Ryan Hillegas Has Solid Alibi On 11/3/05
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth—Sherlock Holmes
Now that Kathleen Zellner has filed her long awaited motion on June 7th, 2017, and in it declared Ryan Hillegas to be Teresa Halbach’s killer, going forward, we can all expect that the scenario she described detailing how Ryan Hillegas planted Steven Avery’s blood in Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 to come under intense scrutiny. Briefly, this scenario describes that on November 3rd, 2005, Hillegas entered Steven Avery’s trailer, finds Avery’s blood in his bathroom sink, and then plants it in Teresa Halbach’s 1999 Toyota RAV4.
Zellner has clearly put everything on the line here by asking the public and the court to believe an impossibly outlandish scenario. Given the massive publicity that this case has already generated, much of it by Zellner herself, if she is proven to be incorrect, she stands to be humiliated before the world. Therefore, the question of the hour must be, “Is she right?”
Producing an alibi for Ryan Hillegas on November 3rd, 2005 around the time that Zellner indicates he would have been in Steven Avery’s trailer would be one way to prove Zellner wrong. This might seem like an impossible task given the amount of time that has elapsed since 2005, but Ryan actually does have a solid, ironclad alibi leading almost right up to the time he’s supposed to in Avery’s trailer. I know this because his alibi can be inferred from a report written by Officer Leslie Lemieux of Calumet County Sheriff’s Department.
Teresa Halbach was murdered on October 31, 2005, and when her mother Karen called to report her missing on November 3rd, 2005 at around 5:00pm, it was Leslie Lemieux who took the report (pp 1-4 of CASO) by telephone. After taking Karen Halbach’s report, Lemieux reports phoning Mark Wiegert who then asks LeMieux to meet him at his office. Weigert’s report (pp 5-8 of CASO) indicates that he then began looking into matters himself by first making a phone call at 5:55pm to Craig Sippel, and then another one at 6:00pm to Steven Schmitz. It is presumed that Mark Wiegert’s office is located in the Calumet County Sheriff’s department.
After Wiegert phones Schmitz, he reports that he leaves with Lemieux to meet Karen and Tom Halbach at Teresa’s apartment in New Holstein. Neither Lemieux or Wiegert report when they left Calumet or when the arrived in Hilbert, WI, but the trip must have been initiated sometime after 6:00pm. According to Google maps, the driving time between Calumet County and Hilbert is about 10 minutes which would put them at Teresa’s apartment at about 6:10pm.
When they arrive, Scott Bloedorn is there along with Tom and Karen Halbach. Though neither Lemieux or Wiegert mention Ryan Hillegas by name, it can be deduced that he is there too because of the following entry in Weigert’s report:
SCOTT allowed us to enter the residence and showed us TERESA’s room. SCOTT and several of their mutual friends had located TERESA’s most recent cell phone activity report on her computer. They printed a copy for us, which showed the last cell phone activity at 2:27 p.m. on Monday, 10/31105.
It was Ryan who testified in court that he printed off the copy of Teresa’s cell phone activity after guessing Teresa’s username and password so this gives Ryan a solid alibi for November 3rd, 2005 at least until 6:10pm, the time when it can be estimated that Lemieux and Wiegert arrived at Teresa’s apartment.
But it hardly seems likely that Ryan would suddenly get up and leave as soon as the cops arrived. How suspicious would that look? How long does it take to take a report on a missing person? I’m guessing that Wiegert and Lemieux were there for at least thirty minutes, and if Ryan was there the entire time, which would now be 6:40pm, he has precious little time to fit into Zellner’s timeline for when the planting of the blood evidence in Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 occurred.
It is Kathleen Zellner’s contention that Ryan Hillegas entered Steven Avery’s trailer after Steven left to go to Menards home supply store with his brother Chuck at around 7:30 pm. Before Avery left for Menards, according to the motion, he had bled into his bathroom sink. Because blood coagulates within fifteen to twenty-eight minutes, Ryan would only have had only a very narrow window of opportunity to obtain the blood while it still in a liquid state and thus still plantable. By the way, Zellner has proof, apparently, that Steven Avery checked out of Menards at 8:04pm on November 3rd, 2005. She also estimates the time he left his trailer to go there:
He did not clean the blood out of his sink prior to leaving the trailer at approximately 7:30 p.m. to go to Menards with his brother Chuck. (Affidavit of Steven Avery, P-C Exhibit 4). Menards in Manitowoc was an approximately 23 minute drive from the Avery property. (Affidavit of Steven Avery, P-C Exhibit 4). Mr. Avery and Chuck checked out at Menards at 8:06 p.m. (Menards Surveillance Video, attached and incorporated herein as P-C Exhibit 5).
This timeline might still work for Zellner’s case, but just by a razor thin margin. If Wiegert and Lemieux only stayed at Teresa’s apartment in Hilbert for the relatively short period of thirty minutes and then left around 6:40pm, and if Ryan departed only after they left, he had, according to Google maps, about a forty-five minute drive to Two Rivers, where the Avery Salvage property is located.
