Nathan Andrew Leuthold killed his wife Denise, 39, on Valentine’s day 2013. He was arrested on March 6, 2013 around 8.15 a.m. On September 2014, a jury found Nathan Leuthold guilty, he was sentenced to an 80-year term in the Illinois Department of Corrections for first degree murder in violation of section 9-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 2012)). According with the prosecutors he killed his wife as a Valentine’s gift for his Lithuanian lover Aina Dobilaite, 20. Before reading the sentence, Peoria County Circuit Judge Kevin Lyons said: “I have to give you credit. You have led a law-abiding life, and for many years, you did good things. But you have poisoned it all”.
On February 14, 2013, around 3:15 p.m., Nathan Leuthold called 911 to his in-laws’ home at 700 W. Mossville Road, Peoria, Illinois, where he was living with his wife and their three children, Seth, 12, Julia, 10 and Jenelle, 4.
In Statement Analysis we assume that the speaker is “de facto innocent” and that he speaks to be understood. Therefore, from a “de facto innocent” we expect a reliable denial and we don’t expect to find in his language characteristic indicators of the statements of those who do not speak the truth. Basically we analyze the words that we don’t expect to hear or read (The Expected Versus The Unexpected).
What we look for in this interviews is for Nathan Leutold to issue a reliable denial, to say “I didn’t kill my wife Denise”, not simply parroting back the interviewer’s words, but in the free editing process and we look for him to show the protection of the “wall of truth”.
The “wall of truth” is an impenetrable psychological barrier that often leads innocent people to few words, as they have no need to persuade anyone of anything.
A reliable denial is found in the free editing process, not in the parroted language and has 3 components:
1. the pronoun “I”
2. past tense verb “did not” or “didn’t”
3. accusation answered
A deceptive person will alter his denial to avoid a direct lie.
“I didn’t kill my wife Denise”, followed by “I told the truth” or by “I’m telling the truth” while addressing the denial “I didn’t kill my wife Denise”, it is more than 99% likely to be true. Also “I didn’t kill my wife Denise, I told the truth, I’m innocent” is to be considered a reliable denial.
We begin every analysis expecting truth, and it is the unexpected that confronts us with possibly deception. The context is the key to understand if behind one or more sensitivity indicators there is guilty knowledge.
After his trial, Nathan Leuthold spoke to Dateline NBC correspondent Andrea Canning about what preceded his 911 phone call: My parents called me: “You want us to pick her up?” I said: “Denise should be there any minutes, she must have been late”. She hadn’t answered her phone calls, she hadn’t answered her text messages, I said: “Just wait a few minutes, let me get Jenelle at the day care then I‘ll let, you know, and I finally got the day care, they said: “She still hasn’t come, she hasn’t called”, I said: “Well, I’m right by the house, I’m right by the house and see if she is there”, and soon as I got pulled into the driveway, the garage door was open. I can see the window payne was broken, the glass is on the ground, at that point I began to put things together and someone had broken into the home and then, at that point, I called the police, called 911.
Nathan’s call to 911:
911 operator: What’s the problem?
Nathan Leuthold: Uh, we had a break-in.
“Uh” is a pause to think. The pause is an indication that the question “What’s the problem?” is sensitive to him.
Order speaks to priority, Nathan suggested a break-in but didn’t show any concern for his wife or for anyone that could have been in the house at the time of the alleged break-in. This is unexpected especially because Denise wasn’t answering his phone calls and text messages and he told Andrea Canning he went back home to check on his wife.
911 operator: Is it going on right now?
Nathan Leuthold: I don’t know, I… the garage door is open, there’s glass from the back door, somebody broke in, I’m not going into the house yet.
Again, Nathan doesn’t show any concern about his wife Denise. No concern and no actions. Nathan, knowing that Denise could have been at risk, chose not to enter the house. He only gave information to the 911 operator in order to support a possible break-in.
“I…” is a broken sentence, is self-censoring, an indication of missing information deliberately withheld by Leuthold. He started placing himself strongly into the sentence but then suppressed whatever he was going to say.
When police entered the house they found Denise Leuthold dead by a gunshot in the head.
Nathan told them he had three handguns, his .22 caliber Beretta and .40 caliber Glock were missing. Denise was killed with a .40 caliber.
After Nathan called 911, he repositioned his car in the driveway to face away from the house. Inside his car the detectives found foreign currency, safety deposit box keys and passports.
