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Was Andrea's ex able to shed any new light on Andrea's more difficult relationships?

Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 12:15 p.m.

Frank Tuttle worked with Andrea Stover at Oxtales and was her former boyfriend.

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

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Frank Tuttle

Detective Armstrong: Thanks for coming in again, Frank.

Frank Tuttle: No problem. If I can be of help, that's great.

Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name and address.

Frank Tuttle: Frank Tuttle, 202 North 14th, Oxford. So what's going on? Do you have some leads?

Detective Armstrong: We need to get a few things straight here.

Frank Tuttle: Whatever I can do to help.

Detective Murphy: For starters, Sheila Love said you went home with her after going to Murff's the night of January 1st. Is that true?

Frank Tuttle: Um, yeah, sort of.

Detective Murphy: Meaning what exactly?

Frank Tuttle: Well, we, like, went to her place but I left after a while. I didn't want to sleep over, you know? I was just feeling like I needed some solitude.

Detective Murphy: So what time would you say you left the bar and went to Sheila's?

Frank Tuttle: I guess around 12:00, 12:15.

Detective Murphy: And what time did you leave her place to go home?

Frank Tuttle: Around 1:00, I guess?

Detective Armstrong: Not much of an afterglow guy, are you?

Frank Tuttle: Huh?

Detective Murphy: Did Sheila say whether she was going out again?

Frank Tuttle: She didn't say, but she was getting ready to turn in as far as I could tell. She was watching TV in bed when I left.

Detective Murphy: How did she react to your decision to leave rather than stay the night?

Frank Tuttle: I guess she was okay with it. She knows I need my space sometimes. I guess she preferred me to stay, but you know, she doesn't want to put limits on me. She wasn't mad.

Detective Murphy: And did anyone see you leaving her place or arriving at home?

Frank Tuttle: What is this? You don't think I had anything to do with what happened to Andrea, do you?

Detective Armstrong: We just need to know where everyone was the night of Andrea's death. We need you to be as detailed as possible.

Frank Tuttle: All right. I'm just uncomfortable with the vibe here. Very hostile. It's not like I did anything wrong.

Detective Murphy: Be that as it may, we need to hear the rest of the details of your night.

Frank Tuttle: I went straight home, so, no, I wouldn't have seen anyone. Ted — he's my roommate — he was asleep. He works early Monday mornings, so he's usually in bed by, like, 10:00. I guess he heard me, though, because the next morning he said something about, like, was I out partying or what because I got in so late.

Detective Armstrong: If he was asleep when you got in, how would he know that?

Frank Tuttle: His window faces the driveway, so he saw the headlights maybe? I don't know. Look, I'm telling you I didn't see Andrea after the rehearsal, and I'm telling the truth. I'm not a deceptive person.

Detective Armstrong: Well, we've got another problem you can help us with, then. Sheila Love denies that you and Andrea were romantically involved after Andrea returned to the company, yet you said you talked to Sheila about it. We can't figure it out, except that someone must be lying.

Frank Tuttle: Well, it's not me. I talked with Sheila about it. Maybe she didn't really get what I was saying, but I talked to her about it.

Detective Armstrong: What do you mean?

Frank Tuttle: I'm not really into conflict, you know? I really like to maintain integrity in my connections with people, so, you know, I can't lie. But I don't like open conflict. I think it's really a destructive force. I like to find the middle way. I like to find the positive in any situation and really communicate that.

Detective Armstrong: Frank, focus.

Frank Tuttle: Right. Sorry. I guess maybe I wasn't totally direct with Sheila, you know, like maybe what I was saying didn't really lead her to the conclusion I intended.

Detective Armstrong: Just tell us what you said to Sheila as directly as possible.

Frank Tuttle: I told her that, you know, Andrea and I still really had a strong connection, and that I wanted to be there for her to help her get back on track with her life. I think I told you this before. I said I needed to see where it was all heading. I needed to explore where the path was leading.

Detective Armstrong: That's what you told Sheila?

