Interview With Nathan Crosby, Hero of Buried Secrets

September 4 2013

Q First of all I must say I was shocked that you, an attorney, would enter a home without the owner’s consent. Is that routine for you?

A No. I’d never done anything like that before.

Q So what drove you to do it?

A (Nathan shakes his head and sighs.) Schmidt had abused the justice system for a long time. I’d been working for various clients for five years, hoping to catch him in the act of bribing convicted men to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. I failed again and again, so I changed my strategy. I decided to search his home for evidence.

Q Why would Schmidt bribe them to lie like that?

A Schmidt specialized in defending men accused of rape, perverts from wealthy families. Here’s how he worked: he’d persuade an already convicted man to confess to the rape. In return for his confession, the convict’s family would receive a large sum from the actual perpetrator. Schmidt was really good at making sure all the stories sounded valid. After I failed to get any evidence against him, I changed strategies.

Q Wait a minute. You’re saying Schmidt convinced men who were going to be locked up for a long time to lie about crimes they didn’t commit?

A Schmidt’s clients had wealthy parents, people who would do anything to keep their sons from going to prison. And the convict’s family never asks any questions.

Q I can see that disturbs you.

A Doesn’t that disturb you? Do you understand why I wanted to get the guy?

Q Yes, of course it’s a noble cause, making sure the guilty man goes to prison. But what drove you to take up that cause, when your risky methods could land you in jail too?

A That’s personal.

Q I’m guessing someone you know was hurt by Schmidt.

A Let’s change the subject.

Q Okay. New subject. How did you and Kate wind up in the same house that night?

A That’s a good story. (Nathan sits back and laughs out loud.) I’d been hiding in the attic for about an hour, when Schmidt drove out of the driveway. I heard a noise, and when I went to check, we ran into each other right there in Schmidt’s hall. Kate ruined my timing. If she’d stayed home that night, I’d have been gone long before the murder.

Q What would have happened to Kate, if she’d shown up and you hadn’t been there?

A I don’t even want to think about what might have happened to her without me.

Q So you two fell in love that night?

A No. In fact we were more like enemies. I just happened to witness the way her ex treated her and did what I had to do.

Q You defended her and then took her to your condo.

A I had to keep track of her.

Q Why?

A To be sure she wouldn’t tell the authorities what we saw and heard that night. People fall apart after witnessing something like that. If either of us told anyone, we could both go to jail. Or get obliterated by Schmidt’s goons.

Q And when did you fall in love?

A (He sighs.) You could say I fell in love with her the first time I met her… in eighth grade. She teased me unmercifully. (He grins.) And still does.

Q One more question, please. Why were you there that night, risking jail and your reputation?

A You’ll just have to read the book. Nice meeting you.