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Witness Interview: Steve Kirby, victim's former boyfriend

Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 12:30 p.m.

The witness, a twenty-five-year-old male, was identified as the high school boyfriend of the victim, Melissa Hammond. At the detectives' request, he came into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Office for a follow-up interview. The interview was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective Ted Armstrong
SM = Detective Sam Murphy
SK = Steve Kirby

SM: Thanks for coming back down. Please state your name and address for us again.

SK: Steve Kirby and my address is 210 Sisk Avenue in Oxford.

SM: How tall are you, Steve?

SK: I'm about five-ten.

SM: And how much do you weigh?

SK: Around 160, 165, I suppose.

SM: Okay. Now, last time we talked, you said your wife usually runs errands on Friday afternoons, right?

SK: That's right.

SM: So what do you do if you need to go out, maybe to a customer's office, and your wife has the car? Do you have company cars at your disposal?

SK: No, we're much too small to have company cars. If something urgent comes up and I need to go out, I just call Maureen on the cell phone and get her to bring the car back. Or if the customer's site is nearby, sometimes I'll just walk over. Or I can always take a cab if it's too far to walk and Maureen can't get back. It's never really been a problem.

SM: Did you take a cab anywhere on the afternoon of Friday, January 26th?

SK: No.

SM: Are you sure?

SK: Yes, I'm positive. It's not something I do very often, so I would remember.

TA: You told us last time that you and Missy Hammond were just friends at the time of her death. Are you still claiming that's the truth?

SK: Of course. Why would I lie about that?

SM: I'm not sure, but your wife seems to think there was more going on.

SK: What are you talking about?

SM: Were you and Missy close enough friends that you went to her house?

SK: Yes, I guess so. What did you mean about my wife?

SM: When was the last time you were at Missy's house?

SK: I don't know. What did you mean about my wife?

TA: Did you know your wife hired a private investigator to tail you?

SK: That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

SM: It's true. Pam Thompson checked up on you and reported back to your wife that something was going on between you and Missy.

SK: That's a lie! Nothing happened between us. We just talked.

TA: What did you talk about? Getting back together maybe? Or whether you are Liddie's father?

SK: This must be some kind of joke.

SM: Definitely not. Do you love your wife, Mr. Kirby?

SK: Of course I do.

TA: As much as you loved Missy?

SK: Uh, that's a silly question. It's apples and oranges. They're two completely different people and two completely different relationships.

TA: So tell us about your relationship with your wife.

SK: What's there to tell? She's really good to me. We get along very well. What more do you want to know?

TA: Everyone we've talked to tells us how passionate you were for Missy. Just how ridiculously in love you two were. And now, when I ask you about your wife, you sound like you're describing a friend.

SK: So? What's that got to do with it?

SM: Does your wife have a temper?

SK: No, I don't guess so. Not any more of a temper than anyone else.

SM: Does she get jealous?

SK: Well, you just told me that she hired a PI to check up on me and Missy. So, evidently she does get jealous.

TA: Did you know that your wife went to Missy's workplace and caused a scene?

SK: No, I didn't know that. Missy mentioned someone making trouble for her, but she didn't tell me who it was.

SM: Mr. Kirby, do you think your wife is capable of violence?

SK: Now wait just a minute. You're completely out of line here. If you're trying to imply that Maureen had anything to do with Missy's death, you couldn't be more wrong.

SM: Why not? When we talked to her, all she could talk about was how important her marriage is. Do you know your wife rarely calls you by your name when she talks about you? Most of the time, she refers to "my husband" like she owns you. She has always been jealous of your relationship with Missy, she hires a PI to look into what you're doing with Missy, she goes and confronts Missy, and then Missy ends up dead. Sounds good to me.

SK: I don't care what it sounds like to you! That is completely untrue. Maureen couldn't have killed Missy.

SM: Who did then?

SK: How in the hell should I know? You're the detectives. You tell me?

TA: How would you react if you found out that you had a daughter?

SK: I'm sure I would be terribly excited.

TA: Really? A lot of guys would be upset. Like that football player in North Carolina. Some guys might not want the burden of paying for a child.

SK: What are you getting at here, Detective?

TA: We asked you last time about a paternity test for Liddie. Maybe you didn't want anyone to know that you're her father. Maybe you took care of Missy so the truth wouldn't come out.

SK: This entire line of questions is just insulting! If you've got anything, then just arrest me and get on with it.

TA: I'm just thinking out loud here. Another option would have been that you wanted Missy back and she decided no. You just couldn't take being rejected by the love of your life for a second time, so you killed her.

SK: If you have all these ideas, why am I here? Can't I just leave so you can daydream in peace?

SM: Not just yet. We've obtained a court order that compels you to submit a blood sample so we can do our own paternity test to see who Liddie's father really is.

SK: What does that have to do with Missy's murder?

TA: You don't want to know whether Liddie is your daughter?

SK: I didn't say that. I just don't see how that has anything to do with what happened to Missy.

TA: Looks to us like a lot of people had a lot to lose if it turned out you were Liddie's father, and not Roger Hammond. For example, it could have cost you your marriage, though I wonder who would be more upset about that - you or your wife.

SK: Is this how you people always work? To solve your cases? You just bust in on people's personal lives and cause all kinds of pain for everyone? And maybe that has something to do with what you're investigating or maybe it doesn't, but you don't know and you don't care? I'm telling you that this has nothing to do with Missy's death. Why won't you just leave it alone?

SM: How do you know it has nothing to do with her death?

SK: What?

SM: How do you know?

SK: How could it? We're talking about a little girl here. How could a little girl be a reason to kill someone?

TA: People have killed for a lot less.

SK: Well, you would know more about that than I do.

TA: I thought you said you wanted to know if Liddie is your daughter.

SK: Of course, if she is my daughter, I'd like to know about it. But I don't know if it's worth all this.

TA: All this what?

SK: All this pain. Don't you know how many people this could hurt?

SM: Well, we're sorry about that, but this is a murder investigation and we need to bring Missy's killer to justice. You want that to happen, don't you?

SK: Yes, yes, of course. But...

SM: Then we need to do the paternity test. When you leave, we'll give you instructions on where to go to submit your sample.

SK: There's no other way?

SM: No.

SK: Well then, I guess I have no choice.

SM: No, you don't.

SK: Are we through here? I'd just as soon go ahead and get this over with.

SM: I guess so. But don't leave town. We'll be getting in touch with you soon.

End interview 1:08 p.m.

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