Following receipt of the forensic analysis of evidence collected at Elizabeth Barton's residence, Detectives Murphy and Parker obtained an arrest warrant for her, and YCSD officers took her into custody at her residence.
Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Elizabeth Barton
Detective Murphy: Here's some water for you, Mrs. Barton. Would you please, for the record, state your name and address.
Elizabeth Barton: What am I doing here? I told you I didn't want to talk about Oscar anymore.
Detective Murphy: When Detective Armstrong placed you under arrest, he advised you of your rights, didn't he?
Elizabeth Barton: Yes, he did. It was surreal. I've never experienced anything like that before. What could you people be thinking, arresting me?
Detective Murphy: We'll get to that. Are you waiving your right to have counsel present and agreeing to talk to us at this time?
Elizabeth Barton: What is going on here? What is this about? I don't understand.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Barton, if you don't answer the question, we can't talk to you. Do you understand that you have the right to refuse to talk to us and the right to have an attorney present?
Elizabeth Barton: Yes, I understand. I've watched TV. What I don't understand is what I'm doing here. And why you people are arresting me.
Detective Murphy: We'll get to that. Now, as we begin, once again for the record, state your name and address.
Elizabeth Barton: You already know that. I'm Elizabeth Barton. I live at 576 Webb Street. Tell me what's going on.
Detective Parker: Mrs. Barton, you know what's going on. You've been arrested for the murder of Oscar Knight.
Elizabeth Barton: I didn't kill Oscar.
Detective Parker: You were involved in his murder.
Elizabeth Barton: Why would you say something like that? I wouldn't kill anyone.
Detective Parker: We found his head and hands in your freezer.
Elizabeth Barton: What? No, you didn't.
Detective Parker: Not to get all schoolyard on you, but yes, we did.
Elizabeth Barton: If that's true, then someone must have planted them there.
Detective Murphy: Who would do such a thing to you?
Elizabeth Barton: I don't know. There are crazy people in the world.
Detective Murphy: Is your son crazy?
Elizabeth Barton: Of course not. Why would you even suggest that?
Detective Murphy: Well, maybe he just has a mean streak then. Like his father.
Elizabeth Barton: What are you saying? Joe never had a mean bone in his body.
Detective Murphy: Guess I didn't mean Joe then.
Elizabeth Barton: What are you talking about?
Detective Parker: Mrs. Barton, do you know what today is?
Elizabeth Barton: What are you talking about? I may not be as young as you, but I'm not senile.
Detective Parker: Good. Then you can tell us what today is.
Elizabeth Barton: It's Tuesday. Don't you know that?
Detective Parker: You said you didn't understand what was going on. I was just checking your awareness.
Elizabeth Barton: I didn't mean I was losing my mind. I meant that I think you two have.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Barton, it's time to stop playing games. You are under arrest for Oscar Knight's murder, and so is your son. If you have anything to say that might mitigate that, now's the time.
Elizabeth Barton: You arrested Jimmy?
Detective Parker: Yes, ma'am.
Elizabeth Barton: It's all my fault. You can't blame him.
Detective Murphy: If you want us to believe that, then you better explain yourself. Right now.
Elizabeth Barton: Jimmy never even heard of Oscar Knight until the reunion. You have to believe me.
Detective Murphy: Say we believe you. So what? It's what happened after the reunion that matters.
Elizabeth Barton: Can't you just let this go? Oscar's dead. It's all my fault. I admit it. Isn't that enough?
Detective Murphy: Not really.
Elizabeth Barton: It's all my fault. I never should've told Jimmy. He was very upset.
Detective Murphy: Liz, look at me. We know the big secret. There's no point in being coy about it. You're just wasting everybody's time.
Elizabeth Barton: What are you talking about?
Detective Parker: Oscar is Jimmy's father. We know.
Elizabeth Barton: How could you possibly know that?
Detective Parker: Jimmy told us.
Elizabeth Barton: Jimmy what? He wouldn't— I can't believe he told you.
Detective Parker: Like you said, he was very upset.
Detective Murphy: The question now is, is that the reason you and Jimmy decided to kill him?
Elizabeth Barton: Decided? We didn't decide anything. Some things just happen. How do you think I got in this mess in the first place?
Detective Murphy: Do you want to tell us?
Elizabeth Barton: When we were teenagers, Oscar was a bad boy. He was exciting and a little dangerous. You know the type I mean? And when you're young, you think all a man like that needs is a good woman to make him change. But you can't change people. Oscar just used me. When he got what he wanted, he wasn't interested anymore. At the time, I was devastated, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.
Detective Parker: Really?
Elizabeth Barton: Joe and I started going out after Oscar and I broke up. When I found out I was pregnant, Joe and I were already in love. I told Oscar, and he wanted no part of it. He accused me of lying. He said if I really was pregnant, the baby was probably Joe's. Joe and I hadn't even… done that yet, but there was no arguing with Oscar.
Detective Parker: How is that the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Elizabeth Barton: Because I got a wonderful husband and a beautiful son out of it. And I also got rid of Oscar.
Detective Murphy: But he came back.
Elizabeth Barton: Yes. He did.
Detective Parker: What did Oscar really say to you at the reunion that upset you so much? It wasn't really about your age, was it?
Elizabeth Barton: He said he knew the truth and he was going to tell Jimmy the first chance he got. He said that was why he came.
Detective Parker: What made him change his mind?
Elizabeth Barton: I don't know. Jimmy was too old to need child support?
Detective Murphy: Okay, so Oscar tells Jimmy that half his genes came from somewhere that he didn't know. So what? Why did Oscar have to die for that?
Elizabeth Barton: Haven't you been listening to what I've been telling you? What everybody you've talked to has been telling you? Oscar was a despicable person. I did not want him around my son.
Detective Murphy: Your son is a grown man. And he's also Oscar's son.
Elizabeth Barton: No! No, he isn't. Joe Barton was and always will be Jimmy's father. Oscar was just a… what do you call it? A sperm donor, that's it. He was just a sperm donor.
Detective Parker: Is that why he had to die?
Elizabeth Barton: Oscar didn't have to die. If he could've been decent to one human being — his own son — he'd still be around to insult people and make an ass out of himself.
Detective Murphy: So you didn't send Jimmy over to the motel to kill Oscar?
Elizabeth Barton: No, I didn't send him there at all. If I'd known he was going, I would've stopped him.
Detective Murphy: So instead, you helped him dispose of the body and cover up the murder.
Elizabeth Barton: I was just trying to protect my son.
Detective Parker: Is that why you asked Albert Plum out for coffee? Because you needed an alibi?
Elizabeth Barton: Yes. Yes, that was the reason.
Detective Parker: It wasn't to make sure that Albert was out of the store so that Jimmy could get all the things he needed to get to dispose of the body?
Elizabeth Barton: No. No, that was not the reason.
Detective Murphy: What did you do while Jimmy was chopping Oscar up into little pieces? Did you help him? Did you watch a little TV? Maybe go to bed later?
Elizabeth Barton: I don't appreciate your tone.
Detective Murphy: Why don't you want to answer my question?
Elizabeth Barton: I think I'm done answering your questions. I would like to speak to an attorney now.
Detective Murphy: That'd probably be pretty smart.
Detective Parker: We'll get an officer to take you to your cell.
Elizabeth Barton: Can I see Jimmy before I go?
Detective Parker: We'll see what we can do. He may have already been transferred.
Elizabeth Barton: Thank you so much.
Detective Murphy: Just sit there. Someone will be in to get you in a few minutes.
Interview ended – 11:28 a.m.