The detectives brought in Missy Hammond's boyfriend to talk about their relationship and the argument they had the afternoon of her death.

Monday, January 29, 2001 – 3:45 p.m.

JP Wallace was Missy Hammond's boyfriend. Multiple witnesses reported that the two of them had a loud argument outside her house on the afternoon she was murdered.

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
  • JP Wallace

Detective Armstrong: Would you please state your name and address for the record?

JP Wallace: Man, you know who I am.

Detective Murphy: Come on, Mr. Wallace. You know how this game is played.

JP Wallace: Fine. My name is JP Wallace. I live at 1657 Jefferson.

Detective Murphy: What does the JP stand for?

JP Wallace: James Peter, not that it matters. Everyone has always called me JP.

Detective Murphy: Are you employed, sir?

JP Wallace: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: Where do you work?

JP Wallace: Over at the Emerson Plant in the warehouse

Detective Armstrong: How much money you make over there?

JP Wallace: I don't see how that's any of your business.

Detective Murphy: It's easy enough for us to find out from your employer, so you might as well tell us. Unless you relish the idea of having a couple of sheriff's detectives nosing around at your workplace, asking questions about you.

JP Wallace: You don't have to be like that. I make about eight dollars an hour over there.

Detective Armstrong: You work there full time?

JP Wallace: Nope.

Detective Armstrong: How often do you work then?

JP Wallace: Only part-time. I work a few second shifts every week.

Detective Murphy: How many shifts?

JP Wallace: Depends.

Detective Murphy: Give us an estimate.

JP Wallace: Sometimes three. Sometimes four. Sometimes more or less. Depends.

Detective Armstrong: So that must bring you, what? Two hundred bucks a week, maybe two-fifty?

JP Wallace: Something like that.

Detective Armstrong: You must be pretty good with a budget to get by on that.

JP Wallace: Must be.

Detective Armstrong: You have a second job? Something that brings in a little extra cash to supplement your income?

JP Wallace: I got a lot of interests.

Detective Murphy: Money-making interests?

JP Wallace: Some.

Detective Armstrong: You know a woman named Missy Hammond?

JP Wallace: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: How do you know her?

JP Wallace: We hung out some.

Detective Armstrong: How long have you known her?

JP Wallace: I don't know. A couple months?

Detective Armstrong: When did you meet her?

JP Wallace: If I knew that, I could tell you how long we'd been hanging out, couldn't I?

Detective Armstrong: Where did you meet her?

JP Wallace: Don't remember.

Detective Armstrong: Think.

JP Wallace: Might've been at Forrester's Bar.

Detective Armstrong: What were you doing there?

JP Wallace: Just hangin' out, passin' the time.

Detective Armstrong: Uh-huh. And what was Missy Hammond doing there?

JP Wallace: I think she was having one of those… what do they call it? Girls night out? Some kind of chick thing, you know what I'm saying? She was there with a bunch of her friends.

Detective Murphy: So, how did you get the opportunity to meet her if she was with her girlfriends?

JP Wallace: I've got my ways with the ladies. I can really turn it on when there's a hot babe at stake. And Missy's one hot babe.

Detective Murphy: Yes, I can see what a charmer you are. Did you and Ms. Hammond start— how did you phrase it? Hanging out? Did the two of you start hanging out that night?

JP Wallace: Pretty much. I didn't close the deal that night, but it didn't take too long.

Detective Murphy: And you've been hanging out with her ever since?

JP Wallace: Yeah. Normally, I don't stick with one woman that long, but Missy was great in bed when she was in the mood. Enough to keep any man comin' back, at least for a while.

Detective Murphy: Were you hanging out with anyone else while you were hanging out with Ms. Hammond?

JP Wallace: Naw. I can only put up with one woman's BS at a time.

Detective Armstrong: Was Missy Hammond involved in any of your money-making interests that you referred to a minute ago?

JP Wallace: Missy? Ha! Now that's funny.

Detective Murphy: Why is it funny?

JP Wallace: Missy's not much of a… risk-taker, let's say.

Detective Armstrong: Is that right?

JP Wallace: Yeah. Just not her thing.

Detective Murphy: So how would you characterize your relationship with her?

JP Wallace: We just liked to get together and have a good time.