Around 3.00 p.m., Aina Dobilaite wrote a message to Nathan Leuthold, he replayed: “I can’t now, police checked, it looks like the house was robbed”, she wrote back: “Interesting, smiley face“. Prosecutors believe that Aina’s lack of concern regarding the break-in proves that she knew that Nathan was going to kill his wife and stage the crime scene.
Some excerpts from Nathan’s 6 hours interview with the detectives (from 6:00 p.m. of February 14 to 12:30 a.m. of February 15):
Nathan Leuthold: I’m trying to not think about nothing but the kids, about nothing but the ministry. What we do is everything is so tight together as (unintelligible) family. One thing, it’s all a house of cards, she is the main one to hold it all together and I’m trying to shut off the thoughts that happens that says what happens was supposed back in may (unintelligible) the window, what happened with this… I can’t go to Europe and hold with kids by myself and be full time so everything I’m trying to hold that off, I want to get this done, I don’t want anymore long agencies out of the room, I want to get this done, somebody has (unintelligible) the kids, I’m trying… I’m trying not to get upset, I don’t mean mad, I mean upset.
Nathan’s priority is to represent himself as a “good guy” because he is not.
Nathan Leuthold is self focused, he doesn’t show pain for the death of his wife but speaks about the repercussion of her death in his life. He is also trying to take control of the interview and shows an unexpected verbal aggressiveness.
Note Nathan linguistic disposition towards his wife, Leuthold never referred to his wife Denise as “my wife Denise” or “my wife” or “Denise” but only as “she”. A complete social introduction would indicated a good relationship. His words indicate that they had a poor relationship.
Nathan Leuthold: I don’t want to say something that would be misconstrued. I don’t like all these rights warnings.
To issue a reliable denial is gratis and it’s impossible to misinterpret it.
An innocent, usually, thinks to be misconstrue just when he is wrongfully accused, not before the interview. When Nathan says: “I don’t want to say something that would be misconstrued”, he is likely talking to himself more than to the detectives. He shows to be on guard.
Nathan Leuthold: You can’t tell me things about her and I am not (unintelligible), you can’t tell me things about her so…
Leuthold is trying to tell the detective how to conduct the interview.
Note that Nathan Leuthod didn’t refer to his wife Denise as “my wife Denise” or “my wife” or “Denise” but as “her”, again.
Detective: I‘m telling she is dead.
Nathan Leuthold: You told me.
Nathan didn’t show any emotion when he was told that Denise was dead that’s why the detective told him again that his wife was dead but he received another cold answer.
Detective: Do you have any personal problem with anybody?
Nathan Leuthold: No.
Detective: Does your wife?
Nathan Leuthold: No.
How he can be sure that his wife had no problem with anybody? He should have answered: “Not that I know” or “Not till this morning”.
Detective: Was there anything of extreme value?
Nathan Leuthold: In… in the house?
He answered with a question to buy time to think.
Detective: In your room, in that room in particular?
Nathan Leuthold: I… I had… uhm… two watches… uhm… a couple hundred dollar watches, nothing.
The stuttering “I” shows increase in anxiety since humans are highly efficient at using this pronoun.
Two “uhm” are pauses to think.
Detective: Ok, what about money?
Nathan Leuthold: No.
Detective: Do you know why anybody wanna broke in there?
Nathan Leuthold: I have been trying to ask the same question since I pulled in the driveway.
He is unable to say “I have been trying to answer the same question since I pulled in the driveway” or “I have been asking the same question since I pulled in the driveway”, he says “I have been trying to ask the same question since I pulled in the driveway”. He is deceptive.
Nathan Leuthold is recalling something that happened two days before the murder: (…) then pulled in our driveway without the lights on. They… they were on the road when they turned the lights off, you know, this is kind of weird, pulling the driveway, I merely go through into… into the front door and flip the outside lights on car please. Similar situation but this time into the neighbour’s driveway.
Nathan is mudding the waters telling detectives a story about a car and lights on and off.
Detective: This is the problem I get, she has been shot in the house, okay? I need to figure out how that car get to Robinson park, okay?
Denise’s car was found in a park close to the house, an inexplicable finding in a murder related to a burglary.
Nathan Leuthold: Uhm, uhm.
