Todd Maxwell follow-up interview
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 8:20 a.m.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy went to the Maxwell residence to tell them what was found at St. Peter's Cemetery. Although the bodies had not yet been officially identified, the sheriff's department wanted the Maxwells to be aware of the discovery before hearing about it on the news or from another source.
After the preliminary notification, Detective Armstrong interviewed Mr. Maxwell while Detective Murphy interviewed his wife, Robin Maxwell. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Todd Maxwell
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Maxwell, I fully understand how difficult it is for you and your family today. You understand that it is necessary for us to ask these questions and get as much information as we can?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, I do. I'm worried about Robin. She's not holding up very well. Her parents will be here later today and that will help some, I hope.
Detective Armstrong: I understand, sir. Before we get too far into it, would you state your name and address for the record please?
Todd Maxwell: Todd Maxwell. 103 Pleasant Drive.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Let's go over the timing of your family's movements on the morning of January 3rd. What time did you get up that day?
Todd Maxwell: About 1:30 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: Not 2:30 a.m.?
Todd Maxwell: I'm sorry?
Detective Armstrong: I thought you told us before that you got up at 2:30 a.m.?
Todd Maxwell: Did I? I must've misspoken. I got up shortly after Robin, must've been about 1:30 or 1:35 a.m. Had a quick cup of coffee and took the Land Rover over to the Shell station and filled it up. I got back home shortly after 2:00 a.m. The Shell is just up Lamar right around the corner.
Detective Armstrong: How did you pay for the gas? Do you remember?
Todd Maxwell: Credit card.
Detective Armstrong: Do you happen to have the receipt from that?
Todd Maxwell: Maybe. I'd have to look around for it.
Detective Armstrong: If you don't mind doing that after we've finished talking, that would be a big help.
Todd Maxwell: Sure.
Detective Armstrong: OK, so did you go out again after getting gas?
Todd Maxwell: No. I helped Austin get the kids' gear into the trunk, and then they left. Robin and I straightened up the kitchen a bit, and we went back to bed.
Detective Armstrong: Did you hear Austin come back in?
Todd Maxwell: No.
Detective Armstrong: When did you get up again?
Todd Maxwell: At 7:30 a.m. Both Robin and I got up then, and I went to the office.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you leave for the office?
Todd Maxwell: About 8:00, 8:15 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: Was Austin at home at that time?
Todd Maxwell: Yes. He was asleep.
Detective Armstrong: You saw him?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, his bedroom door was open. His car was out front too.
Detective Armstrong: When did you next see Austin?
Todd Maxwell: Not until around 3:00 Monday afternoon when I got back from the office.
Detective Armstrong: What did Austin tell you about driving Caitlin and Cameron to the bus?
Todd Maxwell: Not much. I think I asked if the kids got off OK, and he said yes. That was it at the time. It wasn't until we realized they were missing that we got all the details.
Detective Armstrong: When was it you learned that he'd argued with them?
Todd Maxwell: When Caitlin and Cameron hadn't called us by Sunday morning, we were getting concerned. That's when Austin told us what happened. He thought maybe that's why they hadn't called.
Detective Armstrong: There was no argument or hostility at your house before he drove off with Caitlin and Cameron?
Todd Maxwell: No, sir.
Detective Armstrong: Why was Austin the one who drove Cameron and Caitlin to the bus?
Todd Maxwell: Well, Robin gets very upset when the kids are leaving for longer than a day or two, and it's just easier all around on everyone if she doesn't actually see them off. That doesn't happen often. More than not, either Robin or the both of us went along with the kids to training or competitions.
Detective Armstrong: You had a family dinner that Sunday night. How was everyone getting along then?
Todd Maxwell: We were a little worried Austin would cause a scene, but he behaved well. Made a snide remark or two, but kept it in check. Cameron and Caitlin didn't seem upset by it. All in all, it was a pleasant night.
Detective Armstrong: I understand Austin went out that night after dinner. Did anyone else leave the house?
Todd Maxwell: No, the rest of us stayed home.
Detective Armstrong: What time did Austin get back home?
Todd Maxwell: It was right after the news, about 11:25 p.m. or so.
Detective Armstrong: Were there any phone calls or visitors that night?
Todd Maxwell: There were a few phone calls. Cameron and Caitlin both talked to friends, Ryan and Maggie. Robin called her folks, and they talked for awhile. I believe that's all. Nobody came to the house.
Detective Armstrong: Did you notice any scratches or cuts on either your wife or Austin in the day or so after the 3rd?
Todd Maxwell: No.
Detective Armstrong: No one complained of any injuries, soreness, headaches?
Todd Maxwell: No. What are you getting at?
Detective Armstrong: What can you tell me about Ryan Rand?
Todd Maxwell: Cameron's friend. Well, they've been friends since they started school. He's been Cameron's best friend, I'd say. When they were younger they were inseparable, did everything together, except skating. Ryan could skate and they'd hang out at the rink, but he wasn't into skating as a sport, no lessons or anything like that. When the kids started training in Memphis, Cameron and Ryan didn't spend as much time together, but they stayed friends. They got together when Cameron was here in Oxford. Talked on the phone, helped each other with schoolwork. If you want to know the truth, I think Ryan actually did some of Cameron's work for him, but neither of them would admit it.
Detective Armstrong: They saw each other before Cameron left this last time?
Todd Maxwell: Oh yes. They went to a movie just a few days before. I think that was the only time they got together this trip though.
Detective Armstrong: Would you say Ryan was envious of Cameron? Did he have any reason to be angry with him?
Todd Maxwell: Not that I can see. Those two never did fight much to speak of. Got along real well.
Detective Armstrong: What about Maggie Jenkins, Caitlin's friend? What can you tell me about her?
Todd Maxwell: She's a real sweet girl. Good friend to Caitlin, always seemed to understand her. Caitlin didn't like getting noticed in public, and Maggie went along with that. They went to the movies a few times this trip too.
Detective Armstrong: Would Maggie have any reason to harm either Cameron or Caitlin?
Todd Maxwell: Never. She's a shy, sweet little thing and doesn't have a mean bone in her. I'd be completely shocked if she had anything at all to do with what happened to Cameron and Caitlin.
Detective Armstrong: You've gone over the lists of skating contacts, friends, family, and the bus manifest. Is there anyone that you think might have a reason to hold a grudge against you, your family, or Caitlin and Cameron?
Todd Maxwell: No, sir. I didn't recognize anyone on the bus list. There just isn't anyone I can think of with any reason to want to harm Caitlin or Cameron.
Detective Armstrong: What about any of your business contacts?
Todd Maxwell: Well, I haven't had any business problems or disgruntled clients in years. There's nothing there I can see.
Detective Armstrong: How is Austin dealing with what's happened?
Todd Maxwell: For all his faults and troubles, Austin's a good kid. He knows it wasn't the right or smart thing to do to just drop them off over there at the bus stop with no one around and leave. He knows better than that, and now he regrets it. He thinks if he had stayed there this wouldn't have happened, and he might just be right about that too.
Detective Armstrong: Do you blame Austin?
Todd Maxwell: No, not blame, but– well, you know, you'd like to turn back the clock and change things. I wish he'd stayed there, too.
Detective Armstrong: Do you think Austin was involved in the murder? Did he do this?
Todd Maxwell: Now just a minute there, Detective. I never said anything like that. And no, sir, I do not think so. In fact, you know if you think he did it, then maybe I better call my lawyer over here right now.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Maxwell, we don't know who's responsible for Caitlin and Cameron's deaths right now. As far as we know right now, Austin was the last one to see them alive. We know he had an argument with them. We know he's had his share of problems. You can see why these questions need to be asked.
Todd Maxwell: Maybe so, but I want a lawyer here for Austin if you're going to talk with him again.
Detective Armstrong: That's up to you and Austin, but we'd like to have your full cooperation. The sooner we can say that Austin or any other family member is not involved, the sooner we can get that behind us and go on.
Todd Maxwell: I understand that. I know you have to look at the family in cases like this, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to give up my rights either. We'll do everything we can to help you, but we won't be harassed either.
