A local private investigator spoke to detectives about the Missy Hammond investigation.
Wednesday, February 28, 2001 – 10:00 a.m.
Pam Thompson is the private investigator Maureen Kirby hired to follow her husband, Steve Kirby.
At the detectives' request, Ms. Thompson came into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department to talk to Detectives Armstrong and Murphy.
The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Pam Thompson
Detective Armstrong: Hello again, Pam. Thanks for coming down. Would you state your name and address for the record, please?
Pam Thompson: Pamela Thompson, 209 Price Street, Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: And your occupation?
Pam Thompson: I own a private investigations firm.
Detective Armstrong: And what type of investigations do you do?
Pam Thompson: Extra-marital affairs, research for divorce cases, background checks for employers, insurance fraud. That sort of thing.
Detective Armstrong: OK, you know the way this goes. Here. As I mentioned on the phone, that's the subpoena that instructs you to hand over and discuss any materials you have regarding your investigation of Steve Kirby. This, of course, legally requires you to discuss all the details, so your client cannot hold you responsible.
Pam Thompson: Right. The usual.
Detective Armstrong: OK. So. You're on, Pam.
Pam Thompson: On Monday, January 15, I was hired by Maureen Kirby to keep tabs on her husband. She said he had been out an awful lot, and she was hearing rumors that he might be seeing Missy Hammond. We started the surveillance on the 16th.
Detective Murphy: Who did she hear the rumors from?
Pam Thompson: She wouldn't say. To be honest, I got the feeling she hadn't necessarily heard anything. She just had a suspicion.
Detective Murphy: Based on what?
Pam Thompson: I couldn't say. All she would tell me is she was hearing rumors around town.
Detective Armstrong: Go on. What did she want you to do exactly?
Pam Thompson: She wanted me to see where he was going most evenings. Sometimes she would go home from work and he'd stay there, and then he'd come in hours later. Sometimes he would drop her off at home and then go out. As you'll see in the reports, he was in a weekly bowling league at Kiamie's Bowling Center, and sometimes he was really at work. But I did manage to find out that he was still in contact with Missy Hammond.
Detective Murphy: What was your general impression of the relationship?
Pam Thompson: Steve and Missy? They were very friendly. I couldn't pin down whether or not they were actually having sex, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were.
Detective Murphy: But you think there's a possibility that they were just friends?
Pam Thompson: Sure. It's a coin flip, really.
Detective Murphy: I'm skimming through your files here, and you mention you saw them holding hands.
Pam Thompson: Holding hands is a long way from having sex.
Detective Murphy: But that doesn't strike you as romantic?
Pam Thompson: It could. But in my experience, when a couple is holding hands, they'll usually sort of stroke one another's knuckles with their fingertips, or give gentle squeezes every few seconds. This was just a steady, non-moving sort of hand-holding.
Detective Murphy: You've got three reports here. When did you give these to Maureen?
Pam Thompson: I gave her the first one on the morning of January 20th and the second on the 27th. The third one is just a summary that I provide at the end of the investigation.
Detective Murphy: So she had definite knowledge that her husband had seen Missy prior to her death.
Pam Thompson: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: Did you know she went to Southern Beauty on the 20th?
Pam Thompson: No, I wasn't aware of that.
Detective Armstrong: She made quite a scene. Did she seem upset when she got the report?
Pam Thompson: Maureen Kirby always seemed upset. I mean, based on rumors and her husband's odd hours, she hired a private investigator. I really didn't think she had the money to do that.
Detective Murphy: And yet you took the case.
Pam Thompson: Only after carefully explaining to her what was involved and how much it would cost. She insisted. Who am I to turn away a job?
Detective Murphy: When and where did you meet with Maureen Kirby?
Pam Thompson: The 20th and the 27th were both Saturdays. I met her at the Huddle House for coffee, and that's when I gave her the files. It was 8:00 in the morning both times.
Detective Murphy: How long were you there?
Pam Thompson: Twenty minutes tops.
Detective Murphy: Was someone else keeping an eye on Kirby during that time?
