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THE NATURE OF 911 HOMICIDE CALLS: USING 911 HOMICIDE CALLS TO IDENTIFY INDICATORS OF INNOCENCE AND GUILT

by HARPSTER, TRACY K

Abstract (Summary)
The Nature of 911 Homicide Calls: Using 911 Homicide Calls to Identify Indicators of Innocence and Guilt Abstract This exploratory study examined verbal indicators to critically analyze 911 homicide statements for predictive value in determining the caller’s innocence or guilt regarding the offense. The audio recordings and transcripts of one hundred 911 homicide phone calls (fifty innocent callers and fifty guilty callers), obtained from police departments and sheriff’s departments throughout the United States, provided the database utilized for the study. This study used a retrospective approach, utilizing adjudicated homicide cases in which the determination of guilt or innocence of the caller had already been proven through the legal system. Since the homicide cases were closed, the study was able to focus on the degree to which the twenty variables were able to indicate the likelihood of guilt or innocence of the 911 callers. The first variable examined is the “Plea for help,” which would be expected when a caller uses the 911 emergency contact resource to report a homicide or death. If the Plea for Help is evident, the following sub-categories were also coded and examined: A. Who the help requested for (victim, caller) B. The location of the plea (first communication, later communication). C. The context of the plea (immediacy, lack of immediacy). D. Urgent demand for officer response (present, not present). Additionally, the following variables were also analyzed: Modulation, Verbal Reaction before Dispatcher Introduction, Self-Correction, Extraneous Information, Inappropriate Politeness, Caller’s Acceptance of the Victim’s Death (with and without relationship), Possession of a Problem, Insulting/Blaming the Victim, Minimization (early in discourse and later in discourse), the “Huh Factor,” Repetition, Conflicting Facts and the Caller’s Resistance to Answer the Dispatcher’s Question. Univariate Analysis and Bivariate Analysis were utilized to study the data. The research results revealed that the presence or absence of sixteen of the variables can indicate the likelihood of the caller’s innocence or guilt regarding the offense of homicide.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:911 homicide calls indicators of innocence guilt

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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