Joe Wilson interview
Sunday, January 12, 2020 – 2:30 p.m.
Joseph Wilson is the head cook at the nursing home where Jerry Shaw was employed.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at Yoknapatawpha Acres.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Joe Wilson
Detective Armstrong: Please state your name and address.
Joe Wilson: I'm Joseph Wilson. No one calls me Joseph, though. Call me Joe. I live at 1304 North Lamar.
Detective Armstrong: All right. Joe it is. You work here at the nursing home?
Joe Wilson: Yeah, I'm the head cook for the Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home, but I have a feeling I won't be here much longer, so I'm doing some searching for another job.
Detective Murphy: Why is that?
Joe Wilson: I've been hearing some tales about the care the residents are getting lately. Or maybe I should say the care they're not getting. If any of that stuff is true, I don't even want to work here anymore.
Detective Armstrong: What have you heard?
Joe Wilson: Well, first of all, we keep the kitchen spic and span. You could eat off the floor in there. And everything's completely up to code and in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. We take pride in our work in the kitchen.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Joe. We got it. Just tell us what you heard.
Joe Wilson: Okay, look. It's common knowledge among the employees that the rest of the place—not the kitchen—isn't as clean and well-kept as it should be. Mr. Landrigan makes everyone clean up before the inspectors from the Health Department pay a visit, of course, but when that's over, everything just goes back to the way it was before. Until the inspectors come back again.
Detective Armstrong: If the employees know it needs to be cleaned, why don't they just do it?
Joe Wilson: Oh, they clean up the place a little, but not any real cleaning. There aren't enough hours in the shift, and the boss won't approve overtime.
Detective Armstrong: Why not?
Joe Wilson: From what I hear, Landrigan keeps the money for himself that's supposed to go for overtime, supplies, other things the nurses and aides need to do their jobs.
Detective Murphy: Nobody ever complains?
Joe Wilson: Sure they have, but let's just say management doesn't like to hear complaints from anyone, and no one wants to lose their job.
Detective Murphy: Is that all they complain about: lack of supplies and overtime?
Joe Wilson: I've heard talk about neglecting the residents, but lately, it's real bad.
Detective Murphy: Like what?
Joe Wilson: Bedsores mostly, I guess. I don't go in for all that medical stuff. Yuck.
Detective Murphy: Who told you these things?
Joe Wilson: I'd rather not say. Like I said, people could lose their jobs.
Detective Armstrong: You ever experience any of it first-hand?
Joe Wilson: Me and Landrigan had a difference of opinion over the meat and produce he brought in a couple of times. I took one look at that stuff and threw it out. I told him to his face that I wouldn't serve that stuff to anyone. The residents deserve healthy meals with food that's nutritious and tastes good. I told him if he didn't get fresh, good quality meat and produce, I would contact the Health Department myself, even if it meant losing my job.
Detective Armstrong: Have you contacted the Health Department?
Joe Wilson: So far, I haven't had to.
Detective Armstrong: And what happened after your conversation?
Joe Wilson: Nothing, really. I never had a problem after that, but I lost all respect for Landrigan.
Detective Armstrong: He didn't threaten to fire you?
Joe Wilson: He can't. He can't run the kitchen without me.
Detective Armstrong: Must be nice.
Joe Wilson: Not really.
Detective Murphy: Let's talk about Jerry Shaw. Did you know him?
Joe Wilson: I'm sure everyone here knew him.
Detective Murphy: Why's that?
Joe Wilson: He made himself known. He was a low-down crook.
Detective Murphy: What makes you say that?
Joe Wilson: Jerry tried to steal anything he could carry, even food. He thought he could take food from the kitchen home with him so he wouldn't have to buy his supper.
Detective Armstrong: You were okay with that?
Joe Wilson: Hell, no. I had to watch him like a hawk. He didn't like me, and I sure didn't like him.
Detective Armstrong: Because he took food from the kitchen?
Joe Wilson: Because he did what he wanted, no matter what.
Detective Murphy: Why would Jerry steal food?
Joe Wilson: I heard he spent all his money gambling. Maybe he couldn't afford to buy his own food. I don't know, and I don't care. Doesn't give him the right to steal.
Detective Murphy: Did you tell Mr. Landrigan about Jerry stealing?
Joe Wilson: No.
Detective Murphy: Why not?
Joe Wilson: Well… I think Jerry had something on Landrigan because any other manager would have fired Jerry. I heard them arguing several times myself, and I spend all my time in the kitchen.
Detective Armstrong: What did Jerry have on him?
Joe Wilson: How should I know? With Landrigan, it could be anything.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anyone who had a conflict with Jerry that you can tell us about?
Joe Wilson: Matt Hooper, I guess. Sometimes he has lunch in the dining room, and I've heard him cuss Jerry out for not paying him.
Detective Murphy: Paying him for what?
Joe Wilson: Gambling, I assume.
Detective Murphy: What makes you think so?
Joe Wilson: Like I said, I heard Jerry liked to gamble. Why else would he owe Matt money?
Detective Murphy: Maybe Matt gave Jerry a loan?
Joe Wilson: I guess that could be, but I didn't think Matt was that stupid.
Detective Murphy: Did Jerry owe you any money?
Joe Wilson: No way. I keep my nose clean. I don't get involved with any of that.
Detective Armstrong: Did you happen to see how Jerry got out to the delivery area the day he died?
Joe Wilson: It's not like I'm just sitting around people-watching all day long. We're constantly working in the kitchen: prep, cooking, cleaning.
Detective Armstrong: But?
Joe Wilson: But, yeah, I think I did see Jerry walk past the kitchen to go outside when I was getting some ingredients out of the storage area. He was probably going out to smoke. He did that a lot.
Detective Murphy: Do you recall what time that was?
Joe Wilson: It was right at 3:00. We all watch the clock because the meals have to be ready at the same time every day. It's important for the residents' medication schedules and all that.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone else go out that way around the same time?
Joe Wilson: No. I was in the kitchen. If it wasn't happening in there, I didn't see it.
Detective Armstrong: Did you happen to step outside yourself around that time?
Joe Wilson: Are you kidding? I don't have time to wander outside whenever the mood strikes me.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anyone who might've wanted Jerry dead?
Joe Wilson: Anything's possible. Who knows what people might do? But then again, who'd be willing to risk going to jail for the likes of Jerry Shaw?
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time, Joe. We'll let you get back to work now, but give us a call if you hear or remember anything that might help us. Okay?
Joe Wilson: I sure will.
Interview ended – 3:03 p.m.