"It was just a normal day." Those simple words filled a Massachusetts courtroom Friday as an audiotape of a conversation between accused double-murderer Neil Entwistle and a police detective was played for the jury.
Of course, the day Entwistle is referring to was anything but normal. That was the day Entwistle's young wife, Rachel, and 9-month-old daughter Lillian Rose were shot to death at point-blank range in their home on a quiet cul-de-sac in a small New England town.
State Police Sgt. Robert Manning called Entwistle in England on Jan. 23, 2006, to question him a few days after the bodies were found.
Entwistle maintains he fled to his family's house in Worksop, England, because he was distraught over the deaths of his wife and daughter and in a "trancelike" state. He admits on the tapes that when he found the bloody bodies lying on the master bed in their Hopkinton, Mass., home he never checked to see if they were alive and never tried to call 911.
"Do you know what 911 is?" asked Manning, and Entwistle replied, "Yah, I do."
Entwistle continued, "I don't feel that I've done the right thing here ... by not being the one to call and say what happened. I just couldn't get it clear in my head."
In the two-hour recording, Entwistle repeatedly denies killing his wife and baby daughter. When Manning asked if Entwistle had anything to do with the killings, he replied, "No, no, no."
Entwistle said that after finding the bodies "the only thing I could think of was the knife downstairs." But he told the trooper that he couldn't kill himself because it would hurt too much. He said his next move was to drive down to his in-laws house in Carver, Mass., to try to find a gun and kill himself, but he couldn't get into the house.
On the tapes, Entwistle also described the condition of the bodies lying on the bed. Rachel, he said, looked pale but just asleep but then "I pulled the covers back and that's when I saw Lilly. Lilly was such a mess."
During the conversation, Sgt. Manning asked Entwistle, "Did you know what happened to them?"
"You mean as in being shot."
"Is that what happened to them?"
"That's what I think, I mean, I saw it on Lilly."
Entwistle's defense has always maintained that the 29-year-old computer engineer left his home for a few hours of shopping on Jan. 20, 2006, and came home to find the bodies lying dead in the master bedroom.
But in testimony over the past 11 days, prosecutors have tried to prove that Entwistle killed his wife and daughter because he was unhappy with his sex life and upset about his increasingly precarious financial situation.
The recorded conversation between the two men was halting and rambling at times. At some points, Entwistle seemed to be crying, and at others, he sounded almost confused.
In one exchange, Sgt. Manning questioned Entwistle about the day of the murders. He said, "I'm wondering was there any situation that happened?"
"No, no," replied Entwistle.
"I'm not saying you did anything. I'm just asking you," Manning said.
"No, no, no ... It's just ... I couldn't do that. Why would I do that?" Entwistle replied.
The trooper said, "There could be a million reasons. There could be no reasons."
Neil Entwistle sat in court today listening to his own words. And so did a 16-member jury.
In a few days, it will be up to the jury to decide if they believe those words or not.