Man with dark hair and the beginnings of a mustache and goatee

Phil Shaw interview

Friday, January 10, 2020 – 11:01 a.m.

Phillip Shaw and his brother, Jerry, were estranged at the time of Jerry's death.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Phil Shaw

Detective Armstrong: Morning.

Phil Shaw: Hi. You want to ask me questions about Jerry, right?

Detective Armstrong: Yes, we do, but first, would you state your name and address?

Phil Shaw: Why not? My name is Phillip Shaw, but just call me Phil. I live at 380 Vivian Street, here in Oxford.

Detective Armstrong: Now, we can begin. Do you know of any physical condition that would make your brother, Jerry, pass away without warning?

Phil Shaw: Ha! Contrariness maybe?

Detective Armstrong: That sounds like you didn't get along with your brother.

Phil Shaw: Yep, you hit the nail on the head for sure.

Detective Armstrong: Well, do you know of anyone who would want to harm him in any way?

Phil Shaw: I imagine that list would be very long. I doubt he made a lot of money at the job he had, so he must've had some way to make extra money. Probably stole it.

Detective Murphy: A lot of people work as orderlies or aides and seem to do okay. Why not Jerry?

Phil Shaw: Would you want to do that job? Jerry could have done much better, but he was lazy and no-account. I mean, did you see the garbage out back of that nursing home? It was disgusting, but if Jerry is the one in charge of taking out the trash, it's exactly what I'd expect. I would think the manager would have had a lot to say about that negligence unless he didn't care either.

Detective Murphy: You've been to the nursing home?

Phil Shaw: Never. No reason to.

Detective Murphy: But you saw garbage behind it?

Phil Shaw: I saw a photo of it on the Internet. It's the Digital Age. Everything is on the Internet now.

Detective Murphy: Uh-huh. Did you see your brother often, Phil?

Phil Shaw: Are you kidding? We haven't seen each other in years. I don't approve of his work ethic or the choices he made in his life, and he knew it. And he couldn't stand the thought that I had made something of myself. Jealous.

Detective Armstrong: What kind of work do you do that would make him envious of you?

Phil Shaw: I went to the university, and now I have my own business: Shaw's Tax and Accounting Service. I'm also preparing to open my real estate business. Jerry, on the other hand, never did a hard day's work in his life. The way he was going, he would've ended up on skid row somewhere.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe he could've gone to work for you?

Phil Shaw: Are you kidding? I wasn't going to take care of him. Our parents left both of us enough money to get an education. I used mine for just that, but Jerry squandered his.

Detective Murphy: How did he do that?

Phil Shaw: He was a degenerate gambler. He was so sure he could make a living at gambling. I tried to convince him that would never work out, but he wouldn't listen. He was too stubborn and headstrong, and that's how he wound up working in a nursing home as a flunky. He made his own bed, as it were, and now he makes other people's. Or did.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time you talked to him?

Phil Shaw: He called me last month. Wanted to know if I would help him get an attorney because he'd gotten himself arrested.

Detective Murphy: Did you?

Phil Shaw: I told him public defenders were invented for people like him. It was his mess, and he needed to get himself out of it.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know anything about Jerry's life or acquaintances? Did he ever speak of any friends or enemies he may have had?

Phil Shaw: Like I said, Jerry and I didn't really have any contact except when he wanted something. By the way, how did you find out that he had a brother? I can't imagine him mentioning me to anyone. I sure didn't let anyone know that he was my brother. It was embarrassing.

Detective Armstrong: Were you embarrassed enough to want him out of the way?

Phil Shaw: Jerry was already out of my way. I didn't need to do a thing.

Detective Armstrong: Just for our records, where were you yesterday between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.?

Phil Shaw: I was at work, of course.

Detective Armstrong: Can anyone confirm that?

Phil Shaw: My receptionist. My clerk. I'm sure I spoke with some clients on the phone. If you're wondering whether I did something to cause Jerry's death, I wouldn't bother. He wasn't a part of my life anymore, not for years. Now, if you're finished with me, I need to get back to the office.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time, Mr. Shaw. We'll contact you to schedule our next interview.

Phil Shaw: What else do we have to talk about?

Detective Murphy: You're the next of kin, sir. It's only natural that we'd need to follow up with you.

Phil Shaw: Fine. But we're done for now?

Detective Murphy: Yes. We'll be in touch.

Interview ended - 11:27 a.m.



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