Examining the night Hannah Graham disappeared; $100,000 reward offered

The walk Hannah Graham took

WASHINGTON, September 27, 2014 — What we know is that on that Friday evening, Hannah Graham, like many other college students, spent the beginning of her weekend at local parties.

grand marc

The first party was at the Grand Marc Apartments, an off campus complex where many UVA students live.

Camden Plaza Apartments
Camden Plaza Apartments

Hannah walked to the end of the Grand Marc Apartment complex turning left onto Sadler St where at the corner of Sadler and 14th St she went into the Camden Plaza Apartments for the second party of the night.

The walk was only .1 mile and would have taken only about 3 minutes. The walk would be along a streetlight lit sidewalk and past additional apartments.

McGrady's Pub
McGrady’s Pub

The last time Hannah’s friends see her is at 11:50 pm when she leaves the Camden Plaza Apartments. Some people at the party thought she was heading home while others thought she was going to another party. By this time most people at the party, including Hannah had been drinking for hours and were intoxicated.

Hannah would have left the party and passed the street where she had been attending the first party almost immediately, instead continuing down 14th street.

Fourteenth Street is a well lit residential street which lies just outside of UVA.

This is where the first mystery of Hannah’s evening happens.

No one has reported seeing Hannah until 12:45 am Saturday morning when she is picked up by the security video at McGrady’s Pub.

READ ALSO: Update: Hannah Graham: Five missing in Charlottesville in five years

It would be most logical to assume that she walked down 14th street until the light at Grady Ave. arriving at McGrady’s Pub, but there are multiple problems with this assumption.

First, that walk is .7 mile taking about 15 minutes but it took Hannah almost an hour to arrive at the Pub.

Secondly, she would have been walking down Grady Ave. and arriving at the Irish pub from the West heading East but the video shows her come from the East.

Graham seems to walk past the outdoor patio of the Pub into the parking lot next door but then after almost a minute and a half comes back to the bar and walks up the ramp to the outdoor patio and then exits down the ramp on the other side and proceeds to walk back down the sidewalk in the direction that she had originally come from.

Shell gas station
Shell gas station

At 12:55 am, Hannah is caught on a camera mounted at a Shell gas station on the 600 block of Preston Ave.

Graham is seen on the sidewalk on the side of the street across from the gas station. This puts her across two two-lane streets.

Hannah is clearly seen jogging although no one else ever comes into view chasing her.

The time that it took her to get to this location makes it clear that she walked directly down Preston Ave. from McGrady’s.

Although it is only speculation, it is possible that she was jogging because right before Shell station, the sidewalk passes through an unpopulated industrial area culminating in passing under an overpass. In the middle of the night, this area could make a pedestrian uncomfortable.

Five minutes after the Shell station, Graham arrived at the well lit and populated downtown walking mall. This area is lined with shops and restaurants.

A witness came forward and reported seeing Graham walk down 2nd Street past Fellini’s Restaurant onto the Mall.

At 1:06 am on the downtown mall, Hannah Graham is seen walking past Sal’s Caffe Italia and again past Tuel Jewelers at 1:08 am.

There are other people walking along the area and there is a white male who appears to follow Graham briefly. This male came forward to the police and reported that he had followed her because he had feared for her safety. He claimed that he had followed her until she ran into a heavy set black male who put his arm around her and they seemed to know each other.

It was reported that he described this male as having a close shaved head and a goatee.

Twenty seconds before Graham is seen walking east in front of Sal’s, the man now known as Jesse Matthew is seen walking west.

Somewhere along this pedestrian mall, Hannah Graham’s thoughts and whereabouts become almost impossible to decipher.

At 1:20 am, a text message is sent from Hannah’s phone to her friend’s telling them that she got lost going to a party. The message says that she is near her apartment around 14th and Wertland Streets. It does not seem like she was anywhere near this location when this message was sent. No one knows if Graham is the person who actually sent this message or not and if she was, why would she have provided such misleading information.

Between 1:30 and 2 am Hannah Graham was seen with Jesse Matthew. There are differing reports on if Hannah actually entered the Tempo Restaurant or not although the reports that she never did is coming from the owner of the restaurant who may not want to explain what an underage student was doing in his bar.