Detective Armstrong: No one wants to harass you or your family, sir. We want to find whoever's responsible for what happened to Caitlin and Cameron. You want that too, don't you?
Todd Maxwell: Of course I do.
Detective Armstrong: Good. Let's move on to the money you promised Austin to produce his album. How much was that?
Todd Maxwell: We agreed to give him $25,000.
Detective Armstrong: He was very upset when he didn't get that, wasn't he?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, he was angry. He couldn't seem to understand that it was a delay not a broken promise.
Detective Armstrong: He didn't understand at the time that he'd still be getting the money?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, he understood that. He just felt it was unfair to make him wait for it.
Detective Armstrong: I see. And how much time will he have to repay the loan?
Todd Maxwell: It's not a loan. It's a gift. We want to help him out, even if he doesn't see that. I'd like him to understand that we love him too, in spite of all the problems, but he can't quite seem to accept that.
Detective Armstrong: Has Austin been using drugs again, Mr. Maxwell?
Todd Maxwell: Yeah, I'd say he has a few times. Not much though. I have to give him credit. He's been doing better than I expected with that diversion program.
Detective Armstrong: Is there any possibility Austin was high or drinking when he got home on Thursday night before he went to bed or a few hours later when he got up and drove Caitlin and Cameron to the bus?
Todd Maxwell: No sign of it. We'd have picked that up, and he wouldn't have taken Caitlin and Cameron. That's for certain.
Detective Armstrong: Let's move on to skating. I understand that you have a two-bedroom apartment in Memphis near the skating rink?
Todd Maxwell: Yes. When Caitlin and Cameron started training in Memphis with Mike and John, they needed to be there most of the time. That's the easiest way to do that.
Detective Armstrong: You used to stay with Caitlin and Cameron in Memphis?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, either Robin or I. Sometimes both of us. Every now and then, Robin's mother would go and stay with the kids if we couldn't for some reason.
Detective Armstrong: Were there ever any incidents, run-ins with neighbors that sort of thing?
Todd Maxwell: Not that I remember. We don't really know the neighbors. It's a nice quiet place, but we spend most of the time we're there at the ice rink anyway.
Detective Armstrong: Did Cameron or Caitlin have any close friends, boyfriends or girlfriends in Memphis?
Todd Maxwell: No. They didn't have time for relationships. When they went out, which wasn't often, it was more likely to be in a group, and most of that group would be skaters. They dated here and there, but nothing serious.
Detective Armstrong: How did Cameron and Caitlin get along with each other?
Todd Maxwell: Well enough to be one of the finest ice dancing duos to come along in years. They had their moments like most brothers and sisters do, but they were very close. Cameron looked up to Caitlin even though he was older. She always seemed to have more energy and enthusiasm, and he relied on that to keep him going I think.
Detective Armstrong: Tell me about their reactions to what happened at Nationals last year.
Todd Maxwell: Crushed, hurt, embarrassed. They wanted to quit. Actually, I think it was Caitlin who wanted to quit more than Cameron did. She was very down on herself for awhile there, and Cameron didn't make it any easier on her.
Detective Armstrong: How so?
Todd Maxwell: He blamed her for knocking them out of the running. It's true that if she hadn't had that fall, they probably would have been unbeatable for the rest of the year. It was an accident though, not her fault. Cameron finally got over it and apologized to her. Tried to make it up to her, I think. I know he didn't want her to leave the sport.
Detective Armstrong: Why's that?
Todd Maxwell: Caitlin was the stronger skater of the two. Caitlin could easily have gone into singles. Cameron was best suited to ice dancing. They finally worked it out and made the decision to stick with it, go for the Olympics. It was the right thing for them to do.
Detective Armstrong: How did you and Mrs. Maxwell feel about the setback?
Todd Maxwell: Disappointed. I knew the kids had the talent. It was unfortunate that slip happened when it did. The thing is though, they were so young. They had years ahead of them to compete, and I have no doubt they'd have made this year's Olympic team. The thing we didn't want them to do was quit.
Detective Armstrong: You weren't angry with them?
Todd Maxwell: Angry? No. They worked hard. I was very disappointed. It was a stupid accident. But that's what it was, an accident.
