Tuesday, March 29, 2016
When did the police first interview Nisha? It's one of the great unanswered questions in this case. We have one, and only one, set of notes from a police interview with Nisha. These notes indicate that the interview took place on April 1, 1999 at 6:55:
This would seem consistent with the April 20th Progress Report I previously posted, which indicated that, on April 1st, "interviews were conducted with friends/classmates of the victim Hae Lee and suspect, Adnan Syed" at the Baltimore County Police Department's Woodlawn Precinct.*
As I noted in another post, however, there is an April 17th Progress Report indicating that, on April 9, 1999, the police (and Vickie Wash) interviewed (1) classmates Becky, Peter, and Nina at school; and (2) Nisha at her residence in Silver Spring. So, was Nisha actually interviewed at her home on April 9th instead of at the Woodlawn Precinct on April 1st?** And, if so, why does an August 23rd Amended Disclosure state that Nisha's address is unknown?
On the other hand, did the police actually interview Nisha before April 1st? I've posted before about the following entry on Cristina Gutierrez's April 18th legal services contract with Adnan:
The obvious takeaway from this entry is that Nisha was the Hindu female friend interviewed on March 13th. After all, Nisha is Hindu and we know that the police asked her questions about Islam. We also have no record of any interviews with other Hindu female friends of Adnan.
Of course, there is no record of such a March 13th interview, which means that either (1) Gutierrez got the date wrong; or (2) the notes from this interview somehow disappeared from the State's files. If we look at Adnan's call log from January 13, 1999, option 2 looks a lot more likely than option 1.
Here's that call log:
Let's now do a timeline showing when the police interviewed six out of the eight*** people listed on this call log.
Yaser: February 15, 1999.
Jenn: First interviewed on February 26, 1999.
Jay: First (officially) interviewed on February 28, 1999.
Krista: Interviewed on March 1, 1999.
"Ann": Interviewed on March 2, 1999.
Patrick/Patrice:**** March 11, 1999.
So, all of these people were interviewed between February 15th-March 11th, including the other people -- Krista and Jenn -- called multiple times. Why, then, would the police wait until April 1st or 9th to talk to a person who (1) appeared three times on Adnan's January 13th call log, including at the crucial time of 3:32 P.M.; and (2) was the recipient of three additional calls from Adnan on January 12th, including the very first call that he placed?
The only other person from the call log who wasn't (officially) interviewed in February or March was Phil (3:48 call), but the difference with Phil is that we have no record of him ever being interviewed.***** We also know that the police were having difficulty determining the name associated with the the 3:48 call long after they had determined this information for the other calls.
All of this makes it seem exceedingly likely that Nisha was interviewed before April 1st.**** But is there any reason to believe that an interview on March 13th would specifically make sense? Yes. On that same date, Dolly Dobrzycki created a transcript of Jay's February 28th interview:
It's easy to imagine MacGillivary, Ritz, or Wash reading this transcription, comparing it to Adnan's call log, and realizing that Jay never mentioned the 3:32 P.M. call in his February 28th interview. This probably would have been done toward the end of business hours, which (along with Wash presenting witnesses to the grand jury during the day) would explain why a possible interview with Nisha would have taken place at 7:30 P.M., as indicated in the legal services contract.
If this indeed happened, Nisha likely told them about the call in which Adnan put her on the line to talk to Jay. We know that Jay's second interview was on March 15th, meaning that it was likely set up on March 14th or possibly on the 15th. In this interview, Jay suddenly recalled that, on January 13th, Adnan put him on the phone to talk to a girl from Silver Spring. If Nisha were in fact interviewed on March 13th, was what she said about the Jay call the impetus for Jay's second interview? And, if so, what do you think that Ritz and MacGillivary told Jay about this interview during the 3 hour pre-interview before his March 15th interview?
*That said, there's no record of the police interviewing anyone else on April 1st.
**Or was she interviewed on both days.
****Serial lists Patrick, but the line was in Patrice's name.
*****He was also only called once.
******I also think it makes it seem exceedingly likely that Phil was interviewed at some point.