Frank Tuttle: I told her our relationship had blossomed so much in the past year, our connection was so deep, you know, that we could be generous with our love and support. I don't know. Maybe Sheila didn't get that.

Detective Armstrong: No kidding.

Frank Tuttle: She seemed to understand, but maybe she didn't.

Detective Murphy: Did you ever discuss the situation again?

Frank Tuttle: No.

Detective Murphy: Did you tell her specifically about the time you and Andrea spent the night together?

Frank Tuttle: Not in so many words, no.

Detective Murphy: And how did Sheila react to all this?

Frank Tuttle: She seemed fine with it. She and I share a deep connection, you know, and I communicate that to her all the time. If anything, we're more deeply connected than we've ever been.

Detective Murphy: Is that right?

Frank Tuttle: No doubt. She's really been there for me in terms of mourning Andrea. She's really helped me try to come to terms with it. I'm not, you know, a negative person, so it's really hard for me to imagine the kind of evil that would cause someone to do that kind of thing.

Detective Murphy: So you and Sheila have talked about Andrea's death?

Frank Tuttle: Yeah, a number of times. Just about how we can't believe she's gone, and like I said, she would help me in the grieving process.

Detective Murphy: Is Sheila grieving herself?

Frank Tuttle: Yeah, of course. But she knows that Andrea and I had shared, you know, more of a history. But yeah, she's totally in shock just like the rest of us.

Detective Murphy: Do you think Sheila could've had anything to do with Andrea's death?

Frank Tuttle: What? No, not at all. She's a very nonviolent person, you know? She wouldn't ever raise a hand against another person. She trusts people so completely, you know. She's a very caring, loving person.

Detective Armstrong: All right. Let's go back to the night Andrea died. Can you tell us again about rehearsal?

Frank Tuttle: Well, like I said, we started around 1:00 and took a break at 5:30 or so for dinner. Then Andrea decided we should stop around 9:30.

Detective Armstrong: Let's talk about dinner. Can you remember exactly what everyone brought?

Frank Tuttle: It's kind of hard. It's been so long. I think so. I did a vegetarian Madras curry, I remember that — but mild, not too spicy. Sheila brought a big Caesar salad, and Andrea brought this casserole which was okay — pasta, kind of like lasagna, but with round noodles. Rigatoni? Anyway, um, Henry brought some soup. I think it was potato or mushroom, something creamy. Ethan just brought store-bought bread. That's it. Oh, Dale brought dessert.

Detective Murphy: What kind of dessert?

Frank Tuttle: Like some kind of fruit bar. Rhubarb or date … it was rhubarb, definitely, because someone was asking wasn't rhubarb out of season and he was saying he had some in his greenhouse. Yeah, it was definitely rhubarb. I remember now because he made two batches: one with nuts and then just a few without for Andrea.

Detective Murphy: You remember a lot about that dessert.

Frank Tuttle: He said there was something extra special in the batch with nuts, which is kind of weird. It's like he wanted us to think there was pot in them or something.

Detective Murphy: Why was it weird?

Frank Tuttle: He's never done that before. You know, he doesn't strike me as the type to be into pot but whatever. Anyway, we all went for the ones with nuts except Andrea. They were really good, but as far as I could tell, um, there was nothing special in them that I know of. Um, you aren't going to use anything I say as evidence, are you?

Detective Armstrong: You don't have to worry about being busted for drugs if that's what you mean.

Frank Tuttle: All right. Yeah, so, I don't think those bars had anything in them. I've had pot brownies, and they were totally different.

Detective Armstrong: All right, Frank, thanks for that. Did anyone say anything unusual during the break?

Frank Tuttle: No. I think I told you we were just talking about the food and stuff.

Detective Murphy: What happened after the dinner break?

Frank Tuttle: We just got back to work. We were working just on one scene, and it seemed like we reached kind of a creative block, so eventually Andrea just decided to end the rehearsal.

Detective Armstrong: Tell us more about this "creative block" as you put it. Were people arguing?

