Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 4:00 p.m.
Steve Marshall organized the Marshall family reunion, where Elliott Owens told detectives he met Oscar Knight. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Marshal at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Steve Marshall
Detective Parker: Good afternoon. Please state your name and current address for the record.
Steve Marshall: Certainly. My name is Steven Lloyd Marshall, and I live at 652 Edison Street, Oxford.
Detective Parker: How long have you lived in Oxford, Mr. Marshall?
Steve Marshall: Please call me Steve. I've lived here all of my life, born and raised. Raised my own children here, too.
Detective Murphy: We have some questions for you about Oscar Knight.
Steve Marshall: What about him?
Detective Murphy: So you know him?
Steve Marshall: We went to high school together.
Detective Parker: Is that why you invited him to your family reunion?
Steve Marshall: I didn't invite him. He just showed up.
Detective Parker: Have you seen him since the reunion?
Steve Marshall: Thankfully, no.
Detective Parker: Did you know we've been looking for him?
Steve Marshall: I saw it on the news.
Detective Parker: Why didn't you come forward to tell us what you knew about him?
Steve Marshall: Nothing to tell. He's dead, right?
Detective Murphy: What makes you say that?
Steve Marshall: You found his hand at that motel, didn't you?
Detective Murphy: You think that means he's dead?
Steve Marshall: Doesn't it? I always thought someone would kill him eventually. It was inevitable really.
Detective Parker: You don't care for Mr. Knight?
Steve Marshall: I can't stand him.
Detective Murphy: Why is that?
Steve Marshall: Well, it's a long and boring story.
Detective Parker: Go ahead.
Steve Marshall: OK, but remember I warned you. I've hated Oscar since my early school days. I believe I was in the second grade the first time he beat me up. He continued to hit or shove me every time he saw me after that until my last year of high school.
Detective Parker: Something changed then?
Steve Marshall: I guess I changed. I surprised him and punched him before he could punch me. I'll never forget that day.
Detective Parker: What made you do that all of a sudden?
Steve Marshall: He treated my best friend, Liz, like a dog. He fed her a line of bull, and she fell for it. I tried to warn her about him. Oscar was born a jerk, and he used girls. I don't know what they saw in him, but he always got the girl he wanted. He always dumped them afterwards, too, if you catch my drift.
Detective Murphy: That's what he did to Liz?
Steve Marshall: No, not really. But he did take advantage of her. He never took her out in public. Part of that was because her daddy would've had a fit if he knew she was with Oscar, and the other part was because her brothers would have killed him. Anyway, she came knocking on my window one night, and she was a mess because of Oscar.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Steve Marshall: She was about half-drunk and crying. She never told me what happened, but she broke it off with Oscar that night. She tried to act like nothing was wrong, but I'd catch her with a tear in her eye for a long time after.
Detective Parker: And that's why you hit him?
Steve Marshall: The next time I saw him, which was the following Monday at school. He was already hitting on another girl, naturally. I saw him coming toward me in the hall, and all I could think about was Liz. I hit him with everything I had right in the face. He just stood there and laughed at me. He said, "Is that all you got, little girl?" I was humiliated, so I just walked away. He never hit me again though.
Detective Parker: I bet that made you mad enough to want to kill him.
Steve Marshall: Yeah, it did. I'm not saying I never thought about it because I did. But that was 40 years ago. If I didn't kill him back then, I certainly didn't do it now. I'd sure love to pat the back of whoever did though.
Detective Murphy: If you hated him so much, why was he at your reunion?
Steve Marshall: Don't ask me to explain why Oscar does what he does.
Detective Murphy: How did he know about the reunion?
Steve Marshall: The Marshall family has been getting together on Memorial Day weekend for decades. Everyone who knows any of us knows about it because most of them have been invited. It's always a big bash with a couple hundred family and friends. It's a good time.
Detective Parker: Was your friend Liz there?
Steve Marshall: Oh, yeah. She's been coming since we were kids.
Detective Parker: So you're still good friends?
Steve Marshall: Oh, yes. We'll always be friends, and my wife Ellen loves Liz, too. They do all their shopping together. Liz and Pauline and my wife get together two times a week every week. Joe and I were good buds, too. Joe was Liz's husband. He was a good man.
Detective Parker: What's Liz's last name?
Steve Marshall: Barton.
Detective Parker: And she's not married to Joe anymore?
Steve Marshall: He passed away. It was hard on Liz. I think it still is, but she has Jimmy. That helps.
Detective Murphy: Jimmy?
Steve Marshall: Her son. In fact, my oldest son and Jimmy have the same birthday. Liz and I always thought that was funny. My son Todd is a couple years younger, but to this day, he and Jimmy are very close.
Detective Murphy: Do you know if Liz and Oscar saw each other at the reunion?
Steve Marshall: Unfortunately, yes.
Detective Murphy: Did something happen?
Steve Marshall: Apparently, they had words. I wasn't there. Me, Jimmy, and Todd were fishing at the lake, and when we got back to the picnic area, Ellen told us that Liz had gone home.
Detective Murphy: Do you know what Liz and Oscar had words about?
Steve Marshall: No, Liz hasn't wanted to talk about it.
Detective Murphy: Did you say anything to Oscar?
Steve Marshall: Nah, talking doesn't do any good with Oscar. I wouldn't waste my time.
Detective Parker: Do you know if he had words with anyone else that day?
Steve Marshall: I'm sure he did. At some point, Oscar has words with almost everyone he has contact with.
Detective Parker: Why didn't you just ask him to leave?
Steve Marshall: Because he would've loved that. I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction. Besides, he wouldn't have left. If he knew I wanted him to go, he'd stay just to spite me.
Detective Murphy: Did you happen to notice what time Oscar got to the reunion or when he left?
Steve Marshall: I don't know when he got there. I'm pretty sure he was gone by 6:00 p.m., but I didn't see when he left.
Detective Parker: By the way, do you know Elliott Owens?
Steve Marshall: Yeah. Good kid. Now him, I invited to the reunion.
Detective Parker: Why?
Steve Marshall: Like I said, good kid.
Detective Murphy: All right, thank you for your time. We may need to contact you again, if we have any more questions.
Steve Marshall: Sure, anything you need. And when you catch the guy who killed Oscar or just cut off his hand, give him an attaboy for me, OK? Bye.
Interview ends: 4:33 p.m.