Lee Merryweather follow-up interview
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 11:02 a.m.
Lee Merryweather was Victor Jennings' personal assistant and is the person who found his body. Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Lee Merryweather
Detective Murphy: Good morning, Lee. Thanks for coming in again. Please restate your name and address for the record.
Lee Merryweather: Hi, detectives. Lee Merryweather. I still have the same address. For now, anyway. It's 3036 Davis Drive, Apt. 234.
Detective Murphy: For now? Are you looking for another place?
Lee Merryweather: You could say that. I decided to go back to California. With Victor gone, there's no reason for me to stay here, but my experience working for him should help me get a job with someone else in Hollywood.
Detective Murphy: Well, good luck with that. You understand you'll have to come back here to testify when the killer's case goes to trial.
Lee Merryweather: That's no problem. Does that mean you know who killed him?
Detective Parker: We're hoping you can help us with that.
Lee Merryweather: I've told you everything I can about Victor. What else could you possibly want from me?
Detective Parker: We want to make sure you told us everything. We've gotten some conflicting statements from other witnesses. You told us before that you weren't interested in Victor except on a professional level. True?
Lee Merryweather: Of course. There was nothing between Victor and I. If anyone said anything different, that person is a liar. Who told you that?
Detective Parker: Did you ever make romantic or sexual advances toward Victor?
Lee Merryweather: That's ridiculous! I told you he wasn't my type. Besides, I saw too much of how he treated women to ever want to get involved with him that way. I can't believe you would even go there.
Detective Murphy: Is it possible you could've forgotten something? We've been told that you made advances, but he rejected them.
Lee Merryweather: Oh, I get it now. I bet I know who said that. It was Victor's sister-in-law, wasn't it? That sounds just like her.
Detective Parker: I thought you said you didn't meet his family.
Lee Merryweather: My job required a certain discretion. When Victor had … meetings, I left. But I knew who she was. I talked to her on the phone often enough since she called Victor all the time. And I can tell you, Gayle Jennings was jealous of any woman that came within 10 feet of Victor. What is she so worried about that she'd lie like that?
Detective Parker: How do you know she was jealous?
Lee Merryweather: Victor told me. He thought it was funny.
Detective Murphy: So there's no truth in what she said about you being interested in Victor?
Lee Merryweather: Ugh, no. I told you, I never thought of Victor like that.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why Gayle would be jealous of other women where her brother-in-law was concerned?
Lee Merryweather: She was sleeping with him.
Detective Parker: You didn't think to tell us that before?
Lee Merryweather: I guess I didn't think of it. Victor slept with a lot of women.
Detective Murphy: How did he feel about Gayle specifically?
Lee Merryweather: Totally indifferent. He was in it for the sex, but it's not like he was in love with her or anything.
Detective Murphy: How do you know?
Lee Merryweather: He told me. I think the best part of it for him was the fact that she was married to his brother. If she was anyone else, he probably would've slept with her once and then blown her off.
Detective Parker: Did Victor's brother know about the affair?
Lee Merryweather: I don't know. If he did, I guess it didn't bother him as much as Victor wanted it to.
Detective Parker: What makes you say that?
Lee Merryweather: Well, if he'd known, he would've done something about it, don't you think?
Detective Parker: Something like kill Victor?
Lee Merryweather: Oh! You think– I don't know. That doesn't sound like Ray.
Detective Parker: You know Ray?
Lee Merryweather: No, but Victor always said he was a wimp. He said he could take anything of Ray's he wanted and Ray would never do anything about it, but it was fun to watch him get mad and never say a word. Victor thought it was fun, not me.
Detective Murphy: It sounds like Victor was pretty blunt when he talked to you about his relationships. Why was that?
Lee Merryweather: I don't know. Because he liked to brag? And he knew nothing he told me was going to hurt his chances of sleeping with me because that was never going to happen anyway.
Detective Parker: Did he brag to anyone else?
Lee Merryweather: I don't know. Carl maybe.
Detective Parker: Did Carl tell you that?
Lee Merryweather: I didn't talk to Carl unless I had to for work.
Detective Murphy: Why's that?
Lee Merryweather: He just– he kind of scares me, OK? Like if you don't do what he wants, he'll hurt you. Like really hurt you. You know what I mean? I just tried to avoid him as much as I could.
Detective Murphy: Did Victor know how you felt about Carl?
Lee Merryweather: Oh, sure. Victor loved it. He wanted people to be scared of Carl.
Detective Parker: Did Victor ever mention a man named John Raymond?
Lee Merryweather: I don't think so. That name doesn't sound familiar. Is he someone from Hollywood?
Detective Parker: No. Did you have much contact with Zina Jacinto?
Lee Merryweather: The cat lady? I talked to her sometimes, usually to try and smooth things over after Victor made her mad. She's a little out there, but she's nice.
Detective Murphy: Did she ever threaten Victor?
Lee Merryweather: You mean like seriously?
Detective Murphy: Yes.
Lee Merryweather: No, not really. I mean, she'd say things like she was going to run him over with her lawn mower, but come on. She wasn't really going to do that, even if she could.
Detective Parker: What about the other neighbor, William Bolton?
Lee Merryweather: He threatened Victor all the time, but not like he was going to hurt him. Mr. Bolton was always saying he was going to sue Victor. And he did.
Detective Parker: You don't think it could've escalated beyond a lawsuit?
Lee Merryweather: No way. I mean, even if Mr. Bolton got crazy mad, Victor would never have let him in the house. So he couldn't have killed him, if that's where you're going.
Detective Murphy: Victor was picky about who he let in his house?
Lee Merryweather: Yes and no. If you were a sexually available woman, he'd probably let you in. If not, he might let you in or he might not, depending on how he felt about you that day.
Detective Murphy: Did he ever refuse to let you in?
Lee Merryweather: No, but that was different. I worked for him.
Detective Parker: Who was Victor in the mood to let in on the day he died?
Lee Merryweather: I don't know. I only talked to him on the phone that day, so I couldn't tell you.
Detective Murphy: OK, thanks again, Lee. We'll be in touch if we need anything else.
Lee Merryweather: You're welcome, but I sure hope you're finished with me. I have a new life to get on with. Goodbye.
Interview ends: 11:37 a.m.