Matthew claims to have purchased two beers, one for himself and one for Graham, which is supported by a receipt, and then left in his car alone.

The bar owner told the Associated Press that Graham was barely unable to walk by herself and that the two walked off together with Matthew’s arm around her for support.

Was Hannah intoxicated from the parties she had been attending or was there something put in the beer that she received from Matthew? She had managed to walk 2 miles to the Tempo Restaurant on her own with video evidence showing her stable on her feet.

Also, the jewelry store is located only 2 minutes from the Tempo Restaurant yet it took her almost 30 minutes before she showed up there with Matthew unable to stand unsupported.

Matthew is back in Charlottesville after having walked into the police station, telling them that he left the downtown mall alone and that he wanted a lawyer before leaving the station.

He apparently drove to Galveston, Texas and slept for at least two nights on the beach before being reported as suspicious and his license plates revealed him to be wanted.

Matthew will have a bond hearing on October 2, 2014. Until then, he is being held without bond.

The family of Hannah Graham is hoping Jesse Matthew reveals information that will help them find her because at this time, the police chief has revealed that they have absolutely “no clue” where Hannah is right now. Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Graham.

If you have information, contact the Charlottesville police at 434-970-3280. Police are asking anyone with property near the area to please search for anything that might offer a clue into Hannah Graham’s disappearance.



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  • George Armstrong Bluster

    Fantastic. I lived in Charlottesville for more than six years, some of that time near the route above. C-ville’s changed somewhat since I was there, but the basics remain the same. Charlottesville is laid out on somewhat hilly terrain, and the route that Graham took, in the middle of the night, in an intoxicated state, is a HIKE. I’m starting to think that it was highly likely she was drugged, if not by Matthew, then by someone else.

  • John Galloway

    The fact that the suspect was once implicated in a rape charge that caused his dismissal from college and its football program might be a motivating factor in how he might proceed in future sexual encounters. If he felt the woman was unjustified in reporting him then contempt for women as a whole might follow. And if that left him still prone to force sex against a woman’s will, perhaps better yet in a weak impaired state, then eliminating her ability to report him and thus again ruining his current status and plans would motivate his actions.
    It hasn’t been revealed so far he’s had normal relationships with women: long-term girl friends, ex-wives or children for a man in his 30’s. When he was a cab driver he could have bemoaned that had he not been kicked out of Liberty University he’d be in a better career. And as a cab driver he could have preyed on college women more easily than a stranger. Therefore, investigators need to check if he could be a suspect in those other unsolved missing person cases.

    • BunE22

      AFAIK from following this case is that it was a Christian college and the rules were no contact with the opposite sex. Jesse said it was consensual, she says it wasn’t. When questioned though, they both gave the same version of events so no charges were brought against him. But, he broke the rules so he was expelled. No information on whether or not she was expelled too.

      In the one and only interview his grandmother gave, she said Jesse had had a live-in girlfriend but they broke up and she didn’t know any particulars about it.

      Numerous people that live in, or have lived in Charlottesville say that students hung out at The Corner, townies at the pedestrian mall. So if he wanted to take advantage of students, why not hang out at The Corner instead of the mall?

  • BunE22

    I’m confused. The Tuel Jewelers video is the one where Hannah and Jesse are walking together and at a decent clip. This was before they got to Tempo, correct? So the only “evidence” that Hannah couldn’t walk on her own was from a Tempo employee that was carding people at the door, right?

    Since there are no tables outside of Tempo, my money is on Hannah having been inside for those 30 minutes. Of course Tempo is going to deny that, and unless a patron has a phone pic of Hannah inside, the owner can deny all he wants. He claimed there was a patron with a similar top inside but it wasn’t Hannah. Sounds fishy.

    Unless there’s forensic evidence placing Hannah in Jesse’s car or apartment it’s quite possible they did go their separate ways and someone else got Hannah. Like the white guy that had been creepily following her. Or someone else. There were 3 assaults on the streets that weekend.

    Nothing explains who, or what, Hannah was looking for that night. Curiouser and curiouser.

