EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

More Evidence That Jay Talked to the Detectives Before Jenn

A couple of days ago, I posted an entry about the evidence supporting the theory that the police first interviewed Jay (1) before Jenn; and (2) before February 28, 1999. In response, a commenter noted that Detective MacGillivary gave the following testimony about interviewing Jenn:

Q: And at that point you didn't know the name of Jay Wilds, right?

A: No.

Q: So you didn't ask her about Jay Wilds?

A: No.

This is the State's official story: They initially talked to Jenn on January February 26th without any prior awareness of Jay and only sought him out after Jenn mentioned him during an interview. 

Susan Simpson, however, forwarded me this document from the files, which contains information about calls made to and from Adnan's cell phone on January 12th and 13th:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.37.40 PM

There is no date on this document, but it seems like it is from mid-February, before the police interviewed Jenn. Why? For almost every phone call, the police haven't identified the person who actually received the phone call. Instead, only the person on the account is listed. The 3:59 P.M. call on January 13th lists "D. F....," not Patrick or Patrice (who was interviewed on March 11th). Several calls are made to "H.... M...," a relative of Krista (who was interviewed on March 1st). Calls to "M. N...." are calls to Nisha.*  

Finally, calls to "A.... Pusateri" are calls made to Jenn. In this document, however, these are not identified as calls made to Jenn, despite the fact that both Jenn and Cathy say that the detectives were specifically looking for Jenn on February 26th.** Indeed, the only phone call where the actual recipient of the phone call is listed is in the bottom left of the document. On the left, you can part of the name of the person on the account. As you move to the right, you can see the name "Jay Wilds," highlighted and in parenthesis. On the right of the document, you can see that "Calls to A.... Pusateri [address redacted]" is also highlighted, but there is no parenthetical listing Jenn's name.

This seems to directly contradict the claim that State officials did not know Jay's name until talking to Jenn. My best guess would be that the State learned Jay's name first, which is why it is listed and highlighted on this document. Then, it was Jay who led them to Jenn and/or the Pusateri residence, which is why her relative's account is highlighted but her name is not listed.


*It's possible that "M. N....:" is Nisha because she was on the account, but I actually think it is a relative's name.

**Detective MacGillivary contends that he did not know Jenn's name on February 26th and instead was merely going to the (redacted) address listed on the above document to see who received the calls.



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Do you know who did the redactions and why?

Posted by: Alex | Jan 6, 2016 8:20:33 AM

I did the redactions. Things redacted: (1) phone numbers; (2) addresses; and (3) full names of relatives.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 6, 2016 8:39:08 AM

You must mean February 26th in reference to Jenn the first time, not January, right? Otherwise great post. Can anyone compel the detectives to speak the truth now at the pcr hearing?

Posted by: Ann | Jan 6, 2016 11:31:28 AM

Colin, great piece as always. I'm sufficiently convinced that the cops spoke to Jay earlier than they claimed they did. But do you have any idea how they may have found Jay in the first place, if Jen/the phone records didn't lead them to him?

Posted by: William | Jan 6, 2016 12:06:08 PM

Good luck getting the truth out of anyone with Baltimore's law enforcement. The best you'd get now is, "It was 16 years ago. I don't remember." They'd never tell the truth under any circumstances. Why would they? They've got nothing to lose by continuing to lie and everything to lose by telling the truth.

Posted by: Eric Wolff | Jan 6, 2016 12:17:50 PM

How do we know you just redacted the (Jen Pusateri) bit and not redacted the (jay wilds) bit???

Posted by: Ben | Jan 6, 2016 12:31:09 PM

Hi, Colin! I’d appreciate your thoughts on this comment – if you’re available to reply.

The trunk pop(s) continue to haunt me – for the simple reason that I cannot imagine them happening. Given what we know about Adnan – he worked as an EMT and he was active at his mosque – and what we know about Adnan & Hae – they loved each other and remained friends after their breakup(s) – I just cannot imagine he would kill her and then callously display her dead body like some sort of trophy.

If anything, I see Adnan being remorseful and repentant – not the kind of monster who would show off a murder with some sort of sick pride. (Not to mention the stupidity of creating even more witnesses against you!)

The trunk pop(s), I believe, were invented out of whole cloth – and they’ve been troubling me for awhile now. I can’t recall whether the point I’m making here was also made in “Serial” or in “Undisclosed,” or if it was raised at trial – but I wonder if challenging this claim could have been used to undermine Jay’s credibility.

The story of the trunk pop(s) seems to be told solely for its prejudicial value: “Not only did he kill Hae, but he….” I assume Jay created it on his own – thinking it would bolster his credibility with the police – but the discussion I recall centered more on where the pop(s) happened versus any sort of incredulity that Adnan would behave in this manner.

Posted by: Brian | Jan 6, 2016 1:06:19 PM

Colin you saw this is from mid February.
I thought the police didn't subpoena Adnans records until the 18th Feb, getting them back a few days later??

Posted by: Ben | Jan 6, 2016 1:22:10 PM

Are the detectives in this case still working on the force in Baltimore? Have they ever given any statements since all this evidence has come to light?

