Bill Lamar interview
Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 9:00 a.m.
Bill Lamar was found kneeling on the floor just inside an open YCCC custodial storage closet, crying and cradling the victim's head.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy spoke with him a short time later at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Bill Lamar
Detective Murphy: Thank you for talking to us, Mr. Lamar. We appreciate the time.
Bill Lamar: Anything. Anything I can do to help.
Detective Murphy: Can you please state your name and address?
Bill Lamar: My name is William Lamar. Everyone calls me Bill. I'm really living in Paris right now. Do you want my mother's address here in Oxford?
Detective Murphy: That'll be fine.
Bill Lamar: She lives at 638 North Lamar.
Detective Murphy: And what's your occupation?
Bill Lamar: I'm a student mainly.
Detective Murphy: Can you elaborate on that a little?
Bill Lamar: I have a flat in Paris. I'm studying art
Detective Armstrong: We've been told you've got quite a head for business. Everyone says you're a natural.
Bill Lamar: I learned a lot about business pretty early on in my life from my family. So I guess I'm pretty good. I did all right with the division I ran in Paris — the Fragrances division of Lamar Cosmetics. But I quit. It's not my calling, art is — even though I still get calls to solve problems. Nowadays, I just wash dishes or wait tables.
Detective Armstrong: That can't be as financially rewarding as working for the family business.
Bill Lamar: Just being over there is my reward. I'm not all that worried about work. I have Lamar Cosmetics to take over, so I know that's waiting for me in the future. Even with my art, I stay involved in the business, even from such a distance.
Detective Murphy: That sounds really interesting, but I'm afraid we're going to have to discuss less pleasant matters.
Bill Lamar: Yes, of course. Please forgive my babbling. I guess I didn't want to face the topic at hand.
Detective Armstrong: Tell us about last night and early this morning.
Bill Lamar: I don't even know where to begin. I found— I found Barbara. You guys know that.
Detective Murphy: Start at the beginning of the evening last night.
Bill Lamar: Around 6:00, there was a big dinner party. They were really making a big deal of the gala party for the finalists. I was there. My mother was there. Most of the judges and the contestants. The usual people. Just who you would think. But no one out of the ordinary.
Detective Armstrong: Was Barbara Dubois there?
Bill Lamar: Of course. She was one of the finalists.
Detective Murphy: Did y'all get a chance to talk?
Bill Lamar: No, we kept missing each other. We nodded and waved to each other from opposite sides of the room, but we didn't really get to catch up.
Detective Murphy: You two were friends, right?
Bill Lamar: Yes, in high school we were very close.
Detective Armstrong: We've heard that you two might have been more than friends.
Bill Lamar: Yes, we dated.
Detective Armstrong: So you see your old flame after all these years and you don't say hello? What kept y'all apart?
Bill Lamar: I don't know. High school was a long time ago, and we've both grown up since then. This was a business function for both of us. And our relationship … well, that was ancient history. High school kid stuff.
Detective Murphy: OK. So what happened after the gala?
Bill Lamar: There was a big photo shoot with all the finalists. And then my mom grabbed me, and we had to go look at some urgent business papers.
Detective Murphy: What time was this?
Bill Lamar: About 10:30.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of business is that urgent at 10:30?
Bill Lamar: It's no secret that Lamar Cosmetics isn't doing too well, detective. When the family business is on the line, there is no such thing as 9:00 to 5:00.
Detective Murphy: OK. Then what?
Bill Lamar: I worked with mom for about half an hour, give or take. Then I had to take a call from Paris. A colleague of mine there, Henri. I'm helping him market his website, and he's trying to help us break Lamar Cosmetics into some boutique stores in Paris. I talked to him for about ten or fifteen minutes.
Detective Murphy: That was around 11:00 p.m.?
Bill Lamar: About then, I guess.
Detective Murphy: That was pretty early in Paris, wasn't it?
Bill Lamar: What can I tell you? It's not a 9:00 to 5:00 world for anyone anymore.
Detective Murphy: OK. After you got off the phone with him, what did you do?
Bill Lamar: I just sort of roamed around the conference center after that. I wasn't sleepy, so I tried to check in with my mom and couldn't find her. I caught up with her about midnight. Then I went to the hotel lounge. I was bored. Wired. Couldn't sleep and the jet lag was still getting me down.
Detective Murphy: I've never had that.
Bill Lamar: Yeah, you hear people talk about jet lag all the time. And it's weird. Sometimes, it doesn't affect me at all. Other times, it just beats me down. So anyway, I was exhausted but couldn't sleep because my body clock was all off. I'm in the lounge, so I figured, what the hell? I hit it pretty hard.
Detective Armstrong: Get liquored up?
Bill Lamar: Yeah, I was pretty tanked. I mean, I'm legal and I wasn't driving, so why not? I left the lounge about 1:00 a.m., went to my room and passed out.
Detective Armstrong: What happened next?
Bill Lamar: I don't remember how I woke up. It's kind of hazy. I think it was the commotion in the hallway. Or maybe the phone in my room was ringing. But the main thing I remember was Mary pounding on my door. She said Barbara was missing.
Detective Murphy: Who was the Mary knocking on your door?
Bill Lamar: Mary Jones. An old friend. I've known her for years.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do?
Bill Lamar: I was still in my clothes from the night before. I started— I began searching. I was still in a daze. I just started yanking on doors. And that's when it happened. That's when I found her.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember what time it was when you found Barbara?
Bill Lamar: I think it was about 7:00.
Detective Armstrong: The first officers on the scene said they found you holding Barbara's body.
Bill Lamar: Yeah. At first, I was… I was stunned. It was like being in shock. I couldn't… couldn't move, much less touch anything. Then I couldn't stand seeing her like that.
Detective Armstrong: Like what?
Bill Lamar: All dumped, curled up in that closet. I thought she might be sick or passed out. I had to hold her just to be sure.
Detective Armstrong: There's blood on your hands, Bill. And on your shirt and trousers.
Bill Lamar: It's hers.
Detective Armstrong: We'll need to collect your clothes as evidence. Just procedure.
Bill Lamar: Of course.
Detective Murphy: I think that'll be about all for now, Bill. But before we wrap up, can you think of anything that struck you as weird? Anybody who didn't belong or was out of place? Anything seem out of the ordinary?
Bill Lamar: No, not at all.
Detective Murphy: OK. If anything comes to you, please let us know.
Bill Lamar: I will.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for your help. We'll probably need to talk to you again later. Do you have any problem with that?
Bill Lamar: No, no. I want to do whatever I can to help.
End interview - 9:37 a.m.