Detective Murphy: Sounds like you were Missy's boyfriend.

JP Wallace: Some people might call it that.

Detective Murphy: You wouldn't?

JP Wallace: Makes it sound like more than it was.

Detective Armstrong: Then what was it?

JP Wallace: Look, Missy was a great piece and a lot of fun when she wanted to be. We had a good time, but it's not like we were in love or anything. It wasn't even about that.

Detective Murphy: What was it about?

JP Wallace: Having a good time.

Detective Armstrong: From what we hear, you two weren't having such a good time Friday afternoon.

JP Wallace: Like I said, Missy could be a lot of fun when she wanted to. Other times…

Detective Murphy: Other times, what?

JP Wallace: Other times, she could be a huge pain in the, uh, neck.

Detective Murphy: How so?

JP Wallace: The woman had a lot of rules, OK? And she'd get all bent out of shape if you didn't do like she liked.

Detective Murphy: What kind of rules?

JP Wallace: Lots of 'em. Like, she didn't like it if you had a few drinks or whatever before you saw her. You always had to call her before you came over. You had to act a certain way if her kid was around. On and on like that.

Detective Armstrong: How did you have to act around her daughter?

JP Wallace: I don't know. Sort of… she always wanted to set a good example for her kid, and she expected you to act like some kind of role model whenever the kid was there.

Detective Murphy: That was a problem for you?

JP Wallace: Not my job to raise her kid. I am who I am. I shouldn't have to act like someone else just because some rug rat is around.

Detective Murphy: I see. So how much time did you actually spend with Missy and Liddie together?

JP Wallace: What do you think? Not much. My interest was in Missy, not some other guy's kid.

Detective Armstrong: Uh-huh. So was that what you and Missy were arguing about on Friday?

JP Wallace: Naw. Kid wasn't even there.

Detective Armstrong: What were you arguing about then?

JP Wallace: I don't see how that matters now.

Detective Armstrong: Humor me.

JP Wallace: Whatever, man. It's your nickel. She was ticked because I had a few before I came over.

Detective Murphy: Had a few?

JP Wallace: A few… drinks.

Detective Murphy: How many is a few?

JP Wallace: I don't know. I wasn't exactly keeping track.

Detective Murphy: Where did you have these drinks?

JP Wallace: Over at Murff's.

Detective Murphy: Alone?

JP Wallace: Only losers drink alone, lady.

Detective Murphy: So, since you are clearly not a loser, you were drinking with someone?

JP Wallace: Several people. I have lots of friends.

Detective Murphy: I'm sure you do. Which of your friends were you drinking with on Friday?

JP Wallace: I don't remember.

Detective Murphy: Try.

JP Wallace: Well… let me see… I think Bobby was there… and Jack. Maybe Mike… Jimbo? Maybe some other people. I don't know. It's not like I was taking notes. And it's not like that's the only time I've been there since then.

Detective Armstrong: You got last names on the folks you mentioned?

JP Wallace: Who did I say? I forgot.

Detective Armstrong: Bobby.

JP Wallace: That's Bobby Franklin.

Detective Armstrong: Jack.

JP Wallace: Jack Swanson.

Detective Armstrong: Kevin.

JP Wallace: What're you talking about? I never said Kevin.

Detective Armstrong: So Kevin wasn't there?

JP Wallace: Kevin who?

Detective Armstrong: I don't know. Must be my mistake. Maybe it was Mike you said. What's Mike's last name?

JP Wallace: Mike… I don't know Mike's last name.

Detective Armstrong: Must be a good friend, huh?

JP Wallace: Good enough. That it?

Detective Armstrong: No. How about Jimbo?

JP Wallace: Tatum.

Detective Armstrong: Roger.

JP Wallace: Nice try. I never said Roger.

Detective Armstrong: You know Roger?

JP Wallace: Roger who?

Detective Armstrong: Any Roger.

JP Wallace: I know a couple.

Detective Armstrong: Name one.

JP Wallace: I know Missy's ex is named Roger. That's what you're getting at, isn't it?

Detective Armstrong: Do you know Missy's ex-husband?

JP Wallace: Heard Missy talk about him.

Detective Armstrong: But you don't know him personally?

JP Wallace: Not that I can recall.

Detective Murphy: What did you hear Ms. Hammond say about her ex-husband?

