Analysis of William Richard Stevens’ 911 call

William Stevens

Nashville, Tennessee. At around 8:30 a.m., on December 22, 1997, William Richard Stevens made the following 911 call:

911 Operator: 911 what’s your emergency?

Bill Stevens: I… I need… I need a police car.

Note that Stevens doesn’t answer the question.

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

Note Stevens’ priority: a police car for himself. He is the one in “need” of something. 

911 Operator: What’s going on? Calm down, calm down. What’s going on?

Bill Stevens: I… I… I think someone ju… just killed my family.

Note the stuttering “I”, again.

The pause after “ju…” shows that he has a need to think before speaking, the question is sensitive to him. 

Why Stevens uses the word “just”? “just” is a dependent word used in comparison. This means its communication is found in dependence upon another thought. When Stevens left his house and for how long?

The victims are Stevens’ wife Sandra and Sandra’s mother Myrtle, Stevens chooses to say “my family”. We do not always expect a complete social introduction in the opening response to a question like “What’s going on?” due to urgency. Therefore, we cannot conclude here that the absence of the names of the victims is an indication of a poor relationship.

Note that Stevens offers the operator a premature explanation of what happened without telling him anything about anybody involved or about the scene. 

 911 Operator: Sir, calm down, okay? Why do you think someone killed your family?

The 911 Operator is trying to understand why Stevens announced a killing with no prior description of the scene. 

Bill Stevens: (inaudible) They’re… they’re laying in the house, just send somebody, now!

The pause after “They’re…” shows that Stevens has a need to think before speaking, the question is sensitive to him.

“They’re laying in the house” is far from a description of a family murder. 

“They’re” is still an incomplete social introduction. 

“just send somebody, now!” is a closing. Stevens is unwilling to give more information to the operator.

To say “now” is also a way to put himself on the side of the good guys (Good Guy/Bad Guy Factor).

Bill Stevens: Talk to him, talk to him.

Bill Stevens asks a friend to talk to the 911 Operator. This is unexpected. Does he know that his friend has more information to give to the operator? 

In a taped statement given on the day of his arrest, Stevens said that when he walked up to the front door of his trailer, he observed that the door was ajar.  When he stepped inside, he noticed that the Christmas tree was lying on its side and that “stuff was laying all over”, and he “knew something was wrong”. He looked towards his bedroom, saw his wife’s leg “laying across the bed,” and immediately assumed that both his wife and his mother-in-law were dead. Stevens said that he never went into either bedroom to actually check on the women, nor did he ever see his mother-in-law’s body. This is the reason why he gave few information to the 911 operator and also the reason he asked his friend to talk to him”.

Note these words from Stevens’ statement: “stuff was laying all over”, “stuff” doesn’t lay, neither does a Christmas tree. When an inanimate object is given human body posture, we should look for a staging of the scene.

Analysis conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

Bill Stevens:

  • never asked for a specific help for the victims;
  • was evasive with the 911 operator;
  • didn’t facilitate the flow of information;
  • referred to the victims as “my family” and as “They”. The social introduction speaks about the state of a relationship, an incomplete social introduction is a signal of a poor relationship.

The follow up of the 911 call:

Corey Milliken: Hello.

Greetings are unexpected in an emergency call. Greetings are a signal that a caller feels the need to ingratiate himself with the operator (the Ingratiating Factor). Usually a guilty person makes friends with 911 operators, police and journalists, to be seen in a positive light and reduce the suspicion upon them. 

911 Operator: Okay, what’s going on?

Corey Milliken: I don’t know, I’m a neighbour.

Note “I don’t know”.

911 Operator: What’s his name?

Corey Milliken: He’s Bill Stevens.

911 Operator: Why do you think someone just killed somebody?

Corey Milliken: I don’t know, he just… he came over my house, wanted to use my phone. I got his son over here with me, so he’s alright. There are two people have been murdered over there.

Note “I don’t know”.

“just” is a dependent word used in comparison. This means its communication is found in dependence upon another thought. Did Corey meet Stevens and his son before?

“I got his son over here with me, so he’s alright” tells us that he lied when he said “I don’t know”, because saying that Stevens’ son is “alright” evidently he compares him to somebody else that is not alright.

The sentence “There are two people have been murdered over there” also contradicted his prior words showing that he knows.

Note that the operator suggested the words to use to Corey Milliken when he said “Why do you think someone just killed somebody?” but  Milliken chose to say “There are two people have been murdered”. “There are two people have been murdered” is passive. Passivity in language is used to conceal identity or responsibility. 

911 Operator: Ok, hang on just a second.

Corey Milliken: Oh man.