    • michel-palmeri

      yes, I agree. the gaps in time pointed out in the article are particularly baffling. My theory (personal) is that the text sent to her friends at 1:20am was actually typed much earlier in the night, either before she got to O’Grady’s or right after, and only transmitted at 1:20am because she had forgotten to finish typing or hitting “send”. The FBI said something to the effect that the text was “incorrect”. Or, other theory has it (as others here have stated) that she was out to score drugs, that would explain the non-contact with her friends and the multiple destinations. Just my take though.

    • michel-palmeri

      see my comment below. a couple of possible explanations.

    • sixecho

      You can’t trust Tempo. Jesse and a witness both put Hannah inside Tempo. Unlike Tempo, we know Hannah was able to walk quite some distance for quite some time before arriving at Tempo with Jesse. She wasn’t just ‘another drunk girl who can’t walk’ on a Friday night.Take what Tempo says with a grain of salt. They have much to loose IMO.

  • michel-palmeri

    wow. good article. first time I have seen it broken down like this.

  • Ran Dome

    Any VA lawyers here? Anyone have experience on what evidence is typically presented in Abduction with intent to defile cases? Defile (rape) seems an odd charge to throw in with Abduction especially when we only know she is missing. The suspect has already admitted to being with her, so I would assume if they found something like her hair in his car or house that would be explainable from their contact earlier and not imply rape. What in the eyes of the court would they have had to find to warrant the defile charge?

    • Gregor Mendel

      defile is not rape. it is sexually molest etc. they would not have to find anything it is just quite obvious that he had a sexual intention not robbery or whatever..

  • Gregor Mendel

    i heard al sharpton is outraged by this and is going to have a march and a rally…NOT!!!

  • Martin

    It’s a less than 200 foot walk from Sal’s surveillance to the Tuel surveillance. 45 seconds tops at her clips in both videos. She probably slowed down to check her phone to find that her previously typed text hadn’t sent when Matthew swooped in. There have been recent reports that her last text went out at 1:06am, not 1:20am. Also, rather likely that her phone died before she left Temple at 1:45. All the more vulnerable she would have been.

  • anon

    Your map should address Hannah approaching McGradys pub from the opposite direction. Watch the video again. She did not come from the direction your map proposes.

  • Amadeus

    The hour after she left the 2nd party she may have spent looking for a 3rd party,didn’t find it, got disoriented, texted that she was lost , didn’t send the text or did send it but it didn’t arrive until after 1 am . (That’s happened to me before, i.e., text doesn’t arrive for a long time) and remember they don’t have her cell phone to look and see when she really sent it. Also there was a 2005 abduction and sexual assault of a young woman in Fairfax, VA (she lived) and rape and murder of Morgan Harrington VA Tech student in 2009 around Charlottesville (they found her body 4 months later out in the country 10 miles away in a creek bed after the snows had melted). The perp’s DNA from Morgan and from the gal in Fairfax was a match or pretty close. Artist’s rendition of the perp looks a lot like Jesse Matthew. I think Jesse Leroy Matthew is a guy, so called gentle giant (where have we heard that before), who can’t control his sexual impulses and was really ticked he got the boot from LU. He also had 40 hours to dispose of Hannah’s body before she was reportedr missing. He likes water, fishing….and he knows the area very well. (Probably why he headed for an ocean a long way away.. Anyway look in and near the streams in the woods near Charlottesville that are hard to get to but not a s hard as to reach where someone dumped Morgan. Hannah was 5 ft 11 in tall, a bigger girl than Morgan he would have had to throw over his shoulder in the dark to dispose of and get back to his apartment before dawn..

  • Matt Zenith

    I think she might have typed in her text message earlier but forget to send it, and sent it by accident later…

    • sixecho

      Yeah, she was on 14th and Wertlands earlier in the night. I think you are correct.

