Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 1:30 p.m.
Dudley Brinkman was at Duffy's Bar & Grill the night Andy Fine disappeared and is a longtime friend of Cindy Fine. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Dudley Brinkman
Dudley Brinkman: Why do I have to be here again? I told you everything I know the last time I was here.
Detective Armstrong: Calm down, fella, and start by stating your name and address for the record, please.
Dudley Brinkman: Dudley Brinkman, 634 North Lamar. Now I think I'm entitled to an explanation. Last time, you hinted that Cindy and Robyn and God-knows-who-else were suspects. I'm surprised you didn't include my mother in that list. Now I suppose you're going to accuse me of killing Andy. Ridiculous!
Detective Murphy: Don't get all riled up, Mr. Brinkman. We just need to clarify some facts we're not clear on, and we need your help, OK?
Dudley Brinkman: Well, all right. Sorry for going off like that, but this whole thing has me off balance. I admit I didn't like the guy, but I'd never intentionally hurt anybody. You have to believe that.
Detective Murphy: That's OK, Mr. Brinkman. We understand. And that's why you're here — to help us smooth out some wrinkles in this case. First, we need you to think back to the night of July 3 and the early morning hours of July 4th. You said you never saw Andy after you left Duffy's that night at 11:00 or 11:30.
Dudley Brinkman: That's right.
Detective Armstrong: And you said you went straight home after you left Huddle House at… let's see… you said, probably around 12:30?
Dudley Brinkman: Right again.
Detective Murphy: Well this is our dilemma, Mr. Brinkman. We have witnesses who identified your vehicle as being in the parking lot of Oxford Ridge apartments around 1:30 that morning. Are you sure you're not mistaken about what time you went home that night — or early morning?
Dudley Brinkman: No, detective. I'm not mistaken, but your so-called witness is. Besides, there must be hundreds of black SUVs in Oxford — and thousands in Mississippi.
Detective Murphy: This witness had seen the same vehicle in that parking lot numerous times, and identified it as an Isuzu Ascender. They also saw a person sitting in the front seat who seemed to be looking for someone or watching a particular apartment. And that just happens to be the apartments where Cindy and Andy Fine lived. Do you know anything about that?
Dudley Brinkman: No, of course not. It could have been anyone. And I have better ways to spend my time besides sitting in a parking lot half the night. Get real. Besides, SUVs look so much alike, it could have been someone with a vehicle similar to mine.
Detective Murphy: So you're sticking to your story?
Dudley Brinkman: It's not a story, detective. It's the truth.
Detective Armstrong: It's too bad you don't have some one to corroborate your alibi. Can you think of anyone who saw you near or at home around 12:30?
Dudley Brinkman: As I told you before, detective, my mother goes to bed early, and if I'd murdered someone, I'd also make sure I had an alibi.
Detective Murphy: Well, perhaps it just happened. You saw the opportunity and grabbed it. You shot Andy Fine without planning it. Is that what happened?
Dudley Brinkman: How many times do I have to tell you I didn't kill Andy Fine? And if you continue this line of questions, I'm going to have to ask for my attorney to be present.
Detective Armstrong: What would you say, Mr. Brinkman, if I were to tell you we have a witness who saw you return home at 5:00 a.m., not around 12:30 like you said?
Dudley Brinkman: I'd say your so-called witness doesn't know how to tell time. Or they saw someone else because I was home long before 5:00 a.m. I may be a bit off on the time. It could have been closer to 1:00 a.m. or even 1:30 — but 5:00 a.m.? No way. Or are you just trying to scare me into admitting something that didn't happen? Which is it, detective?
Detective Armstrong: OK, Mr. Brinkman. Tell me. Do you own a gun?
Dudley Brinkman: No. I hate guns. I'd never own one.
Detective Armstrong: But you do know how to handle a gun, right?
Dudley Brinkman: I'm sure my mother already told you my father taught me to shoot a rifle when I was kid. But I haven't touched a gun since I was about 12. What's this all about?
Detective Murphy: It's about a man being murdered, Mr. Brinkman.
Dudley Brinkman: I know that. But how many times do I have to tell you I had nothing to do with Andy's death! The questions you're asking imply that I had something to do with it. I didn't. Besides, I learned to shoot with a rifle. Was Andy shot with a rifle, detective?
Detective Murphy: A gun's a gun. Aim and squeeze. No big deal.
Detective Armstrong: What about Andy's so-called party pad out on Reagle Farm Road. Have you ever been there?
Dudley Brinkman: No. I told you that before. I was never there.
Detective Armstrong: Then how would you explain your fingerprints on a Coleman Lantern we found at the property?
Dudley Brinkman: What?
Detective Murphy: Your fingerprints. On a Coleman lantern . At the farmhouse. How do you explain that?
Dudley Brinkman: I can't. You must be mistaken.
Detective Armstrong: No, sir. No mistake.
Dudley Brinkman: My fingerprints? On a Coleman lantern? I have no idea… Oh, now I remember. I ran into Cindy at Walmart one day. She was loading things into the trunk of her car. I stopped to help her. I must have left my fingerprint on the lantern when I put it in her trunk.
