Analysis of some excerpts from Oral Nick Hillary’s interviews

Garrett Phillips

Potsdam, New York. 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was strangled to death on Oct. 24, 2011, at the 100 Market St. apartment where he lived with his mother, Tandy L. Cyrus, and younger brother, Aaron. Oral Nick Hillary, 42, a former Clarkson University men’s soccer coach, who dated Garrett’s mother, was arrested for his homicide, put on trial for second-degree murder and acquitted in 2016. Nick Hillary had been painted by prosecutors as an obsessive ex-boyfriend of Garrett’s mother, who broke off a yearlong relationship after her son told her he did not like Nick. According with the DA Nick had killed Garrett in retribution for the breakup. 

What we look for in these excerpts is for Nick Hillary to issue a reliable denial.

A reliable denial has 3 components:

1.  the pronoun “I”;

2.  past tense verb “did not” or “didn’t”;

3.  accusation answered. 

If a denial has more than 3 or less than 3 components, it is no longer reliable.  

“I did not kill Garrett” followed by “I’m telling the truth”, while addressing the denial, it is more than 99% likely to be true.

A deceptive person will alter his denial to avoid a direct lie.

Tandy L. Collins and Oral Nick Hillary

Here is what Oral Nick Hillary said to the journalist after his arrest:

Nick Hillary: (inaudible) hundred percent innocent, hundred percent innocent, that’s all I have to say.

“I am innocent” is not a reliable denial. To say, “I am innocent” is a way to deny the judicial outcome, not the action. An innocent de facto is someone who “did not do it” and is able to say “I didn’t do it” and eventually to add in the judicial conclusion.

Note the words “hundred percent innocent”, there are not degrees of innocence, “hundred percent” represents an unexpected emphasis due to a need to persuade.

Note the unnecessary closing “that’s all I have to say” which seeks to stop the flow of information.

Some excerpts from an interview released by Nick Hillary to 20/20:

Journalist: First of all, whose idea was the break up?

Nick Hillary: Uhm… I mean… the idea was… both of forces… I mean… I… I believe…

“Uhm” and “I mean”, repeated twice, are pauses to think. These pauses are noted as sensitive. To answer with a pause is like to answer with a question.

Note the stuttering “I”, a signal of increase in tension.

“I believe” is a qualifier that shows a lack of conviction.

The question whose idea was the break up?” is sensitive to him.

Journalist: She said she was the one who broke up.

This is not a question.

Nick Hillary: Uhm… I… I think, was the two of (inaudible), we made a decision.

“Uhm” is a pause to think and is noted as sensitive.  

Note the stuttering “I”, a signal of increase in tension.

“I think” is a qualifier that shows a lack of conviction.

“We made a decision” is non-specific because he is referring to “a decision” not to “the decision to break”.

The theme of the “break up” is sensitive to Nick Hillary.

Journalist: There are people who’re saying they know that the reason you and Tandy broke up was because Garry wanted you out of the house.

The journalist shouldn’t have asserted but asked why he and Tandy broke up.

Nick Hillary: Not true.

“Not true” is not a reliable denial.

Journalist: You are saying there wasn’t tension between you and Garrett?

The journalist invites Hillary to deny.

Nick Hillary: No, no.

Note that “No” is repeated. He has a need to persuade.

Journalist: That you didn’t argue?

The journalist invites Hillary to deny, again.

Nick Hillary: No, we didn’t. No, we didn’t.

“No, we didn’t” in response to “you didn’t argue” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. “argue” is also missing. 

Note that he repeats his denial two times to persuade.

Journalist: Were you aware that police officers were at the game videotaping you?

A “Yes or No” question. “Yes or No” questions are low stress questions for liars because are the easiest to lie to. Anyway, if the subject says, “No” and when asked, “Why should we believe you?” says, “Because I told the truth when I said “No”, it is still a very strong denial.

Nick Hillary: Absolutely no clue.

Hillary is unable or unwilling to answer with a “No”.

 The word “absolutely” is sensitive, he has a need for emphasis.

Journalist: (…) 24 hours later you were already prime suspect, number one.

The journalist likes to assert.

Nick Hillary: Yes.

Journalist: Did you get out your car once you parked?

A “Yes or No” question.

Nick Hillary: No, I didn’t.

“No” is a good answer. Each word after the word “No” are important to us because in innocency there is no need to explain.

“No, I didn’t” in response to “Did you get out your car?” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. Moreover “get out my car” is also missing.

Journalist: Why not?

Nick Hillary: Because it was raining, I was waiting for the rain to break, I think it was probably about halftime in the game at the time and I was waiting, waiting, just didn’t brake and I decided: OK, I will just have to continue with my day.

Journalist: Did you see Garrett skateboard by?

A “yes or no” question.

Nick Hillary: No, I didn’t.

“No, I didn’t” in response to “Did you see Garrett?” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. “see” is also missing. 

Journalist: Because, obviously, surveillance tape shows that he did to go home.

Nick Hillary: Exactly, exactly.

Journalist: And it is a pretty straordinary coincidence.

Nick Hillary: Pretty much so.

Journalist: Given what happened.

Nick Hillary: Yes.

Journalist: Why did you turn left?

Nick Hillary: When I made the left my intentions were to get to the office and I quickly realized I need to make provisions for my daughter at home.

We know that Nick Hillary can speak in the past tense but he chooses to say “I need” which is present tense. When a subject speaks of an event in the past, he is expected to use the past tense language. Past tense increases reliability, while present tense reduces it and is deemed “unreliable” in Statement Analysis.

Hillary says “I need” because he is not fishing in his experiential memory. 