JP Wallace: Nothin' good.

Detective Murphy: What, specifically?

JP Wallace: Look, I didn't memorize the woman's every word. She'd get to complainin' and I'd just tune her out. Her problems are not my problems, you know what I'm saying?

Detective Armstrong: So getting back to Friday afternoon, you had a few drinks at Murff's, and then went over to Missy's, right?

JP Wallace: Right.

Detective Murphy: Did you call before you went?

JP Wallace: Yeah. Had to. One of her stupid rules.

Detective Murphy: So you arrived at her house around what time?

JP Wallace: I don't know. Probably around 3:30 or so. That's what time I usually went over. Coulda been a little earlier or a little later. It's not like I was punching a clock or anything.

Detective Murphy: And what happened when you got there?

JP Wallace: Nothin'. I went inside. She was wearing this great nightgown kind of thing. Real hot. I figured we were in for a fun afternoon.

Detective Armstrong: What happened?

JP Wallace: I guess I tried to kiss her 'cause the next thing I know she was pushin' me away and yelling about liquor on my breath and how she'd told me before not to come over if I'd been drinking and stuff like that.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

JP Wallace: I yelled back. I don't have to take that kind of bull off any woman. If I want to have a drink, then I'm darn well gonna have a drink. If I want to have six drinks or ten drinks or more, then I will. She got no right to try to tell me what to do.

Detective Armstrong: So Missy didn't drink, huh?

JP Wallace: No! That was the thing of it. She liked to have a glass of wine or two sometimes, like anybody else. I don't know where she got off telling me not to drink when she drank sometimes too.

Detective Armstrong: Was Missy a heavy drinker?

JP Wallace: Naw. Just one or two glasses of wine, like I said. I never saw her have more than that. Never saw her drunk or anything. But that didn't give her the right to judge my drinking habits. That's my business, not hers.

Detective Armstrong: So you and Missy were yelling at each other about the drinking. Then what happened?

JP Wallace: I don't know. She's yelling at me and I'm yelling back and then she's screaming at me to get out. Well, I'll tell you, by that time, I got no problem with getting outta there 'cause I'd had just about enough of her, uh, stuff. So I walked out, but she followed me on out in the front yard, still yelling. Well, I can't let her bawl me out in front of God and everyone and not put her in her place, so I yelled back at her some more. I told her where she could go and what she could do. Then I got in my truck and took off.

Detective Armstrong: Did you maybe give her a little smack to put her in her place?

JP Wallace: No.

Detective Armstrong: You sure about that?

JP Wallace: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Did you notice anyone else outside who saw you two arguing?

JP Wallace: You know it! Why do you think it ticked me off so bad? Those five kids from across the street were watching. And I know that gay dude next door was listening to every word I said.

Detective Murphy: Who next door?

JP Wallace: That guy Kevin who was always following Missy around, hanging on her every word, like she was the greatest thing since canned beer. It was disgusting. What a punk!

Detective Murphy: Sounds like you were jealous of the attention he paid to Ms. Hammond.

JP Wallace: Not hardly. That guy was just a pain. He's the kind of guy chicks call sensitive, which really means he's a big wimp. I mean, he even told Missy to stop hanging out with me. Like she would have hooked up with him after she'd been with me.

Detective Murphy: Really? Why not? You don't think Ms. Hammond could have been attracted to him?

JP Wallace: No way. I don't see how he could've satisfied her. Not after she'd been with me.

Detective Murphy: Why is that?

JP Wallace: I keep a woman happy, no doubt about it. Can't see that wuss bein' able to match up. Besides, I think Missy was already linin' someone else up for when we called it quits.

Detective Armstrong: You and Missy were about to break up?

JP Wallace: I don't know. Probably. She was getting to be more trouble than she was worth, you know what I'm saying. And she probably felt the same way about me.

Detective Armstrong: You weren't upset about that?

JP Wallace: Naw. It was getting time for me to be movin' on anyway. Can't hang out with a woman too long. They start expecting stuff, wanting a commitment, stupid stuff like that.

Detective Armstrong: And you don't do that? Make a commitment to a woman?

JP Wallace: Nope. Not my thing. I'm more of a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy.

Detective Murphy: Do you know who the person was that she was lining up to take your place?

