Paul called the detectives and said he wanted to talk to them

Monday, May 1, 2017 – 1:15 p.m.

Paul Bragg's son, Jimmy, is a YHS student and archery team member, and Paul's wife, Stephanie, is a volunteer at the high school and at Faith and Glory Community Church.

Mr. Bragg contacted the detectives and asked to speak with them at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Paul Bragg

Detective Murphy: Okay, Mr. Bragg, before we start, we need you to state your name and address for the record.

Paul Bragg: My name is Paul Bragg. My address is 310 Longest Road.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. So when you called, you said you may have some new information for us?

Paul Bragg: Well, sort of. I’m just— I’m not sure what to think. I don’t know what to do. I’m concerned that Stephanie may have been involved in some way with Mr. Miller’s death. Oh, my God. I’m sorry. I just can’t believe I’m here right now.

Detective Armstrong: It’s okay, Mr. Bragg. Take your time. Would you like some water?

Paul Bragg: No, no that’s okay. I just need to get this out. First of all, I know that my wife isn’t capable of murder. And I truly don’t believe that she is the person who killed Frederick. But it would be unethical for me to hold back information that might help you find the person that did, even if that means finding out that Stephanie was somehow involved.

Detective Armstrong: Okay. What makes you think she may have been involved?

Paul Bragg: Well, I wrote this all down last night. Seeing it all on paper is what ultimately convinced me that I needed to come in today. Is it okay if I read from my notes?

Detective Murphy: Of course, go ahead.

Paul Bragg: Okay. So the week leading up to Frederick’s death, I noticed some changes in Stephanie’s behavior. For instance, her schedule was more erratic than usual, and it seemed to me that she was making up excuses for why she had to go somewhere.

Detective Murphy: Can you elaborate on that for us?

Paul Bragg: Yeah, for example, one day I came home for lunch, and she wasn’t there, which I wouldn’t have thought much of except that that was the second day in a row that she wasn’t there.

Detective Murphy: Is it strange for her to be gone during the day?

Paul Bragg: Well, no. It’s just that we’ve always had a thing about having lunch together. Back when Stephanie was working full time, we started making a point of taking our lunch breaks at the same time. It’s just become a habit that she’s usually home around lunch time in case I’m able to get away from the office.

Detective Murphy: I see. Go on.

Paul Bragg: Well, that day she pulled into the driveway right as I was leaving to go back to work. When I asked her what she’d been up to the last couple days, she got kind of defensive and said she had to go grocery shopping. So I just shrugged it off and told her I’d be home for dinner. But as I was getting in my car, I realized that she wasn’t carrying any groceries.

Detective Murphy: Could they have been in her car? Maybe she was going to come back out for them?

Paul Bragg: It’s possible, but I know my wife’s routines pretty well. And she wouldn’t have wasted a trip inside without taking some of the groceries with her. She’s very efficient that way.

Detective Murphy: I see. Go on.

Paul Bragg: It’s also just odd because she usually goes grocery shopping on Sundays after church. If she gets any groceries during the week, it’s just a few things, and she doesn’t bother putting the bags in the trunk. She would have just carried them in with her.

Detective Murphy: So if she wasn’t at the grocery store, where do you think she was?

Paul Bragg: I really don’t know. I have no idea.

Detective Armstrong: Wasn't she getting ready for the Sewcial Compassion event that week?

Paul Bragg: Well, yes.

Detective Armstrong: So she could've been unusually busy because of that?

Paul Bragg: I guess so. I hadn't thought about that.

Detective Armstrong: Could the groceries she bought have been for that event?

Paul Bragg: I don't know. I suppose so.

Detective Murphy: Okay. So other than those anomalous shopping trips, were there any other odd behaviors?

Paul Bragg: Yeah. This is just— Okay. About three or four days before Frederick’s death, I found a large shopping bag from the Happy Hunter in our closet. Out of curiosity I peeked inside and saw that it was a new bow.

Detective Murphy: And did that seem strange to you?

Paul Bragg: Well, I figured it was for Jimmy, but it didn't look like the bow he uses for the school team.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ask Stephanie about it?

Paul Bragg: Yeah, and she just said she was doing some early birthday shopping for Jimmy.

Detective Armstrong: Remind me when his birthday is again?