Analysis conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

William Richard Stevens (March 1, 1956) was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the 1997 deaths of his wife Sandra Jean, 45, and her mother Myrtle Wilson, 75. He was found guilty of hiring 18-year-old Corey Milliken to murder the two women and stage a burglary at their home. He offered to pay 18-year-old Corey Milliken $5,000 to murder them. Corey strangled Sandra to death, and stabbed and strangled her mother. Stevens was sentenced to death on July 23, 1999. In 2002, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld Stevens’ death sentence. 

On April 4, 2016, after nearly 20 years on death row, William Stevens died at the age of 60 at a Nashville hospital. He was an inmate at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville. 

Corey Milliken is serving a life sentence. 


Omicidio di Katia Tondi: analisi delle due telefonate di soccorso di Emilio Lavoretano

Katia Tondi ed Emilio Lauretano

Katia Tondi, 31 anni, è stata strangolata nel tardo pomeriggio del 20 luglio 2013, mentre si trovava in casa con il suo bambino di soli sette mesi. Suo marito, Emilio Lavoretano, intorno alle 19.00 è uscito per fare la spesa e al suo ritorno, le 20.00 circa, ha chiamato prima il 118 e poi il 113.

Emilio Lavoretano è stato indagato e poi rinviato a giudizio per l’omicidio di Katia Tondi dalla procura di Santa Maria Capua Vetere.

Grazie alla casistica in tema di telefonate di soccorso sappiamo cosa aspettarci da un chiamante, per questo motivo il materiale d’analisi vero e proprio è ciò che risulta “inaspettato”. Expected versus Unexpected.

Expected: ci aspettiamo che il chiamante sia alterato, insistente e che soprattutto chieda aiuto per la vittima. Ci aspettiamo anche che imprechi e dica parolacce, che non attenda la fine della domanda dell’operatore per esplicitare una richiesta d’aiuto.

Unexpected: non ci aspettiamo che il chiamante si perda in superflui convenevoli o che chieda aiuto per sé o che senta il bisogno di collocarsi dalla parte di coloro che vogliono il bene per il soggetto per il quale chiama.

Telefonata al 118 delle 19.58:

Operatore: Pronto?

Emilio Lavoretano: Eh, buonasera, un’ambulanza subito al Parco Laurus (incomprensibile). 

Il “buonasera” è inaspettato in una chiamata di soccorso.

Il Lavoretano perde tempo a dire “buonasera” e poi inaspettatamente dice “un’ambulanza subito”. 

Operatore: Da quale città mi chiama?

Emilio Lavoretano: San Tammaro, San Tammaro.

Operatore: San Tammaro, vicino Santa Maria?

Emilio Lavoretano: (incomprensibile) sì, sì, sì.

Operatore: Eh, che è successo?

Emilio Lavoretano: Eh, non lo so (incomprensibile), c’è mia moglie a terra.

Con la frase “c’è mia moglie a terra” il Lavoretano non fornisce all’operatore informazioni sulle reali condizioni fisiche della moglie, la moglie potrebbe essere a terra perché si è semplicemente rotta una gamba. 

Operatore: In che via state?

Emilio Lavoretano: Al parco Laurus, parco Laurus, a San Tammaro.

Operatore: Parco Laurus, in che via?

Emilio Lavoretano: Strada provinciale per Curti.

Operatore: Strada provinciale per Curti, mi dice il civico?

Emilio Lavoretano: Non lo so, non lo so il civico, non lo so, per piacere, per… per piacere.

Si noti la sequenza “per piacere, per… per piacere”

Operatore: Respira?

Emilio Lavoretano: Ma non lo so se… è a terra, è nera nera.

La moglie è ancora a terra, il Lavoretano non si è accertato in precedenza, né si accerta dopo la richiesta dell’operatore se la moglie respiri, né chiede di essere aiutato a rianimarla nonostante descriva un quadro oltremodo drammatico “è nera nera”. Peraltro il fatto che la moglie sia “nera” è di conforto all’ipotesi che sia morta da molto più di pochi minuti. 

Operatore: Passatemi qualche persona, sta arrivando l’ambulanza.

Emilio Lavoretano: Fate presto, fate presto.

“Fate presto” è equiparabile a “subito”.

Telefonata al 113:

Emilio Lavoretano: Pronto? Pronto?

Operatore: Sì.

Emilio Lavoretano: Pro… pronto, buonasera (incomprensibile) a parco Laurus, a San Tammaro. Io sto vedendo, c’è mia moglie a terra.

Ancora una volta il “buonasera” è inaspettato come lo sono il “Pro… pronto”.

La sequenza “Io sto vedendo, c’è mia moglie a terra” ci rivela che il Lauretano è uno spettatore passivo. L’uomo è alla sua seconda telefonata e sta ancora “vedendo” la “moglie a terra”. 

