less nudity than something like "Game of Thrones," but I never heard of anyone killing off HBO execs.

Detective Beckwith: Maybe it goes deeper than that, Kenzie.

Mackenzie Collins: What do you mean?

Detective Beckwith: Maybe Hoyt had more "forbidden fruit." Someone had a reason to kill him, whether it was a good reason or not. Can you think of any other people we should talk to who would have information about Hoyt's death?

Mackenzie Collins: I really don't know of anyone.

Detective Magee: Okay, Kenzie, thanks for talking with us. If we need to revisit this conversation, we'll contact you, all right?

Mackenzie Collins: All right.

Interview ended – 8:42 p.m.

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