Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:52 a.m.
Peter "Buck" Buchanan worked with Andrew Fine at Laughlin Automotive & Body Shop. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his place of business. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Peter Buchanan
Detective Murphy: Thank you for agreeing to talk with us, Mr. Buchanan. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Peter Buchanan: Glad to help if I can, Detective. My name is Peter Buchanan, but most everybody calls me Buck. I live at 307 Williams.
Detective Armstrong: What we're especially interested in, Buck, is learning more about Andy Fine and his relationship with people. What can you tell us?
Peter Buchanan: Well, for one thing, I'll bet you never heard anyone say what a nice guy he was, have you?
Detective Murphy: Have you, personally, ever heard anyone call him a nice guy?
Peter Buchanan: Not on your life! He was an S.O.B. if there ever was one. And the way he treated that sweet little wife of his? He was a bastard for sure!
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever see him mistreat his wife?
Peter Buchanan: No, he was careful about not pushing her around in public, but he bragged at work about keeping her in line and we all pretty much knew what he meant.
Detective Murphy: How did he get along with the men at work, and his boss, Mr. Laughlin? And with you, Buck?
Peter Buchanan: He didn't give me no trouble. Maybe 'cause I was bigger than he was. I may be near old enough to be his father, but he sure didn't scare me none. He mostly picked on guys who let him bully them. He was a great one for mouthing off about a guy's weaknesses. Taunting and belittling. Big bully is what he was. Weren't no love lost with most of the guys who work here.
Detective Armstrong: What about Mr. Laughlin? Did he know what was going on? Why did he keep Andy on if he was a troublemaker?
Peter Buchanan: Ole Andy was smart. He did his work and didn't let the boss see him give the other guys a bad time. I will say he was good at his job, and the boss let him make the runs to Memphis for parts. They always seemed to hit it off… except right near the end before he got himself killed.
Detective Armstrong: Did something happen between them?
Peter Buchanan: One day, Andy went into the boss' office, and when he came out, he was smirking and the boss looked like he was about to puke.
Detective Murphy: Did Andy say anything to give you a clue what that was all about?
Peter Buchanan: Nope. For once, kept his big mouth shut. Funny, too, 'cause Andy wasn't the type to play anything close to the chest, but he did that day.
Detective Armstrong: Did anything change between the boss and Andy after that?
Peter Buchanan: Hard to say. Boss still let him do the Memphis runs and it seemed like maybe he gave Andy a raise, but I tell you what — every time he laid eyes on Andy after that day, the boss looked like he was gonna spit nails. Andy didn't pay him no mind. Almost got off on it, in a way. I don't know. They acted like everything was normal, but something was different. I'd bet on it.
Detective Murphy: You didn't ask either of them about it?
Peter Buchanan: Do I look stupid to you? Hell no, I didn't ask! Man don't live to be my age tangling with the likes of those two.
Detective Murphy: You thought one of them might kill you if you asked?
Peter Buchanan: Lady, give me a break! All I'm saying is there's some things a man's better off not sticking his nose into, OK?
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you saw Andy?
Peter Buchanan: That day at work before we took off for the 4th.
Detective Armstrong: So that would be July 3rd?
Peter Buchanan: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: Andy say what he was doing for the holiday?
Peter Buchanan: Not to me. Heard later, after they found his body, that he'd invited some of the guys to Duffy's that night to celebrate.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know anyone from work who was at Duffy's that night?
Peter Buchanan: Hell, no! Nobody who had to put up with Andy all day wanted to spend his free time with him. He was a royal pain in the butt.
Detective Murphy: Do you think anyone here decided they'd had enough of Andy to kill him?
Peter Buchanan: No, ma'am. We're all law abiding citizens here at Laughlin's. Andy may have been a pain, but nobody hated him so much that they'd kill him. No, ma'am. He was just like a pesky little bug you just had to keep swatting away. But kill him? No, ma'am. Not worth all the hassle that'd come after.
Detective Murphy: What would come after?
Peter Buchanan: Pretty much this right here. What we're doing.
Detective Murphy: I see. Well, if you think of anything else that will help us in this investigation, will you please call us?
Peter Buchanan: Sure will, ma'am. I didn't like the guy, but I didn't wish him dead. I feel sorry for that little wife of his. This must be hard on her with them finding him like they did. A real mess is what it is.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, sir. Well, thank you.
Peter Buchanan: So I can go back to work now?
Detective Murphy: Yes, Buck, and thank you.
Peter Buchanan: Glad to help, ma'am.
End interview - 11:08 a.m.