Home > Uncategorized > 911 call times – UPDATE

911 call times – UPDATE

I just realized there may be (another) slight error in my deduced match-ups of 911 callers to call start times. You know, the ones I identified as only ‘probable’ but the whole interwebs now seems to be taking as established fact without attribution or qualification (shame, shame, interwebs).

I had originally deduced:

7:16:11   JenniferW11
7:16:41   W3 (“white shirt”)
7:17:06   TeresaW19 (concerned for “elderly gentleman”)
7:17:15   JayneW18 (‘the teacher’)
7:17:54  Mary Cutcher
7:18:00  JohnW6
7:19:04  W15 (Austin McLendon’s sister)

I based these on synching up as best I could the one constant in all but the first and last calls: the point at which the caller first mentions the arrival of a person with a flashlight on the scene. There’s some room for error there in that the witnesses do not necessarily mention this right as they see it. They may be talking to the 911 operator about something else, finish that thought, and then note ‘there’s someone here with a flashlight now.’

But what I didn’t know at the time I made this correlations was where JayneW18 lives. She’s the only 911 caller, and only witness we know of so far, who lives in the building running East-West North of the ‘T’. All the other callers live on one side of the North-South ‘dog walk’ sidewalk or the other. What this means is that W18 is the only witness (with the possible exception of Jennifer and Jeremy, who say they were hiding and not looking outside after the gunshot) with a view of RVC and the East end of the sidewalk between TTL and RVC. So she would have been able to see JonW13 as soon as he rounded the corner from the front of his home, and also Ofc. Smith as soon as he turned onto the sidewalk from RVC.

Thus, she would have been able to spot each of the two flashlights several seconds before any of the other witnesses who mentioned them. Taking that in mind, and also that Mary Cutcher did not call 911 until AFTER she and Selma Mora had attempted to speak to Zimmerman, my adjusted deduced call times are:

7:16:11   JenniferW11
7:16:41   W3 (“white shirt”)
7:17:06   JayneW18 (‘the teacher’)
7:17:15   TeresaW19 (concerned for “elderly gentleman”)
7:17:54  JohnW6
7:18:00  Mary Cutcher
7:19:04  W15 (Austin McLendon’s sister)

As you can see, both of these adjustments only entail relatively short differences in time, 9 seconds and 6 seconds respectively. However, they have two possible points of significance, relating to JayneW18’s call. First, she told both Anderson Cooper and Ashleigh Banfield of CNN in ‘disguised’ interviews that she was on the phone with 911 when the gunshot went off, but the recording clearly starts AFTER the shot. However, if she connected at 7:17;06, it’s somewhat more likely that she had the phone in her hand and was in the process of dialing when the shot went off, thus going to her credibility. Second, the more clarity on where and when she saw Ofc. Smith, the better we can estimate Smith’s arrival at the actual scene of the shooting, measuring the time that passed between the shot and the point JonW13 showed up, and the time that passed while GZ and JonW13 were talking before Ofc. Smith showed up and took GZ into custody.

  1. onlyiamunitron
    August 23, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Where do those call start times come from?

    I know they were in a newspaper article, but where did the paper get them?

    Is there any kind of “official” document, and is it available online?

    I thought the times were attached to the calls back when the city of Sanford had them up on their website, but no one seems to have grabbed screen shots that I can find.


    • August 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      The start times come from an article on the website of WKMG-TV: http://tinyurl.com/6oc3fc2. It simply says, “Records show…” but does not indicate where WKMG sourced them. They have not been released in any offcial document. in fact, I asked Frances Robles about this when she interviewed me for her article about bcclist, and she told me she specifically asked for this info from the prosecutors, and was denied. (So much for full discovery, i guess.) There were no times attached to the calls on the old Sanford city site, and they were not in chronological order.

      The only thing I can say about their validity is that both these times, and calculations based on them, have circulated widely. They’re even on Wikipedia as establish fact. I would think that if they were seriously in error, someone from the SAO would at least say, “We’ve seen those times, and they’re significantly incorrect,” even if declining to correct them

      • onlyiamunitron
        August 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        Have you asked Stutzman yet?

        Should I?


        • August 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM

          No. As is ripped her pretty severely in an earlier post on this blog, I wouldn’t be the one to ask. She did respond to a query from Patricia from the Leatherman blog, so why not? She seems to get leaks from the SPD, and her source could probably confirm the times and who called when, but only off the record, not for attribution, etc. And I’m sure Rene would want the same conditions in passing anything along, so as not to alienate her source. Beat reporters live and die by their relationships with their sources, which is something most readers don’t understand. There’s been speculation that Chris Serino is her main source, and that would make sense, but it could be any number of other folks as well.

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