The murder of Greg Witman has been a case which has fascinated me ever since listening to the podcast Serial. While only mentioned in one episode by the presenter, it really struck me as being deeply upsetting and traumatic for the family. Why? Greg was thirteen at the time and his older brother Zach, who was fifteen, was prosecuted for his murder.
Let’s take a look at a simplified timeline:
- On October 2, 1998, in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, Greg arrives home from school at 3:10 pm. Zach had remained at home that day because he felt unwell. Their parents were at work.
- Greg’s friend calls the Witman home asking for him at 3:15 pm. Zach answers the phone upstairs and tells her that Greg had not yet come home, which he believed to be true. It was a short conversation.
- Zach hears a thud and goes downstairs to find his brother in the laundry room with stab wounds to his back and neck. He calls 911 at 3:17 pm. He is ordered by police to move his brother’s body, and tells the operator that he can see inside his brother’s throat.
- Emergency responders arrive at 3:25 pm, followed by police five minutes later.
- Zach is charged with first-degree murder on October 10.
Here are some things that don’t add up: