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Who does Oxtales' lead actor think could've been involved in Andrea's death?

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – 1:39 p.m.

Henry Jackson is an actor in Oxtales Theatre.

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

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Henry Jackson

Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Jackson. Thank you for talking to us today.

Henry Jackson: Certainly. I'm glad to help in any way I can.

Detective Murphy: Would you state your name and address, please?

Henry Jackson: I am Henry Jackson, and I live at 211 Colonial Road.

Detective Murphy: I assume you know that we need to talk to you about the murder of Andrea Stover?

Henry Jackson: Right.

Detective Murphy: How long did you know Andrea?

Henry Jackson: Just a couple of years. I joined the group right as the production of "Snopes" was getting off the ground.

Detective Murphy: What was your role in "Snopes"?

Henry Jackson: I had just joined, so I had a pretty small part. I thought it was a good play. People just go too upset about it. It was only a damn play. It wasn't murder.

Detective Murphy: Were you prosecuted for your part in that play?

Henry Jackson: No. I never have been able to figure out how they chose who to crucify for that thing. But for some reason, everybody left me alone.

Detective Armstrong: Why did you want to join Oxtales in the first place?

Henry Jackson: Well, I had just finished my degree and needed to work. I was trying to figure out my options, and I kept coming across this Oxtales group. They certainly seemed to get a lot of attention, so I went down there one day and introduced myself to Andrea. She said they didn't need anyone at that time. But I didn't give up.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Henry Jackson: One night, I was walking by Ajax and saw Andrea sitting in there eating with some people. I walked in off the street, went up to her table, and started reciting a Mamet scene. Everyone thought I was crazy, but Andrea saw what I could do and decided to give me a chance.

Detective Murphy: And what is your position in the group now?

Henry Jackson: I'm the lead actor.

Detective Armstrong: Is that your only job?

Henry Jackson: No. I wait tables at the Downtown Grill, and I do some modeling in Memphis from time to time.

Detective Murphy: Would you say that Oxtales has been good for your career?

Henry Jackson: I believe so. The group has a lot of notoriety, and everything we do gets reviewed and noticed.

Detective Murphy: Can some of that notoriety backfire and actually hurt your career?

Henry Jackson: Without a doubt. It's a difficult balance. I mean, let's say you're an unknown musician, and Lady Gaga comes along and wants you to play guitar in her band. It's a great chance, right? You're automatically thrust into the spotlight.

Detective Murphy: But?

Henry Jackson: But then you somehow have to separate yourself from all the craziness and show that you can really play. That's what I've tried to do with Oxtales. I want people to see our shows and walk away saying that I can act, regardless of whether the play is shocking or not.

Detective Armstrong: What did you think of the work the group did while Andrea was in jail?

Henry Jackson: I liked it a lot. Dale brings a different attitude to the table. He's much more thoughtful and political. He's not into the shock value as much as Andrea. I really worked hard on those plays. I thought it was a chance for the group to show that we could act. That we really are good at our craft. I think those plays proved that we could get attention for the quality of our art, not just because we took our clothes off.

Detective Armstrong: So you didn't like it when Andrea returned to lead the group?

Henry Jackson: I wouldn't say I didn't like it. I was worried about the direction the group would take. As I said, I thought we made a lot of strides while she was gone, and I didn't want to just revert to filthy language and nudity again.

Detective Murphy: What did you think of Andrea personally?

Henry Jackson: She was very driven, very opinionated. Beautiful woman, but she could definitely be tough.

Detective Armstrong: How had the two of you been getting along since she got back?

Henry Jackson: We've been kind of feeling each other out. I grew a great deal as an actor while she was gone. I'm more confident in my abilities and who I am as an artist. I think she sensed that she wouldn't be able to boss me around anymore, and she was trying to figure me out.

Detective Armstrong: So there was conflict between the two of you?

Henry Jackson: Absolutely not. We were just tentative. Trying to get a feel for each other. That's all.

Detective Murphy: How was Andrea getting along with the other members of the group?

Henry Jackson: About the same as usual, I guess. She and Frank got along fine. I think Dale was a little resentful of her being back, but that's certainly understandable. They have some pretty significant artistic differences, but generally handled them well.

Detective Murphy: And the others?

