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Thread: 911 Tapes

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    911 Tapes

    The 911 tapes have been released:

    http://www.northescambia.com/?p=10468

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  3. #2
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    I am disappointed in the 911 operators, they do not handle these 2 calls
    in a professional manner. I would of lost it with #2 man.
    I must listen again. But on the first reaction, Ashley does call
    April her sister.
    Ashley sounds very business like. No real emotion to me.
    Toward the end I hear alittle bit of confusion???
    Was she enroute during the car then arrive at the end???
    Are we hearing ALL of the 911 calls??? til the very end of both calls? Is there more???
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by passionflower View Post
    I am disappointed in the 911 operators, they do not handle these 2 calls
    in a professional manner. I would of lost it with #2 man.
    I must listen again. But on the first reaction, Ashley does call
    April her sister.
    Ashley sounds very business like. No real emotion to me.
    Toward the end I hear alittle bit of confusion???
    Was she enroute during the car then arrive at the end???
    Are we hearing ALL of the 911 calls??? til the very end of both calls? Is there more???
    Ashley does not refer to April as her sister. According to the transcripts (sorry, don't have a page number handy), Ashley called the house and I believe her brother answered. Ashley couldn't understand what her brother was saying, so her sister got on the phone and told her that their parents were dead. Then, Ashley told them to go get April.

    I thought Ashley was trying to provide the info. in a relatively calm manner. She definitely got emotional when she learned that there was another 911 call, IMHO.
    Last edited by daisy7; 08-27-2009 at 09:20 PM.

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    I completely agree with Daisy. Ashley seems confused as to what has happened, but when she hears the 911 operator (whom seems quite unprofessional) discussing an additional 911 call reporting the murder, her voice starts to crack and you can tell she’s breaking down because the realization that something truly has happened, is setting in.

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    "I don't know what they're talking about"...so she decided to call 911 because she didn't know?

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    I agree; these are NOT exemplary of what you would hope to see in handling these calls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UnderDog View Post
    "I don't know what they're talking about"...so she decided to call 911 because she didn't know?
    She was concerned because they were saying the parents were on the bathroom floor and when she told them to bring them the phone, they said they couldn't. They were dead. She is hoping that they misunderstood what was going on. I am sure that they have said unusual things in the past. She couldn't even understand the brother. But she knows that if the kids are on the phone, then something must be wrong with the parents. She must have been on long enough to know that the parents were in trouble. JMO. She was trying to understand but her gut said it was a bad situation. Call 911 and maybe they would get there sooner. It is hard to think of what you would do in these situations.

    (An example: My son fell out of a tree at 9 yo and I had to figure out how I was getting him to the hospital with his obviously mangled wrists, what to do with the other kids, etc. I was calling the doctor, someone to watch the kids, and he was crying to me softly that they were hurting badly and I told him to "Go run them under cold water!" He couldn't even turn the faucet on and it was waaaay more than cold water would help!!! ...but my mind was going a mile a minute! I looked back later and thought ....what was I THINKING???!!! Hindsight and calmness is a luxury in crisis.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by UnderDog View Post
    "I don't know what they're talking about"...so she decided to call 911 because she didn't know?
    Respectfully, did you listen to the entire call? IMO, Ashley did the right thing in calling 911 based on what her siblings were telling her. I'm not sure why this specific comment is being questioned, especially without giving the entire context?

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    I do not have a problem with how Ashely handled the call. I do have a question about her timing:

    1 Ashely calls the Billings home, speaks to children.
    2 Children say "Mom and Dad are Dead"
    3 Ashley says: "Go and tell April".
    4 Child runs to tell April
    5 April goes to Billings residence, sees that the Billings are dead
    6 April goes back to her house (I think that the 911 call is from her house)
    7 April calls 911
    8 Ashley calls 911

    Why didn't Ashley call April? She could have said "one of the kids is coming to you with a strange story. I will stay on the line and comfort her while you check it out...." More importantly, what was Ashley doing between step 3 and step 8? There must have been 5-10 minutes between the call with the child and when she called 911, what was she doing in that time?

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    First operator absolutely needs some more training. She got caught up in it and lost her composure.She was frustrated.

