Genevieve Talley interview


Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 6:37 p.m.

Genevieve Talley is married to Landon Talley, the victim's lover. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at her home in Oxford. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.


  • Detective Armstrong
  • Detective Murphy
  • Genevieve Talley

Detective Armstrong: Thanks for letting us drop in on you like this.

Genevieve Talley: I'm just surprised, of course. I apologize for the house being a mess. Can I get you anything?

Detective Armstrong: No, thanks.

Genevieve Talley: So how can I help?

Detective Armstrong: Why don't you start by stating your full name and address for the record.

Genevieve Talley: OK. I'm Genevieve Jones Talley. I live here at 224 Colonial Road in Oxford.

Detective Armstrong: Thanks, Mrs. Talley.

Genevieve Talley: Actually, I prefer Ms.

Detective Armstrong: OK. So, er, Ms. Talley, we're here because we're investigating the recent death of a woman in Oxford.

Genevieve Talley: Right, the Barksdale Literature Conference. What was her name? Coates?

Detective Murphy: You know about it?

Genevieve Talley: I heard about it. I usually check out the local news while I'm on the treadmill.

Detective Murphy: So then, as you probably heard, the woman's name is Diane Coates.

Genevieve Talley: That's right. I remember now. She worked at Ole Miss.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know her?

Genevieve Talley: No.

Detective Armstrong: You've never heard of her before today?

Genevieve Talley: No.

Detective Armstrong: Take a look at this photo. You've never seen her?

Genevieve Talley: Is that her? No. No, I haven't. But I can guess why you're here.

Detective Murphy: Why is that?

Genevieve Talley: Does my husband know this woman? Or did he, I should say.

Detective Murphy: Why do you say that?

Genevieve Talley: My husband, Landon – have you spoken with him? Yes? Anyway, my husband has a lot of women friends, to put it delicately.

Detective Armstrong: How about putting it less delicately?

Genevieve Talley: OK, then. He f***s a lot of women. Is that plain enough?

Detective Armstrong: Yeah. Why do you say that? Has he told you?

Genevieve Talley: No. I just know. I can't explain it, only that it's unfortunate to be perceptive sometimes. I notice things: smells, phone bills with strange numbers, credit card receipts. He's not very careful, and I do all the paperwork.

Detective Armstrong: I see. Have you ever talked about it with him?

Genevieve Talley: No.

Detective Murphy: Why not?

Genevieve Talley: I… Let's just say I'm not sure the outcome would be productive. I can't see where it would get us. I mean, for both of us to start over now, I don't see the point. To be honest, I just don't see the point, period. You know what Beckett says – in the end, we're all alone or something like that.

Detective Murphy: And do you think your husband is aware that you know about his extramarital activities?

Genevieve Talley: I'm not sure. Actually, no, I doubt he notices. He thinks he's a sensitive guy, but he doesn't notice. Like a child, totally absorbed in the moment.

Detective Murphy: You aren't angry about it?

Genevieve Talley: No. Our relationship has been so weird since moving here. I go to work all day, and he works all night at the restaurant. Or most of the night, and then he goes and visits his sweetie of the moment. Anyway, we're like ships passing in the night or whatever. Very hard to stay connected. He thinks I've turned into some money-grubbing capitalist with no feelings, no creativity, blah blah blah. Actually, I'm just trying to pay the mortgage, take care of our future. Anyway, at first I was devastated… yes, completely. But then you just have to go on.

Detective Armstrong: Just for background, you moved here when?

Genevieve Talley: That was 2003.

Detective Murphy: So for ten years this has been happening and you haven't said anything?

Genevieve Talley: Actually, he started cheating in 2009. So four years.

Detective Murphy: Ms. Talley, I don't mean to sound rude, but your attitude seems a little… nonchalant.

Genevieve Talley: I'm sorry. I just… Sometimes, you harden yourself to things. You run faster so everything's a blur, you know? So I'm sorry if I sound insensitive. Trust me. I think about it a lot.

Detective Armstrong: Do you ever think of doing something about it?

Genevieve Talley: What, like killing someone? No. Couples therapy is about the extent of my thought process. But I doubt that would help.

Detective Murphy: Ms. Talley, can you tell us where you were on Friday until about 8:00 p.m.?

Genevieve Talley: Oh, yes. That's easy. I went to Tupelo for a regional meeting. I left around 7:15 in the morning, got there by 8:00, and we worked pretty much non-stop after that. I had a client lunch from 12:00 to 2:00, but otherwise I was in the building all day. They have plenty of cameras and key card logs and all that, if you really want to knock yourselves out about it. We left the office around 6:00, went out for drinks and dinner. I left around 8:00 to come home. Came straight back and zonked out.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Mr. Talley at all that day?

Genevieve Talley: Not really. As usual, he was here asleep when I left, and when I got back, he was gone. I didn't see him when he came in that night. I'm usually asleep by then anyway

Detective Murphy: And he's never mentioned Mrs. Coates to you at all?

Genevieve Talley: Never.

Detective Armstrong: Ms. Talley, can you think of any reason your husband might have been involved in Mrs. Coates' death?

Genevieve Talley: Landon? No. He wouldn't hurt another human being. I mean, physically. He would never hurt someone intentionally. Never.

Detective Murphy: Well, OK. Thanks for talking with us. If you think of anything else we might need to know, please give us a call.

Genevieve Talley: Right. Let me show you out.

End interview - 7:06 p.m.

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