Reel 5

Reel 5 from the Tape Library

  • Kidnapping 911 – In Nov. 2008 Jennifer Johnson was kidnapped by her boyfriend and put in the trunk of her own car. She managed to dial 911 to reach a Plant City (Fla.) dispatcher, but the call was difficult to hear and lasted just 80 seconds. She was later found murdered and suspect Vincent Brown was arrested. No officer investigated the 911 call, although police officials didn’t immediately admit that. After 700 pages of investigative materials were released in April 2009, the police chief said two persons resigned, one retired and dispatcher Amanda Hill was fired for “an absolute breakdown” in communications.
  • Stabbing murder – In April 2009 Anthony Meyers became involved in a fight with his mother’s boyfriend at their Oshkosh (Wisc.) home, and Amy Meyers dialed 911 for help. In a second call, Anthony dialed 911 to report what happened.
  • Fire rescue – In April 2009 Warren (Ohio) Off. Doug Hipple arrived at an arson fire set at a group home, entered the house and herded three woman to an upstairs room for safety. However, the group became trapped until firefighters could rescue them. A week after the fire, all four were in critical condition with burns and smoke inhalation injuries.
  • Air Force One Fly-Over – In April 2009 Air Force One and two fighter jets made a fly-over of New York City, panicking residents who remembered the Sept. 11th attacks. Many people called 911, including several in Jersey City (NJ).
  • Car jacking-shooting – In 2001 Santa Clara County (N. Calif.) sheriff’s Dep. Robert Gallardo and others pursued a carjacking and robbery suspect, who eventually crashed his car and was shot by another deputy.
  • Dog in peril – In May 2009 residents of Manitowoc (Wisc.) dialed 911 to report that a family dog ran away, and jumped into the Manitowoc River and was in peril. Police were busy with other incidents and the fire department was not dispatched for 16 minutes, and arrived six minutes later. The dog was later found drowned. County officials said dispatchers would receive “refresher” training on handling animal incidents.
  • Multiple murders – In April 2009 a University of Georgia professor is suspected of shooting and killing his wife and two men at an Athens community theater. Several 911 callers reported the shots, and one tried to remain calm to give the suspect’s description. Prof. George Zinkhan was still on the loose two weeks later, perhaps having fled to the Netherlands.
  • Murder-suicide – In April 2009 a man staying at a Towson hotel with his family beat and suffocated his wife and two teens daughters, killing them. William Parente then killed himself by cutting. A hotel employee dialed 911 to report finding Parente’s body, but said he didn’t enter the hotel room to find the other three victims.
  • Street murder – In Sept. 2007 Latasha Shaw drove to where her 14 year-old daughter and her cousin had been “jumped” in Rochester (NY). As Shaw was on the phone with a dispatcher asking for an officer, a group of 30 persons came from a nearby house, beat Shaw and someone fatally stabbed her. Terrance Mack was later charged and convicted in May 2009.
  • Threatening calls – In May 2009 a man made several 911 calls to Austin (Tex.) dispatchers threatening to kill officers, claiming officers had been shot, and making bomb threats. The calls came after an officer-involved shooting, and sounded to be in retaliation for the shooting. Police later arrested Ellis Ingram for making the calls.
  • Double murder – In Dec. 2008 a man at a migrant worker camp outside Sandusky (Ohio) shot his wife and stepdaughter with a shotgun. The man’s 9 year-old son witnessed the shootings, and ran to another housing unit for help, where an 11 year-old dialed 911 for help several times. This is one of that youth’s calls.