Posted by: Rebecca Wilschutz | Jan 6, 2016 2:43:54 PM

Colin, there are two pages that follow these in the Police Files. These two pages list all the phone numbers that Adnan called (exactly same font as what you posted).
Guess what it says next to Jen's number - ANTHONY PUSATERI (JENNIFER)

Posted by: ben | Jan 6, 2016 3:01:50 PM

Is it possible to date this document? Is there another report that states that phone records were requested and received on a certain date? Is there a way to prove that the addition of Jay's name occurred at that time?

Posted by: Emily | Jan 6, 2016 3:37:50 PM

Can you share why the last call on the bottom left page is the 9:18 call to Jay on the 12th, but the first call on the right page is the 11:27pm first call to Hae? There are 8 missing calls between the two pages (including ones to Yaser, Nisha and Krista). Also, was there any obvious linkage to Jay from the name on the cell phone record (like same last name?) It seems like a pretty big assumption that this document existed in mid February. It was obviously typed separately from the phone records for Jay's name to appear in the printout (looks like Excel), but why couldn't this have been printed on Feb 28th, after Jenn's and Jay's interview? A plausible explanation: the phone records were entered in to Excel in mid February. Since 4 calls on the 13th between 12:07 and 4:12 were to the Pusateri residence, it seems like a logical place to start on the 26th. They interview Jen, which leads them to Jay and at some point they verify Jay's home phone number. So the next morning, the police go back to the spreadsheet, type in Jay's name on the bottom left and print out the file. They they highlight two areas, representing calls to the two suspects they've already interviewed. There's no reason to type in Jenn's name since her last name was already in the document and they had no reason to track down the calls to Nisha or Krista at that point.

Posted by: matt | Jan 6, 2016 4:25:46 PM

Ann: Thanks. I corrected it.

William: Jay being the CrimeStoppers tipster would be a pretty good explanation.

Eric: Right. I doubt this leads anywhere.

Ben: You’ll have to take my word for it. The redacted portion is just the Pusateri address.

Brian: The trunk pop would also likely be inconsistent with the lividity. I do not think Hae was in her trunk at all or at least not for an extended period of time.

Ben: By mid-February, I simply mean “before February 26th when they talked to Jenn.”

Rebecca: Sarah Koenig reached out them, but they refused to take part.

Ben: As noted on Twitter, that’s a separate document, created after they interviewed Krista on 3/1.

Matt: I don’t know why some information is missing. Also, under your theory, why is Jenn’s name on the document in parenthesis after they’ve interviewed Krista, etc.?

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 6, 2016 5:11:25 PM

It looks like there is strong possibility Det MGee lied when he testified in court.

>And at that point you didn't know the name of Jay Wilds, right?

Posted by: CLarence | Jan 6, 2016 5:57:23 PM

Colin-great information, as always. Can you explain the process for Adnan's hearing in February? Does the defense have Asiah state her recollection and the state questions her? And does the defense present the fax cover sheet/cell phone information with the state cross examining? Are the procedures similar to a trial where one side presents evidence and the other side cross examines? Does each side present/question witnesses and the other side cross examines? Are there opening and closing statements as well? What happens after the hearing; does the judge take everything into consideration and the state a ruling? I would find it helpful for you to outline how the hearing is conducted and next steps.

Posted by: SMHWL | Jan 6, 2016 6:12:06 PM

Colin: "why is Jenn’s name on the document in parenthesis after they’ve interviewed Krista, etc.?" Because it's a document living on a computer that can be edited at any point in time. What I was trying to say is that I am missing what evidence there is to suggest this is a mid-February document. I don't know why you think the cops needed to write out "Jenn" when her last name is already listed on the page.

Posted by: matt | Jan 6, 2016 7:59:30 PM

Hi Colin,

I know you cant speculate publicly or make any comments due to the on going nature of this case. However I did wonder if you or anyone in the undisclosed team have a indication of who you think did kill Hae? I am going to sorely miss the weekly podcasts.


Posted by: Mkay | Jan 7, 2016 4:45:57 AM

"William: Jay being the CrimeStoppers tipster would be a pretty good explanation."

This is a huge point that it seems can't be highlighted enough because some people keep missing its significance. An independent, unbiased community organization (Crimestoppers) has confirmed that not only was an anonymous tip called in on FEB 1ST, but that the reward money associated with it was payed out IN FULL in accordance with their strict policies. And the timing of the payout (several months after Adnan's indictment but immediately after Jay's "plea deal") is very suspect. This tip could only have come from Jay (maybe a slight possibility it was Jen, but with Jay's knowledge/involvement). It colors the entire investigation between Feb 1st and the 28th when Adnan was arrested.

Unrelated point: Colin, I was rereading the autopsy report on Hae and found it interesting that the injuries to her neck were on the left side while the hemorrhaging on her head was on the right side. Might this imply that the killer grabbed her by the neck with his right hand (facing her) and slammed her head into something, striking it with the right side of her head? Maybe slamming her to the floor in that manner and pushing down on her, which would give extra leverage in order to strangle her long enough. This could explain why she was unable to fight him off, and would also imply that the killer was right handed.