Pam Thompson: Yes, one of my associates was on him while I was meeting with the client.
Detective Murphy: You mention here that Kirby was inside Missy's house on January 22nd.
Pam Thompson: Yes.
Detective Murphy: And there was a neighbor outside at the time?
Pam Thompson: Yes; I couldn't get any photographs of Steve inside the house without drawing a lot of attention to myself.
Detective Murphy: What did this neighbor look like?
Pam Thompson: Male, Caucasian. About 5' 8" or 5' 9". Short, dark hair. I was too far away to see his eyes. Young, mid-twenties.
Detective Murphy: This guy?
Pam Thompson: Well, that looks like him.
Detective Murphy: For the record, Ms. Thompson has tentatively identified Kevin Travers from a photograph.
Detective Armstrong: What was Mr. Travers doing?
Pam Thompson: Not a whole heck of a lot. He was just kind of leaning against his car, drinking a Coke.
Detective Armstrong: For an hour and a half?
Pam Thompson: Yep. I thought he'd get cold and go inside so I could get some photos, but he just stayed out there.
Detective Murphy: And what kind of car was that he was leaning on?
Pam Thompson: I didn't have a real good view of the car. I was trying to keep out of sight myself, y'know. But I'd be willing to guess it was a Chevy. Blue.
Detective Murphy: On the night of the 26th, you say Steve Kirby worked until 7:00 and then drove home with his wife. Did you continue to watch him after that?
Pam Thompson: Until about 10:00 p.m.
Detective Murphy: Where was Maureen during that time?
Pam Thompson: I don't know. She wasn't paying me to keep track of herself.
Detective Murphy: Was she at home?
Pam Thompson: I think so. Both cars were there, and we didn't see anyone come by to pick her up. It's possible she walked somewhere, but I don't think so.
Detective Armstrong: Was Maureen at work most times when you were watching Steve?
Pam Thompson: As far as I know, yes. Like I said, though, I really wasn't trying to watch her comings and goings — just his.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever see Steve or Maureen wearing a dark, hooded jacket?
Pam Thompson: No.
Detective Murphy: Anything that might have been dark and hooded?
Pam Thompson: No, nothing that I saw.
Detective Armstrong: What about Kevin Travers? What was he wearing when you saw him?
Pam Thompson: He was in a heavy flannel shirt with another shirt under it and jeans.
Detective Armstrong: How about you? You own anything like that?
Pam Thompson: Own, yes. I have a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, but I wasn't wearing it.
Detective Armstrong: You sure? At no time during the investigation were you wearing anything like that? It seems like you'd want to keep yourself as invisible as possible, and that would help.
Pam Thompson: I wore dark clothing, yes. But no hoods. I did have a ball cap one night and a winter hat another night. It got cold out there.
Detective Murphy: OK. One last thing. Where did you park when you were watching Steve at work?
Pam Thompson: I'd usually park across the street. There are some bushes I could sort of hide behind.
Detective Murphy: That you could hide behind or your car?
Pam Thompson: My car.
Detective Murphy: And you could see the doorway from there?
Pam Thompson: The front door, yes. There's also a side door. There was no way for me to watch both doors at once.
Detective Murphy: Did Steve ever come out the side door?
Pam Thompson: Sometimes.
Detective Murphy: How did you know?
Pam Thompson: I always parked so I could see the parking lot exit and I watched for the cars, either the Mustang or the Honda, depending on whether they'd come in together or not. Maureen told me at the start that she hardly ever drives the Mustang, and she said she wouldn't drive it while I was investigating for her. So if they came separately and the Mustang came out, I knew it was Steve. When they came together, I just kept an eye out to see who was driving it. If I could tell it was Maureen, I stayed put. If I could tell it was Steve, I followed. If I couldn't tell, I'd start following and put in a call to the office on my cell phone and ask for Maureen. If she was there, I'd keep following. If not, I'd go back.
Detective Armstrong: OK, I think that's all for now. We may have to call you back down if something else comes up.
Pam Thompson: Of course.
End interview – 10:44 a.m.