JP Wallace: No. Some guy named Steve, I think.

Detective Murphy: But you don't know him?

JP Wallace: Don't think so.

Detective Murphy: How do you know his name is Steve?

JP Wallace: I heard her talking on the phone to him a couple times, but she always got off real quick when she saw me standing there. Like she didn't want me to hear, you know?

Detective Murphy: Did you ever ask her about those calls?

JP Wallace: Nope. Why would I? Her business is her business, just like mine. I didn't want to get involved in her personal life.

Detective Murphy: Weren't you already involved in her personal life?

JP Wallace: No. What makes you think that?

Detective Murphy: You were sleeping with her, weren't you?

JP Wallace: Yeah. So?

Detective Murphy: You wouldn't call that being involved in her personal life?

JP Wallace: No.

Detective Armstrong: OK, let's get back to Friday. You and Missy had a fight, and you left. Then what did you do?

JP Wallace: I went to the 24/7 store down the road to make a call.

Detective Armstrong: Who did you call?

JP Wallace: Why does that matter?

Detective Armstrong: Just answer the question, would you?

JP Wallace: I called Murff's.

Detective Armstrong: Why?

JP Wallace: I wanted to see if any of my friends were still there.

Detective Armstrong: Were they?

JP Wallace: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to any of them?

JP Wallace: I talked to Bobby.

Detective Armstrong: What did you talk about?

JP Wallace: Mostly, I was just telling him about what just went down with Missy. Blowin' off some steam, I guess you could say.

Detective Armstrong: And what did he say?

JP Wallace: He said she had no right to treat me that way and wanted to know if I was gonna let her get away with it.

Detective Armstrong: Really? And what did you tell him?

JP Wallace: Told him he was right. I couldn't let her think she could pull that kind of stuff with me.

Detective Armstrong: What were you going to do about it?

JP Wallace: I decided to go back over there and set her straight.

Detective Armstrong: Is that what you did?

JP Wallace: You bet I did.

Detective Murphy: Did you call her before you went over that second time?

JP Wallace: No. I was too mad. I didn't even think about it.

Detective Armstrong: So what happened when you got to Missy's house the second time?

JP Wallace: I went up to her door, started pounding on it. I told her I knew she was in there, and I wasn't gonna leave 'til she let me in and we had a little talk.

Detective Armstrong: Did she let you in?

JP Wallace: No! That wuss from next door came gliding out of his house like he was gonna do something. So I walked over to him and asked him if he had a problem.

Detective Armstrong: Did he? Have a problem?

JP Wallace: He was saying all kind of bull about disturbing the peace and making threats and stuff like that. Told me Missy deserved to be treated better than that. Said he was gonna call the cops if I didn't leave right then.

Detective Armstrong: What did you say?

JP Wallace: I told him if he was a real man, he'd settle it right there, just the two of us.

Detective Armstrong: Did he take you up on that?

JP Wallace: Of course not, the big wuss. He just said something about he wasn't going to sink to my level and get into a physical confrontation. Fancy talk, but it all amounts to he was too much of a wimp to take me on.

Detective Armstrong: So what did happen?

JP Wallace: All of a sudden, I just realized how sick I was of all that. Sick of Missy's bull. Sick of putting up with this wimp from next door. Sick of the whole thing. I decided to get out of there and go have a drink with my buddies. At least they don't give me a lot of crap every minute.

Detective Armstrong: You weren't worried that Kevin Travers really would call the cops?

JP Wallace: No. Why would I worry about that?

Detective Murphy: You had already been arrested before at Missy's house, hadn't you? On January 5th of this year?

JP Wallace: Oh, that. It was no big deal.

Detective Murphy: Really? What was it then?

JP Wallace: Just a misunderstanding.

Detective Murphy: You know, the sheriff's department doesn't usually get called in on misunderstandings.

JP Wallace: Well, there's a first time for everything.

Detective Murphy: Why don't you just tell us what happened that day?

JP Wallace: It was no big deal. Missy'd gotten all worked up over some stupid thing like she always did.

Detective Murphy: What was she upset about?

JP Wallace: I don't remember. She was always getting upset about some little thing or another. It happened so often, I don't really remember what that particular fight was about.

Detective Murphy: Had you been drinking that day too?

