Analysis of Michael Roseboro’s call to 911

Michael Roseboro

On July 22, 2008, at 11:03 pm, funeral director, Michael Roseboro called 911:

What we look for in an emergency call is for the caller to ask for help for the victim and to show urgency.

Operator: Lancaster County, 911?

Michael Roseboro: I believe my wife just drowned.

“my wife” is an incomplete social introduction. We always note the incomplete social introduction, usually a signal of a poor relationship. Anyway we assume that during an emergency call the reason for an incomplete social introduction could be the urgency.

Note the use of “just”“just” is a dependent word used to comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought and as other dependent words reveals withheld information.

Operator: I’m sorry?

Michael Roseboro: I believe my wife just drowned.

The social introduction is still incomplete.

Operator: Okay, and what happened?

Michael Roseboro: Uh… I had gone to bed about an hour and a half ago and… she is outside and I came out and saw the lights on the pool but… Oh God… her shorts and shoes are still on I came out and I found her in the deep end of the pool.

This is alibi building. 

Note the pauses, another signal that the question is sensitive to him.

Note how he slows down the pace. This shows that the question is sensitive to him. Note how much time he is loosing recalling how he found her, this shows that he is not in a hurry to save her and tells us that he didn’t introduce his wife properly not because the urgency. After these three answers we assume that Michael and Jan Roseboro at the time of this call had a poor relationship.

Deity is invoked but not as testimony witness.

Operator: Okay, is she breathing?

Michael Roseboro: No, she’s not.

Operator: Is she still in the water?

Michael Roseboro: No, I pulled her out.

Operator: Okay, do you want to try to start CPR on her?

Michael Roseboro: I will, I will… will, yeah.

Operator: Okay, do you need help to do that? I can give you instructions on what to do.

Michael Roseboro: I… I… I was a lifeguard. I…I know.

Note the stuttering “I” a signal of increase in anxiety.

Operator: Right, I can walk you through it if you want help. 

Michael Roseboro: As I said, I wanna get her out of the pool.

This is unexpected.

Operator: What’s that?

Michael Roseboro: I wanna get her out of the pool.

Operator: Is she still in the pool?

Michael Roseboro: Yeah.

Roseboro said twice “I wanna get her out of the pool” and answered “Yeah” when asked if his wife was still in the pool.

This is incriminating, Michael Roseboro had no intention to save his wife. As a lifeguard, he knows exactly what to do in case of drowning.

Operator: I though you said she was out of the pool?

Michael Roseboro: Yeah, I… Oh my God… I’m sorry, she is out of the pool… uh… yeah. Help me through it, please.

Roseboro was caught off guard.

Note the stuttering “I” and the pause “Uh”, signals that the question is sensitive to him. 

Note “Oh my God” and “I’m sorry”.

Deity is invoked again but not as testimony witness.

“I’m sorry” is often an indicator of a form of regret that usually enters the language of the guilty.

Note the word “please” at the end of his answer, a signal that he feels the need to ingratiate himself with the operator.

 Operator: Okay, so she is out of the pool?

Michael Roseboro: Yes.

Operator: Okay, what I want you to do, is there anybody else there?

Michael Roseboro: My… my children are asleep.

Operator: How old are your children?

Michael Roseboro: Twelve, nine and six.

Operator: Okay, what we need to do is get her on her back.

Michael Roseboro: Yes, sir.

Note the word “sir”. This is unexpected politeness. 

Operator: Okay, you have her flipped over on her back?

Michael Roseboro: She is on her back, yeah.

Operator: Okay, I want you to check and see if she has a pulse. Do you know how to do that?

Michael Roseboro: I do.

Operator: Okay.

Michael Roseboro: There… there’s no pulse.

Operator: There’s none?

Michael Roseboro: There’s none.

Operator: Okay, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna start the CPR, okay?

Michael Roseboro: Okay.

Operator: Keep her head titled back. Pinch her nose. Cover her mouth with yours and give her two deep regular breaths about one second each.

Michael Roseboro: Okay.

Operator: Okay, is that the siren from the fire department there?

Michael Roseboro: Yes.

Operator: OKay.

Michael Roseboro: Hold on, I have to throw up, please, hold on.

He uses the word “please” to ingratiate himself with the operator.

Vomiting is a typical response to stress. Stress can induce general trouble with the digestive system due to the physiological changes a body goes through (General Adaptation Syndrome).

Operator: Okay.

Michael Roseboro: I’m sorry.

Note “I’m sorry” enters Michael Roseboro language for the second time in this phone call. 

Operator: Okay, that’s fine, is there somebody there?

Michael Roseboro: Not yet, no.

Operator: Okay, what we’re gonna do is, we’re gonna start the compressions, okay? Go ahead and put your hand on her chest, I want you to pump her chest hard and fast about thirty times about twice a second.

Michael Roseboro: Okay.

Operator: Okay. Let the chest come up all the way between pumps and let me know when you have done it thirty times, okay?

Michael Roseboro: Okay.

Operator: All right, go ahead and do that.

Michael Roseboro: Okay.

Operator: You did it about thirty times?

Michael Roseboro: Yes, sir.

Note the word “sir”. This is unexpected politeness. 

Operator: Okay. Go ahead and look in, I want you to open her mouth and see if there’s anything in there.

Michael Roseboro: No, there’s not.

Operator: Okay.

Michael Roseboro: The ambulance is here, sir.

Operator: The ambulance is there?

Michael Roseboro: Yes, sir.

Note the word “sir”. This is unexpected politeness. 

Operator: Okay, sir, go get them, okay?

Michael Roseboro: Thank you.

Operator: Alright.

ANALYSIS CONCLUSION:

Deception indicated.

Michael Roseboro did not ask for help for his wife Jan, nor he showed any linguistic concern for her, nor he showed any urgency.

He never introduces his wife as expected. The social introduction is a key to understand a relationship. His linguistic disposition towards his wife tells us that they had a poor relationship at the time of the call.

“I’m sorry” is an indicator of a form of regret that enters Michael Roseboro’s language twice.

Any reference to Divinity is a signal of deception. Roseboro invoked “God” twice.

Roseboro felt the need to ingratiate himself with the 911 operator.

Micheal Roseboro has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Jan.

Jan E. Binkley and Michael Roseboro

Lancaster County Forensic pathologist Dr. Wayne Ross who performed the autopsy on Jan Roseboro’s body found out that she was the victim of a homicide and that she was beaten, choked and drowned in the swimming pool at the couple’s home.

On September 2009, Michael Roseboro, 43, was sentenced  to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Jan E. Roseboro, 45, on July 22, 2008.

At the time of the murder Michael Roseboro was having an affair with Angela Funk, 38, who was pregnant with his child.