Thomas Hammond interview #2
The detectives spoke with Roger's parents again to clear up some inconsistencies. Det. Murphy talked to Thomas Hammond.
Monday, February 26, 2001 – 10:30 a.m.
Thomas Hammond was Missy Hammond's former father-in-law.
Detective Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Thomas Hammond
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming down today, Mr. Hammond.
Thomas Hammond: Certainly.
Detective Murphy: Could you please state your name and address?
Thomas Hammond: My name is Thomas Hammond, and I live at 934 Hayes, here in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: As I said, I appreciate you coming down. You've certainly been more cooperative than your wife.
Thomas Hammond: You're far from being the first person to say that.
Detective Murphy: Well, regardless of how cooperative you've been, you still lied to us.
Thomas Hammond: Oh, I know, but Gloria was adamant that we not say anything. And besides, how wrong can it be for a man to see his daughter?
Detective Murphy: Even a man that the courts have ruled is unfit to see his daughter?
Thomas Hammond: You make a good point, Detective. But even though I'll be the first to point out how worthless my son is a lot of the time, he's still my son. You've got to understand my position here.
Detective Murphy: Just so the record is straight, did you just admit to me that you and Mrs. Hammond lied to us about Roger having contact with his daughter, Liddie? In violation of the custody order?
Thomas Hammond: Yes, we're clear on that. I just admitted that we lied.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your honesty. I'm sure this has been very tough on you.
Thomas Hammond: It really has. All of Roger's problems, Gloria's controlling everything. But it's really poor Liddie that should be getting some sympathy. Not me.
Detective Murphy: OK, on January 26th, did Roger go with you to pick up Liddie?
Thomas Hammond: No, he joined us at The Skate Place.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember the time?
Thomas Hammond: I'm not really sure. It was late afternoon, almost dinnertime. Maybe 5:00 or 5:30? I'm afraid that I really don't remember anything more specific.
Detective Murphy: And how was he acting?
Thomas Hammond: He seemed kind of weird. Sort of distracted.
Detective Murphy: Really? Distracted. You're sure of that?
Thomas Hammond: Well, I don't know that I can say for sure, but it seems like I remember him being a little nervous or something that day. But then again, he's been acting more and more flaky lately, so who knows?
Detective Murphy: Roger's been acting "flaky" lately? Is your son abusing drugs again?
Thomas Hammond: I honestly can't say.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Hammond, are you aware of any rumors circulating that Roger might not be Liddie's father?
Thomas Hammond: Sure. Those stories have been around since they graduated from high school.
Detective Murphy: And what do you think of that?
Thomas Hammond: I don't really know. I know that Roger certainly loves the girl and that it's the only thing he's ever stuck with. Of course, he's made some pretty big mistakes with her too, but at least his effort hasn't wavered.
Detective Murphy: How important is Liddie to Roger?
Thomas Hammond: Extremely important. I can't think of anything that might be more important to him. Liddie is really all he has.
Detective Murphy: Are you and Mrs. Hammond helping him to try and regain custody?
Thomas Hammond: Yes. As I said, I don't know what he would do without Liddie. He screws up a lot of stuff, but he still needs her.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Hammond indicated that you have loaned Roger money over time.
Thomas Hammond: Oh yeah. That's never changed. Ever since that boy had a paper route, we've been bailing him out financially. Heck, that's no different now.
Detective Murphy: Do you know what he was using that money for?
Thomas Hammond: No idea. He said it was for the child support payments.
Detective Murphy: You didn't believe him?
Thomas Hammond: It's hard to know when to believe Roger.
Detective Murphy: Did you know that he still had a life insurance policy on Missy?
Thomas Hammond: No, can't say I did. I'm a little surprised, though. Surprised he'd be spending money on that. His lawyer must've told him to. Otherwise, I can't see him doing it.
Detective Murphy: What do you think about Roger's girlfriend, Selena?
Thomas Hammond: Oh, I don't know. She's all right, certainly likes Roger and helps him out a lot. But she can be pretty abrasive and harsh. That kind of gets on my nerves.
Detective Murphy: How did Selena feel about Missy?
Thomas Hammond: Oh, she hated her. That's another reason she kind of gets on my nerves. She's constantly badmouthing Missy. I mean, I guess it's natural that one woman might not like an ex-wife, but come on.
Detective Murphy: I see. Do you know if there was any contact between Selena and Missy?
Thomas Hammond: No, I don't believe so.
Detective Murphy: OK, thanks for your time. I appreciate your honesty.
End interview – 10:59 a.m.