To say “Uhm, uhm” is like to answer with a question, it is a pause to think, a signal that indicates that the question is sensitive to him.
Detective: I’m just trying to figure out how many sets of keys are out there because I’m trying to find a set of keys.
Nathan Leuthold: I know there is one set of keys and whenever I have borrowed… borrowed… whenever I got the car to go get something fixed on (unintelligible) changed or not, I just asked her for the keys and she gives me the keys or she says they are on the plate.
When Leuthold says “I know there is one set of keys”, he is telling the truth, his affirmation doesn’t esclude that he knows there are two sets of keys. He doesn’t say “I know there is only one set of key”. This is like the story “I had two glass of wine, officer”, this is truth, someone that drank five glass of wine, had certainly drunk two before the third, the fourth and the fifth glass.
Note that Leuthod didn’t refer to his wife Denise as “my wife Denise” or “my wife” or “Denise” but as “her” and “she”, again.
The word “just”, a dependent word, is used to compare with something else.
Detective: Was your vehicle (unintelligible) at Robinson park today?
Nathan Leuthold:… My vehicle was at Robinson park today, yes.
Nathan took time to answer, this long latency shows that the question is sensitive to him. Note that the word “yes” is not the first word of the sentence as expected, it is the last, this is a clue that he wasn’t sure of what to answer and that he was building his answer in work in progress.
Detective: For what (unintelligible) this?
Nathan Leuthold: (unintelligible) this morning… never, but it would have been before… before I came back at the house.
The pause between “before” and “before” shows that Nathan needs to pause to reflect on what to answer about his car being at the park.
Detective: What it was done for?
Nathan Leuthold: I pulled over… I pulled over to take a phone call.
He repeats twice “I pulled over”, this repetition is noted as sensitive. Nathan needs to pause to reflect on what to answer.
Detective: It’s not a coincidence that we have a missing 40 caliber Glock handgun and there is evidence that leads us to believe that your wife was probably shot with a 40 caliber handgun, okay? And then furthermore to have her car down the street at the park, right? where you failed to tell us that you were there prior to going home earlier that day.
Nathan Leuthold: It was a short phone call… I didn’t (unintelligible).
Detective: I know but I mean the thing is we’re talking about things that day, once you start piecing things together we’re trying to figure things out.
Nathan Leuthold: I understand.
Detective: Okay? So, If you were at the park, the exact same park your wife’s car was at, I need to figure out how your wife’s car get there.
Nathan Leuthold: Okay, I… I don’t have the answer.
Another stuttering “I” that shows anxiety. He could say, “I don’t know” but he says, “I don’t have the answers”. Does he want to know what the police know?
Detective: You don’t have a key either?
Nathan Leuthold: Correct.
Investigators found the second set of keys at the Robinson Park, in a trash can.
Nathan Leuthold: So I called, she didn’t answer, no big deal, she is driving, so sent text messages. I don’t know what to think, she is not answering my phone calls, she is not answering my mom’s phone calls, she didn’t go to the school, she didn’t call, where she is at? She is late, if she broke down, she has a flat tire, she would call my self phone… I went to all this hundred options on my head.
Leuthold never referred to his wife Denise as “my wife Denise” or “my wife” or “Denise” but as “she” while he called his mother “my mom”. That he has not yet used his wife’s name is distancing language, an indication of a poor relationship and/or a need to distance himself from his wife
Detective: I would love to think you are a God fearing man and you would never do that but…
Nathan Leuthold: You do have a preconceived idea.
Leuthold, trying to act as a victim of a misunderstanding, get very contentious.
Detective: No, no, no, trust me I do no have a preconceived idea but when I’m painting a picture and I’m trying to put the pieces together Okay? as a homicide investigator I have to either rule you in or rule you out
Nathan Leuthold: And you want to rule me in based upon…
He is trying to understand what’s wrong with his answers…
Detective: No, no, no, I would rather rule you out so I could move on
rule you out?
Nathan Leuthold: You are ruling me out based upon what?
… and what could save him.
Detective: Bas.. ruling out I want to rule you out cause I hope you didn’t do it.
Nathan: And you want to rule me in.
He shows sensitivity and tension.
Nathan Leuthold: I want to get back to my kids now. I can’t leave them all that long.
Leuthold is using his children to escape the interview. Note that he is referring to them as “my kids” something he never did with his wife Denise.
