18 minutes before Nick Thayer’s text – sent from the parking lot of the Frederick Police Department – Watts handed over his phone to the FBI. Watch that moment here.
This means Thayer’s text came through when Watts no longer had his handset with him. It was the best advice he ever got, from anyone. Approximately an hour after giving up his phone, and half an hour after Thayer’s text, Watts had already consented to give a polygraph.