Paul Bragg: April 4th.

Detective Armstrong: That's right.

Detective Murphy: Do you know what kind of bow it was?

Paul Bragg: Well, I know it was a compound bow, but I’m not exactly an expert, so that’s about all I noticed.

Detective Murphy: Do you think that maybe Stephanie just wanted to take up a new hobby?

Paul Bragg: She might've decided to take up archery again, but if she did, why wouldn't she tell me?

Detective Murphy: Could she have bought the bow as a surprise for you?

Paul Bragg: Me? No, I'm all thumbs with things like that. When Jimmy took up archery, Stephanie had to help him practice because I was a disaster at it.

Detective Armstrong: But he's gotten pretty good at it, hasn't he? Lettered in the sport and everything?

Paul Bragg: Yes, he did. We're very proud of him.

Detective Armstrong: When I was in school back in the Dark Ages, having a letter jacket was a big deal for a guy, like a badge of honor. Is it still like that?

Paul Bragg: Oh, yes. Jimmy was thrilled when he got his. Stephanie has to persuade him to hand it over anytime she wants to send it to the cleaners.

Detective Armstrong: Does she do that often?

Paul Bragg: It seems like every couple of months, but I don't really know. You'd have to ask her.

Detective Murphy: If we could go back to the bow for a moment, do you know if it's still in the closet where you saw it?

Paul Bragg: I don't. I should've looked before I came over here today, shouldn't I? I'm sorry.

Detective Murphy: It's no problem. Maybe we could just pop over to your house right now and take a look? Put all of our minds at ease.

Paul Bragg: I don't know. I don't think Stephanie would like that.

Detective Murphy: I understand. She can be a formidable woman when she wants to be. I can see why you wouldn't want to upset her. Detective Armstrong and I can get a search warrant if that would make it easier for you. We don't want to upset your home life.

Paul Bragg: Oh, no. That's not necessary. It'll be fine. I can handle Stephanie.

Detective Murphy: Okay, then.

Detective Armstrong: Before we head out, just one more thing. You said earlier you thought that she might've been involved, but she isn't capable of murder. I'm just curious if you have any idea who else might've been involved?

Paul Bragg: I— I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: That's okay. It's our job to figure that out. I just wondered if you had a theory.

Detective Murphy: Do you need to make any calls before we go to your house? Let your wife know or anything?

Paul Bragg: No, she's at school right now. She's a classroom volunteer, you know.

Detective Murphy: Yes, a lot of people have mentioned her volunteer work. Are you ready to go then?

Paul Bragg: I'm ready, but I just need to say something first. If she gets arrested because of something I said, and then it turns out I was wrong, and she's completely innocent, I will hate myself forever.

Detective Murphy: Don’t worry, Mr. Bragg. The criminal justice system isn’t perfect, but we'll do everything we can to get to the truth.

Paul Bragg: Thank you.

Interview ends – 1:36 p.m.

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Comments (10)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hmmm. Could Stephanie have gotten Jimmy's jacket with the excuse to have it cleaned and then used it herself as a cover-up?
Maybe she is the girl that was seen in the trees. Could he be covering up for Jimmy, too?

  Comment was last edited about 1 year ago by Scarlett
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Sounds good Scarlett.
I think Stephanie wanted to be seen at a distance to give the impression she was Marc. I don't think she was the shooter. She would have to lie in wait for Fredrick to leave, and this could have taken time, time she couldn't...

Sounds good Scarlett.
I think Stephanie wanted to be seen at a distance to give the impression she was Marc. I don't think she was the shooter. She would have to lie in wait for Fredrick to leave, and this could have taken time, time she couldn't afford to have been missing from the sewing event. Ducking in and out though wouldn't raise concern.
Jimmy's birthday is on April 4th and Stephanie bought him a new bow for an early birthday present? Twelve months early? Must have been a good price she couldn't pass up?
Maybe the bow is the real murder weapon and the one in the dumpster is a decoy? How to prove this could be difficult though.
The shooter could have been another Mother, who apparently is very good at archery. Marc mentions her in his 3rd interview.
I wonder if Stephanie set all this up and talked the other person into this murder?

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"She would have to lie in wait for Fredrick to leave, and this could have taken time, time she couldn't afford to have been missing from the sewing event. Ducking in and out though wouldn't raise concern."

