Tuesday, August 29, 2017 – 7:00 a.m.
Albert Plum was reportedly seen at two locations of interest to this investigation. Elliott Owens said he saw Mr. Plum at the Marshall family reunion on August 19th, and Caleb Hamilton claimed he saw Mr. Plum at Lamar Park on August 24th.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Plum at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Albert Plum
Detective Murphy: For the record please state your name and address.
Albert Plum: My name is Albert Plum. I live at 2282 Haley Street. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me so early. If I'm not there to open the store, it doesn't get opened.
Detective Parker: We understand. So you manage a store?
Albert Plum: Oxford Hardware. Yes, I'm the owner. Which means I open the store, close the store, and do most everything in between.
Detective Murphy: That must keep you busy.
Albert Plum: Very.
Detective Parker: What kind of store is that again? A hardware store?
Albert Plum: That's right. The best around. Service with a smile.
Detective Parker: You carry tools, painting supplies, gardening things? Stuff like that?
Albert Plum: For law enforcement, there's a ten percent discount. I really appreciate the work you folks do, protecting the family.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear about that incident over at the Rebel Inn?
Albert Plum: You mean that severed finger? It's shocking, the behavior of some people. I bet half the people who rent rooms at those motels have a home and family waiting for them. And they're not checking in alone, either.
Detective Murphy: There's always a chance that the person responsible purchased tools at your store. Would you have records of that type of transaction?
Albert Plum: Certainly. You can come look at them any time you want. Of course, if the person paid cash, there's no identifying information.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember anybody purchasing cutting tools lately?
Albert Plum: Nobody comes to mind.
Detective Parker: Do you carry any kind of brown paper?
Albert Plum: Sure. Kraft paper, masking paper. We can get you whatever you need, but with personal service like you won't get from those box stores.
Detective Parker: I'm sure that's true. What about twine and heavy duty trash bags? Do you carry those?
Albert Plum: Sure, but so does everyone else. Home Depot, Walmart, maybe even some of the grocery stores or the dollar stores.
Detective Murphy: We hear you were at the Marshall family reunion this year.
Albert Plum: I was. I went to school with some of the Marshalls and several of the other people there. It's good to put on a public face from time to time. I'm an advertisement for the store.
Detective Parker: You went for business?
Albert Plum: Yes. Well, pleasure too.
Detective Parker: So did you drum up some business?
Albert Plum: It can be very hard to judge the effectiveness of any advertising campaign. Attending the reunion was at least cheaper than the advertisements I buy in the programs for school plays. And the food was better.
Detective Parker: Did you happen to run into Oscar Knight?
Albert Plum: I did. I had words with him, in fact.
Detective Murphy: About what, exactly?
Albert Plum: I don't make it a habit of speaking ill of people, but if anybody deserves such treatment, it would be Oscar. He couldn't even finish greeting me without asking about my father.
Detective Murphy: That seems friendly enough.
Albert Plum: Oscar knows very well that I have no father to speak of. He only asked the question to get a rise out of me.
Detective Murphy: Did he succeed?
Albert Plum: I learned long ago how to deal with bullies.
Detective Parker: So what did the two of you talk about?
Albert Plum: I don't remember everything that was said.
Detective Parker: What can you remember?
Albert Plum: Oscar suggested that we might be brothers. It was at that point, Detective, that I almost lost control.
Detective Parker: Perhaps you saved those feelings for later.
Albert Plum: I don't understand.
Detective Parker: Did you go to the Rebel Inn later to teach him a lesson?
Albert Plum: Don't be ridiculous. Certainly not.
Detective Murphy: We hear you were at Lamar Park on August 24th.
Albert Plum: What do you mean?
Detective Murphy: Someone saw you there.
Albert Plum: So what? I can go to the park if I want to. That's not a crime.
Detective Murphy: What were you doing there?
Albert Plum: The same thing as everyone else. What are you trying to say?
Detective Murphy: I'm just asking what you were doing there.
Albert Plum: I was getting some exercise. Is that okay with you?
Detective Murphy: Sure.
Albert Plum: Is there anything else? I really need to get to the store.
Detective Parker: All right. Thank you for coming in. We'll let you know if we have any more questions.
Albert Plum: Yes, fine. I'll help you with your investigation in any way that I can.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Mr. Plum. We'll be talking to you.
Interview ended – 7:19 a.m.