  • dmagicp

    There are a few things about this case that are perplexing and I hope some of you can chime in and discuss it. First, the male that was seen waiting in the doorway at the mall. Okay he is obviously walking in front of Hannah, then stops and waits for her to walk past him. He claims that he was following her to make sure she was alright. What does not make sense to me is why he did not just ask her and talk to her right there at the mall in a brightly lit area with numerous people around. Why follow her without saying anything? Then he goes to the police station and tells them that he saw her with a black male with short hair and assumes that she is okay and leaves. So who is this male with short hair? I have heard people say that the short hair description was a mistake reported by the media. So lets say that this is true, and that the male was really describing Jesse Matthew. If this is true, then the male’s story makes even less sense. We can all see that from the mall surveillance video, that Matthew was walking behind the first male and Hannah and the second video from the jewelry store shows the male walking pretty closely behind Hannah. So how could he have seen her with Matthew at this point if Matthew was walking behind them? There is just something about this guy’s story that doesn’t add up to me. Also, in the video the first male is clearly in front of Hannah, stops, and seemingly waits for her to walk past him. How did he know that she was behind him? Did he see her at some other point, or what? I really hope that the police are still looking into this man’s claims and not jut focusing entirely on Matthew.

    • sixecho

      I think that guy should be suspect number one as Jesse is suspect Zero. Hannah walked down Preston and made a right on 2nd street to head into downtown mall. This area in close proximity to the area in the Downtown mall where Hannah is first captured on camera. I find it unlikely that the guy, in such short notice, was able to notice that she was in distress…then walk fast enough to pass her in order to wait for her incognito and then follow her when she finally passes him. He still follows her even after Jesse meets up with her. Very suspicious IMO. Also, lets not forget…Hannah really didn’t look distressed at that point. She walked with purpose.

      • Bill

        I hope the reason they are not focusing on the male seen waiting in the doorway is (1) he freely came in to the police and answered all their questions; (2) he has no criminal record; (3) he has an alibi that fully accounts for his whereabouts after what we see in the video (for example, he was out with his wife and friends that night and they vouch for him); and (4) he’s not running anywhere to hide.

        He’s not the guy. It’s Matthew.

        • sixecho

          I hope so too. I’ve heard it mentioned that the male seen waiting may not even be the guy who came into the police station. Now, I agree that in all likelihood, Matthew did it and Hannah is no longer with us. If that is the case then there is nothing more we can do here but wait for justice to be served.

          Now there is a small chance Matthew is innocent and that is what I’m focused on now because that would mean Hannah may still be alive and we need to get to her. If the guy seen hiding and stalking Hannah is the perp then we must realize that we may not be dealing with your average perp. He may be the real deal serial killer. Smart, bold and extremely good at deception. In this case, he could be the type to be calm when the heat is on. Be a family man while Hannah is hidden is the family minivan. I know it’s a stretch but I also believe it is a possibility. Especially considering the pattern of missing young women in the area.

      • Pumple Stiltskin

        Don’t you think maybe there are a lot of predators hanging about that area at that time of night? Not so mysterious really.

        • sixecho

          True, but his behavior was stalkerish as well as creepy.

  • sixecho

    Great article, Susan. One of the best out. Very informative.

  • Findhannah

    The first video I saw of Hannah with Jesse, after the bar apparently.. Not the doorway one… The creepy white guy was still following them in the video. It makes no sense to me why this has not been noticed. He lied about the bald head and then about not following her. That’s a guy who should also be in custody. And we never got his name. Just my opinion

    • Pumple Stiltskin

      I think the police probably have it under control. Think about this: do you believe only one “creep” dude would be hanging around at nighttime in a downtown area? There were probably others trying to talk to her, too. This is why we leave this work to the police.

  • Doctor

    I believe she was drugged at one of the parties with rohypnol, which can cause excitability. That would explain her running a

    • sixecho

      Check out google maps for the Shell gas station on Preston Ave. It’s more likely that she was running to quickly get through the underpass that would be a very dark and dangerous place a night. I think it speaks volumes that she was aware enough of her surroundings to run. I think that was a good sign. Now, as for her being drugged at an earlier party. Totally possible. Especially in college.

  • Amadeus

    HARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The man suspected of abducting 18-year-old Hannah Graham from the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month is forensically linked to the 2009 disappearance of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, sources close to the investigation confirmed to CBS 6 reporter Laura French.