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A sniveling Richard Tillyer, the vaccine scientist JAG sentenced to death last Friday, was cowering in the corner of his cell Tuesday morning when GITMO staff told him it was time to face the music. The convenient amnesia he had displayed at his tribunal persisted as guards cuffed and escorted Tillyer from his cell to a Hummer parked outside the Camp Delta detention cell. “Why am I here? I want to go home. I don’t understand any of this,” he said.
His sudden forgetfulness, our source said, is nothing more than a ploy. After his tribunal, Tillyer received MRI and CT tests to check for brain damage or changes such as shrinkage. GITMO medical checked his blood for infection, nutritional deficiencies, or other issues and administered an electroencephalogram (EEG) to check for seizure activity. He got a clean bill of health, except for a case of irritable bowel syndrome.
Nonetheless, Tillyer feigned ignorance, asking his chauffeurs to the gallows whether they were bringing him home to New Jersey. He even thanked them for removing him from a “squalid motel room.”
When they arrived at gallows where Vice Adm. Darse E. Crandall and a military ensemble stood waiting, Tillyer apologized to the guards that he couldn’t offer them “a tip” because he had “misplaced his wallet,” saying he’d compensate them “next time.”
As a guard steered him toward the shallow stairs ascending to the noose, Tillyer glanced at Adm. Crandall and thanked him for arranging his transportation back to Short Hills, New Jersey, where, Tillyer said, he hoped to resume his role at Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Atop the platform, his hands were uncuffed, and he tried to shake hands with both the hangman who would push the button and the U.S. Navy chaplain who was present to offer Last Rites. Tillyer said he didn’t recognize them, and asked if they were “new to the neighborhood,” adding that he and his wife would “have them to dinner” in a few days.
He then seemingly mistook Admiral Crandall for an old acquaintance named “Fred.” He waved vigorously at Adm. Crandall, saying, “Fred, Fred Dryer, where have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages. Are you still working at Pfizer?”
Tillyer’s bemusements didn’t phase the admiral, who said, “Let’s get this over with,” and ordered the hangman to push the button that would end Tillyer’s life. A moment later, he was dead, swinging from a rope.
A Navy physician noted the time of death: 10:30 a.m. EST, March 7, 2023