Friday, March 1, 2013 - 2:02 p.m.
After getting a tip about John Raymond from the victim's attorney, Detectives Murphy and Parker tracked Mr. Raymond down and asked him to come in for an interview when he was in town. They interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- John Raymond
Detective Murphy: Thank you for meeting with us, Mr. Raymond. We appreciate you taking the time out of your day.
John Raymond: Not a problem. I was in town anyway.
Detective Murphy: Would you state your name and address for the record please?
John Raymond: Sure thing. My name is John Raymond, and I live at 3251 South Terrace Street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Detective Parker: Have you always lived in Baton Rouge, Mr. Raymond?
John Raymond: Yes, and you can call me John, sweetheart.
Detective Parker: OK, John. You said you were in town anyway. Business or pleasure?
John Raymond: Business. I've been delivering shrimp to this town over 40 years now.
Detective Murphy: That's a long time.
John Raymond: We been shrimping for generations. My daddy took over for his daddy back in 1920, and I took over for him after he took sick back in '89.
Detective Murphy: That's quite a legacy. Is your son going to take over for you one day?
John Raymond: I don't have no kids. Well, not yet. There's still time, right? Did y'all call me in here for a history lesson on the Raymond family business?
Detective Parker: No, not at all, John. We just like to get a little background on people we talk to. Gives us an idea of who you are. Are you married?
John Raymond: No, I enjoy women too much to get married. Never found just one to settle down with, not that I ever really looked. Although, Detective Parker, you're very tempting. Want to help me get that son y'all were asking about?
Detective Parker: Oh, I don't know, John. You might be too much man for me. It's nice to see age isn't slowing you down though. You're what, about 65?
John Raymond: I'm 66. Body of a 40-year-old though. At least, that's what all the women tell me. You wouldn't be sorry. I guarantee.
Detective Murphy: You're quite the ladies man. Have you always been this charming?
John Raymond: You know that's right. I had my first woman when I was 14. My daddy took me to a brothel. Told me I was doing a man's work, I should be a man. One of the best things he ever did for me, and she didn't have no complaints neither, even green as I was back then.
Detective Murphy: John, in all your visits here over the years, did you ever run across a Victor Jennings?
John Raymond: I don't know about running across him, but I knew him. Or knew of him, I should say. Got himself killed, didn't he?
Detective Murphy: Did you ever meet him?
John Raymond: No. I met his daddy one time though. Knew his mama some.
Detective Murphy: How did you know his parents?
John Raymond: When I met his mama, she was a sweet little thing. That was back in '70, '71? We met one time when I was in town. She took a shine to me.
Detective Parker: You must've seen her more than that once then, right?
John Raymond: Sure. She just happened to run into me the next couple of times I was in town, and we'd go have a cup of coffee. She acted like she just wanted to talk, but she kept touching my arm and… you know how y'all do. I knew what she wanted. And by and by, I gave it to her. A few times.
Detective Murphy: How long did this go on?
John Raymond: Not long. Maybe a month. She stopped showing up after that. I think her husband got wind of it.
Detective Parker: You knew she was married?
John Raymond: Oh yeah. She never said, but I had a pretty good idea. 'Course, I found out for sure about six months later when her husband came down to Baton Rouge and threatened me.
Detective Murphy: How did you know who he was?
John Raymond: I didn't at first. He just showed up on my front porch and started yelling at me to stay away from his wife. When he said Margaret, I finally figured out who he was talking about, and I told him we'd called it quits months before that. I think he was aiming to throw down with me, but my daddy came out with his shotgun and told him to get gone.
Detective Murphy: And that's all he wanted? To tell you to stay away from his wife?
John Raymond: Near as I can recollect. It was a long time ago. He was yelling to stay away from Margaret, calling me a bastard, saying I made his kid a bastard. I don't know what all.
Detective Parker: How did you make his kid a bastard?
John Raymond: How the hell should I know? The man wasn't right in the head. He had some kid with him in his car, but he had to be about six or seven and I didn't even know Margaret back then.
Detective Parker: How did this confrontation end?
John Raymond: I told you. My daddy came out with his shotgun, and that was the end of that.
Detective Parker: Did you have any more contact with anyone in the Jennings family after that?
John Raymond: That was the last time I talked to any of them. A couple times after that, I thought I saw Margaret around town when I was here making deliveries, but she never spoke. Maybe she didn't see me or maybe it wasn't her. Don't know.
Detective Parker: Other than your customers, has anyone else from Oxford been in touch you lately? Maybe an attorney or a private investigator?
John Raymond: No. Why? Is somebody trying to sue me or something? Is that why y'all wanted to see me?
Detective Murphy: No, nothing like that. Where were you on February 16th of this year?
John Raymond: I was in Shreveport that week. Visiting a lady friend for Valentine's Day, if you know what I mean.
Detective Murphy: And you can give us this lady friend's name and phone number?
John Raymond: Of course I can.
Detective Parker: If you'll just write that down right here, I think that's all we need today. Thanks again for your time, John. We'll be in touch if we need anything else.
John Raymond: Sweetheart, you can call me even if you don't need anything else.
Interview ends: 2:31 p.m.