Nathan Leuthold chose not to testify at his trial but spoke to Dateline NBC correspondent Andrea Canning after the sentence showing how manipulative and self centered he is:
Nathan Leuthold: I was in third grade, she was in fourth grade at the time and I doubt… doubt she even knew I existed, but even then, I thought she was the cutest girl in the school.
Nathan is a narcissist, he gives us a glimpse of his personality disorder when he says that even she didn’t know he existed he thought she was the cutest girl in the world.
Andrea Canning: What was that you liked about her so much?
Nathan Leuthold: It was the curly hairs and the bouncy curls and just happy-go-lucky smile in junior high they begin to see your character and what kind of person she was that way.
Nathan Leuthold: Her parents didn’t believe in dating so we were just good friend and I went to her church activities she came to mine and saw each other at school and that’s how all started, she was my first girlfriend and my only girlfriend.
Nathan Leuthold: I looked at Denise’s mom at the time and I saw what she was as a woman, as a wife, as a mother and I saw that Denise really favoured her mother and so I said that’s what I want.
Nathan’s idea of a relationship is “that’s what I want”; as a narcissist, he chose Denise to fill his need, to enhance his idea of an image of perfection.
Nathan Leuthold: Right before we did our vows Denise had down prepared a song talking about everything that she wanted was me and that our marriage is going to be the kind that she had always hoped for and dreamed for as a little child and (unintelligible) a wonderful day.
Nathan Leuthold: And so I approached the fella and said: you know, what would you think about Denise and I coming and helping you guys? He said: That’s would be great!
Nathan Leuthold: We didn’t know any Lithuanians at the time, we didn’t know the language, we were studying it, trying our best but it was definitely a shock.
Nathan Leuthold: Denise was very musical and she played the piano for the children and taught them songs and taught the little girls especially bible stories.
Nathan Leuthold: We had helped women who had been in a abusive relationships, we had brought several Lithuanians to the United States over the years for cultural reasons, for musical purposes, for sports.
Nathan Leuthold: We had tremendous friends and family here in the States and that’s always what we missed the most.
Recalling the day of the murder:
Nathan Leuthold: As is our tradition on holidays whether it’s Easter, Christmas or birthdays or Valentine’s for the children, we started off right off the bath, first thing in the morning and so the children had theirValentine sacks that Denise had prepared sitting down at the table for them. My gift to her was the roses and the card that I had bought the night before and placed on the table.
Nathan Leuthold: My parents called me: “You want us to pick her up?” I said: “Denise should be there any minutes, she must have been late”. She hadn’t answered her phone calls, she hadn’t answered her text messages, I said: “Just wait a few minutes, let me get Jenelle at the day care then I‘ll let, you know, and I finally got the day care, they said: “She still hasn’t come, she hasn’t called”, I said: “Well, I’m right by the house, I’m right by the house and see if she is there”, and soon as I got pulled into the driveway the garage door was open.
Andrea Canning: Was that odd?
Nathan Leuthold: It’s very odd, there is no car in the garage but the garage was open but then as I got about halfway into the garage I can see the window pane was broken, the glass is on the ground, at that point I began to understand that someone had broken into the home.
“It’s very odd” not “It was very odd”;
“there is no car in the garage” not “there was no car in the garage”;
“the glass is on the ground” not “the glass was on the ground”.
The use of the present tense is a clue that Nathan is not recalling from his experiential memory.
“then” is a temporal lacunae, used as a bridge, a signal of withholding information.
Andrea Canning: Did you fear that the person could still be in the house?
Nathan Leuthold: I did.
Andrea Canning: How did they tell you what they had found?
Nathan Leuthold: The police… uh… weren’t the first people to tell me. Unfortunately I… I found out about it from my father, I was calling my dad and dad said: “Well, I’m on my way, I just heard on the radio, the local news media just put it on the radio that at your house somebody was shot”.
“Uh” is a pause to think. The pause is an indication that the question is sensitive to him.
The stuttering “I” shows increase in anxiety.
Andrea Canning: When you came to that realization what’s going through your mind?
Nathan Leuthold: Everything stopped. I am looking at my four year old daughter who is the image of her mother curly hairs in a bouncy step and I just kept looking at my daughter and I wanted to hug her and I wanted to… I wanted just to let out all the pain that was associated with knowing but there she was standing stand… staring at me just smiling. My world had just been shattered and I had to tell her at some point.