Henry Jackson: She always kinda ran over Sheila, so that was no different. She was doing well with Ethan. As a director, she often wanted re-writes and whatever, so that always caused a bit of tension. I think Ethan has more of an allegiance to Dale than most people are aware of, he probably shared Dale's resentment of Andrea's return.

Detective Armstrong: What about Owen Norris and Andrea?

Henry Jackson: They've always gotten along great, and it was no different after she got out of prison.

Detective Armstrong: Were you aware of any romantic relationships between Andrea and anyone in the group?

Henry Jackson: Oh sure. She and Frank were an on again, off again thing. They hooked up occasionally.

Detective Murphy: Do you know if they got together after she was released?

Henry Jackson: I don't know for sure, but I would guess that they did.

Detective Murphy: Were there any other relationships?

Henry Jackson: Of people in the group? Not involving Andrea?

Detective Murphy: Yeah.

Henry Jackson: Frank and Sheila are seeing each other.

Detective Murphy: What did Sheila think about all this? Frank and Andrea's history and then Andrea comes back.

Henry Jackson: I don't think she was terribly happy about it. If you ask me, I think she liked Frank for a long time. She finally got her chance when Andrea went away, and I don't think she's thrilled about Andrea being back.

Detective Armstrong: Have you seen any fights between Frank and Sheila?

Henry Jackson: No. I think he's pretty straightforward with her, and she goes along with it. But I think that deep down inside, she doesn't like it. I think she's afraid to push the issue too much.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw Andrea Stover?

Henry Jackson: At that last rehearsal. The one on Sunday night.

Detective Armstrong: How did the rehearsal go?

Henry Jackson: It went well up to a point. We worked most of the afternoon and then stopped for dinner.

Detective Murphy: About what time was that?

Henry Jackson: I think we started eating around 5:30 or 6:00. Everyone just brought in food so we wouldn't have to go out. Dale had these great rhubarb bars. Anyway, after we ate, everyone just seemed to get crabby.

Detective Armstrong: In what way?

Henry Jackson: It seemed like everyone wanted to bitch and moan about something. Andrea and Dale got into their usual discussion about what direction the group should follow. Then, Andrea wanted some rewrites to the script, so Ethan was being pissy. And Sheila was just acting very weird.

Detective Murphy: What do you mean by weird?

Henry Jackson: I don't really know. She would never look at Andrea, and she just seemed distracted. Maybe I imagined that, who knows?

Detective Murphy: What time did rehearsal end?

Henry Jackson: Around 9:30 or so. Andrea just said we should call it a night. We weren't getting anywhere. Owen had shown up, and he was watching, and things just weren't going too well. So we called it off.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do after you left rehearsal?

Henry Jackson: Went home and read a book. A couple of people were talking about going out, but I was pretty tired. I think Dale, Frank, and Sheila went for a few drinks or something.

Detective Murphy: Have you guys rehearsed since then?

Henry Jackson: No. I'm sure we'll get back together at some point, but right now, everyone is just kind of chilling out.

Detective Armstrong: Who is in charge of Oxtales now?

Henry Jackson: I assume Dale is. He's called a few times trying to set up meetings and stuff.

Detective Armstrong: Do you think everyone will accept his leadership?

Henry Jackson: I guess so. They accepted him while Andrea was away, and we did some amazing work. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't accept him again.

Detective Murphy: Did Andrea tell you what she was going to do after rehearsal?

Henry Jackson: No. I don't hang out with those guys as much as some people do. When rehearsal is over, I'm gone. So I didn't know what she was going to do, although I was surprised about the Oxford Centre visit. As much as she hates heights, I would have never thought she would go there.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know anyone who might have wanted to kill Andrea?

Henry Jackson: Not really. I mean, those nuts in COP and all the religious fanatics certainly hated her, so I guess they're a possibility. But I can't imagine anyone else.

Detective Murphy: No one in the theatre group?

Henry Jackson: Surely not. I mean, we fight and have our differences, but I can't imagine anyone I work with being a murderer.

Detective Armstrong: Did Andrea ever act scared for her safety?

Henry Jackson: Not that I saw. She would get frustrated from all the Jesus freaks and their protests, but I always thought she was more annoyed than scared.

Detective Murphy: Okay, I think that about does it. Thanks for your time. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions.

End interview 2:15 p.m.

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