    The second operator was much better. IMO, he actually did a very good job. He was composed. He got his information from Ashley.You can hear him passing information to his officers that were en route to the scene of the crime as he was speaking to Ashley.
    At this point, he has to prioritize which person he needs to talk to. He rightfully chose to talk with his units en-route, while keeping Melanie on the line.

    The only question I have in the second call is why he was wanting somebody else to take over. Is it possible he was a LE officer that just happened to take the call? After taking the call did he determine he needed to turn it over to someone else in order to get onto his duties, which may have required him at the scene?

    Is a 911 required to be the operator and the dispatcher?

    Seems some are questioning Ashleys demeanor. I really didn't have a problem with the way she acted. I think it took a few minutes for it to sink in. You can tell she heard the operator say "I'm on the phone with the other part." I think she realized at this point that what her sister told her was very real.
    Last edited by RiverPirate; 08-28-2009 at 09:30 AM.

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    River,
    Please edit your post from Melanie to Ashley making the 911 calls. At this point it is assumed Melanie was already deceased. Too many names and initials in this case, but wanted to clarify for later referral.

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  22. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkinablueworld View Post
    River,
    Please edit your post from Melanie to Ashley making the 911 calls. At this point it is assumed Melanie was already deceased. Too many names and initials in this case, but wanted to clarify for later referral.
    Thanks. Sorry about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverPirate View Post
    The second operator was much better. IMO, he actually did a very good job.
    I disagree entirely. I don't know whether it can be attributed to him being a 'fill in', or having to do double duty, or what, but I have heard EFFECTIVE 911 calls, and they have the 911 operator SEAMLESSLY listening to responses from the caller, and actively gathering information, with none of the jockeying around, audible cross-talk, gaps while caller is silent and confused as to what to do next, and shifting of focus that is evident in that call.

    Maybe it is a technology thing, where with other systems (but not this one?) the units in route SILENTLY get what is being typed on the operator's keypad to dispatch and appraise, without interrupting the caller's discussion with 911. In fact, in the best of these, the caller will sometimes say -- 'aren't you going to dispatch someone? Why aren't you doing anything but talking to me? They need help!" and the 911 operate can confidently say "The officers are on their way... in fact, the officers are at your door now. You should hear them. [overheard sounds of officer on actual 911 call] So, stay with me, but go now to the front door... Okay, I hear the officer speaking to you, you can hang up now."

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    Loss - ITA!

    That call is horrible.

    Several months back, I had an opportunity to visit the 911 dispatch for SR County, while touring the EOC. When I was in there, there was a bad accident on the bridge (P'Cola Bay Bridge) and they were fielding 3 different phone calls reporting it. The 911 operators were just typing on their computers to each other and then one of the dispatchers was responsible for contacting the first responders. There was no cross-talk whatsoever. They explained to me after, what they were all doing.

    And, what was interesting is that the accident actually happened in EC (the bridge is half EC and half SR), but the calls were coming into SR 911, cuz the callers' had last pinged a cell tower in GB.

    I learned a lot during that visit and they have some amazing technology! I can't imagine that EC doesn't have the same thing.
    Last edited by daisy7; 08-28-2009 at 01:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lossmitpro View Post
    I disagree entirely. I don't know whether it can be attributed to him being a 'fill in', or having to do double duty, or what, but I have heard EFFECTIVE 911 calls, and they have the 911 operator SEAMLESSLY listening to responses from the caller, and actively gathering information, with none of the jockeying around, audible cross-talk, gaps while caller is silent and confused as to what to do next, and shifting of focus that is evident in that call.

    Maybe it is a technology thing, where with other systems (but not this one?) the units in route SILENTLY get what is being typed on the operator's keypad to dispatch and appraise, without interrupting the caller's discussion with 911. In fact, in the best of these, the caller will sometimes say -- 'aren't you going to dispatch someone? Why aren't you doing anything but talking to me? They need help!" and the 911 operate can confidently say "The officers are on their way... in fact, the officers are at your door now. You should hear them. [overheard sounds of officer on actual 911 call] So, stay with me, but go now to the front door... Okay, I hear the officer speaking to you, you can hang up now."
    I agree with your assessment of the technology available. I can only conclude that this technology wasn't available to the 2nd man. If it were, there would be no reason for him to be talking to his men in the field while handling the call.

    I handle emergency calls at work regularly. Boats sinking or on fire. Even had to do comms. for a helicopter down in the gulf one night. I'm in a position where our radio towers are usually in better range than the Coast Guard. When this happens things get pretty wild. 3 radios to handle, while I'm on one phone line with the rest of the lines ringing and still getting info from whoever is in distress. The biggest thing I noticed was how calm he kept. It's very difficult trying to get info and give it out to people that need it while you're still trying to get said information. He also prioritized who needed what the most. All of the bad things you heard happen in this call were due to either not having the proper technology available in that call center or possibly being understaffed. almost got the feeling that guy was a dispatcher as opposed to a 911 operator. He was certainly trying to do both jobs

    I absolutely agree it's ashame the 911 system there required this man to have to handle it in he way he did. Certainly, it would have been better to have somebody dedicated solely the caller. For whatever reason that wasn't the case. Knowing what it's like to be in similar situations, I still say the second operator did a fine job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I do not have a problem with how Ashely handled the call. I do have a question about her timing:

    1 Ashely calls the Billings home, speaks to children.
    2 Children say "Mom and Dad are Dead"
    3 Ashley says: "Go and tell April".
    4 Child runs to tell April
    5 April goes to Billings residence, sees that the Billings are dead
    6 April goes back to her house (I think that the 911 call is from her house)
    7 April calls 911
    8 Ashley calls 911

    Why didn't Ashley call April? She could have said "one of the kids is coming to you with a strange story. I will stay on the line and comfort her while you check it out...." More importantly, what was Ashley doing between step 3 and step 8? There must have been 5-10 minutes between the call with the child and when she called 911, what was she doing in that time?
    Thanks Gene, I wasn't sure exactly how to explain my post, so I just posted my first reaction. I was really thrown by the "don't know what they're talking about" lines. I can understand that she was hoping the child was wrong, but at the point she decided to call 911 it would seem she had decided she "knew what they were talking about" and it was an emergency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexus116 View Post
    I completely agree with Daisy. Ashley seems confused as to what has happened, but when she hears the 911 operator (whom seems quite unprofessional) discussing an additional 911 call reporting the murder, her voice starts to crack and you can tell she’s breaking down because the realization that something truly has happened, is setting in.
    Hey, I almost broke down upon hearing the exact moment Ashley realize her parents are deceased.

    While anything is possible I'd be willing to bet anything her hands are clean of any prior knowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pcola Hog View Post
    Hey, I almost broke down upon hearing the exact moment Ashley realize her parents are deceased.

    While anything is possible I'd be willing to bet anything her hands are clean of any prior knowledge.
    I also think we need to remember that Ashley was getting her information from a mentally challenged child, who was very hysterical and traumatized. I agree, I can feel it in her voice when she realizes someone else has called 911 and it is a very real situation. I think Ashley lives in Perdido, so it would take her a good 20 minutes to get to Beulah, maybe longer.
    Last edited by pinkinablueworld; 08-29-2009 at 09:55 AM.

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  35. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by daisy7 View Post
    Ashley does not refer to April as her sister. According to the transcripts (sorry, don't have a page number handy), Ashley called the house and I believe her brother answered. Ashley couldn't understand what her brother was saying, so her sister got on the phone and told her that their parents were dead. Then, Ashley told them to go get April.

    I thought Ashley was trying to provide the info. in a relatively calm manner. She definitely got emotional when she learned that there was another 911 call, IMHO.
    Oh my gosh, I heard her starting to lose it when she hears that another 911 call was made. I think initially she thinks there may be something wrong, that prompts her to call. She doesn't sound like she believes they are dead.

    When she hears that there is already an emergency response, you can hear panic begin to set in. IMO.

    to me the daughter's call is chilling, my heart starts breaking for her when I hear her voice start to crack.
    I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I do not have a problem with how Ashely handled the call. I do have a question about her timing:

    1 Ashely calls the Billings home, speaks to children.
    2 Children say "Mom and Dad are Dead"
    3 Ashley says: "Go and tell April".
    4 Child runs to tell April
    5 April goes to Billings residence, sees that the Billings are dead
    6 April goes back to her house (I think that the 911 call is from her house)
    7 April calls 911
    8 Ashley calls 911

    Why didn't Ashley call April? She could have said "one of the kids is coming to you with a strange story. I will stay on the line and comfort her while you check it out...." More importantly, what was Ashley doing between step 3 and step 8? There must have been 5-10 minutes between the call with the child and when she called 911, what was she doing in that time?
    This is pure speculation, but maybe Ashley was trying to call April, couldn't reach her (cuz April was at the house) and that is what prompted Ashley to call 911?