Denise was killed but the focus is on himself: “I am looking…”, “I just kept looking…”, “I wanted…”, “I wanted…”, “I wanted…”, “staring at me…”, “My world…”, and “I had…”.
Nathan says “I am looking at my four year old daughter” not ” I was looking at my four year old daughter”, the use of the present tense is a clue that Leuthold is not recalling from his experiential memory.
“I wanted to…” is a broken sentence, an indication of missing information deliberately withheld.
When he speaks about his daughter he says “my four year old daughter” not “my four year old daughter Jenelle” or “my daughter Jenelle”, an incomplete social introduction which tells us about his poor relationship with her.
When he speaks about Denise he says “her mother” not “my wife Denise” not “my wife” not “Denise”, a signal of a poor relationship between him and his wife.
A point of view of a narcissist: Nathan says that his “world has just been shattered”, not Denise’s world, not Denise’s life, not the children’s world or Denise parents’s world, only his world.
Nathan Leuthold: My wife, my best friend from third grade, the mother of the three most important children in the world to me, how do I function now without her?
“How do I function now?”, it’s about him, not about a young life lost.
Nathan Leuthold: Every time there was a difficult in life the first person I would talk to would be Denise and there were several times in the first few days after her death trying to figure what to do with the children next I wanted to just grab the phone and call her, she was my support.
“She was my support”, note that the focus is on him, again.
Asked about what happened after his interview with detectives Nathan Leuthold said: I was exhausted, I was emotionally spent, I spent the next several hours with my mother and my sister and at some point I fall asleep, my sister just trying to confort me.
Everything is about him (focus on self).
Andrea Canning: How did you tell the children that their mother was killed?
Nathan Leuthold: Mom went home to be with God, we know that she loves us, we know that we loved her, at that point I reached out for them and we just hugged. It was quiet. My tears soaked their faces and their tears soaked my face and we prayed and we thanked God for the most wonderful mother and wife (unintelligible) ever been on this earth.
He didn’t say “we loved her” but “we know that we loved her” that is unexpected. With this sermon Leuthold shows us how manipulative he is.
Nathan Leuthold: There was a church, I was there that was already established and that church really took us in and… and… and did her best to communicate with us and helped us out and there was a particular… uh… woman in the church we worked with, that was Aina’s mother. As a teenager it was very clear that she had given her life to the Lord and wanted to serve him she was always the one volunteering, helping the church right alongside of her mother and she was very gifted in music and then, as we started branching out in the ministry, Aina was the one who took care of the music. Aina was the one that was always helping us with the children at church and it was just natural for Denise to want to hire her and we just trusted her 100% with them and that’s how she came to be part of our family.
Note a “uh”, a pause to think right before speaking of his lover’s mother.
Note how he speaks about Aina: “As a teenager it was very clear that she had given her life to the Lord and wanted to serve him”, note the use of Divinity to clear her image.
On January 18, 2013, few weeks before the homicide, Nathan sent Aina an email: “I let you down and I’m sorry. I’m not going to make excuses. That would not be fair to you. You deserve someone who respects you and puts their relationship first, and from now on I want to do all that I can to be that person. There is nothing more important to me than you in this relationship. I’m so blessed to have you in my life, and I know it”. In another email Nathan wrote: “I love you because you understand me better than anybody else and because I am a better person with you next to me. My life has a deeper meaning and purpose because you are my world and everything and that will never change” and “I like how you can make me laugh more than every one else.”
Andrea Canning: You end up bringing her to America?
Nathan Leuthold: We were her sponsor here in the U.S., yes. She came here for education, her desire from the very beginning was to go back to help her own country and the churches there how to use music for the Lord.It wasn’t the first time we have done that, so it was one of many we had worked with, so it was very natural.
Note the use of Divinity while speaking about Aina.
Prosecutors found that Nathan Leuthold had searched on Internet how to silence a .40-caliber Glock and how to kill someone by electrocution in the bathtube, by lethal injection of insulin and methods of suicide. Andrea Canning asked him about these searches:
Nathan Leuthold: We had started a foundation in overseas called “Hope for tomorrow” to combat suicide and we were doing research and looking at blog sites where young people… where desperate people were giving information about what they were thinking.
Another glimpse of how manipulative Leuthold is.
