Lisa McPherson Files - Interview of Keri Lee

This is an interview with Keri Lee, a co-worker of Lisa McPherson's at AMC Publishing.

SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION
FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department                       Report No.   95-29158

Offense           Death Investigation                         Date of Report 03/12/97

Location          645 Pierce St.                             Orig Incident Date 12/06/95

Victim            Lisa McPherson                             VI Prosecute Yes X     No

Investigator      Dot. J. Carrasquillo

Previous Status   Active

Subject

Impound Inventory


NARRATIVE:
Det. Carrasquillo:         Today's date is March 12, 1997. The time is 1515 hours. This is an
                           interview with Keri Lee concerning the Lisa McPherson investigation.
                           Present during the interview are Ron Cacciatore, Mrs. Lee's attorney,
                           FDLE Agent Sharon Feola, and myself Det. Carrasquillo. Keri, would
                           you please state your personal information for me for identification
                           purposes on that tape. I need you to state your full name, spell it, home
                           address, date of birth, Social Security number, home phone number, and
                           work number.
Ms. Lee:                   Okay. You'll have to remind me. I may forget.
Det. Carrasquillo:         I'll remind you if you forget something.
Ms. Lee:                   Do you want my middle name?
Det. Carrasquillo:         Your full legal name.
Ms. Lee:                   Full legal name. Okay. So its Keri Aileen Lee, that's K e r i A i l e e n, L
                           e e. My address is 1554 Linwood Dr., Clearwater, 34615. My phone
                           number is 449-8308. My Social Security number is XXX-XX-XXXX.
Det. Carrasquillo:         Date of birth.
Ms. Lee:                   Date of birth is 12/09/71.
Det. Carrasquillo:         And your work number.
Ms. Lee:                   446-1100.
Det. Carrasquillo:         And you did provide your home number, right?
Ms. Lee:                   Yes, I did.
Det. Carrasquillo:         Okay. What we're basically doing is, we're conducting an investigation
                           into Lisa's background, trying to get some information on her, prior to
                           her death December 5, 1995.    At this point in time, you are not a
                           suspect. You're here as a witness and I would like for you to tell me in a
                                                                            Page 1 of 12

