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Nathan Mistillis follow-up interview

Monday, October 15, 2012 – 10:30 a.m.

Nathan Mistillis works at Pearce Brokers, another real estate company in Oxford. Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed Mr. Mistillis at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded with witness’s knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Nathan Mistillis

Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in to talk to us again, Nate. Would you state your name and address for the record?

Nathan Mistillis: Happy to help if I can. I’m Nathan Mistillis, 511 Meadow Lane.

Detective Parker: Since the last time we talked to you, we’ve been told that Annette Wyatt was planning to come to work at Pearce Brokers. Have you heard anything about that?

Nathan Mistillis: You don’t say. Well, that would’ve been interesting.

Detective Murphy: How so?

Nathan Mistillis: I doubt Jeff Harte would’ve been too happy about that. Are you sure she was going to leave the Harte Agency?

Detective Parker: That’s what we were told. Do you think it’s possible?

Nathan Mistillis: Anything’s possible, and I know Rita would’ve been happy to have her, but I don’t know. Annette worked with Jeff for a long time. Why would she leave?

Detective Parker: Why do you think?

Nathan Mistillis: No idea. Maybe she was trying to put the screws to Jeff.

Detective Murphy: To do what?

Nathan Mistillis: Who knows? Maybe she wanted more money.

Detective Parker: How would you have felt about her coming to work with you?

Nathan Mistillis: It would’ve been fine with me, but I don’t think she was. Why would she? She’d been with Harte for years. Buyers and sellers knew they could find her there. Why would she throw that away?

Detective Murphy: We talked before about Fred Jacobs, who told us that Annette had sent him to Pearce Brokers to buy his house instead of working with her. Do you remember that?

Nathan Mistillis: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: Did you know there are quite a few clients that ended up buying through Pearce recently even though they were already working with Harte?

Nathan Mistillis: That happens sometimes.

Detective Murphy: Do you think Annette referred all of them?

Nathan Mistillis: I don’t think so. Why would she do that?

Detective Murphy: You tell us.

Nathan Mistillis: I don’t think she would. Sure, sometimes we all refer people if there’s a conflict of interest of some kind, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Detective Murphy: So if those clients told us that Rita contacted them directly and persuaded them to buy through Pearce instead of Harte, how do you think that happened?

Nathan Mistillis: Rita has a lot of contacts in this town. She could’ve heard about potential clients from anyone.

Detective Parker: Does that happen a lot?

Nathan Mistillis: What’s a lot? Word of mouth is a big factor in our industry, so we hear about potential clients from a lot of different sources.

Detective Parker: Do you think Annette could’ve been telling Rita who to contact?

Nathan Mistillis: I guess she could have. She would know about all of Harte’s clients. But like I said, why would she?

Detective Parker: Maybe as a gesture of good will, if she was planning to start working at Pearce?

Nathan Mistillis: Even if she was – which I doubt – why do that? It wouldn’t help her reputation at all, and in this business, reputation is everything.

Detective Murphy: So you don’t believe this claim that Annette was sending clients to Pearce and was about to come work there?

Nathan Mistillis: It sounds fishy to me, but you can never predict what people are going to do.

Detective Murphy: If Annette had been planning to join Pearce but then changed her mind, how do you think Rita would react?

Nathan Mistillis: I don’t know. She wouldn’t be happy, but what could she do about it really.

Detective Parker: We’ve heard Rita has a bad temper sometimes.

Nathan Mistillis: I guess that’s true.

Detective Parker: Do you think she would’ve been angry if Annette changed her mind?

Nathan Mistillis: Well, yeah, but if you’re asking me if Rita would’ve killed Annette over that, then no. When Rita gets mad, she yells. She doesn’t get violent.

Detective Parker: What do you think Jeff Harte would’ve done if someone had told him Annette was sending his clients to Pearce because she was about to go work there?

Nathan Mistillis: He would’ve been pissed, and who could blame him? But if you’re asking me whether he killed her, I don’t know. I can see how he might have wanted to, if Annette really was doing all that, but I don’t know if he really would. That’s no small thing, killing a person. I would think. I don’t have any firsthand experience, of course.

Detective Murphy: Of course. You mentioned before that you know Elliott Owens. Do you know whether he had any kind of relationship with Annette?

Nathan Mistillis: I doubt it. She’d never go out with a guy like him. Have you met him?

Detective Murphy: What about a business relationship?

Nathan Mistillis: Oh, like working on her computer or something? I don’t know. Wait. Are you saying he was working for the Harte Agency?

Detective Murphy: Would that be a problem?

Nathan Mistillis: I bet Rita would think so. And Harte too.

Detective Parker: So if Elliott was working for both companies and Annette found out about it, what do you think Elliott would’ve done?

Nathan Mistillis: I don’t know the guy very well. He comes in, works on the computers, and leaves.

Detective Murphy: Come on. You have to be able to read people in your work. You must have some sense of what kind of guy he is.

Nathan Mistillis: If I had to guess, I’d say he’d probably beg Annette not to tell anyone.

Detective Murphy: And if she refused?

Nathan Mistillis: I really don’t know. He doesn’t seem like the type to kill someone, if that’s what you’re getting at. He seems too … passive for that. But that’s just my opinion. Maybe he has a side I haven’t seen.

Detective Parker: You must keep up with the scuttlebutt in the industry.

Nathan Mistillis: I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t.

Detective Parker: What’s the going theory about who killed Annette Wyatt?

Nathan Mistillis: Nothing juicy. Most people think she walked in on a burglar or something.

Detective Parker: What do you think?

Nathan Mistillis: I don’t think that’s it. I think people just don’t have any other ideas.

Detective Parker: Do you have other ideas?

Nathan Mistillis: Nope. Lucky for me, I don’t need one. That’s your job.

Detective Murphy: We’re working on it. Well, thanks again for your time, Nate. You’ll let us know if you hear any other theories that sound more promising?

Nathan Mistillis: You bet. That’d be a great story I could tell clients, if I helped solve a murder.

Detective Murphy: Yes, well, anything we can do to help your career.

Interview ends - 10:53 a.m.

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