On Thursday, the Chicago Police Department finally released the comprehensive case files detailing the bizarre investigation that led detectives down a winding, twisted path of alleged drugs deals, bold lies, mind-blowing blunders and terrible planning.
While the strange beats of the case surrounding the incident that occurred to Smollett have been reported at length — and many questions, particularly regarding motive, remain unanswered and shrouded in mystery — the 460 pages of police reports, booking sheets and interview records paint a fascinating portrait of the case that captioned the nation’s interest for months.
After an exhaustive reading of the entire flurry of newly-released documents, here’s a look at 10 particularly strange and hilariously confounding details that really stick out.
1. Smollett Kept the Evidence On
According to the reports, the reported attack occurred at 2 am on Jan. 29, near where he was residing in Chicago while filming the most recent season of “Empire”.
The attack, according to Smollett’s recollection, saw him get covered in bleach as two attackers hurled racial epithets, and placed a noose around his neck.
After the attack, he walked back to his hotel, past the night doorman, and up to his room, where he then called the cops. Responding officers arrived at 2:42 am.
According to the report, police arrived to “find him with white rope draped around his neck and stained clothing.” Meaning he kept a noose hanging around his neck for nearly 40 minutes. Additionally, responding officers said that, “Upon being informed that the interview [was] being recorded, [the victim] requested the body cameras be turned off.”
2. So Many Resources Went Into This Investigation
The Chicago Police poured so much time and effort into this case. The Chicago Police assigned nine detectives, four assisting police officers and two evidence technicians to follow every lead they could, which they did for weeks.
They collective security camera footage from the Subway restaurant Smollett bought his 2 a.m. tuna sandwich from, as well as the loading dock of a Lowes, a Target, the River East Center, a Burlington Coat Factory and a Walgreens, among others.
A great deal of the 460 page collection of documents is dedicated to detailing the annoying challenges the detectives faced in simply getting employees at these stores to provide them the footage they needed to conduct their investigation.
3. Late Night Cravings?
According to Smollett during his first formal interview with detectives, the reason he left his residence at 2 am, when the temperature outside was in single digits ,was to go buy eggs from a Walgreens a few blocks away.
It seems odd that someone would think of buying eggs from a Walgreens at all, none the less in the early morning, but what makes things even weirder is that the Walgreens was closed when he got there. Who wouldn’t google store hours before leaving their place and heading out into harsh weather?
As for what he settled on? A tuna sandwich and a salad from Subway, which got knocked to the ground during the altercation. However, he made sure to pick up his food and bring it back to his room after allegedly getting jumped.
4. Ubering to the Scene of a Crime
According to the Chicago Police, the men who attacked Smollett were two brothers named Abimbola and Olabinjo Onsundairo, and their whole story is just amazing. However, it’s fascinating to see that one of the ways the brothers were identified stemmed from them paying for an Uber before the attack.
They Ubered to the scene of a crime. While no one would ever want to give advice to future criminals, it goes without saying that this was not a great way to start their intricately (yet badly) planned attack.
5. The Crime Almost Didn’t Happen
We almost lived in a universe where this alleged fake attack never even happened! According to the police reports, the Onsundairo brothers didn’t take an Uber all the way to the scene of the incident. Instead, they ordered the driver to let the out, and then crossed a street and hailed a yellow cab, for unknown reasons.
However, according to the Uber driver, one of the brothers “almost got hit by a cab going the opposite direction when he dropped off the two passengers.” It’s unlikely the attack could have gone down if one of them had just been run over by a taxi minutes before.
6. Dramatic Irony From Brandon Z. Moore
According to Smollett, he was on the phone with his music manager, Moore, when he was attacked in the street. Naturally, the police interviewed Moore, which is where we get this incredible remark, which is so painfully ironic considering how Smollett was eventually written off of the hit Fox drama.
Moore told cops Smollett “is in good standing with the show Empire and had signed a contract for another year, maybe two.” Ouch.
7. Suspiciously Non-Cooperative
Days after Smollett filed the first police report, detectives asked him to walk them through the attack on location, which the actor had no problem doing. He even allegedly pointed out a water bottle he claimed he bought at Subway and dropped during the fight.
Things seemed to get weird when detectives asked Smollett to sign over medical records from the night of the attack, and he declined to do so. When asked to hand over his phone, as per usual investigatorial procedure, he refused.
8. Smollett’s Story Starts to Change
After the Onsundairo brothers were arrested, and then subsequently claimed that Smollett had hired them to stage an attack, detectives reinterviewed Smollett, and small but important changes were noticed in his recounting of events.
While Jussie first described his attackers as white men, he later told investigators they were “pale.” Also, the way he described how much of their faces he could see through their masks appeared to differ from his previous statements. He then said he never claimed they were white, and added that he had “assumed they were white dudes due to the comments that were made.”
Additionally, Smollett told police that he’d only been talking to Moore, his manager, during his walk through the street before getting jumped. Later, he said he’d also called his “trainer,” who he’d been working with because he “wanted to get ‘shredded’ for an upcoming music video.”
His trainer? Abimbola Onsundairo.
Also, when confronted by the news that the two brothers were the ones who attacked him, Smollett said they couldn’t be the ones because, “They are black as sin.”
9. Smollett (Allegedly) Used Venmo to Buy Pills From His Attackers
After Smollett finally did allow investigators to go over his phone records, which they also obtained a court order for, they claim to have discovered a long friendship between the actor and his trainer-turned-supposed-attacker.
In fact, they found a text exchange in which Smollett allegedly went to Onsundairo to hook him up with ecstasy and weed, and he allegedly paid over Venmo. There’s seriously no understanding how bad he allegedly is at allegedly committing alleged crimes. Allegedly.
10. Negotiating the Details of a Fake Beating
One of the most notorious details to emerge from the Smollett case involved a $3,500 personal check he wrote to the Onsundairo brothers, which he claimed was for personal training. As it turns out, the brothers themselves were divided in their opinion on what the money was really for.
“One brother “stated he thought the money was for the staged hate crime,” where as the other brother, “Thought the money was for both the hate crime and training.” So you can see where the confusion comes in.
According to a statement the brothers made to police, they also had to work out the details of the attack. They claim Smollett first suggested they pour gasoline on him, before the decision was made to switch to bleach. The brothers said that Smollett was also clear that only one brother (the name of which was redacted in the report) was to hit him, because he didn’t trust the other to pull his punches.
The attack was also supposed to go down on Jan. 28, according to the brothers’ statement, but Smollett rescheduled at the last minute because his flight had been delayed.
And finally, in the long line of amazing blunders, Smollett allegedly chose the location of the fight because it would be caught clearly on a nearby security camera. According to the report, “It was discovered, after the incident, that the camera was pointed up the street and did not record the incident.”
For more on the long and mind-bending Smollett saga, check out the video below.