  • Dead body found – In Nov. 2008 the principal of a Wilmington (NC) school discovered a murder victim on the front lawn of the school when she arrived at work. Daryon Terrell Walker had been shot in the head just blocks from his home.
  • Shooting spree – In April 2009 a man entered a Birmingham (NY) immigrant assistance center and started shooting, killing 13, wounding four and then killing himself. Police don’t know why Jiverly Wong committed the acts. They later released the tape of a 911 from Kay Gruss, a teacher at the center, who herded dozens of students into a basement boiler room for safety, and then used 5 cellular phones to keep in contact with dispatchers over several hours as police searched and cleared the building. [tape made during presentation by police chief to hostage negotiators’ conference]
  • Murder calls – In May 2009 Jerod Williams was allegedly murdered by an acquaintance, hours after his family members called to say he was violent and violating his parole. However, a Great Falls/Cascade County Dispatch Center dispatcher concluded that without first-person information, police could not respond. Police eventually arrived after Williams’ body was found.
  • Robber following victim – In June 2009 an Edwardsville (Ill.) woman and her three children were confronted by an armed man in another car. The woman drove off and dialed 911 to reach the Madison County sheriff’s comm center, who told the woman to drive to the sheriff’s office.
  • Home invasion murders – In May 2009 a Pima County (Ariz.) family was shot and two died after three persons broke in to rob them. The husband and 9 year-old daughter were killed, but the wife-mother survived, managed to shot one suspect, and to then dial 911. Police say Shawna Ford and two others were dressed in camo clothing. At one point on the tape, the woman is confronted by the suspects, and there is the sound of gunfire.
  • Shooting murder – In June 2009 a Fitchburg (Wisc.) man was shot and killed as he tried to retrieve a friend’s property from her estranged girlfriend. First, two neighbors called to report hearing shots and seeing a victim, then Perry Lucas dialed 911 twice to say he had shot a man.
  • Family stabbing – In June 2009 a Glendale (Ariz.) man returned home from work, apparently suffering from psychiatric problems. He allegedly stabbed his wife and 10 year-old daughter to death, and also his 4 year-old son, who survived. He dialed 911 to admit what he had done.
  • Medical assistance stabbing – In June 2009 a Delray Beach (Fla.) woman suffered a seizure, and her 11 year-old son dialed 911 and received help from Delray Beach dispatcher Dawn Delaney. Faith Gingras stopped breathing, but was revived when her son gave her rescue breathing.
  • Officer-involved shooting – In June 2009 a Port St. Lucie (Fla.) woman called to say her brother Salvador Morales Jr. was drunk and threatening the family with a knife. Morales locked himself in a room, and when officers arrived he pointed a BB rifle at them, prompting an officer to shoot and kill Morales. (What additional questions, and what advice might the dispatcher have given the caller?)
  • Fatal Taser shooting – In June 2009 Arizona resident Brian Cardall was driving back home from Salt Lake City with his wife and infant daughter. He suffered from bipolar disorder, had not taken his medication, and near the town of Hurricane (Utah) he suffered an episode. He took off his clothes after pulling over, and ran into traffic, prompting his wife to dial 911 for help with his violence. A Hurricane PD officer arrived, Taser’d Cardall, who then suffered an apparent cardiac arrest and died. Another motorist also made two calls about the incident.

