The Murder of Garrett Phillips

By Elise Haley aka Crime Shark

It was October 24, 2011 when just before 5pm, it began to rain in the small town of Potsdam, NY.  Potsdam, split in two by the Raquette River, sits nestled in northern tip of NY about 40 minutes from  the Canadian border. Without counting its student population, Potsdam has a population of about 9,600.

Garrett Phillips, age 12, was playing basketball at the middle school when he spoke with his mom on his cellphone and she told him to go home and do homework. School surveillance cameras show Garrett leaving the parking lot on his skateboard at 4:52pm.  A little over 30 minutes later, at 5:33pm, Garrett was found strangled in his apartment. Garrett was taken to nearby Canton-Potsdam Hospital, which he had just skateboarded by, where he was pronounced dead at 7:18 pm.

A bent window screen and a gash in the grass below the window suggests the murderer escaped by jumping out the 2nd floor window.  The lone suspect in the case was Oral “Nick” Hillary who was the ex-boyfriend of Tandy Cyrus, Garrett’s mother.  Hillary is also the former soccer coach at Clarkson University.

Little viable evidence was found at the scene.  In August of 2016, a Judge denied evidence using STRMix, which was new DNA technology, to be admitted into the trial. After a two-week long trial, Hillary was acquitted.

If you or anyone you know has any information in the strangulation death of Garrett Phillips, please contact Potsdam authorities at 315-265-2121.


The New York Times


The New York Times

4 thoughts on “The Murder of Garrett Phillips

  • The st. Lawrence river doesn’t even go near Potsdam so how is it splitting potsdam in two LMFAO prayers they find Justice for him

  • they definitely had the one who killed Garrett so there will never ever be justice for him. When you have a multi millionaire paying for your lawyers which he had fired his previous four or five lawyers before she came on board. And yes it is a big question why did the judge not allow the DNA evidence under Garretts fingernails which pointed to Hillary to not be allowed in trial but it’s over now I just hope my nephew can rest in peace and he is with his dad 💔💔

  • What about the 2 kids who lived next door who left town right away?
    The finger prints and 150 pieces of DNA found at the scene?
    Has anyone tested that evidence against those 2 kids and if not why not?
    Why was the entire county ready to lynch a black kan with no evidence but unwilling to demand law enforcement find and analyze dna of people who left town after giving inconsistent statements.
    The truth is clear but racists and currupt powers have covered it for 8 years.

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