Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 1:56 PM
Joey Beecher, an employee of the victim, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Joey Beecher
Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?
Joey Beecher: My name is Joey Beecher and I live at 1172 Magnolia.
Detective Armstrong: That's one of the new developments, isn't it?
Joey Beecher: New, but already falling apart. Good thing I'm a handyman.
Detective Murphy: You work at the Fontaine residence.
Joey Beecher: Manor with a capital M. With a place that big, something always needs fixing.
Detective Murphy: Did you work there Friday night?
Joey Beecher: I went there to meet with Mr. Fontaine, but he wasn't home.
Detective Armstrong: What time was that?
Joey Beecher: About 9:00. All I knew was that I was late.
Detective Murphy: You say Mr. Fontaine wasn't at home.
Joey Beecher: He didn't answer the door, and I pounded hard enough to wake the dead. But maybe he was home and didn't want to talk to me.
Detective Armstrong: Why did he ask you to meet him?
Joey Beecher: He wanted to discuss the job I'd been doing.
Detective Armstrong: Why not talk during your normal working hours?
Joey Beecher: Maybe he was busy.
Detective Murphy: Did the two of you ever argue?
Joey Beecher: I was the employee, and he was the boss. As long as I remembered that, we were fine.
Detective Armstrong: Where did you go after he didn't answer the door?
Joey Beecher: To The Roadhouse. Back to The Roadhouse. That's where I was before I went to meet him, why I was late. The wife was waiting at home, and I was in no rush to join her.
Detective Armstrong: Are you having difficulties with your wife?
Joey Beecher: She thought I spent too much time on Fontaine business when our house needed work. But I ask you: who's going to pay me to fix my own house?
Detective Murphy: What time did you finally leave The Roadhouse?
Joey Beecher: I didn't notice. It was about 12:30 when I arrived home. I saw the clock glowing in the bedroom.
Detective Armstrong: Was your wife asleep?
Joey Beecher: Thankfully.
Detective Murphy: Handymen hear things. Did Mr. Fontaine have any enemies?
Joey Beecher: Well, Bruno Coleman certainly fits the bill. They were fierce competitors and not above throwing a wrench into each other's business.
Detective Armstrong: You use a wrench.
Joey Beecher: Can't fix plumbing problems without one.
Detective Murphy: Did Bruno Coleman ever threaten Mr. Fontaine?
Joey Beecher: Not in so many words, at least within my hearing. But there was bad blood there all the same.
Detective Murphy: What about Mr. Fontaine's ex-wives?
Joey Beecher: Mr. Fontaine paid them too much in alimony, if you ask me. But he didn't ask me. They took their money and moved away. Haven't seen or heard from them in years. Not that I want to.
Detective Armstrong: Bad women?
Joey Beecher: If Mr. Fontaine don't like them, I don't like them.
Detective Murphy: How about his other children?
Joey Beecher: They're on the other side of the country. I think one girl is even in Canada. They don't call or write their dad as much as they should. Now he's dead and they can't at all.
Detective Armstrong: How did the family here get along?
Joey Beecher: Did they get along? Maybe if it wasn't for Grant, the Fontaines might have found happiness. That boy is nothing but trouble and Benito only eggs him on.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Joey Beecher: Grant has a fondness for illegal substances which magically appear when no one but Benito is around. I run him off when I see him, but I can't see him there all the time. Big drug dealer, lives with a maid.
Detective Armstrong: You know this Benito well enough to know his last name?
Joey Beecher: Yeah, he worked for Mr. Fontaine for about five minutes a while back. It's Flores.
Detective Armstrong: And you know who he lives with?
Joey Beecher: Sure. Raquel Santos. She works for the Fontaines too.
Detective Murphy: Were Mr. and Mrs. Fontaine happily married?
Joey Beecher: They had their troubles, just like any other couple.
Detective Murphy: Did the troubles ever turn violent?
Joey Beecher: Mr. Fontaine was a gentleman.
Detective Armstrong: Is Mrs. Fontaine a lady?
Joey Beecher: I'm not sure I understand the question.
Detective Armstrong: Did they have any outside emotional interests?
Joey Beecher: Oh, like were they stepping out on each other? I heard rumors about both of them, but rumors are only rumors.
Detective Murphy: When you went to meet Mr. Fontaine last night, did you notice anything unusual?
Joey Beecher: He didn't answer the door when I knocked.
Detective Murphy: Did you see any other vehicles, either in the driveway or parked on the road?
Joey Beecher: No.
Detective Murphy: Was the house lit normally?
Joey Beecher: Yes, I'm sure. I have to check all the outside lights, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you let yourself in?
Joey Beecher: It didn't seem proper.
Detective Armstrong: You have a key, don't you?
Joey Beecher: When Mr. Fontaine didn't answer the door, I assumed he wasn't home.
Detective Murphy: Was your employer in the habit of skipping scheduled meetings?
Joey Beecher: Something more important could have come up.
Detective Armstrong: Wouldn't you expect him to call and cancel?
Joey Beecher: Maybe it was an emergency. Maybe he just changed his mind and decided to talk to me later instead. Maybe he had a last minute outside interest. Not my place to say. If he wasn't home, there was no reason for me to go in. If he didn't want to talk to me, going in would have been a mistake.
Detective Murphy: Who assigned you your tasks: Mr. or Mrs. Fontaine?
Joey Beecher: I work for Mr. Fontaine. Worked.
Detective Murphy: Have there been any other contractors on the property lately, maybe sizing the house up for a burglary?
Joey Beecher: No. I can handle anything by myself just fine.
Detective Armstrong: I'm surprised the Fontaines didn't install a home security system.
Joey Beecher: Mr. Fontaine asked me my opinion about them once, but that was the end of it.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why?
Joey Beecher: He could be odd about money. He'd question how much I spent on a box of nails, and then turn around and give me a huge holiday bonus.
Detective Armstrong: Did you like working for the Fontaines?
Joey Beecher: Best job I ever had.
Detective Armstrong: What makes you say that? Easy money?
Joey Beecher: Mr. Fontaine is‒ was a good man. I'm going to miss him.
Detective Murphy: Do you expect you'll stay on and work for Mrs. Fontaine?
Joey Beecher: I don't know. Even if she offered to keep me, the job just wouldn't be the same without Mr. Fontaine pulling the strings.
Detective Murphy: OK, Mr. Beecher. Thank you for your time.
Detective Armstrong: We might be in touch again later. If you think of anything we might need to know, give us a call.
End of interview: 2:28 p.m.