Detective Murphy: It wasn't in a box?
Dudley Brinkman: No. I remember her saying it was the last one. It had been on display and they'd lost the box. That must be how my fingerprints got there. I've never been to the property on Reagle Farm Road.
Detective Armstrong: Just when was this convenient meeting with Mrs. Fine in the parking lot of Walmart?
Dudley Brinkman: How would I know? It was months ago.
Detective Armstrong: Just give us a ballpark estimate. How long before the murder, would you say?
Dudley Brinkman: I really couldn't say. It was the beginning of the summer, I think. Ah… maybe early June? It was a long time ago and hardly a memorable occasion.
Detective Armstrong: But it was memorable enough for you to remember it now. Right?
Dudley Brinkman: I remember it because you asked me a specific question about the lantern. I answered you the best I know how.
Detective Armstrong: So Mrs. Fine will be able to back up your story — of meeting her in the Walmart parking lot when we ask her?
Dudley Brinkman: Well… I don't know about that. It was a long time ago and such a trivial thing… and with all she's had on her mind… well, she might not remember.
Detective Armstrong: You know, Detective Murphy, it sounds to me like we're going to have to arrest Mrs. Fine for this crime. Her alibi is weak. And she doesn't have anyone to back her up. Too bad she doesn't have a witness who knows Andy was alive when she left him like she says… dead drunk, but breathing. That might be enough to clear her.
Detective Murphy: Yeah. Too bad.
Dudley Brinkman: You can't be serious! Arrest Cindy? But she didn't kill him!
Detective Armstrong: How can you be so sure, Brinkman. Were you there?
Dudley Brinkman: No… no, of course not. I just know Cindy isn't capable of… murder. It had to be someone else.
Detective Armstrong: And do you have any idea who that might be, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: It could have been anybody. There were lots of people who couldn't stand him.
Detective Murphy: Including you, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: But I didn't kill him.
Detective Armstrong: Well, someone sure as hell did. And right now, Mrs. Fine looks better to me than anyone else.
Dudley Brinkman: Well, keep looking for God's sake. Someone knows what happened out there. You just have to find him for Cindy's sake.
Detective Murphy: Right now, she's our best suspect unless and until someone comes forward. By the way, Mr. Brinkman, your mother told us she'd heard that in addition to Mr. Fine hitting Mrs. Fine, he had "forced himself" on her. That sounds like rape, doesn't it?
Dudley Brinkman: Yes, I guess so.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea who might have told your mother that?
Dudley Brinkman: No, but there were lots of stories about Cindy and Andy floating around. Everyone knew he was mistreating her.
Detective Armstrong: But did everyone think Andy Fine was raping his wife? And why wouldn't someone report that?
Dudley Brinkman: People didn't want to stick their nose in where it wasn't wanted… probably for Cindy's sake. She had to be humiliated about something like that. People wanted to spare her feelings.
Detective Murphy: Well, but how did these alleged people know about something like that unless they witnessed it?
Dudley Brinkman: Who would witness something like that?
Detective Murphy: Maybe someone who kept an eye on Cindy. Someone who followed Andy out to the farmhouse that night. Someone who witnessed a rape. Do you know anything about that, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: No, of course not. I told you I've never been out to the farmhouse.
Detective Murphy: So you weren't the one who told your mother Andy forced himself on Cindy?
Dudley Brinkman: I might have told her that. I might have heard it from Robyn. She talks to me about Cindy sometimes, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Oh, so you knew Andy was raping his wife before the night of the murder?
Dudley Brinkman: You're twisting my words. I said I might have heard it from Robyn. I don't know when I heard about it.
Detective Murphy: It must have made you angry.
Dudley Brinkman: Yeah. I was angry at Andy about it and angry that Cindy was so helpless.
Detective Armstrong: So maybe you decided to do something about it and you killed Andy.
Dudley Brinkman: Will you stop that? How many times do I have to tell you? I didn't kill anybody.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Brinkman, is there anything you'd like to tell us about the gloves we found in your vehicle?
Dudley Brinkman: My gloves? What about my gloves?
Detective Murphy: That's what we're asking you. Is there anything you want to tell us about them?
Dudley Brinkman: They're just ordinary work gloves like everyone has. I bought them at Sneed's Hardware probably oh… ten years ago. I keep them in my SUV so they'll be handy when I need them. There's nothing to tell. I don't know why you took them. What do they have to do with anything?
Detective Murphy: Just part of the investigation, Mr. Brinkman.
Dudley Brinkman: Look. I have to be at work pretty soon. Are we about finished here?
Detective Armstrong: No, Mr. Brinkman. There's still something you haven't told us, isn't there?
Dudley Brinkman: Are you saying I can't leave?
Detective Armstrong: I'd think you'd want to stay to help us find Andy's killer and clear your good friend Cindy.
Dudley Brinkman: No. I've said everything I'm going to. I want to go now.
Detective Murphy: All right, Mr. Brinkman. But this case isn't over yet.
Dudley Brinkman: Obviously not. Maybe you should stop wasting time persecuting innocent people. Then you might find the person who really did it.
End interview - 2:11 p.m.