Interview: RJ Brandt
Friday, March 16, 2012 - 3:30 p.m.
Ronald "RJ" Brandt, Jr. is the student who bought what appears to be a human skull to school. His mother, Heather Brandt, agreed to allow Detectives Armstrong and Murphy to interview her son while she watched and listened from an adjacent room. The interview was conducted at Oxford Middle School and was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with his mother's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- RJ Brandt
Detective Murphy: Hi, RJ. Can you tell us your name and address?
RJ Brandt: RJ Brandt. My address is 205 Brittany Drive.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why we wanted to talk to you today?
RJ Brandt: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: And why is that?
RJ Brandt: I don't know. I guess you got nothing better to do.
Detective Armstrong: RJ, let's not play around. Detective Murphy and me? We're busy people. Your mother had to take time out of her schedule to come in today, and I'm sure she's busy too. You know why we're here.
RJ Brandt: I guess.
Detective Murphy: And why is that?
RJ Brandt: The other kids of jealous of me.
Detective Murphy: How so?
RJ Brandt: I'm special.
Detective Murphy: I'm sure you are, RJ. In what ways would you say you were special?
RJ Brandt: I'm like a widower, except she was my sister. And I survived Katrina.
Detective Murphy: What was Katrina like?
RJ Brandt: Bad. A storm like that? It changes everything.
Detective Murphy: It must have been very difficult.
RJ Brandt: I'm tough. I can take it.
Detective Murphy: Katrina was tough on everybody. I saw members of SWAT teams cry.
RJ Brandt: Yeah, well, I didn't.
Detective Murphy: Tell us about school today.
RJ Brandt: Nothing special.
Detective Armstrong: RJ, should Detective Murphy and I leave the room for a few minutes so your mom can talk to you about how serious this is?
RJ Brandt: OK, fine. I got in trouble because I brought some bone to school.
Detective Murphy: You brought what looks like a human skull.
RJ Brandt: Maybe it's like a dinosaur skull, some kind of new super-predator. Maybe I'm going to be famous.
Detective Murphy: Where did you find the skull?
RJ Brandt: I dug it up in the yard.
Detective Murphy: Were you looking for fossils?
RJ Brandt: Nah. I was just digging holes.
Detective Murphy: Did you show your parents?
RJ Brandt: No.
Detective Murphy: Why did you bring it to school?
RJ Brandt: I thought the other kids would think it was cool.
Detective Murphy: And did they?
RJ Brandt: Sure. It is cool.
Detective Murphy: I have to admit, I never dug a skull up in my yard.
RJ Brandt: Keep digging. Maybe someday you'll be lucky.
Detective Murphy: Maybe. Did you show the skull to any of your teachers?
RJ Brandt: Nah. I figured they'd try to take it away.
Detective Murphy: And why would they do that?
RJ Brandt: You know. Teachers. I mean, they did take it away, didn't they? I'm the one who found it.
Detective Murphy: Who knows? Maybe it will end up in a museum with your name on the plaque as the person who discovered it.
RJ Brandt: That would be cool. I'd be like famous.
Detective Murphy: I bet you would. Why did you tell people it was a little girl's skull?
RJ Brandt: That's just how it looked to me. I watch those nature shows sometimes. I'm pretty smart.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any other reason to believe that the skull was from a little girl?
RJ Brandt: I don't know. That's just how it looked. I figured either a little girl or like I said, some new super-predator.
Detective Murphy: OK. I think we're done here for now. Thanks for your cooperation, RJ.
RJ Brandt: Sure.
Interview ends: 3:47 p.m.