Over 500 interviews were conducted in the original murder investigation. The background interviews summarized here are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation.
The following interview summaries are taken directly from the 1958 case files.
|0830 hours||Reverend Amos Champion
Senior Minister, Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church
RR 8, Box 15, Abbeville, MS
Rev. Champion says that the Izard family was a good, solid, Baptist family.
He had nothing but praise for Miz Izard and her work with the church, particularly with the Home Visitation Committee. He stated that she was an excellent mother and that the children were happy, well‑cared for and generally well‑behaved.
He stated his firm belief that it was the "communist influence of the union that is behind" the murders and disappearance of the children.
He states he was unaware of any problems between Mr. and Mrs. Izard, though he recalls very clearly how Jessie Danahy had to be bodily removed from the church premises at their wedding. He stated that it was the "Devil at work."
He has not heard anything about Danahy recently and is not aware of any enemies of the family.
|0945 hours||Mrs. Euple Sturgis
Primary Sunday School teacher, Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church
Woodson Ridge Road, Box 91, Oxford, MS
Miz Sturgis states that she has known Lisa Izard since she was born. She lives not far from the Graham family and has only good things to say about the Graham family and Lisa and Richard Izard.
She states that both the Izard children were being brought up in the best tradition.
She states that Lisa Izard and Miz Graham, Lisa's mother, "were terrified of those communists and there union preaching." She states that last Sunday, April 6, she overheard Lisa discussing her fears with her mother.
She states that the Izards had no enemies and this has to be the work of outsiders related to the union.
|1020 hours||Mrs. Mable Anderson
Chairwoman, Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church Home Visitation Committee
Lee Creek Road, Box 56, Abbeville, MS
Miz Anderson states that Lisa Graham (note she never referred to her as Lisa Izard), was one of the kindest souls she knows.
She states that Miz Izard would always go out of her way to bake or can extra for the Home Visitation Committee and often went along when it wasn't her turn. She stated that Miz Izard particularly looked out for the children and the elderly people on their list, checking with a sharp eye on their medical conditions.
She states that she was "right in the front" at the layoff announcement and saw tears in Richard Izard's eyes when he announced the layoffs. She states that no one could think he wanted anyone to lose their jobs, and she is sure Richard Izard had no say in who was on the list. She says Bowlan would make those decisions.
She stated that there are a few people at Bowlan that are "natural born no‑goods" that will "take any chance for trouble," but she stated that she couldn't believe that even that crowd would ever think of harming Richard Izard or his family.
She discounted Jessie Danahy as a suspect stating that "oh, he's all hot air, and he hasn't bothered them in years."
|1500 hours||Mr. & Mrs. T. J. Graham
Lisa Izard's parents & members of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church
Woodson Ridge Road, Oxford, MS
Miz Graham provided several photos of the ring determined to be missing. She stated that it had belonged to her mother, and she rarely saw Lisa when she wasn't wearing it.
She states that Lisa may have taken it off while she was doing the laundry, but that if she had, it would have been on the tray on the kitchen table which was her habit.
Miz Graham states that there are likely some photos in the Izard family album showing Lisa wearing the ring. She states that Lisa wore it at her wedding.
Attended services at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church and talked with church members, many of whom were laid off from Bowlan Glove on Friday and who knew the Izard family.
General feeling toward the Izard family was positive and the laid off workers attending services expressed shock that anyone would blame Richard Izard for the loss of their jobs.
Pawn Shops in Oxford, Abbeville, Taylor, Sardis, Holly Springs, Batesville and Toccopola were contacted concerning the missing pearl and diamond ring. Flyers were distributed.
No reports of the ring or the gems as of this date.