Last time, I wrote about the victim's feet and how they add to the litany of details that make this death case unusual.
Today, I want to discuss the 911 call.
In July of 2002, the body of Nikki LaDue January was found seated on the balcony of her condominium in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Officers stated that she had a single gun shot wound to her right temple area.
A Sterling .380 caliber pistol was partially under her left thigh on a chair, her right leg was propped up against the table in front of her, and a cordless phone on the table was covered in blood.
There were two different brands of cigarettes and two different lighters on the table in front of her.
A bullet was located in a chair on the next balcony, and a shell casing was later found by a maintenance man in the condo's pool.
Ms. January had apparently been deceased for several hours, and her five-year old son was found in the residence unharmed.
Authorities at the scene quickly classified the death as a suicide.
C) The 911 Call--an Introduction (Part One of two on the 911 call)
Regular readers of my missing persons and crime posts know that I tend to bore with my repeated use of the disclaimer: "The public (me included) knows less than 1/2 of the details of an investigation."
As such, it is generally irresponsible for me to make strong judgments about witnesses, authorities, evidence, leads, etc.
Generally that is.
The death of Nikki LaDue January presents an exception to this rule.
Since authorities declared the case "Closed," they have released much more about the investigation.
The family obtained photos from the scene.
They have reports from the responding sergeant, the lead investigator, and the county's coroner.
In contrast to most cases, much is known about the investigation into the death of Nikki LaDue January.
Using these documents, the family learned what actions were taken as well as what was not done.
Most importantly, the released information allowed the family to understand the rationale of authorities who had declared the death of Nikki LaDue January a suicide.
Not that knowing the basis for a determination has been comforting--as the documents leave many questions about Nikki's death unanswered.
One other case aspect obtained by the family was a recording of the 911 call made that resulted in the Pass Christian Police responding--the initial call reporting that Ms. January's body had been found.
As with many 911 calls, the audio is not the best quality. The dialogue between Nikki's friend Nancy Burge and the police dispatcher is sometimes difficult to comprehend.
Rather than just post the original hard-to-decipher 911 call, what do the family and representatives working with them do?
They make/obtain a written transcript from the original call, and use it to create an audio recording of that 911 call--one that matches the conversation and the emotional/non-emotional responses of the participants.
The audio was then inserted into a video, and a simulated timeline was added.
The video is below.
This week, I wanted to let folks listen to the call (again this is a reproduction).
What things catch your attention?
--Nancy's (the caller) relatively calm presence?
--She stating that "he came in tonight"? (3:01)
--Nancy telling someone to "...just take him out to the car"--evidently referring to the dead woman's child? (2:30)
--The dispatcher obtaining the condo's phone number, and then stating that he will call there directly?
Simulated Timeline and 911 Call from Nikki LaDue January on Vimeo.
About this video: now that is innovation.
I'll talk more about the 911 call next week.
All posts on this topic can be viewed by clicking here: Nikki LaDue January.
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