Lets Think Thru The Crime - Starting With The Shoes

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Re: Lets Think Thru The Crime - Starting With The Shoes

Post by Justice4all on Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:59 pm

If this was a stranger abduction, your scenario is very plausible. It looks like you agree that Leah probably made it to Elm, and that Nick probably went from the Mitchell's to Denny's Pizza before coming up Central looking for her.

Do you agree that we need more accurate timings? Even in this scenario, Nick had to miss Leah at the Mitchell's by more than the five minutes reported in the affidavits in order for him to not catch up with Leah by the time she made it to Elm St. Google estimates that it would have taken Leah about five minutes to get to the corner of 4th and Central when leaving the Mitchell's and Nick would have entered 4th from Central on his way to the Mitchell's.

Google calculations are estimates, but according to the calculations and assuming Nick spent about two minutes talking to Leah's sister at Denny's, he would've had to leave the Mitchell's about 16 minutes after Leah did to not catch up with her before she made it to the location where her shoe was found.
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Re: Lets Think Thru The Crime - Starting With The Shoes

Post by Justice4all on Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:15 pm

I would agree he missed her by anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes at the Mitchell's, and then drove down to Denny's Pizza before driving up Central. The more I look at Google street view and go up and down Central, the scenarios that have Nick driving up and down Central and missing Leah at the same time she was on Central are not realistic.

This is a case where only a couple minutes can make the difference between an unknown perp grabbing her or her getting in the car with Nick willingly. I wonder if it occurred to LE at the time to check with Denny's Pizza and the businesses along Central to see if they had any surveillance tapes.

If Denny's had a tape of the lobby, that could give them a precise time of when Nick was in there, and if any of the local businesses along Central had surveillance of the outside that reached to the sidewalk, they could have more precise times of when Leah was on Central. In the docs you have Leah in front of Hunter's at 9:05 and in front of the Credit Union at 9:15, but in reality they were only about a minute apart when walking. Of course, LE ignored Leah's family's assessment that Leah wouldn't run away, so by the time they realized there was probably foul play involved, any possibly useful surveillance tapes had probably been overwritten.

If Nick was guilty, it would be smarter to let her get in the car willingly and take her somewhere else rather than ambush her and struggle with her that close to Central and the Shell.

Since Nick has been charged and they claim to have witnesses placing Nick with Leah after 9, they are probably going to say that she got in the car with him willingly, and they drove to Brent's grandparent's house where something happened, and that the shoe was placed on Elm an hour or so after the crime.
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Re: Lets Think Thru The Crime - Starting With The Shoes

Post by Justice4all on Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:41 am

Theoretically, Nick could have picked up Leah on the way to the Haga residence and had her there by 9:30, maybe a couple minutes earlier. The area we are talking about is so small, that if he leaves the Mitchell's at 9:15, drives to Denny's Pizza and spends three minutes talking to Leah's sister, he can still catch up with Leah by 9:22, pick her up like normal without a struggle, and have her to the Haga residence by 9:25.

The statement that there was so little time that he had to commit the crime within 5 minutes depends on Nick being spotted in the Thunderbird between 9:45 and 10, before returning to the Mitchell's around 10:10 in the Mustang. Nick's initial search for Leah between the time he left the Mitchell's and returned to the Mitchell's would have been approximately 9:15 to 10:10.

I have a few questions about the Thunderbird. I know he didn't switch to the Thunderbird because of being pulled over since he was already back in the Mustang before the first time he was pulled over at 10:30. I understand that he could have switched to the Thunderbird because of a headlight or gas leak problem in the Mustang. Why then, after one drive into town in the Thunderbird, does he almost immediately switch back to the Mustang?

I would really like to know what he told police about the Thunderbird. It is probably in the original interviews back in 2000. I want to see his explanation to police of where the Thunderbird was located, what time he switched to the Thunderbird, where he drove it, and what time he switched back to the Mustang. All I can find is a newspaper article where the DA states that Nick's family denies that he switched to the Thunderbird that night.

Most of my questions have probably been asked and answered in the transcripts of the police interviews with Nick that haven't been made public. Here is what I really want to know.

  • Does Nick admit or deny being in the Thunderbird that night?
  • If he admits it, what is his explanation of when, where, and why he was temporarily in the Thunderbird?
  • Did the witnesses actually see him in the Thunderbird in the dark, or did they assume it was him?
  • Are they sure it was the Thunderbird that belonged to Nick's parents, or could it be a similar Thunderbird that belonged to somebody else?

For the sake of the timeline, it looks like switching to the Thunderbird actually helps his alibi more than it hurts it. If Nick denied something that helps his alibi, the prosecutors may have decided to take him at his word, thus no mention of the Thunderbird on 20/20.

As for the shoe, I don't know if it would occur to Nick or an accomplice to place it somewhere to make it look like a stranger abduction. If it did occur to them, logic would say to place the shoe on Elm just off of Central since witnesses could have potentially seen Leah anywhere on Central between McKay's and the Shell before she had started walking on Elm.
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