SUPPLEMENT/ CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 synopsis form, how you met Lisa and what you know about Lisa and I'll probably ask you specific questions. Ms. Lee: Okay. Well, I met her through Tom, working at AMC Publishing. And, we started working together on Winter Wonderland so that's how I interacted with her. And, it wasn't - we didn't, we didn't see each other a lot, just at the meetings if she was there. Usually she was on the phone uh, doing the fund raising for Winter Wonderland. But, she'd come in and brief us all on how it was going and who she needed to talk to and if she needed any help from us. Um, and then Halloween party. Uh, I guess that was 95, and then some more work on Winter Wonderland. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay, you said you met her through Tom at work. What month? When did you initially make contact with her first? Ms. Lee: I think it was like - cause I was going to come up after he was finished, and um, at first I think it was just, "Hi," you know and um, then, I don't know; I think he started in (I'm so bad without a calendar in my face). I think he started in February 95. I'm not sure exactly, but - Det. Carrasquillo: Well, that's what he said. Ms. Lee: Okay. Good, good, good. All right, so, I probably met her in probably March. Det. Carrasquillo: March of 95? Ms. Lee: Um hm. Det. Carrasquillo: Is that when you started also working for AMC Publishing? Ms. Lee: No, I started in 96. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay, so you were not working at the time. Ms. Lee: No. Det. Carrasquillo: And you said -is that when you started? When did you start working for the Winter Wonderland project? Ms. Lee: In the summer. We started doing - we started working on it. I can't remember exactly. I think we had our initial meetings um, probably the fall. Actually summer, but where we would meet regularly on it would be fall. Det. Carrasquillo: So your first contact with her was beside "Hi" when you picked up Tom at work, in the summer of 95, when you were dealing with the Winter Wonderland project, and then into the fall of 95. Page 2 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Ms. Lee: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you recall if she made the meetings - and I'm assuming July and August would be the summer, June, July. Ms. Lee: I wasn't there much - it must have been a little bit before - it must have been -I think it was more June, cause in July and/August I wasn't there. Det. Carrasquillo: At the Winter Wonderland meetings? Ms. Lee: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: You were working somewhere else and just didn't make the meetings. Were you out of state where you couldn't make the meetings? Ms. Lee: No. No. I was - I was down at the beach everyday, so I wasn't able to come to the meetings. So, I think it was; I know definitely August I was not there. Maybe part of July I was there. I can't remember exactly, but uh, she wasn't there every single time that I was there. She was either uh, not there, or if she was there, she's usually in her office making calls trying to get Det. Carrasquillo: Where is there? Ms. Lee: I'm sorry. The office. We'd hold in the conference room is where we would hold the meetings. Det. Carrasquillo: AMC Publishing? Ms. Lee: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. And, and, when she was there, how did she appear to you? Ms. Lee: Um, like happy, sad? Det. Carrasquillo: Yeah. Ms. Lee: Okay. Um, kind of busy, you know, like uh, and happy, you know, kind of like okay, this is what we're doing. This is who I need to contact. Who has phone numbers for these people? Uh, I would just go over her game plan on raising the money. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So, it appeared it was someone in full control of their mental facilities? Ms. Lee: Oh it seemed it, yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Agent Feola: Who else was responsible? You said that she was responsible for the fund raising issue, raising funds for - who else was responsible for that? Do you know? Page 3 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Ms. Lee: I was. But then I wasn't there for most of it, so Agent Feola: I was just trying to see if there was someone that she was working with closely to try to develop funds for the project. Ms. Lee: Well, once I was off for the summer, I don't - I mean I know that she was and um, I'm not sure exactly who else. I mean, I could look back in the records and see. An, I know T. C. Applebaum is now. Agent Feola: We'll ask her that. Ms. Lee: She may know, because I wasn't around during the summer. