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The 911 Calls

on April 15, 2012

The 911 Calls

Trista was allowed to listen to two of the three 911 calls placed on the morning of December 17. She requested this during the very same meeting where she was told that they had found Ayla’s blood and that the amount found was “more than a small cut would produce.” (see A4A for more details)

Answers for Ayla (A4A) also states that Trista believes the calls “sound contrived.” Something about the way he spoke, the words he used, or the tone of his voice, sounded to her like he was performing, trying too hard, or being artificial.

Investigators can garner a great deal of information from 911 calls. They have courses dealing with just this subject. There is even a guide to help them determine guilt by certain call characteristics. (Which by the way is a fabulous examination of the nature of the 911 call!)

According to author Susan Adams and Tracy Harpster in their Law Enforcement Bulletin, “911 Homicide Calls and Statement Analysis: Is The Caller The Killer?” there are certain things to look for in a 911 call coming from a guilty party.

  1. Was the caller just calling to report a crime and not asking for help? (I have a missing child)
  2. Did the caller ramble, speak confusingly, offer too many unrelated details, leave out the main point of the call in lieu of explanations? (I..um… she was taking a nap yesterday… but this morning...and then we played with her stuffed animals, and she was fine then)
  3. Was the caller presenting the victim in an unfavorable manner or even blaming the victim for what befell them? (The little shit probably found a way to get out of her crib)
  4. Did the caller fail to correct any discrepancies in their statement that might have been made in the heat of the moment or accidentally? (It was 8:30am when I first discovered her missing, but no corrections occur when they realize that it had to be 8:00am)
  5. Was the caller focused on themselves, their pain, their plight, how they felt but not so much the victim? (What am I going to do? This is the worst possible thing that could have happened to me!)
  6. Did the caller request help for themselves? (Please help ME!)
  7. Did the caller declare the victim dead with no protest or affirmation? (I’m sure she’s dead, I know she’s long gone by now)
  8. Was the caller’s voice mostly even throughout the call? (No variance in speed, pitch, volume)
  9. Was there a lack or urgency in the call, or was the call answered with a greeting? (Um, hello there…My name is Justin)
  10. Did the caller fail to cooperate with the operator, either by not following directions or providing misleading answers, or answers that avoid a direct answer? (hanging up when told to stay on the line, answering “Sir, when was the last time you saw your daughter?” with: “I checked the shed just before I called you.”)

Perhaps if Trista were to read these questions, she could shed more light on the contrived parts of the calls. January was several months ago, but she might remember enough to be able to answer at least a few of them.

The only question that can be definitively answered from Trista’s account of the call is that Justin failed to cooperate with the operator. Not just once, but twice. On two occasions he disconnected the call.

If this was accidental, or the result of something that is easily explained, perhaps someone speaking for Justin could get this out there so the wrong assumption isn’t drawn.

Let’s look at another 911 call involving a missing toddler. The one placed by Cindy Anthony when she finally received confirmation from Casey that Caylee was “missing.”

  • Red = failed test
  • Green = passed test
  • Orange = could be interpreted either way
  • Black = not applicable

Cindy’s Portion of the Call

  1. Cindy begins by reporting that her granddaughter was missing, but immediately asks for someone to come help.
  2. Yes, there was a bit of excited rambling, but Cindy did make sure to relay the points that needed to be made
  3. No, Cindy expressed a great deal of positive emotion for Caylee
  4. There was a discrepancy in the date she said she’d last seen Caylee but she clarified this after she’d had time to calm down (not during this call though).
  5. Cindy’s main focus was on finding Caylee, not herself or anyone else.
  6. Cindy asked for help, but followed this up by statement after statement about how young Caylee was, how she needed help to find her.
  7. n/a
  8. Cindy’s voice changed drastically from moment to moment. No modulation.
  9. The call was very urgent.
  10. Cindy cooperated with the operator

Casey’s Portion of the Call

  1. Casey did not ask for help, she just stated the nature of the crime
  2. She did offer details unrelated to the questions of the operator. (Question: And you know who has her? Answer: …I actually spoke with my daughter for a moment, for a minute today)
  3. Casey did not portray Caylee in a negative manner
  4. Casey did not correct any discrepancies
  5. Casey discussed at length all the effort she had put into finding Caylee (she has been searching, she has been calling, she, she, she)
  6. Casey never asked for help at all, let alone for help finding Caylee
  7. Even though it is clear now that Caylee was already dead, Casey wasn’t reporting a death, so this doesn’t apply
  8. Yes, Casey’s voice was extremely, uncannily even considering the circumstances
  9. There was absolutely no urgency whatsoever
  10. Casey cooperated, but did add a lot of extra information in her answers.
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