Also, the examiner noted that there were defects in her pantyhose at the knees. It seems unlikely she would have left the house like that in the morning while being all dressed up, and Inez Butler testified to commenting about her outfit at the concession stand but didn't mention anything about tears or runs in her stockings. Could this evidence imply that the defects were a result of her being on her knees at the time of the murder? Or her body being dragged in a position where her knees were scraping on the ground/floor?

Posted by: Dan | Jan 7, 2016 8:24:28 AM

How is a mostly redacted, undated document "evidence" of anything? MPIA documents show similar versions of the documents that dont have Jay's number identified....why not post them, as well?

Posted by: THM | Jan 7, 2016 8:44:53 AM

Clarence: It’s a definite possibility.

SMHWL: Yes, there should be openings and closings, and witnesses will be subjected to direct and cross-examination.

Matt: As Ben noted above, the police actually did write out Jenn’s name and put in parenthesis in later versions of the document. But, in this version, while they have Jay’s name in parenthesis, they do not (yet) have Jenn’s name in parenthesis.

Mkay: I think that, as she has expressed on Twitter, Rabia has reached a conclusion, but I’m not sure of her degree of certainty. Neither Susan (I think) nor I has any firm conclusion.

Dan: Yes, the CrimeStoppers information is huge in all of this. As for the medical details, I don't know. I'm relying on the experts, and none of the MEs/pathologists I've contacted have any type of comprehensive theory of how the murder happened.

THM: The other versions of the documents have other numbers identified, which makes it clear that they were created after 3/1. This version has two calls highlighted: a call to Jay and a call to Jenn. The police added Jay's name but did not add Jenn's name. And yet, both Jenn and Cathy say that the detectives were specifically looking for Jenn on 2/26 while the detectives say that they didn't about Jenn (as opposed to another Pusateri) at this point. So, if Jenn and Cathy are correct, (1) why are the detectives lying; and (2) how do they know Jenn's name?

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 7, 2016 8:46:21 AM

What evidence do you have for your claim that the notation (JENNIFER) is from a "later version" of the document? It's in the exact same font on the very next page in the MPIA file.

Posted by: Seamus_Duncan | Jan 7, 2016 10:10:02 AM

Seamus: The page in this post lists the names on the accounts of the various phone numbers called from Adnan’s cell phone on 1/12 and 1/13. The only instance of the actual recipient of the phone call being separately identified is Jay.

The next page from the MPIA says “Page -1-" at the top, indicating that it is the first page of a new document. On that document, various recipients are identified, including Jenn and Krista, who was interviewed on 3/1.

So, it seems likely that the first document was created before the police talked to Jenn, Krista, etc. while the second document was created after they talked to these individuals. Of course, we can’t say anything for certain because the different documents are not dated.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 7, 2016 10:26:36 AM

"we can't say anything for certain because the different documents are not dated"

Title of the post: More Evidence That Jay Talked to the Detectives Before Jenn

I'm still uncertain how undated documents are considered evidence, a question I asked in my prior post. Can you please clarify how these would be evidence of anything, if they were to be presented in court/trial/etc?

Posted by: THM | Jan 7, 2016 10:34:16 AM

I think if Jay was indeed the CrimeStoppers tipster, that may also be an explanation as to *why* the police would lie about the first time they interviewed him. Obviously, they wanted to keep the entire CrimeStoppers tip a secret, so they had to have a way of learning about Jay that didn't involve the tip. Being able to say they interviewed another witness (that was called multiple times from Adnan's cell phone on the day of the murder) who led them to Jay, boosts both his and the police's credibility regarding the "spine" of his story.

Posted by: Ann | Jan 7, 2016 10:49:32 AM

What evidence do you have that the yellow highlights were made by the police? The copy provided in the MPIA file contains no such highlights.

Isn't it just as likely, if not more so, that the highlights were made at a later date, possibly by someone working for Adnan's defense or by Susan Simpson herself?
EP Note: This is the 2th and final comment that will appear on this post.

THM: Gutierrez should have gotten the State to authenticate these documents (what they are, when they were created, etc.). Gutierrez then could have used them in her interrogations of MacGillivary and Ritz to contradict their claims about talking to Jenn before they knew about Jay or talked to him. You are right that there is some guesswork involved 16 years later. But, when you combine this with (1) Jay’s Intercept interview, (2) Sis’s statement to the PI; (3) Neighbor Boy’s statement to the PI; and (4) Cathy and Jenn both claiming that the detectives were looking for Jenn on 2/26, it sure makes it seem like Jenn was interviewed after the police knew about and/or interviewed Jay.

Ann: Right. This would explain the contradiction between Jenn/Cathy and MacGillivary about whether they knew about Jenn as of 2/26.

SwallowAtTheHollow: It’s possible that the highlights were added after the fact. I don’t know. The timing of the highlighting isn’t really central to my argument.

Posted by: SwallowAtTheHollow | Jan 7, 2016 11:15:48 AM

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