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. When was your last contact with Lisa prior to her death? Ms. Lee: Um. It was a Saturday. I'm not sure exactly when. It's like, we were doing preparations at the site, you know, the props and everything like painting them, and tying ribbons on them. Uh, poles. Agent Feola: Where was that at? Do you remember? Ms. Lee: It was at a warehouse. Winter Wonder - it's not where the warehouse is now, but a Winter Wonderland warehouse. Agent Feola: Where was that at? Ms. Lee: It was off of Myrtle. I don't remember-I mean I can't get there right now. But, it was off of Myrtle. Det. Carrasquillo: Jeffords? Ms. Lee: Could be. Could be, yeah. It was in that area where Jeffords is. Det. Carrasquillo: Who else was there that day? Ms. Lee: Bennetta, Slaughter, Katie Chamberlain, uh, Heide Peens. Agent Feola: Hyda? Det. Carrasquillo: How do you spell that? Ms. Lee: Spelling is Heide Peens. And Franz Rider - he was there for part of the day. Tommie I think was there. Yeah he was there for the day. Although I think the guys were mainly doing the heavy stuff down at the site, I think. Det. Carrasquillo: And Lisa was also there? Ms. Lee: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Just try to refresh your mind. Was this the same date she had her accident? Ms. Lee: I don't know. I didn't know about her accident until I read the paper. After she had died. But she was out of it. She was like, um, real - well what I remember is that she was vacuuming part of the warehouse and Page 4 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 she was just standing there looking up and like, you know, just standing there with the vacuum on. So I was kind of freaked out about that. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Agent Feola: What else? Ms. Lee: That was it. I mean I didn't talk to her. Agent Feola: You didn't have any contact with her at all. Ms. Lee: No I didn't. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you report it to anyone? Ms. Lee: Oh yeah. Bennetta was standing - you know I went to Bennetta - something's wrong with Lisa. And she was...so I brought her over and she saw, so she said to her, Lisa, Lisa. And she tried to get her attention. She got her attention. And, so then Lisa started vacuuming again. And then after that, I think Bennetta took her off vacuuming. Maybe, I don't know who did, but anyway, next time I saw her was she was sitting in the car with Katie Chamberlain Agent Feola: Who is Katie's car? Ms. Lee: It looked like she was sleeping. I just figured she was kind of I don't know, kind of freaked, or whacked out, or whatever, and she just needed to be alone and Det. Carrasquillo: Some space? Ms. Lee: Yeah. So, and I remember Katie - I think Katie went and got the food and she like, got some lawn chairs. Agent Feola: And that's the last time you saw her? Atty. Cacciatore: Do you know how long she had been in the car? Ms. Lee: Oh, it wasn't - I don't think it was a long time. It looked, I mean it looked like - I remember looking over and I saw that Katie was in the car. It was on, the air conditioning was on, and Lisa was just kind of had her seat back and her eyes were closed and she was just kind of... Atty. Cacciatore: How did you happen to notice that? Ms. Lee: Uh, I was walking around. Atty. Cacciatore: (unintelligible) Okay, but I guess my problem is that I don't understand what we're talking about. Where was the car in relationship to the warehouse, I guess that's what I'm asking. Page 5 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Ms. Lee: Well, here's the warehouse. Here's like the door. And the car was like here. And we were doing painting and stuff outside. Plus, I had my little girls, so I was chasing her around a lot. Atty. Cacciatore: How old are your little girls? Ms. Lee: Their five and four now. Atty. Cacciatore: So they were running around? Ms. Lee: Oh, always. Totally running. Det. Carrasquillo: Was there any - do you know if Lisa left with Katie that day? Ms. Lee: I'm not sure. I mean I assume so. Agent Feola: Do you know how she got there? How Lisa got to the.. Ms. Lee: I don't know. I didn't see it as far as that. Maybe Katie. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay, so that's the last contact you had with Lisa prior to her death? Ms. Lee: Um hm. Det. Carrasquillo: From that day forward you had no other contact with her? Ms. Lee: Um mm. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you have any information regarding the circumstances surrounding Lisa's leave of absence in July? I know you were not working then. Ms. Lee: I didn't even know she was gone. No one mentioned it until recently. Det. Carrasquillo: How about her isolation from November 18th to December 5, 1995? Any information on that whatsoever? Ms. Lee: Um mm. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you hear anything about that at work? Ms. Lee: Well, I think I remember asking where Lisa was. And, uh, I think they said either medical leave or leave of absence. And I didn't ask any other questions about that. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you remember when you asked? How was that? You had some kind of good holidays to kind of give you a hint - you got Thanksgiving, you got Agent Feola: Halloween. Det. Carrasquillo: Christmas. Ms. Lee: It was after Halloween. Agent Feola: Did you go to the Halloween party? Ms. Lee: Yeah. I did. Det. Carrasquillo: How did she behave at the Halloween party? Ms. Lee: Ah, she was dancing and bubbly, and happy, and.. Page 6 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Agent Feola: Did she wear a costume? Ms. Lee: You know, I don't think so. She had a black shirt and black pants. I don't think she did wear a costume. Det. Carrasquillo: So she appeared perfectly normal. Ms. Lee~ : Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: I'm talking about mental. She wasn't doing what she was doing at the warehouse. Ms. Lee: Oh no, No, no, no. She was happy and I danced with her for a little bit and Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you have any information or know anything about Gloria living with Lisa? Gloria Cruz. Ms. Lee: I just knew that they lived together. But, that was it. Det. Carrasquillo: You don't know why Gloria moved in? Ms. Lee: I just figured Gloria needed a roommate. Or, Lisa did. Det. Carrasquillo: How did you learn about Lisa's death and circumstances? Ms. Lee: Tommy told me. I think it was Wednesday. Det. Carrasquillo: cause you were not at AMC Publishing? Ms. Lee: Mm mm. I went to pick him up. I remember he told me outside and I remember Bennetta walked by and said, I guess I'm in trouble. Anyway, then he told me and Agent Feola: Why would you be in trouble? Ms. Lee: Oh, just from Tommy you know, because pulling me outside, you know. Kind of joking. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you care for her at all from November 18th to December 5th, or do you know of anyone who did? In other words, did you drive her, or go up to her apartment? Ms. Lee: Um mm. Atty. Cacciatore: You need to answer Ms. Lee: Oh, I'm sorry. Ah, no. I didn't see her after that time at the warehouse. Det. Carrasquillo: And you never had occasion to drive up to her apartment during that time frame. Ms. Lee: No, I never went to her house. I didn't know where she lived. Agent Feola: How long have you been a Scientologist? Ms. Lee: Since 86. Page 7 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Det. Carrasquillo: I know your husband said he was cleared. Have you reached that plateau also? Ms. Lee: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you know what the introspection rundown is? Ms. Lee: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Never heard of it? Ms. Lee: I've heard of it because I read the papers. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you have - do you know why, you couldn't tell me what it is or the function or anything else. Ms. Lee: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you attend Lisa's ceremony for clear? Ms. Lee: Did I what? Oh, when she announced it? Det. Carrasquillo: Her ceremony for clear? Ms. Lee: Uh, no. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. When Lisa got back - we know she went to Orlando for a convention November 15, 16, 17. When she came back from that convention, did you have an occasion to meet with her or talk to her? That was prior to the Saturday that you guys had contact with her. Ms. Lee: Um mm. No, the time before that was Halloween when I saw her. Unless it was like in the hallway or something. I don't remember anything specific Det. Carrasquillo: What's your understanding of Lisa's death or the circumstances surrounding it? Ms. Lee: From what I was what I kind of put together - was learned from the newspaper. Um, that she had an embolism or aneurysm, I don't remember which. Ah, I guess it's the blood clot to the heart. And um, that she - I remember when we had asked what happened, uh, there was the car accident and from what I you know, looked up, trying to understand what you know an aneurysm or an embolism is. I guess it's an embolism. An aneurysm is a blood clot to the heart, ah head. Okay, so um, I kind of put together that um, I think it was in the paper, said that she had a bruise on her leg or someone had told me that she got a bruise on her leg from the car accident and that that could you know, could have traveled and clotted the heart. Page 8 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Det. Carrasquillo: Any questions? Agent Feola: I just have one question. Ah, did you at any time Keri, discuss Lisa's behavior that you observed Saturday with anyone after that Saturday? You never mentioned it to anyone, Bennetta, Katie? Ms. Lee: Well, I talked to Bennetta that day. Agent Feola: How about afterwards? Ms. Lee: I don't know. I mean I might have. I might have like asked, you know, is she okay, and like how's she doing? Agent Feola: Right. Or where's she at? Ms. Lee: Yeah. Agent Feola: Cause she was really involved in this Winter Wonderland project prior to the 18th of November, okay. Now, just think with me for a minute. Now she drops off the face of the earth. She is charge of raising all this money, okay, and no one has contact with her for seventeen days and no one speculates where is she? What happened to her? Where's our donation money? Who's going to pick up her lead? Ms. Lee: I didn't see her that often, so I wouldn't have known, you know, like how many days she was gone, or whatever. Uh, there was something you said that made me think of