Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 2:30 p.m.
Jerry Tucker is Steve Marshall's cousin and attended the Marshall family reunion on May 25, 2013. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Jerry Tucker
Detective Parker: Good afternoon, Mr. Tucker. We appreciate you taking the time to come talk with us today. Please state your name and address for the record.
Jerry Tucker: It was no problem taking off. I own the joint. I left my assistant in charge. I'm always happy to cooperate with the police. My name is Jerry Tucker, and I live in Oxford at 1278 Buchanan Avenue. I imagine this has to do with Oscar Knight?
Detective Parker: How well did you know Mr. Knight?
Jerry Tucker: I knew Oscar when we were kids. He was about five years older. He and my cousin Steve Marshall are the same age.
Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw him?
Jerry Tucker: I ran into him at the family reunion and hardly recognized him. It had been years since I saw him, but once he opened his mouth, I knew who he was. He was the same old jerk he always was.
Detective Murphy: We understand you and Oscar were friends back in school.
Jerry Tucker: Not exactly.
Detective Murphy: No?
Jerry Tucker: I hung around with him for a little while, but… let's just say it didn't end well.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Jerry Tucker: I don't really want to talk about it.
Detective Murphy: We'd like it if you would.
Jerry Tucker: Oh, all right. Oscar tied me to a tree one night, and my family didn't find me until the next day. It was scary. All night, I kept seeing images of animals attacking me. I was sore for a week from the ropes. I'm not ashamed to tell you I had nightmares for a long time after that.
Detective Parker: I can see how you would. How old were you when that happened?
Jerry Tucker: 10.
Detective Parker: Did you report him to the police?
Jerry Tucker: No. It was a different time.
Detective Parker: So he just got away with it?
Jerry Tucker: No, I got him back. I tricked him into thinking some Feen-a-mint laxative gum was Chiclets. He ate the whole package at one time. He didn't show up to school for two days after that, and even then, he still looked a little bit pale. It's not a story I want my own sons to know, but I've never been sorry I did it. It was childish, but he deserved it. Actually, he deserved worse, but I was just a kid.
Detective Parker: Did Oscar know what you did?
Jerry Tucker: He must have.
Detective Parker: And how did he respond?
Jerry Tucker: He didn't. After that, he ignored me like I didn't exist, which was fine with me. I never spoke to him again until the reunion.
Detective Parker: Do you still hold a grudge against him?
Jerry Tucker: Nah, that was years ago when we were kids.
Detective Murphy: What did you two talk about at the reunion?
Jerry Tucker: He asked me how I was and what I do for a living. I told him I still lived in Oxford with my two boys and I own the butcher shop. I thought he might have changed. I should've known better.
Detective Murphy: What happened?
Jerry Tucker: He laughed out loud, which is when I smelled the alcohol on his breath. I should've walked away right then, but then he said something like he couldn't believe I actually found a woman dumb enough to have kids with me, but at least she was smart enough to leave when she realized what a loser I was. He said he always figured Steve and I would never amount to anything, and he was glad to be proven right like always.
Detective Murphy: Hm. How did you respond to that?
Jerry Tucker: I felt like punching him square in his face, but I didn't. I looked at him and asked him if he wanted a piece of gum. Then I walked off.
Detective Parker: Mr. Tucker, you said you own a butcher shop?
Jerry Tucker: I sure do.
Detective Parker: So you know how to cut up meat and package it?
Jerry Tucker: Yeah. I've been working in the shop since I was a kid. My old man was a butcher and his father before him. You could say it's in my blood. Wait a minute. I see what you're getting at. You think I chopped Oscar up just because I know how to cut up meat? You're barking up the wrong tree. I had nothing to do with that.
Detective Parker: When you saw Oscar at the reunion, it didn't bring back all those old childhood nightmares? When he said those things about your wife and your cousin, you didn't want to make him shut up? Maybe you followed him back to his motel room that night and killed him.
Jerry Tucker: Of course not. I wouldn't kill anyone. Why would you think such a thing? You don't even know me. It's time for me to quit talking to you people and get a lawyer.
Detective Murphy: OK, Mr. Tucker. If that's what how you want to play it, you're free to go.
Interview ended: 2:52 p.m.