Dudley Brinkman interview
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 2:30 p.m.
Dudley Brinkman was identified by multiple witnesses as being at Duffy's Bar & Grill the night Andy Fine disappeared. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Dudley Brinkman
Detective Armstrong: Good morning, Mr. Brinkman. Thank you for coming in today.
Dudley Brinkman: I'm glad my schedule was open this afternoon. What can I do to help you?
Detective Murphy: First, Mr. Brinkman, will you please state your full name and address for the record?
Dudley Brinkman: I'm Dudley Warren Brinkman. I live at 634 North Lamar with my mother.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Brinkman, we understand you were at Duffy's Bar & Grill the evening of July 3rd.
Dudley Brinkman: That's right. I was there for a while.
Detective Murphy: And you stopped by the table where Mrs. Cynthia Fine was sitting and talked with her?
Dudley Brinkman: That's right. Cindy — Mrs. Fine — and I have been friends since we were kids. I stopped by the table to say hello and catch up on how she was doing.
Detective Armstrong: Then you hadn't seen her for a while?
Dudley Brinkman: Not to talk to. We see each other at church and around town once in a while, but we hadn't had a chance to talk for some time.
Detective Murphy: What did you talk about that evening, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: Nothing special really. I asked her about her folks, especially her dad. He was my piano teacher a long time ago. She asked about my mom. We talked about her sister, Robyn, and mutual acquaintances. Things like that.
Detective Armstrong: Did she talk about her husband or her marriage?
Dudley Brinkman: No, not really. I asked how things were going, and as usual, she said everything was fine. She never seemed to come to terms with how bad her marriage had become. I didn't specifically ask her about Andy, but I knew things couldn't be too good with him.
Detective Murphy: How would you come to that conclusion, Mr. Brinkman? You said you hadn't seen her or talked to her for a while.
Dudley Brinkman: I see Robyn at work now and then. She's been worried about her sister for quite a while, and I know she tried to get Cindy to leave Andy.
Detective Murphy: Why would she do that?
Dudley Brinkman: Robyn was afraid for her sister's safety. She talked to me about it more than once. And if you knew Cindy… you only had to look at her — the hurt in her eyes, the bruises make-up didn't cover. He was using her for a punching bag, the no-good jerk.
Detective Murphy: I don't understand. Just what was your relationship with Mrs. Fine?
Dudley Brinkman: We were dear, longtime friends, detective. There was no "relationship," if you're implying what I think you are. I don't understand why people can't grasp the idea of a friendship between a man and a woman without inferring there has to be something sexual about it.
Detective Murphy: Hmm. I didn't realize that I inferred or implied any such thing, Mr. Brinkman.
Dudley Brinkman: I'm sorry. Andy had made such a stink that night about me just talking to Cindy that I guess I thought y'all might think… oh, never mind. Poor Cindy.
Detective Murphy: Why "poor Cindy?"
Dudley Brinkman: He wasn't paying any attention to her. Eddie Dooley was there talking to her, and I went over to join them. Next thing I know, Andy's there cussing, calling Cindy names, accusing her of all kinds of nasty stuff. Then he started in on me. Yelling, cussing, name calling — the usual garbage he spewed.
Detective Armstrong: What happened then?
Dudley Brinkman: I got up and walked away, paid my tab and left. I was afraid if I stuck around, he'd take it out on Cindy, and I didn't want her to suffer for just talking to me.
Detective Murphy: That must have upset you.
Dudley Brinkman: Not really. If you knew Andy, you'd know that it was just the ravings of a jealous, ignorant S.O.B. But I was afraid he'd blame Cindy and take it out on her.
Detective Armstrong: Sounds like you'd had similar experiences with Andy Fine.
Dudley Brinkman: I've lived in Oxford all my life, detective. This is a small town. You can't avoid people you've known most of your life for very long.
Detective Murphy: Had you known Mr. Fine long, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: Since high school. We were at Oxford High at the same time, but he was a year ahead of me and we didn't travel in the same circles. And, of course, most everyone knows him by reputation.
Detective Murphy: And what reputation is that?
Dudley Brinkman: He was a mouthy, mean, ignorant bully who drank too much and mistreated his wife. It's no secret what he was, detective. Most anyone who was around him for any period of time became the brunt of his insults. You just had to take them with a grain of salt and consider the source.
Detective Murphy: Do you know anyone who took his insults a bit more personally, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: Not really.
Detective Armstrong: Who else was at the table with you and Mrs. Fine that evening?
Dudley Brinkman: Eddie Dooley was there for a while.
Detective Armstrong: Did Mr. Fine see Dooley there talking to Mrs. Fine?
Dudley Brinkman: I'm sure he must have.
Detective Murphy: Did he make remarks to him and insult him too?
Dudley Brinkman: No, I had the honors that night. Andy didn't seem to pay much attention to Eddie. I seemed to be the one who pissed him off that night. Of course, he could have turned on Eddie after I left. I don't know about that.
Detective Armstrong: How well do you know Mr. Dooley?
Dudley Brinkman: Not really well. I know who he is and his reputation. As I said, this is a small town. There aren't too many secrets.
Detective Murphy: What can you tell us about Eddie Dooley?