something. Agent Feola: Um, I mean I am sure, I mean even if it was an acquaintance, and I observed some kind of oddity, or this odd behavior, I'm sure that I would bring it up to someone after the fact, and say, hey, what's going on with Susie? Ms. Lee: Yeah. I can't remember if I, you know talked to anyone, like who I talked to. But, I remember uh, Agent Feola: Who else can you think of that was there that perhaps maybe could maybe offer us some insight into her behavior on that day? Ms. Lee: I know Franz was in the room with her at the time. When she was vacuuming. He was like hammering or something. I mean there were a lot of people there that day. But, they kind of came in shifts. And the other thing was that um, I hadn't worked that much on it, like I wasn't even going to work there that day, cause I didn't, you know Tommie said okay, well I have to work today. I was like, well what are you going to do? And he said, well, can you drive me here? And I said, okay, so when I got there, I saw that they needed my help, so you know, I just had my Page 9 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL052O300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 girls and we did what we could. Uh, but I didn't know that they were going to be doing it that day. So, I didn't - you know it wasn't like Agent Feola: Ready to go to work all day there. Ms. Lee: Right. And I, you know, no one had called me - say we need your help. So I - uh, I remember knowing that you know she was in good hands kind of thing, so I wasn't like concerned, Agent Feola: Like, there were friends there Ms. Lee: Yeah, yeah. I knew that Agent Feola: Was Gloria Cruise there that day? Ms. Lee: I'm not sure. I don't remember specifically that she was. She could have been. I don't remember if she was. Agent Feola: How about anyone named Jeannie DeKyper? Ms. Lee: I don't think so. Agent Feola: How about Judy Goldsberry-Webber? Ms. Lee: Uh uh. I don't know who that is. Agent Feola: But Bennetta was there for sure. Ms. Lee: Oh yeah. Agent Feola: How about Brenda? Ms. Lee: You know, I can't remember exactly. She could have been. I didn't know Brenda very well. Agent Feola: Katie was there, we know that. Ms. Lee: Katie definitely was there. She definitely was there. Agent Feola: And we don't know where Lisa's car was. Ms. Lee: No, I can't remember it being there. Det. Carrasquillo: Just one more question and then I'll - we'll be done. Did anyone direct you to write anything for us about Lisa's behavior that day? Have you ever written any reports or documented any of Lisa's behavior and deliver same to the church? Ms. Lee: Um mm. Det. Carrasquillo: So, there should be no report that your name is on. Ms. Lee: Um mm. No, cause I... Agent Feola: You were kind of... Det. Carrasquillo: You know what I'm talking about. I've been told by several Scientologists, that if its' not written its not the truth. And a lot of them will write what they see for later recollection. Page 10 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Ms. Lee: No. Ha ha ha. Det. Carrasquillo: Well, that's what I was told. Agent Feola: Okay. Ms. Lee: No, I didn't write anything. Det. Carrasquillo: You don't know anything about that philosophy? Ms. Lee: Well, I know that if you want to - say like you want to get something done, for instance, I mean this is how I do it. If you want to get something done, like, I don't know, uh, whatever, I can't really think, but whatever you want to get done, uh, you just put it in writing so that if the person forgets or whatever, they can just look back and you know. Det. Carrasquillo: Like a recall. Agent Feola: Like a recollection type thing. Det. Carrasquillo: But if you and Attorney Cacciatore were out on a dance and he started doing weird things, would you write - document his behavior? Ms. Lee: No. I would tell my friends. Ha ha ha ha. You know, tell someone. Agent Feola: But, if you knew - let's hypertheticalize - if you knew that Ron was going be going to his auditor to receive counseling, would maybe you document that to give him some guidance? Ms. Lee: No. No. For me, what I understand of it, is you just write you know. Say, like you get an order from your superior - you know, I want you to clean out blah blah, and make this, and do that, so you make a list - okay these are the things that I need to do. And that would be Det. Carrasquillo: Like me, I have Alzheimer's so I just Agent Feola: List making is a pretty common phenomenon. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay, I think that'll conclude this interview. And the time is 1544. Page 11 of 12
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 03/12/97 Ofc. Reporting Det. J. Carrasquillo /cs ID No. 630 Case Status _______________________________ Date Cleared _____________ Clearance Type Exception Type I. Arrest 1. Extradition declined 3. Death of Offender Adult Juvenile 2. AR of primary offense, 4. V/W refused to cooperate 2. Exceptional secondary offense, 5. Prosecution declined 3. Unfounded w/o prosecution 6. Juv/No Custody Ofc. Reviewing Date SAO Info Page 12 of 12