Frank Tuttle: I wouldn't say arguing, no, but Dale and Andrea had pretty much opposite views on how to stage the scene. Usually, there's a way to resolve the issue, like Andrea would suggest a third path or Dale would eventually see Andrea's vision and agree to follow her lead. But, I don't know, it was like nothing Andrea did seemed to really satisfy Dale, you know? He was being pretty stubborn. It just didn't seem like a positive interaction.

Detective Murphy: What about Ethan Lewiston? Was he involved?

Frank Tuttle: Sort of, but not so much. It was primarily Andrea and Dale. Ethan just had one or two comments about the script, but the bulk of it was about whether Sheila was going to be completely nude for her monologue or not, and it was like no one was willing to compromise.

Detective Murphy: What did Sheila think?

Frank Tuttle: She didn't say anything one way or another. She was pretty happy to do whatever the outcome was, I think. I mean, she wasn't, like, crazy about doing nudity, but she understood it helped open her horizons and her perspectives to new ideas.

Detective Murphy: Has Sheila ever expressed any discomfort to Dale King?

Frank Tuttle: No. She just mentioned it to me once or twice. It wasn't, like, a big deal.

Detective Murphy: So what was Dale's objection to the nudity?

Frank Tuttle: He just thought that, you know, the political significance of the scene wouldn't really be served by Sheila being nude. He wasn't seeing Andrea's vision, which was that the nudity would really enhance the message with its shock value by upsetting the audience's expectations.

Detective Murphy: And how did things end up?

Frank Tuttle: Well, like I said, after a while, Andrea just said we should wrap up since we weren't getting anywhere.

Detective Murphy: How did Dale react?

Frank Tuttle: He seemed fine with it. Is it true he was brought in today? Was he arrested?

Detective Murphy: Has he done something he should be arrested for?

Frank Tuttle: No. I don't— How should I know?

Detective Armstrong: Tell us a bit more about the end of rehearsal. How did Dale and the others seem?

Frank Tuttle: I think everyone was fine with it. There was a lot of tension, I guess, and everyone was a little tired from it. I tend to see it as creative tension. That's what collaboration is all about, but it's hard work, you know? It's, like, the essence of the creative process.

Detective Murphy: In the week before that last rehearsal, did Andrea mention any particular conflict with Dale?

Frank Tuttle: No. She and I only talked a couple of times, and we didn't get into that.

Detective Armstrong: All right. So then when rehearsal broke up, what happened?

Frank Tuttle: Ethan left right away, then Sheila, Dale and I went to Murff's. When I left, Owen and Henry were talking, and Andrea was on the phone.

Detective Murphy: Do you know where Andrea planned to go afterwards?

Frank Tuttle: No, like I said, I'd asked her earlier about hanging out with me, but she didn't want to. She didn't mention Gretchen. I only learned she saw her when I read about it.

Detective Murphy: Did Andrea and Gretchen see each other after rehearsal often?

Frank Tuttle: No, I wouldn't say often, but sometimes, every once in a while. I think it was good for Andrea to, like, wind down.

Detective Murphy: Have you ever met Gretchen's girlfriend?

Frank Tuttle: No. Andrea mentioned her once maybe, but Gretchen really never had much to do with Oxtales, so I don't know much about her situation.

Detective Murphy: What did Andrea say about Gretchen's girlfriend?

Frank Tuttle: I think Andrea was struggling to forge meaningful communication with her. Andrea's connection with Gretchen was foundational to her essence, so she wanted to have a positive connection with anyone who was important to Gretchen.

Detective Murphy: Are you saying Andrea didn't get along with Gretchen's girlfriend?

Frank Tuttle: Connections move along a spectrum. They're always evolving — for better and for worse. 

Detective Armstrong: Enough, Frank. Is there anything else you can think of, anything you want to add that might help us out?

Frank Tuttle: I can't think of anything else, no. Mainly, I'm just in shock, especially if it's true about Dale.

Detective Armstrong: Thanks again for coming in. We'll give you a call if we need to.

Frank Tuttle: Okay.

End interview 1:06 p.m.

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