    I don't know if April has a landline phone, but it seems like she made the 911 call from her cell (she kept breaking up and it cut off at the end of the call), so maybe Ashley couldn't get her on her cell cuz of poor reception or cuz April left her cell at her house.

    Near the end of Ashley's call, you can hear the operator from April's call saying, "how many children?" Very sad.

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  39. #21
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    Up until the moment Ashely asked the 911 operator if someone else called...she sounded like she was just hoping this was just a mistake... I thinks her calling 911 was just a natural response "just in case" - because after all.. with so many disabled children in that house... the possibilities were endless....

    But when she's told that yes, someone else has called... you can hear her fear sink in... her voice cracks... it sounds like she's driving in her car... to get there, I assume. But it's obvious - to me anyway - that up to that point, she was just hoping it was something simple, some misunderstanding between the kids... but then.... the reality started to kink in and she had to keep driving to get there. (Horrifying... to say the least, for Ashely.)

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    Poor Ashley and the poor neighbor. I feel so bad for both. I don't know what else to say. 911 calls are haunting and stay with you. Bless them both.
    (all posts are my opinion only--do not try to understand my logic)

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  43. #23
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    Hi folks,

    I haven't really been following the case but another member asked me to listen to the tapes and weigh in. Just some history, I'm a paramedic supervisor with a large ambulance service, I've worked as a dispatcher/calltaker before and we have a very large multi juristiction/agency 911 dispatch center.

    Just a little background on Escambia County's 911 system. They have 3 PSAP's (Public Safety Answering Points) where 911 calls are routed. Pensecola PD and Escambia County Sheriffs Office handle most of the calls depending on location. Cell calls are most always routed to the County Sheriff's office. Pensecola PD has 8 call takers and Escambia County has 14.

    Let's start with a few basic facts about the first call. First, she's on a cell phone and the signal keeps breaking up. You can not get ALI (automatic location information) off of a cell phone. You can get tower pings and if GPS is enabled on the phone, you can get the location of the phone. This is not an issue because the caller was able to give the address. Secondly, remember that these calls have been edited. The first call starts with the call being transferred from Fire/Rescue. It was probably sent to them because of the report that 2 people were down. The call was then transferred back to the Sheriff's Office for the police end of the deal. The caller on the first tape is very emotional and the call taker has a hard time obtaining information from her, in addition to the cell call breaking up. I could tell she was getting very frustrated while she was trying to obtain pertinent info relative to "who's in the house" "how many are in the house" "how does the caller know what's going on in the house". The call taker is trying to keep the person from entering the house because at that point we're not sure that the bad guys are gone. The call taker is also trying to get as much info about the scene as possible to pass along to the responding officers. The asking of questions does not delay the response. All the responders were probably enroute from the moment that they had the address.

    The second call:

    In the second call, the girl was talking to someone working a dispatch position (or working a radio). The way our center is set up, calls go first to our call takers. If they are all on the phone, the calls then get routed to dispatchers. The male (Jeff) was working a radio and asks one of his co-workers to take over the 911 call because he had to talk to his police officers responding to the scene. You are hearing all sides of the conversation on the tapes but one thing to remember is that when he keys up his radio, it puts the phone on mute so the caller doesn't hear what's being said over the radio. This leads a lot of callers to think that nothing is being done while they are on the line with 911. The second caller was obviously calmer than the first. Both of the calls were going on at the same time since (Jeff) tells the daughter that they have another call on the same incident.

    Bottom line is that it sounds like the calls were handled properly. The call taker in the first tape was obviously a little frustrated and it shows. I don't think I can really blame her. We have 2 people down, possibly dead, caller is hysterical and not being very clear with the information and the cell phone is breaking up. Both call takers obtained the incident address and got the appropriate resources on the way and then tried to get additional information. Please realize that the tapes are not the complete call and sounds like they were edited for content. (the names of the callers and the address of the incident).

    Hope this helps.

    Just my observations and opinions. That and a $5 will get you a cup of Starbucks.

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