JP Wallace: I don't know. Could be. More than likely.

Detective Murphy: Is that what the argument was about?

JP Wallace: Like I said, I don't remember.

Detective Murphy: So how did the police happen to be called then?

JP Wallace: How do you think? Old Nosy Nellie next door called them. Told 'em he thought I was gonna hit her or something.

Detective Murphy: Did you? Hit her?

JP Wallace: No. He was just being his wussy, paranoid self.

Detective Murphy: But you were arrested, weren't you?

JP Wallace: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: How do you explain that?

JP Wallace: Look, I was already ticked at Missy, and then I just got even more ticked when that wimp called the cops. Maybe I got up in one of the cops' faces, but it wasn't my fault. If that wuss hadn't butted in, it never would have happened.

Detective Murphy: So, if Kevin Travers hadn't intervened, the argument would have ended peacefully. Is that what you're saying?

JP Wallace: That's right.

Detective Murphy: Mr. Wallace, did you kill Missy Hammond?

JP Wallace: Heck, no! Why would I? Sure, she could be a pain, but she had her good qualities too. Plus, I didn't have any reason to kill her.

Detective Murphy: You did say she was about to break up with you.

JP Wallace: No. I said we were probably about to break up. It would have been a mutual thing. We just didn't have a chance to do it before she got herself killed.

Detective Armstrong: Why do you think she got herself killed?

JP Wallace: Missy was the kind of woman who could really tick a guy off, you know what I'm saying? I'm sure there were plenty of guys who felt like killing her at one time or another. You ask me, you should look at her ex. They had a lot of problems. She had a restraining order against him, you know. Besides, I hear the guy is cracking up.

Detective Armstrong: What do you mean he's cracking up?

JP Wallace: You know what I mean. And if it's not him, it could've been that overprotective father of hers. Or her so-called uncle. I guess it could have been that wuss next door, but I doubt he has the stones to do something like that.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know Missy's father?

JP Wallace: Met him once. I could tell he didn't like me. Not that I gave him any reason to not like me, but he still acted like I was some kind of lowlife.

Detective Armstrong: Hard to imagine. What about this uncle you mentioned? Who is that?

JP Wallace: Never met him, but Missy talked about him a lot like he was some wise old man who knew everything about everything. Sounded like a crock to me. He's not even really her uncle. He's some cousin or something.

Detective Armstrong: You know his name?

JP Wallace: Johnny.

Detective Armstrong: You know his last name?

JP Wallace: Nope. Never cared.

Detective Armstrong: Is there anyone else you can think of who might have wanted to kill her?

JP Wallace: How would I know? Like I said, I didn't get involved in her personal life. There coulda been somebody else she ticked off, and there's no way I would know about it.

Detective Murphy: You said before that after you left Missy's the second time, you went to Murff's. Is that right?

JP Wallace: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: What time did you get there?

JP Wallace: I don't know. Must've been around 4:30. When I got back, somebody made a crack about how I hadn't even been gone an hour and that I must've given Missy the short end of the stick. Smart aleck. Point is, that's why I think it must've been 4:30 or so.

Detective Murphy: How long did you stay there?

JP Wallace: I think I must've hung around 'til about closing.

Detective Murphy: Really? That's a long time to spend in a bar.

JP Wallace: Maybe for some people. Me, I like to hang out there. Better than sittin' at home.

Detective Murphy: You didn't have to work that day?

JP Wallace: At the warehouse? Nope.

Detective Murphy: You work somewhere else?

JP Wallace: No. I already told you that.

Detective Murphy: You just said "at the warehouse" like I could have been referring to some other place where you'd have to be at work.

JP Wallace: Didn't mean it that way.

Detective Murphy: OK, if you say so. Is there anything else you can tell us about Missy Hammond or her murder?

JP Wallace: I don't think so.

Detective Murphy: All right. Thank you for coming in, Mr. Wallace, and we'd appreciate it if you'd continue to make yourself available to us in the future when we want to talk to you again.

JP Wallace: Yeah. That it? Can I go now?

Detective Armstrong: Yes. You can get outta here, but JP?

JP Wallace: Yeah?

Detective Armstrong: Don't go too far.

JP Wallace: Yeah, right.

End interview – 4:51 p.m.

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