Nathan Leuthold about his arrest:
Nathan Leuthold: There were officers with all kinds of weapons pointed at me, at the point when I was there in the ground on my knees with my hands behind my head and they were checking my pockets, down the road, towards me was my sister bringing her children to school that day and there I am in the middle of the street, they handcuffed me, they put me in the car, at that point I didn’t know where we were going and finally I asked them, I said: Where are we going? What’s going on? We are taking you to jail for the murder of your wife.
A description of the arrest of a narcissist: “(…) pointed at me (…) I was there (…) my knees (…) my hands behind my head (…) my pockets (…) towards me was my sister (…) there I am (…) they handcuffed me, they put me in the car (…) I didn’t know (…) I asked them, I said (…)”. Leuthold, acting as a victim, shows how manipulative he is.
Andrea Canning: Why did you decide not to take the stand during the trial?
Nathan Leuthold: I had chosen to testify prior to trial but as the State continue to take things out of context and continue to throw as much mud as they could on the wall hoping that some of it would stick, they had moved beyond what I felt were the facts of the case, I wasn’t going to give them anymore fuel or anymore fodder to use or to misconstrue.
Nathan Leuthold spoke about the alleged burglary: But things were stolen insurance claims verified they were stolen and paid the claim. It was a burglary. Did it looks like a normal burglary? I’m not sure what a normal burglary looks like.
If a murderer stages a burglary, usually takes things to make the staging believable. Nathan says that he doesn’t know how a normal burglary looks like, it’s not his job to recognize a staged burglary from a real one, we can tell from how he staged the scene of his wife’s murder.
About a fingerprint that was found on a jewerly box from which three things were stolen that police could not identify Nathan Leuthold said: That’s not my mother in law’s, not my father in law’s, not my wife’s, not my daughter’s who clean that jewelry box every week for her grandma not my fingerprint.
A narcissist possesses others as objects, they don’t exist in their own right.
Nathan Leuthold: To say I killed my wife goes beyond what I ever fathom hearing from anyone and to say I had an affair is absurd.
“I killed my wife” and “I had an affair” are two Embedded Admission.
He is unable to say “I didn’t kill my wife Denise” or “I didn’t kill Denise” or “I didn’t have an affair”. He is unable to give a reliable denial.
Andrea Canning: One of the harshest accusation that has come out all of this is that you killed your wife and it was a Valentine’s gift for Aina.
This question allows Nathan to issue a reliable denial as “I didn’t kill my wife, I’m telling the truth”.
Nathan Leuthold: The harshest statement has been that I killed my wife, it doesn’t matter what day it was, I intentionally did on Valentine’s day? As a gift? I‘m not sure what takes a sicker person, the person who actually do that or the person who suggest that.
Nathan is unable to issue a reliable denial.
Nathan doesn’t speak at the past, he doesn’t say: “the person who did that” but “the person who actually do that”, he is not referring to the person who did that because he is unable to describe himself as a sick person. Nathan, using the present “do” and “actually”, is telling us that right now to do something like that would take a sick person, not at the time of the murder, because only now he knows how difficult is to fool the detectives.
Investigators found in Denise and Nathan’d bedroom a handwritten note by the victim: “What on earth could you possibly be thinking? I can’t imagine anything you could tell me that would hurt worse than what you were doing to me now – every day. I really don’t think there is anything that I have done or not done that would cause me to deserve this. I have tried to please you for seventeen years and never succeeded. I’ve never been good enough. Never done enough. I know that you want me dead. I’m not stupid. I suppose it will confirm my worthlessness to you when I write that I am not brave enough to do that job for you. And now all of a sudden, you are taking me with you places. What is that all about? Maybe you think I don’t feel bad enough. You act like you are somehow noble because you won’t tell me why you are doing this. It makes me sick. I have been willing at any time to fall in love with you again, but you reject me every time. I wish I could hate you. I’ve tried to hate you because I thought it would make it easier. I thought it wouldn’t hurt so bad. Of course, I couldn’t do it, so I have failed at that, too. I have been without pride. I have humiliated myself to try to win something that belongs to me. You defraud me, and you don’t seem to care. Well, I quit. I’m not going to try to please you anymore. I will do what I have to do, but no more of that game. You want to humiliate me by running around with a 20 year old? Fine. I won’t grovel. If I haven’t pleased you in seventeen years, nothing I do now will please you. And I refuse to leave my children just because you have decided to do this to me. You are the only person who thinks I am a bad mother. Complete strangers compliment me on them, so Iwill not join you in your obsession with perfection. I am the same person that I’ve always been. I am not weaker and in many ways stronger. I refuse to play to your perfectionism in that, too. I have borne neglect and criticism and kept going. But now this. How long? How long are you going to do this to me? Oh, yeah until I break. That’s what you said, isn’t it? Well, happy waiting.”.