L’inattività del Lauretano, che si evince dal contenuto della telefonata, ci induce a sospettare che l’uomo non voglia alterare la scena al fine di mostrarla così com’è agli inquirenti.

Operatore: Dove dobbiamo venire?

Emilio Lavoretano: Dovete venire… a San Tammaro, Parco Laurus, San Tammaro, strada provinciale per Curti.

Operatore: Che è successo?

Emilio Lavoretano: Eh… non lo so, c’è… c’è mia moglie a terra… venite qua, per piacere.

L’espressione “per piacere” è inaspettata.

Il Lauretano continua a ripetere che la moglie è “a terra”.

Operatore: Un’ambulanza? Che è successo?

Emilio Lavoretano: L’ho chiamata già l’ambulanza, l’ho chiamata, c’è mia moglie a terra (incomprensibile).

Il Lauretano continua ripetere che la moglie è “a terra”.

Operatore: Sua moglie è a terra dentro casa?

Emilio Lavoretano: Sta dentro casa tutta… tutto sotto sopra. 

Lauretano non dice “sono stato io”, come ipotizzato da una trasmissione televisiva, ma “tutto sotto sopra”, come riferito dallo stesso in un’udienza.

Dicendo “tutto sotto sopra”, vuol lasciar intendere che si trova di fronte ad una scena compatibile con con un furto o quantomeno con un tentativo di furto. “tutto sotto sopra” sono tre parole che gli servono per tentare di allontanare i sospetti da sé e sono in linea con l’ipotesi precedente ovvero che il Lauretano desideri mostrare agli inquirenti la scena del crimine così com’è.

Operatore: Non ho capito, scusatemi.

Emilio Lavoretano: Sta tutto… sta tutto fuori posto… sta… tutto fuori posto, qualcuno è venuto a ruba’. C’è mia moglie a terra.

Il Lavoretano ha una priorità, far credere all’operatore che l’omicidio sia stato commesso da qualcuno entrato per “ruba’”, solo in seguito dice che la moglie è “a terra”. Questa risposta ci conferma che nella risposta precedente il Lavoretano ha detto “tutto sotto sopra”. 

Operatore: Ma c’è sangue, c’è qualcosa?

Emilio Lavoretano: Non lo so, c’è mia moglie a terra, non lo so, c’è la mia vicina di casa, non lo so.

Operatore: Datemi l’indirizzo, scusate.

Emilio Lavoretano: Parco Laurus, Parco Laurus.

Operatore: Parco?

Emilio Lavoretano: Laurus, San Tammaro… Laurus, Laurus, Laurus.

Operatore: Che via è a San Tammaro?

Emilio Lavoretano: Parco Laurus, strada provinciale per Curti, piccoli’ mio.

Operatore: Ma non si muove sua moglie, non è cosciente, niente?

Emilio Lavoretano: Sta tutta nera… sta, tutta nera sta, è tutta lividita, non lo so, secondo me sono venuti i ladri (incomprensibile).

Il fatto che la moglie sia tutta “nera”, “lividita” è ancora di conforto all’ipotesi che Katia sia morta da molto più di pochi minuti. 

Il Lavoretano nel rispondere all’operatore, per la seconda volta, tenta di suggerire una spiegazione “secondo me sono venuti i ladri”, senza che gli sia stato richiesto.

In un’intervista ad una giornalista che gli chiedeva: “Ma tu cosa pensi sia successo?”, il Lavoretano ha risposto: (…) hanno rubato, una rapina andata male”. 

Operatore: Ma non respira?

Emilio Lavoretano: No, non respira, no, non respira.

Operatore: Non respira, non si muove?

Emilio Lavoretano: No, sta a terra, non respira, non respira.

Operatore: Come vi chiamate?

Emilio Lavoretano: Lavoretano, Lavoretano.

Operatore: Napoletano?

Emilio Lavoretano: Lavoretano, con la L.

Operatore: Sì le mando subito la pattuglia… le mando subito la pattuglia.

Emilio Lavoretano: Arrivede…

Ancora una volta i convenevoli sono inaspettati.


In entrambe le telefonate sono presenti dei convenevoli, i convenevoli sono fuori luogo in una telefonata di soccorso ma soprattutto vengono utilizzati di frequente dai soggetti responsabili del reato per ingraziarsi l’operatore.

“subito” e “Fate presto”, in presenza di convenevoli, appaiono espressioni prodotte, più che dall’urgenza, da una proiezione di un senso di colpa per aver chiamato i soccorsi in ritardo.

L’espressione “per piacere”, che il Lauretano ripete tre volte, ci rivela il suo bisogno di collocarsi dalla parte dei “buoni” al fine di allontanare i sospetti da sé.

