When John Tabbutt, of Winter Springs, called 911 about accidentally shooting his bride-to-be the night before their wedding, he was sobbing hysterically and asked the dispatcher to send an ambulance immediately. But when James Robert Ward placed a similar call to 911 on September 21, he told the dispatcher calmly and politely, “I just shot my wife … she’s dead.”
This contrast highlights an important issue that detectives have been studying: how a 911 caller’s demeanor can clue in investigators to potential crime suspects. Ward pleaded not guilty to a second-degree-murder charge and is out on bond as his case develops. Tabbutt has not been arrested.
Since 911 calls are recorded and sometimes the information in those conversations contradicts the suspect’s alibi, they can be useful information for crminal investigators. Of course, people react differently in a crisis, so that information isn’t always reliable.
Are you innocent or guilty? 911 call may tell, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 15, 2009
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