Detective Armstrong: It was their decision not to quit?
Todd Maxwell: Robin and I let them know how we felt about it. They'd live to regret it if they walked away from the sport after so many years of training and with so much ahead of them. The alternative was to go to college. They could do that and skate at the same time, or they could wait on college until a few years down the road. If they quit skating though, they'd lose their position and that's not something they'd get back. The decision was theirs, but it's what we wanted them to do too.
Detective Armstrong: You don't feel they were forced into that decision then?
Todd Maxwell: No, I don't.
Detective Armstrong: There weren't any hard feelings or rivalries between Cameron and Caitlin over that?
Todd Maxwell: I think they worked all that out. Like I said, Cameron was hard on Caitlin for a few months. The last year was tough for them, but they did work it out.
Detective Armstrong: How did their coaches feel about their chances of making the Olympics and the possibility of Caitlin and Cameron leaving the sport?
Todd Maxwell: As far as the Olympics, they were very, very supportive of Caitlin and Cameron. They didn't put any pressure on them over that at all. As far as leaving the sport, they talked it out with the kids quite a few times, I know they encouraged them not to give up. There are so many talented skaters that if Caitlin and Cameron had made the decision to quit training, the coaches would've had others to work with in no time, but it would be a few more years before they'd have championship level skaters again.
Detective Armstrong: How well did you get along with Caitlin and Cameron, Mr. Maxwell?
Todd Maxwell: I loved my kids. They knew it. We got along well. I probably spent more time with them than many fathers do. I coached them for years myself. I loved those children, and I was proud of them. I can't believe they're gone. It hasn't become real to me yet. I keep expecting to see them any minute.
Detective Armstrong: Do you have life insurance policies on both Caitlin and Cameron?
Todd Maxwell: Yes. $100,000 each with the automatic provision to triple the coverage when they turned 21. It's not that we needed the death benefit. The intent was to be certain that Cameron and Caitlin had the coverage when they became adults in the event of an accident or disability that might otherwise prevent them from getting good coverage. We wanted to be sure they had that.
Detective Armstrong: Who are the beneficiaries of the policies?
Todd Maxwell: Robin and I are the beneficiaries.
Detective Armstrong: Are any of your relatives buried at the St. Peter's cemetery, Mr. Maxwell?
Todd Maxwell: I don't think so. None I know of. We have a family plot at the First Baptist church. I have a few family members buried there.
Detective Armstrong: Do you have any guns or knives in the house?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, we do. We have two rifles, a .30-30 Winchester and a Remington .22, and a few fishing and hunting knives. I'm not much of a hunter. Austin and I went a few times back when he was in high school, but both of us prefer fishing. We have a few good knives we take along for that. And of course, we have kitchen knives.
Detective Armstrong: Does Austin own any of these weapons?
Todd Maxwell: Yes, the Remington's his, and he has a couple of good quality fishing knives I gave him.
Detective Armstrong: We'll want to see those. Did Cameron or Caitlin own any weapons?
Todd Maxwell: I don't think of it as a weapon, but Cameron has a Swiss Army knife. We got it for him for his 12th birthday. Caitlin didn't have anything like that.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time any of these guns or knives were used?
Todd Maxwell: Let me think. The guns we haven't used in years. The last time Austin and I went fishing was last October up at Sardis, so I guess that was it for the fishing gear and the knives.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Maxwell, I have to ask this question. Did you have anything to do with what happened to Caitlin or Cameron?
Todd Maxwell: Absolutely not. I did not kill either one of them, and I don't know who did. I want to know. I need to know. I want to see the person responsible for this pay for it.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Maxwell, would you be willing to submit to a polygraph test?
Todd Maxwell: That's just outrageous. I think I will talk my lawyer after all. I had nothing to do with Cameron or Caitlin's deaths, and like I told you, I won't have this family harassed.
Detective Armstrong: I understand your feelings. I'm sorry we have to do these things today
Todd Maxwell: I do understand that you're only doing your job, Detective Armstrong. This isn't easy for any of us. Are you finished with your questions?
Detective Armstrong: We'll be in touch if we need anything else.
Interview ends: 9:13 a.m.