    The arriving police officer taped the incident on a pocket recorder, which you can listen to here.

  • Danny Gans death – In May 2009 Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans apparently died in his sleep at his Henderson (Nev.) home, and his wife dialed 911 when she discovered him unconscious. The calltaker gave his wife CPR instructions, which she followed. However, he could not be revived.
  • SWATing 911 Call – Starting in 2003 a nationwide group of party-line callers began making false and malicious calls to public safety comm centers, reporting serious emergencies. Their intent was to generate a heavy police response, and the practice became known as SWATing. In 2008 Matthew Weigman (Mass.) was arrested for making malicious calls to Texas comm centers, and he pleaded guilty in early 2009. In June 2009 he was sentence to 135 months in federal prison. This logging tape is of a 2005 call Weigman made to dispatchers in Colorado Springs reporting a hostage incident at the home of a TSA screener whose daughter had earlier refused to participate in phone sex with Weigman.
  • Snake kills toddler – In July 2009 a Burmese python escaped from its terrarium in the middle of the night at an Oxford (Fla.) home, crawled into the crib of a 2 year-old girl and suffocated her. The boyfriend of the girl’s mother discovered the snake missing, searched the house and discovered the death. He stabbed the snake, who then hid under furniture. Jason Darnell then dialed 911 to report what happened. [The caller-dispatcher interaction is rather routine, but the call demonstrates the raw emotion that callers may have, reacting to a situation they’ve encountered.]
  • CPR instructions – In July 2009 a Charleston County (SC) woman suffered a cardiac arrest at home, and her husband Bob Schaible dialed 911 for help. Dispatcher Melissa Gill gave him CPR instructions, and he performed for six minutes until EMS units arrived. His wife Christine survived.
  • Man chasing car – In July 2009 a Burlington (NC) woman dialed 911 to say that a man was chasing her car, and crashing into it as she fled. A Burlington dispatcher told the woman to drive to the police station, where she gave officers a description of the car. The car was stopped by an officer shortly after, but the driver sped off from the stop and crashed into a tree. The driver, Randy Michael Warren, was killed.
  • Murder-suicide – In July 2009 former professional football player Steve McNair was murdered while he slept by his girlfriend, who then killed herself. The deaths were discovered by another tenant, who first called a friend to come to the condo, and who then dialed 911. The call was complicated because the caller didn’t know the exact address.
  • Workplace suicide – In July 2009 a man in Jeffersontown (Ken.) went to an industrial park with a gun, looking for his ex-girlfriend and another worker. Brent Works prowled a millwork company for about an hour before killing himself. Before and during the stand-off with police, several persons dialed 911 for help.
  • Fox attack – In July 2009 a Boca Raton couple were attacked by a “crazy” fox, and they used a PVC pipe to club the animal to death. Michael and Dani Noel dialed 911 for help. Oddly, 10 minutes later a raccoon attacked a person several blocks away.
  • High school murder – In July 2009 a man entered the Parkersburg (Ia.) High School and shot athletic coach Ed Thomas to death. A few of the calls were released by the Butler County comm center, while others are being withheld as part of the criminal investigation. Read more here.
  • Fatal accident murder – In July 2009 a man at a Sheboygan (Wisc.) convenience store put his van in reverse by accident, and crashed through the store, killing an 18 year-old clerk. His wife, Nicole Pfister, dialed 911 for help as clerk Emily Hughes, 18, was pinned under the rear of the van.
  • Home invasion murders – In April 2009 group of men dressed as Border Patrol agents broke into an Arivaca (Ariz.) home to rob the occupants. They shot all three members of the family, killing two. Shawna Forde and two men were later arrested and charged with the crime. During a 911 call for help made by surviving resident Gina Marie Gonzalez, gunshots can be heard in the background.
  • Murder – In July 2009 an Apex (NC) woman dialed 911 to report finding her husband beaten to death, and that her CPR was not successful. Police and EMS responded, but later arrested Jolene Kay Hardy for murder.
  • Multiple murders – In March 2006 a Seattle (Wash.) man killed six persons at a residence and then himself. Police aren’t entirely certain of the motive, but Kyle Huff, 28, met the residents earlier at a rave party, then returned to the house with a shotgun. Neighbors and residents of the home dialed 911 for help when the shooting started, and an arriving officer witnessed Huff shoot himself.
    911 Call


  • Kissing in restaurant – In June 2009 an El Paso (Tex.) security guard at a Chico Taco restaurant dialed 911 to report that two gay men were kissing in the restaurant. The guard called three times over 20 minutes. One of the gay men also dialed 911 twice to report being harassed by the security guard. All the conversations are in Spanish. (On this tape: call from guard, then Carlos Diaz de Leon, two calls from guard, second call from de Leon.)
  • Child drowning – In July 2009 a Provo (Utah) 9 year-old girl and her mothers were at the Provo River, when the girl fell in. The mother tried to pull her from the water, but the river was moving too fast. A passerby called 911 for help. Caitlin Buchkowski’s body was found about 40 minutes later one mile downstream, and she could not be revived.
  • Road rage – In July 2009 an unnamed, off-duty Bumcombe County (NC) deputy dialed 911 to report an encounter with an irate female motorist, and asked for an officer’s assistance. At about the same time, the female motorist dialed 911 to report an irate male motorist. The sheriff’s office is investigating if the deputy acted improperly. Listen to the deputy’s call here.
    911 Call 1

