My following interviews all followed the same format. I went to Graham’s office. He rapped about inane bullshit I recorded just to pretend like I was interested. We talked about the case. He always slipped in some quick little fact which didn’t jive with his perceived innocence. I followed the scent and he dropped some biscuits of intrigue on the trail before he climbed up a tree and started shitting down on me with sexual innuendos and passive-aggressive insults.
Cut to the next time he started dribbling out nuggets, drunk at his work desk with porn tabs clearly visible on his laptop…
ME: Have you met with the families of the victims since you were released?
GRAHAM: The harelipped one’s mom wrote me a letter. Nothing else.
This was a little drop from Graham. Zack Taylor did have a harelip, but this was not public knowledge. It’s not something that was announced or publicized during the case and this was long before the days of Facebook, there weren’t photos of Zack ever released where you could really tell that he had a harelip.
I only knew this information because I was provided a copy of the autopsy report of the victims once I got deeper into the podcast, and it was mentioned in Zack’s report. It’s entirely possible that Graham was granted a copy of the autopsy report at some point, but I honestly wondered if he could even read harelip, or cleft lip on a piece of paper if you handed it to him. He seemed functionally illiterate, even though he was technically a professor.
ME: Zack’s mom?
GRAHAM: I think so. She said something about yadda, yadda, Jesus, yadda, yadda, God, yadda, yadda, yadda.
ME: That’s interesting. I didn’t think it was public knowledge that Zack had a cleft lip, or harelip, and it sounds like it was only slight. You could only see it if you were right in his face. You couldn’t really tell in pictures.
GRAHAM: If this guy knows something, it’s that he sees a harelip when he sees one.
ME: So just the one letter from Zack’s mom?
GRAHAM: What the fuck is a harelip anyway? Like a gimp, or something?
Back to a tangent.
Graham left on a mini-book tour around New England shortly after that interview. It gave me some time to regroup and outline my series.
I got a call from a local number I didn’t recognize on a Wednesday, well after midnight.
ME (extremely tired): Hello?
GRAHAM (extremely drunk): Baby girl…I’m in Massa-Massa-Chooooooo-Setts.
ME (extremely disturbed): Who is this?
GRAHAM (extremely slurred): They say it’s supposed to be beautiful up here in the fall, but it smells like rotten apple shit to me.
ME (extremely worried): Graham? How did you get my personal number (I had given him a Google voice number I set up)
GRAHAM (extremely aroused): Your unc! Got your addy too. I was watchin your hot ass the other night, watchin that show about dragons.
ME (extremely pissed at my uncle): Don’t fucking call me or talk to me.
I hung up the phone. Ugh. I wanted to shower at that point.
It wouldn’t be the only eerie call I would get in that 24-hour period. One from a 646 (New York City) area code, in the middle of the day after the night of the Graham drunk call from New England.