Andrea Canning: She essencialy spoke from the grave saying that you wanted to kill her, that you are humiliating her with a 20 year old.
Nathan Leuthold: The part you are referring says: “I know you want me dead. I’m not stupid”, now to say that… that implies, that she felt in danger seems to go against the facts. She never shared that with her best friend, her super close sister, her mother, her father, she never called police, she never called a counselling hotline, she never p… did any domestic battery or restraining order, any anything because there was nothing.
Andrea Canning: Did you want her death?
Nathan Leuthold: No, why would I want her death?
Nathan answers with a “No”, but then he weaks his answer with a question.
Andrea Canning: To be with Aina, to groom Aina as your new wife. That is the accusation.
Nathan Leuthold: That is the accusation by those who from day one wanted to portray something that fits modern society, fits the culture we Iive in, fits the cheater’s lifestyle, the jerry springer show mind set, it fits those things making things look salacious.
Note how manipulative he is, he doesn’t issue a reliable denial but says “That is the accusation by those who from day one wanted to portray something that fits modern society, fits the culture we Iive in, fits the cheater’s lifestyle, the jerry springer show mind set, it fits those things making things look salacious” in order to leave the journalist to conclude that he couldn’t have killed his wife, without saying so.
One of the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is grandiosity, Nathan would have liked to be different from the ordinary man that fits modern society but he failed according with all the evidences of an extra marital relation presented by the prosecutors at his trial.
Pastor David Sexton testified at the trial that, about eight months before the murderer, he had spoken with Nathan and Denise Leuthold about how bad was for Nathan and the church his particular relation with Aina Dobilaite. He had told Nathan Leuthold to stop or he could risk to loose support for his missionary work.
Andrea Canning: How nervous were you when the jury went to deliberate?
Nathan Leuthold: From a purely selfish perspective it’s my life, my future, my freedom, it means that I could go back being the father to the children, the children would be robbed of just one parent not both, one was stolen away by someone who was seeking gain and a guilty verdict would steal from the children their other parent.
Nathan describes his wife’s killer as “someone who was seeking gain” not as a murderer, he never used strong words to describe his wife’s killer because he doesn’t like to refer at himself as a murderer.
Andrea Canning: What went through your mind when you heard that one word: Guilty?
Nathan Leuthold: It was very close to the same feeling I had when I heard that my wife had been shot, I just remember hearing that the loss just got that much greater.
Nathan Leuthold is an accomplished manipulator.
As we can see in the video recorded during the sentence, Nathan Leuthold didn’t show any emotion. Police officer Linthicum testify at Nathan’s trial about his demeanour after they found his wife dead: “As I’m speaking to him, he never showed any sort of emotion or asked any question to as what was going on”. Leuthold didn’t ask anything about his wife because he already knew what had happened to Denise, he had killed her.
William Harper, a fellow missionary who knew Nathan and his family said: “He was a very logical person and very much in control of his emotions. It was rare to see him do anything emotional. That’s one thing that points to him, because he was such an organized person. And when I found out they (Nathan and Aina) spent the night together in an apartment, that’s when I thought he could be guilty. We came back for a week or so for the funeral, and spent a lot of time with him during then. That was the only time I have ever seen him cry. He talked a lot about the children and about how they were going to miss their mother, especially the girls, who were looking forward to doing things with Denise.
I remember him talking a lot about how it would affect his work, how it was going to affect the children but I don’t remember him saying anything along the lines that he was going to miss his wife”.
Leuthold never showed any emotion because his lack of empathy, a quintessential hallmark of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Leuthold filed a post-trial motion which the trial court denied. He appealed. On December 2016, three Judges of the 3rd District Appellate Court in Ottawa, Vicki Wright, Robert Carter and William Holdridge, rejected Nathan Leuthold’s appeal asserting that the State’s evidence was sufficient to prove defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of first degree murder.
Ursula Franco, MD and criminologist