Would she really have to do that?

Fred...

"She would have to lie in wait for Fredrick to leave, and this could have taken time, time she couldn't afford to have been missing from the sewing event. Ducking in and out though wouldn't raise concern."

Would she really have to do that?

Frederick lives by a highly strict timetable, as attested by his wife.

Caroline Miller: No. Frederick kept a rigid schedule.

Detective Murphy: How do you mean, rigid?

Caroline Miller: Everything was scheduled. Wake up at 5:00 a.m. Leave for work at 6:15. Dinner promptly at 5:15. Laundry on Sundays after church. Oil change every 3,000 miles. He wasn't spontaneous. Ever.


But I am having serious doubts that she could make such a shot in the tight timeframe she had, let alone making the shot from a tree (without being observed from the other side of the road) ,especially if she was not an expert hunter with a bow (which Marc is)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YLheAwBVxQ

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I can agree, Rob. He's very predictable and Stephanie would know when Choir got out that night because some came to the sewing event. Fred would only have been in the parking lot for a minute or so to get to his car so any shooting would have to...

I can agree, Rob. He's very predictable and Stephanie would know when Choir got out that night because some came to the sewing event. Fred would only have been in the parking lot for a minute or so to get to his car so any shooting would have to be quick, moving target. Tossing a letter jacket on over your clothes would be a fast disguise.

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Paul Bragg: She might've decided to take up archery again, but if she did, why wouldn't she tell me?

Oh, so Stephanie used to be into archery, did she? This case is getting better and better...

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I noticed that, too. Also, who knows how much practicing she's been doing?

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Judging by the finds in the hall closet, plenty of practice:

Hall Closet

• 001292-46: One (1) archery backpack containing one (1) compound bow and nine (9) arrows with target points

• 001292-47: One (1) 10-pack Birchwood Casey Eze-Scorer...

Judging by the finds in the hall closet, plenty of practice:

Hall Closet

• 001292-46: One (1) archery backpack containing one (1) compound bow and nine (9) arrows with target points

• 001292-47: One (1) 10-pack Birchwood Casey Eze-Scorer 12" x 18" paper human silhouette targets, two (2) remaining

• 001292-48: One (1) 13-pack Birchwood-Casey Eze-Scorer paper 12” bullseye targets, three (3) remaining

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Does anyone else smell a rat here? This guy (who comes home for work for lunch) is so wracked with torment that he turns in his wife on a murder rap? Even with all the interviews and police contact, there are incriminating object lying around?...

Does anyone else smell a rat here? This guy (who comes home for work for lunch) is so wracked with torment that he turns in his wife on a murder rap? Even with all the interviews and police contact, there are incriminating object lying around? Would a father implicate his wife to save his son? Oh hell yeah!

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Would he need to implicate his wife, if his son isn't the prime suspect? I think this guy is just insecure and trying to do the right thing, or he knows more than he can handle and isn't willing to spill the beans directly with regards to his...

Would he need to implicate his wife, if his son isn't the prime suspect? I think this guy is just insecure and trying to do the right thing, or he knows more than he can handle and isn't willing to spill the beans directly with regards to his wife - she is, after all, his wife...

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Paul would know if Jimmy really was home all night. Paul has lied about the pizza story. He ordered the pizza at least a half an hour after he told his workmate that it had arrived. His mention of the pizza arrival could have been simply an...

Paul would know if Jimmy really was home all night. Paul has lied about the pizza story. He ordered the pizza at least a half an hour after he told his workmate that it had arrived. His mention of the pizza arrival could have been simply an attempt to get off the phone or it could have been mentioned intentionally. Also, his comments that he was going to spend the evening helping Jimmy study could have been friendly small talk or a way of providing Jimmy and/or himself an alibi. Does anyone else think it's kind of weird to spend over three hours helping you're 'bright' son with his homework? I don't believe they were together all that time, even if Jimmy was alone in his room. I don't think Paul actually knows where Jimmy was for all the time that evening. Or maybe he knows that Jimmy wasn't there for part of it but didn't know why. I think he thinks Jimmy might be involved and he's frightened. I think that he doesn't have to worry - Stephanie did do it - but he doesn't believe that.
How's that for reading too much into scant evidence! Ha!

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