Interview: Follow-up with Tristan Lowell

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 4:32 p.m.

Tristan Lowell is a 15-year-old friend of RJ Brandt. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. Because Mr. Lowell is a minor, his grandmother and legal guardian, Mrs. Mabel Specter, was also in attendance. The interview was recorded with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Tristan Lowell
  • Mabel Specter

Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?

Tristan Lowell: My name is Tristan Lowell, and I live at 238 Brittany Drive.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. You're 15. Isn't that right?

Tristan Lowell: That's right.

Detective Murphy: And RJ is 12.

Tristan Lowell: I think so.

Detective Murphy: Why does a young man of 15 want to hang around with a 12-year-old kid?

Tristan Lowell: We have things in common.

Detective Murphy: Do you have any other friends who are RJ's age?

Tristan Lowell: No.

Detective Armstrong: I had a brother who was five years younger than me. He used to dog me and my friends. Until we could drive, he was just about impossible to shake. One thing about him though, he always did whatever we told him to, just to stay in our good graces. Is RJ that way?

Tristan Lowell: RJ knows his own mind.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ever ask him to do things you didn't want to do?

Tristan Lowell: Like what?

Detective Armstrong: You tell me.

Tristan Lowell: He'd run to the store to get something. He liked doing that. Made him feel needed. Important.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ever ask him to do anything illegal?

Tristan Lowell: Are you serious? Like what, rob a bank?

Detective Armstrong: Maybe get cigarettes or beer.

Tristan Lowell: He's 12.

Detective Armstrong: You're 15. Are you telling me you've never had a beer, snuck a smoke?

Tristan Lowell: I never asked RJ to do anything like that.

Detective Murphy: How about hold something for you?

Tristan Lowell: Hold something?

Detective Murphy: Like, say, a joint you found.

Tristan Lowell: No way.

Detective Murphy: Or a skull.

Tristan Lowell: You're not going to trick me into saying anything like that. I don't know where RJ got the skull, but it wasn't from me. I sure as heck wouldn't let him bring it to school.

Detective Armstrong: But he didn't ask first. He just brought it in, hoping to earn some respect, the same kind of respect that he has for you.

Tristan Lowell: You got the wrong idea.

Detective Murphy: When we receive the lab results, are we going to find your fingerprints all over that skull?

Tristan Lowell: You're dreaming.

Detective Armstrong: Where's the rest of the body?

Tristan Lowell: How would I know?

Detective Armstrong: Do you expect me to believe that RJ didn't tell you? The friend he idolizes?

Tristan Lowell: Not me, he didn't.

Detective Murphy: Don't you find that odd?

Tristan Lowell: I find the whole thing odd. Everything. Even being here now.

Detective Armstrong: Where do you think RJ found the skull?

Tristan Lowell: Maybe the tooth fairy left it.

Detective Murphy: Tristan, you don't want to go there.

Tristan Lowell: Sorry, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: That's all for now, but we'll probably be in touch.

Tristan Lowell: Talk to you later then.

Interview ends: 4:47 p.m.

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