This could put Ryan as Avery Salvage, but all of the generous assumptions I’ve made (in favor of Zellner’s motion would have to dead on because the window of opportunity for Ryan or anyone else to plant blood closes between 7:30 pm and the half hour or so it takes blood to coagulate. If the blood wasn’t planted by 8:00 pm, in other words at the very latest, it couldn’t have been planted the way Zellner describes in her motion.
But this isn’t necessarily the only time constraint one can infer from reading the motion. Zellner’s motion indicates that Ryan appeared on the Avery property at around 7:30 pm:
At approximately 7:30 p.m., Mr. Avery was exiting the Avery property onto Highway 14 7 when he observed taillights of a vehicle close to the front of his trailer. (Affidavit of Steven Avery, P-C Exhibit 4; Menards Surveillance Video, P-C Exhibit 5).
If the lights that Avery saw were indeed those of a vehicle drive by Ryan Hillegas, Ryan had about fifty minutes to get to the Avery Salvage Property in Two Rivers from Hilbert. The drive, according to google maps, takes about forty-five minutes, so this gives Ryan only five minutes of leeway.
Ryan most probably does have an irrefutable alibi up to at least a half hour of when Zellner puts him on Avery’s property. For the half hour or so in question, that between 6:40 pm and 7:30 pm, A lot of seemingly possible thing would have to go right including:
- All of Ryan’s friends, or, at least those people in attendance at Teresa and Scott’s apartment would remember the sequence of events that took place between approximately 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm on November 3rd, 2005 with great precision, being particularly mindful of when Ryan Hillegas left to go somewhere.
- If Ryan did leave sometime after 6:40 pm, these people, who have heretofore remained silent, would have to be willing to offer testimony despite knowing that they would be helping to incriminate a man who they do not believe killed Teresa Halbach.
We also have to consider that things didn’t go exactly as outlined here. What if there was proof that Mark Wiegert and Leslie Lemieux stayed at the residence for more than hour, and that Ryan was there the whole time? What if Karen Halbach, Tom Halbach, and all of the friends of either Ryan, Teresa or Scott report that Ryan never left the house until the next morning, or that some or all of them went out for drinks somewhere? What do Ryan’s cell phone records reveal?
My prediction is that Ryan is going to have an alibi for the time that Zellner says that he was at Avery Salvage Yard planting evidence, and that this could mean big problems for efforts to free Steven Avery.
On a personal note, to my loyal readers, particularly, I do realize that this post might make it seem like I’m disloyal to the cause of Steven Avery. But the truth is that sooner or later someone is going to connect all of these dots anyway. Also, I promised Ryan Hillegas that if I ever found any evidence whatsoever that he had an alibi, I would be happy to publish it. So, I have to honor that.
Additionally, at some point we also need to acknowledge that everyone is fallible, including Kathleen Zellner. She mentions somewhere in her motion that Ryan had worked with an accomplice at some point. How do we know, then, that it wasn’t this accomplice who planted the blood? Where was Mike Halbach when Ryan and Scott were talking with police at Teresa’s residence on the 3rd of November?
Might it have been Mike who did this little favor for Ryan? If Mike had helped Ryan in any way with the murder of Teresa, or even in covering up the murder, their fates would have been intertwined, and Ryan would have had leverage. In fact, why wouldn’t Ryan send Mike on this errand? If we are to suppose that Ryan killed Teresa and then initiated the frame of Steven AVery, and then led the search for the person he murdered, we have no other conclusion to reach but that Ryan Hillegas is a supremely diabolical individual interested in preserving his own fate at the expense of whoever might get in the way. If Mike had been spotted driving the RAV4, or had been stopped by law enforcement, Ryan, at least in his own mind, would be off the hook. At the very least it would have been one accusing the other, with the possible advantage going to Ryan since he wasn’t the one driving the vehicle. If Ryan was a manipulative Svengali, who’s to say what he might have been able to get Mike to do.
Another question is where was Teresa’s car when Wiegert and Lemieux were meeting with Teresa’s parents? If the tail lights that Steven and Chuck Avery saw on their property were those of 1999 Toyota RAV4, and if Kathleen Zellner’s theory about Ryan planting evidence is correct, that would mean that Ryan would have driven straight from Teresa’s apartment in Hilbert in said RAV4. This seems wildly implausible.
Correction: In an earlier posting of this article, I mistakenly cited New Holstein as the location where Scott Bloedorn and Teresa Halbach lived. Because New Holstein is about twenty minutes further away from Calumet county than Hilbert, I had to make adjustments in the timeline. For example, Wiegert and Lemieux, in the original scenario (New Holstein being their destination) arrived at Scott and Teresa’s apartment at 6:30 pm instead of 6:10. In the revised scenario, Ryan Hillegas has about twenty more minutes of leeway to get to Avery Salvage Yard. I regret the error.