During an interview with investigators, when Hillary was asked where he went after leaving the parking lot, he said: 

Nick Hillary: I went home.

Investigator: Where were you going?

Nick Hillary: I mean, I could make either a left or a right and still go home.

Note the pause “I mean”, he needs time to think before answering. The question is sensitive to him.

Investigator: Well, Mr. Hillary you told me under oath you didn’t stop anywhere on your way going home, correct?

Nick Hillary: That is correct.

Investigator: And your home would be in the opposite direction of where you turn, correct?

Nick Hillary: Like I said before I cannot recall turning left or right.

Note “Like I said before”, to avoid the stress of experiential memory he uses the ‘self reference’ of what he said before. 

See the inconsistency, he told the investigator that he couldn’t “recall turning left or right” and to the journalist that his “intentions were to get to the office”. 

More of the interview with the journalist of 20/20:

Journalist: At what time did you get home?

Nick Hillary: Around five.

Journalist: (inaudible)

Nick Hillary: We spoke for a little bit, talked about dinner arraignment.

Journalist: What she was going to cook for dinner?

Nick Hillary: Some kind of macaroniii with some kind of tuna casserole.

“Some kind”, repeated twice, weakens his answer.

We know that he didn’t make any dinner arraignment with his daughter because at 6:30 she sent him the following message: “What’s for dinner?”.

Journalist: Did you kill Garrett?

A “Yes or No” question.

Nick Hillary: No, I did not.

“No, I didn’t” in response to “Did you kill Garrett?” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. “kill Garrett” is also missing. 

Journalist: Did you hurt him in any way?

A “Yes or No” question.

Nick Hillary: I have absolutely noothing… to do with what has happened to Garrett.

He is unable to say “No”.

“I have absolutely noothing… to do with what has happened to Garrett” is an unreliable denial. Moreover, he adds emphasis to the answer through the word “absolutely” showing a need to persuade. He also adds emphasis to his answer underlying the word “noothing” by repeating the letter “o”.

“I have absolutely noothing… to do with what has happened to Garrett” is an unreliable denial because he said “have absolutely noothing… to do” instead of “didn’t”, violating component two of a reliable denial and then he substituted “kill” or “murder” or “strangle” with the softer “with what has happened”, violating component three of a reliable denial.

Journalist: Why do you think there is this depth of fervor to get you?

Nick Hillary: Because, I think, I have crossed the line… of being a black man… honestly.

“I think” weakens his answer.

When Hillary says “I have crossed the line” I believe him.

Note the place of the pauses.

The word “honestly” is often associated with deception.

Journalist: Do you think is all about race?

A “Yes or No” question.

Nick Hillary: It is… I sincerely think is all about race.

He is unable or unwilling to answer with a “Yes”.

“I sincerely think” weakens his answer.

Journalist: Did you go to their apartment that day?

A “Yes or No” question.

Nick Hillary: No, I did not.

“No, I didn’t” in response to “Did you go to their apartment?” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. “go to their apartment” is also missing. 

Journalist: You didn’t follow that boy home and go in that apartment?

The journalist invites Hillary to deny.

Nick Hillary: No, I did not.

“No, I did not” in response to “You didn’t follow that boy home and go in that apartment?” is not a reliable denial, as it is parroted. “follow Garrett home” is also missing. 

Journalist: You didn’t jump out of the window and injured your ankle trying to escape?

The journalist invites Hillary to deny.

Nick Hillary: (giggling) No, I did not. I absolutely have nothing… to do with… the death of Garrett Philipps.

“No” is a good answer. When “No” is not alone we count each word that follows weakening the response. 

“No, I did not” in response to “You didn’t jump out of the window and injured your ankle trying to escape?” is not a reliable denial, as the denial is parroted. “jump out of the window” is also missing.

“I absolutely have nothing… to do with… the death of Garrett Philipps” is an unreliable denial. He said “absolutely have nothing… to do” instead of “didn’t”, violating component two of a reliable denial and then he substituted “kill” or “murder” or “strangle” with the softer “with the death”, violating component three of a reliable denial.

Note that he is unable or unwilling to say the words “murder”, “kill” or “strangle”.

Moreover, he adds emphasis to the answer through the word “absolutely” showing a need to persuade.

An excerpt from an interview released to 20/20 after the sentence.

Journalist: At the center of this case there is a dead child, is a child you knew quite well, what do you say to Tandy to his little brother Erin who was subbing in the court room this morning?

Nick Hillary: I’m extremely, extremely sorry for their loss and I wish I could have been of more comfort to them.

In Statement Analysis, we flag the word “sorry” or “I’m sorry” any time and in any place it appears, for whatever reason. “I’m sorry” is often an indicator of a form of regret that usually enters the language of the guilty. 

ANALYSIS CONCLUSION

Deception Indicated.

He didn’t issue at any time a denial of the action and showed multiple times a need to persuade. He cannot rely on the “Wall of truth”, an impenetrable psychological barrier that commonly leads an innocent de facto to few words as an innocent who “didn’t do it” has no need to convince anyone of anything.

He has guilty knowledge of what happened to Garrett Phillips.

He got away with murder.

On April 5, 2019, in the Dominican Republic, Francisco Polo Mateo, 25, sexually abused and murdered Yarinelis Domínguez Rijo, his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter. He attacked the girl after the victim’s mother, Jenifer Rijo Rojas, kicked him out of their family home and filed a harassment complaint.

The victim, Yarinelis Domínguez Rijo

Yarinelis’s body was found on a bed of the apartment she shared with her mother. After the murder Francisco Polo Mateo wrote the following message on the wall: “It pains me that I will not be there to see you suffer too, but I am happy because of what I did to you”.

The message on the wall

Annunci