Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Yesterday, I took another look at Detective Ritz's notes of the pre-interview with Jay. Upon reflection, it seems like the notes are actually notes taken during both Jay's pre-interview and his recorded interview. One particular portion stood out:
The name Christopher/Chris should be familiar to those who listened to the Serial Podcast.
I gave [Jay] a knife and then he tried to stab me with it, so we were literally like fighting outside of my cousin’s house and he’s like "yo, I’m not gonna stab you deep but you never been stabbed before, you need to know what it’s like," and I’m like "yo, I’m not gonna let you stab me."
The above notes by Ritz seem to correspond to page 29 of Jay's Jay's first recorded interview, in which he tells the detectives that Chris is the only person other than Jenn whom he told about Hae's murder. When Chris is interview by Sarah, he tells her that Jay indeed did tell him about the murder. In Chris's version, Jay told him that he was at a pool hall -- either VIP or Bluejays -- out on Route 40 and Catonsville when he got a call from Adnan, asking for his whereabouts. Adnan then showed up in either his car or Hae's car, and the trunk pop happened in the pool hall parking lot. According to Chris, Jay told him that
Adnan confronted Hae about flirting with another guy, a car salesman and when she called Adnan crazy, he snapped and strangled her. And Chris said he heard this happened in the parking lot of the Woodlawn Public Library.
Chris seems like he would have been a pretty important person for both the prosecution and defense to interview. From the defense's perspective, Chris could have contradicted the version of events that Jay relayed at trial. From the prosecution's perspective, Chris could have testified that Jay told him about the murder before he (officially) talked to the police, which would have been an important prior consistent statement.
Chris tells Sarah, however, that the "police never questioned him, not that he could remember anyway and he thought he’d remember something like that." That's interesting because we can see that Chris was on the State's interview list, surrounded by people who were interviewed:
It's also interesting because Detectives MacGillivary and Ritz were pretty keen on getting Chris's last name and phone number from Jay (page 29):
But again, there's no record of an interview.
So, what do we make of Chris? I honestly don't know. I could see Chris misremembering the details of Don's job. On the other hand, Chris seems pretty certain about the library/pool hall scenario. In his second recorded interview, Jay said that he initially lied to the cops about the trunk pop occurring at a strip off of Edmondson Avenue because he was worried about there being cameras at the Best Buy. Fair enough, but why give Chris a third location for the trunk pop?
In his Intercept interview, Jay said that he lied about the trunk pop being at Best Buy because he didn't want to say that the trunk pop occurred outside his grandmother's house. As the above notes from Ritz make clear, however, Chris is seemingly mentioned right after Jay says that Adnan and he went to the grandmother's house to get a shovel to bury Hae. I don't see how that squares with Jay's Intercept interview.
And so, that leaves us with Chris being another frustrating dead end. His version could be the true version of events. He could also be lying or mistaken. Or he could be telling the truth, with his version of the trunk pop lending further credence to the conclusion that none of Jay's versions can be trusted. As with many other people in this case, I wish that he were interviewed back in 1999.