Woman with silver blonde hair

Lynette Martinson interview

Thursday, January 9, 2020 – 9:25 p.m.

Lynette Martinson is a nurse at the Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home, where Jerry Shaw was also employed.

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


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Lynette Martinson

Detective Armstrong: For the record, please state your name and address.

Lynette Martinson: Lynette Martinson 122 McRae Drive, Oxford.

Detective Murphy: It's nice to see you again, Mrs. Martinson, even under these unfortunate circumstances. How have you been?

Lynette Martinson: The last year has been really difficult, but with the Lord's help, I'm doing the best I can.

Detective Armstrong: How are the boys? Emanuel must be looking at college soon.

Lynette Martinson: He is. I've been encouraging him to consider all the possibilities for where he might go. Wendell would want him to make the most of his opportunities. But right now, Emanuel won't discuss any school but Ole Miss. I think he feels a responsibility to stay here and try to fill his father's shoes.

Detective Armstrong: That's understandable. He's a strong-willed young man.

Lynette Martinson: Yes, he is. I wish David had a little more of that. His faith is strong, but his heart is still broken.

Detective Armstrong: It just takes time. He'll be all right.

Detective Murphy: I'm sure you want to get home to them, so why don't we go over what happened today so you can do that?

Lynette Martinson: Thank you, yes.

Detective Murphy: How well did you know Jerry Shaw, Mrs. Martinson?

Lynette Martinson: We worked together. We saw each other almost every day.

Detective Murphy: Tell us about how you found Jerry this afternoon.

Lynette Martinson: I went outside just to get a breath of fresh air for a minute or two. It's something I usually do during every shift at some point. Taking care of those patients is the Lord's work, but sometimes you just need to take a moment for quiet reflection, you know?

Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am. So you went outside?

Lynette Martinson: Yes. I went out through the kitchen and walked over toward the grassy area. Then I saw someone's feet sticking out on the ground near the dumpster, so I went over to check. When I saw it was Jerry, I thought he had heard me coming out and was playing one of his jokes. I remember thinking I was surprised he could stay so still because that wasn't like him at all.

Detective Murphy: And then?

Lynette Martinson: Well, the position he was in just didn't look natural, so I leaned over and realized he didn't seem to be breathing. I reached down to find a pulse but couldn't feel one. I knew he was dead. Beyond help.

Detective Murphy: How?

Lynette Martinson: I've been a nurse for a long time. There's a look the body gets when life is over and no medical intervention can help, when the soul has gone. You must know the look I mean. I think he probably passed away before I got there.

Detective Armstrong: How long would you say?

Lynette Martinson: I'm not a pathologist. I wouldn't want to say.

Detective Armstrong: Just your opinion based on your years of experience. We're not asking you to give an official estimate.

Lynette Martinson: Well… I'd say at least half an hour before I found him or thereabouts. Maybe more.

Detective Murphy: What do you remember about how the area looked when you got there?

Lynette Martinson: The dumpster was close to the curb like it usually is. Jerry's head was between the dumpster and the curb. He was lying on his back, and there was trash all around the area. I didn't see any blood.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone else back there?

Lynette Martinson: No.

Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you saw Jerry before that?

Lynette Martinson: I'm not sure. I saw him in the halls a few times during the day, but I can't say exactly when.

Detective Armstrong: How would you characterize your relationship with him?

Lynette Martinson: We were co-workers, but we weren't friendly.

Detective Armstrong: Why not?

Lynette Martinson: I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but… Jerry had no respect for women at all. Some of the things he said to me and the other women who work there were just disgusting.

Detective Murphy: Did he ask you out?

Lynette Martinson: Never. He just made lewd remarks. He always stood too close or lingered too long, things like that. I think he was involved with another employee.

Detective Murphy: Who is that?

Lynette Martinson: Sylvia Powell. She's another nurse.

Detective Murphy: What makes you think they were involved?

Lynette Martinson:  Just the way she looked at him. It was pathetic, really. I didn't get the sense that he cared for her as much as she cared for him.

Detective Armstrong: Is there anyone at Yoknapatawpha Acres who might've wanted to get rid of Jerry?

Lynette Martinson: There are probably a lot of people who hoped he'd be fired. But I don't think anyone would physically hurt him if that's what you mean.

Detective Murphy: Thank you very much, Mrs. Martinson. We really appreciate your time. We may need to talk to you about this again. Would that be okay?

Lynette Martinson: Of course. Anything I can do to help.

Interview ended - 9:54 p.m.



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