Dudley Brinkman: Probably not as much as you already know about him. Just what I've heard — he's got sticky fingers, "finds" things and sells them. You've probably got a rap sheet on him. Small time stuff.
Detective Armstrong: How long did you stay at Duffy's that evening, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: I left right after Andy confronted me at the table. I didn't want Cindy to suffer if I stuck around, you know? Like he always did, he was bound to blame her and accuse her of something she didn't do.
Detective Murphy: And what time was that?
Dudley Brinkman: I don't know exactly. I think it was after 11:00 p.m.
Detective Armstrong: Where did you go from Duffy's?
Dudley Brinkman: I went to the Huddle House for something to eat.
Detective Armstrong: How long were you there?
Dudley Brinkman: It must have been over an hour. I ran into the son of a former patient, and we talked for quite a while.
Detective Murphy: Then where did you go?
Dudley Brinkman: I went home.
Detective Murphy: Can anyone verify that?
Dudley Brinkman: I don't know. My mother usually goes to bed before 11:00. I don't know whether she heard me come in or not. I didn't know I was going to need an alibi for anything, you understand.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, sir, we understand. Tell me, what kind of car do you drive?
Dudley Brinkman: I have an Isuzu Ascender. Why?
Detective Murphy: Just routine, Mr. Brinkman. What color is it?
Dudley Brinkman: Black.
Detective Armstrong: Did you happen to drive past Duffy's on your way home that night, after you left Huddle House?
Dudley Brinkman: No, I live in another other direction. I had no reason to drive back that way.
Detective Murphy: So tell us again, when was the last time you saw Andy Fine?
Dudley Brinkman: It was at the table where I was talking with Cindy just before I left Duffy's.
Detective Murphy: And that was at what time?
Dudley Brinkman: I told you. I think it was around 11:00 or 11:30. I had no reason to keep track of the time that night. I didn't know Fine was going to get himself killed and you were going to want me to account for every minute. Give me a break!
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Brinkman, have you ever parked in the parking lot of the Fines' apartment?
Dudley Brinkman: Ever? No, not that I recall. I have been to Ewok Village a few times over the years to visit someone or another, but not lately.
Detective Murphy: What about in the lot of the apartments across the street?
Dudley Brinkman: No. Why would I do that?
Detective Armstrong: I don't know maybe you could tell us.
Dudley Brinkman: What is that supposed to mean? You think I've done something wrong?
Detective Murphy: Is it true that you and Mrs. Fine dated?
Dudley Brinkman: Twenty years ago, for heavens sake! We were in high school, and she was Miss Campbell then.
Detective Armstrong: Did you visit Mrs. Fine when her husband was at work, Mr. Brinkman?
Dudley Brinkman: No, I have never been in the Fines' apartment
Detective Armstrong: What about the farmhouse on Reagle Farm Road? Maybe you and Mrs. Fine met there.
Dudley Brinkman: Farmhouse on Reagle Farm Road? I'm sorry. I don't know what you're talking about. And Mrs. Fine and I never met anywhere. She's a good Christian woman, and she was faithful to her husband. We're just friends. Why can't you understand that?
Detective Murphy: So you've never heard about the so-called party pad belonging to Mr. Fine?
Dudley Brinkman: Oh sure, I've heard rumors of Andy having parties at his farmhouse, but I've never been there. Andy didn't like me. He'd never ask me to one of his parties. And I sure as hell wouldn't go if he did! The less I saw of him the better. He was trouble.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anyone who might have wanted to kill Andy Fine?
Dudley Brinkman: Yes. Most everyone who ever met him.
Detective Armstrong: Anyone in particular?
Dudley Brinkman: I don't know. I wasn't around Andy enough to know that.
Detective Armstrong: What about his wife?
Dudley Brinkman: What about her?
Detective Armstrong: You think she killed him? According to what you've said, she certainly had good reason.
Dudley Brinkman: Cindy would never hurt anyone. And she certainly wouldn't have killed her husband. She loved that jerk. Don't ask me why.
Detective Armstrong: What about Cindy's sister, Robyn? You said she tried to get Cindy to leave him, but she wouldn't do it. Maybe Robyn killed him, trying to do what was best for her sister.
Dudley Brinkman: That's ridiculous. You're just grabbing at straws here.
Detective Armstrong: Maybe you did it. To help Cindy, of course.
Dudley Brinkman: I don't like the tone of these questions, Detective Armstrong. You act like I'm a suspect, like Cindy's a suspect, like Robyn's a suspect. Do you have any idea who did this or are you just going around accusing everyone, hoping the guilty person will confess? If you don't have any more questions, I'd like to leave now.
Detective Murphy: Not just yet, sir. Before you go, we have a warrant to collect samples of your blood and hair. If you'll just wait here a moment, a technician will be in to take the samples.
Dudley Brinkman: My god! You really do think I'm a suspect, don't you? It's too bad Andy's not here because he'd get a big laugh out of that. He's been telling me and anyone else who would listen for the last 20 years what a wimp I am. And you know what? He was right. I'm not the confrontational type. Yeah, he'd definitely think this was hilarious.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, well, if Andy we're here, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, would we?
Dudley Brinkman: No, I guess not.
Detective Murphy: Just keep your seat, Mr. Brinkman. The technician will be right with you.
End interview - 3:08 p.m.