    911 Call 2

  • Deputy killed – In July 2009 two Santa Fe County (NM) sheriff’s deputies were on a burglary stake-out at a remote cabin, when the suspect broke in and confronted them. The suspect was handcuffed, but pulled a gun from the small of his back and shot one deputy. The other deputy shot and killed the suspect, and then yelled to a neighbor for help at 4:30 a.m., since there was no phone at the cabin and no radio communications. The neighbors dialed 911 for help and reached the state police dispatcher at the consolidated county comm center.
  • Arrest incident – In July 2009 Prof. Henry Gates was mistaken for a burglar by a neighbor in Cambridge (Mass.), and responding Sgt. James Crowley later arrested him for disturbing the peace. The incident set off allegations of racial bias, and a national debate that included comments by President Obama, and later a meeting between Gates and Crowley at the White House.
    911 Call

    Radio Traffic

  • Baby stabbed – In July 2009 a San Antonio woman dialed 911 to report that her sister was acting erratically, and had stabbed her 4-week-old baby to death. Police say Otty Sanchez may suffer from psychiatric problems, and told her sister that she was hearing voices.
  • Celebrity stalking – In July 2009 an unknown person took video of ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews through a hotel peephole, allegedly showing her nude. In the aftermath, Andrews stayed at her mother’s home in a gated community. However, an SUV appeared, and two men came to the front door, prompting Andrews to dial 911.
  • Robbery-shooting – In July 2009 a robber entered a Kenosha (Wisc.) fast-food restaurant and shot one of the employees, who then dialed 911. Robert Wilde, 18, handed the telephone to another employee, and he later died. The Kenosha 911 dispatcher quickly and concisely gathered information about the incident. Two suspects were arrested.
  • Stabbing – In August 2009 an 18 year-old in Maitland (Fla.) stabbed his mother with a butter knife during an argument, then armed himself with a 2-prong barbeque fork and tried to break into the bathroom where she was on the phone with a police dispatcher. When an officer arrived, he confronted Alex May and fatally shot him.
  • Fatal fall – On New Year’s Eve 2008 an Oklahoma woman fell to her death a a Marriott Hotel in Orange County (Fla.). Her boyfriend, Jonathan Speegle, dialed 911 to report it, but was inconsistent in reporting what occurred. A month later Speegle was arrested and charged with Nicole Hammond’s murder. (What’s the essential information for this type of incidents, what questions were asked, what questions could have been asked?) [The tape seems to repeat at the beginning.]
  • Shooting-murder – In August 2009 a 16 year-old was shot and killed in the woods behind his Greensboro (NC) home. Three persons dialed 911 to report seeing people shooting at Breyon Shon Deese.
  • Invasion burglary – In August 2009 a 63 year-old woman noticed a truck pulling into her Livingston County (Mich.) driveway, and fled to an upstairs bathroom as two burglars broke in. She was on the phone with dispatchers over 4 minutes describing what she heard. Police arrested Jeffrey Ray Hunter, but the second suspect escaped.
  • Murder-suicide – In August 2009 Edward Offord II dialed 911 to matter-of-factly report he had shot and killed his girlfriend, set his own house on fire, and then drove to his girlfriend’s home and set it ablaze. Shortly after talking to the dispatcher for 4-1/2 minutes, Offord shot fatally himself.
  • Officer shooting – In August 2009 six Chattanooga (Tenn.) police officers confronted a suicidal man with a rifle, and fired 59 rounds at him when he allegedly pointed the firearm at them. Alonzo Heyward suffered 43 gunshot wounds, according to the coroner, and was killed. (passerby 911 calls and radio traffic)
  • 911 call from McDonald’s shooting – In June 2009 a Clackamas County man dialed 911 to complain about a wrong order at a McDonald’s restaurant. After a dispatcher told him the call was inappropriate, Jeremy Martin and his two friends continued to dial 911 to complain, eventually claiming that a restaurant staffer was pointing a gun at them. Officers found and arrested Martin, but his two friends had fled. Read the CAD report here.