Friday, January 10, 2014 - 11:00 a.m.
Ronald Sill is a former mathematics professor who now focuses his efforts on what he calls "independent research." He regularly spends time at the Dickerson Ranch, where Austin Maxwell said he went after dropping off his brother and sister at the bus stop. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed Dr. Sill at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Ronny Sill
Detective Armstrong: Hello, Ronny. Good to see you again.
Ronny Sill: Right. What is it now?
Detective Armstrong: State your name and address for the record before we get started.
Ronny Sill: My name is Ronald Sill, and the world is my home, the universe is my home, the mountains, the streams, the rocks, the earth.
Detective Armstrong: Wonderful. OK, We want to talk to you about Austin Maxwell. He says he met up with you on the morning his brother and sister disappeared.
Ronny Sill: That might be right.
Detective Armstrong: Might be?
Ronny Sill: Might be.
Detective Armstrong: Could you be a little more specific please?
Ronny Sill: What has he told you?
Detective Armstrong: Why does that matter?
Ronny Sill: Just curious.
Detective Armstrong: Look, Ronny, did you see Austin Maxwell in the early morning hours of January 3rd?
Ronny Sill: When was that?
Detective Armstrong: A week ago today.
Ronny Sill: Yeah, I saw him out at the ranch. He pulled up that morning. Everyone was feeling pretty good, everyone had their clothes off and was having a good time. I think it was about 4:00 in the morning, according to the position of the moon.
Detective Armstrong: The position of the moon? That's how you tell time?
Ronny Sill: That's right. Man has been using that method for centuries, you know.
Detective Murphy: So what did y'all do when he got out there?
Ronny Sill: I'm not admitting to any drug use.
Detective Murphy: Well, nobody said anything about drug use, and we don't care about that right now. We just want to know what you know about Austin that morning.
Ronny Sill: That's what you say. What about him?
Detective Armstrong: Was there anyone else out at the ranch in the middle of the night or just you and Austin?
Ronny Sill: You know this town. People will party at any time for any reason.
Detective Armstrong: Or maybe just you will.
Ronny Sill: Hey, the place was packed. You would have loved it.
Detective Armstrong: Right. What did Austin say when he pulled up?
Ronny Sill: He just got out and sat on the porch. We smoked some, uh, smokes right there on the porch and kicked back. He told me he had dropped his sister and brother off. He called them "my damn brother and sister," and he said he was glad they were leaving town for a while.
Detective Armstrong: So he was angry?
Ronny Sill: A little bit. But he calmed down when he– after he hung out for a while.
Detective Murphy: Did he look like he'd been in a fight before he got there?
Ronny Sill: I don't know. What does being in a fight look like?
Detective Murphy: Clothes messed up, dirty, bloody, he could have scratches or bruises on his body, you know what being in a fight looks like, Ronny.
Ronny Sill: He looked fine.
Detective Murphy: Did he do anything physical at the ranch? Throw something, punch something, anything like that?
Ronny Sill: No, man. We just sat around and talked. We didn't hurt anybody.
Detective Armstrong: What does that mean?
Ronny Sill: Hey, whoa there. Just a figure of speech.
Detective Murphy: What time did Austin leave the Dickerson ranch?
Ronny Sill: He left when I did, around 5:00 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: Where did you go?
Ronny Sill: I went to the 24-hour Chevron on South Lamar and got some snacks. A little breakfast food. I got home about 5:30.
Detective Murphy: Did Austin go with you to the store?
Ronny Sill: No. He went off in the other direction. Then bam! I read about his brother and sister. I haven't seen him since.
Detective Armstrong: Did you have anything to do with what happened to his brother and sister?
Ronny Sill: No way. You know I didn't.
Detective Armstrong: OK, Ronny. We'll call you if we have any more questions. I'm sure you'll cooperate, right?
Ronny Sill: Of course. Be glad to. See you around.
Detective Armstrong: Goodbye.
Interview ends: 11:26 a.m.