Il fatto che il Lavoretano si sia limitato a riferire agli operatori che la moglie era “a terra” e non abbia fatto nulla che potesse alterare la scena del crimine ci induce ad inferire che desiderasse mostrarla agli inquirenti così com’era, egli, peraltro, ha tentato ripetutamente di convincere l’operatore che era “tutto sotto sopra”, “tutto fuori posto” a causa di un furto.

Accusa e difesa si stanno scontrando sull’ora della morte, per la difesa di Lavoretano, Katia è morta pochi minuti prima che il marito rientrasse in casa, per l’accusa, Katia è morta molto prima. Risolvono la diatriba le due telefonate di soccorso del Lavoretano e ciò che ha dichiarato la vicina di casa dei Lavoretano che per prima soccorse Katia:

  • il Lavoretano, durante le telefonate ha descritto Katia in due occasioni dicendo è nera nera e Sta tutta nera… sta, tutta nera sta, è tutta lividita
  • in un’intervista, la vicina di casa, Rosaria, ha dichiarato: “E poi onestamente mi accorsi che era morta in quanto teneva le labbra livide e le unghie pure, già erano scure e tutte chiazze per il viso (…) erano blue scure tipo ematoma, diciamo, io non ne capisco di queste cose comunque io le ho notate le labbra livide, nere le teneva“.

pertanto, la donna non poteva essere morta da pochi minuti in quanto il “livor mortis” si manifesta a un’ora dalla morte.

Analysis of Bart Whitaker’s 911 call

Kevin, Tricia, Bart and Kent Withaker

Sugar Land, Texas. On the evening of December 10, 2003, Tricia, Kent and their two sons, Bart and Kevin Whitaker had dinner in a popular restaurant to celebrate Bart’s last exam at the Sam Houston State University. After the family arrived back home from the restaurant, a neighbor called 911 to report a shooting:

First operator: 911

Neighbor: Someone’s just shot down our neighbors. Get over here.

First operator: Who’s been shot?

Neighbor: Uh, Trisha and Kent. 

First operator: Who shot them?

Neighbor: Uh, we don’t know, someone in a mask. Please get here soon.

First operator: OK.

First operator: What kind of injuries do they have?

Neighbor: Uh, I don’t know. They’ve just been shot.

First operator: Hang on just a second, we’ve them calling on another line.

While the first operator was on the phone, a second operator received a call from Bart Whitaker:

Second operator: Sugar Land 911, state your emergency.

Bart Whitaker: Yeah, I have been shot.

“Yeah” is unexpected.

Second operator: Who’s been shot?

Bart Whitaker: Uh, it’s my mom and my dad and my brother.

“Uh” is a pause to think.

Note that Bart doesn’t include himself in the list. 

Second operator: Hold on one second, sir. Engine one, all we have one subject right now shot in a arm. Apparently the whole family’s been shot. Stand by.

First operator: Is this Trisha or Kent?

Bart Whitaker: This is Bart, the son.

First operator: OK, Bart, where is your wound?

Bart Whitaker: In my arm, my shoulder, I think. I can’t move my arm.  

First operator: OK, who else has been shot in the house with you?

Bart Whitaker: I can’t see.

Note that Bart was asked the same question before by the other operator and he answered “Uh, it’s my mom and my dad and my brother”. If he “can’t see” now, how he answered before? Note that he doesn’t say “I don’t know” but, preempting a question, he says “I can’t see”, offering a reason “why” he is unable to answer.

First operator: Who else was in the house with you?

Bart Whitaker: We were walking in the house, my brother and my mom and my dad. Oh God, I can’t…

Note that he doesn’t answer the question, he doesn’t say who was in the house but only who was “walking in the house” making the question of “Who else was in the house with you?” to be very sensitive to him.

Humans often speak in an economy of words, especially someone wounded. So why does he feel the need to add “We were walking in the house”?

Additional and unnecessary words are highly important to the analyst.

Note “Oh God”, any reference to the divinity is a linguistic signal of deception. 

First operator: I need you to hang on, Bart, I’ve got help on the way, OK?

First operator: Do you know who shot you?

Bart Whitaker: No.

This is a good answer.

First operator: OK, your neighbors were telling me that he had a mask on, is that true?

Bart Whitaker: No, I think… It’s dark in here.

Note that he first answers “No” then he says “I think. It’s dark in here”. Note that he doesn’t say “I don’t know” but It’s dark in here”, and for the second time, without being asked, he offers a reason “why” he is unable to answer.

First operator: OK, do you think he was burglarising your home or you guys having problems with somebody?

Bart Whitaker: Oh God, I don’t know. I can’t move.

Note “Oh God”, any reference to the divinity is a linguistic signal of deception, in this case it should also be considered a pause to think. 

Note this first “I don’t know”.

Saying “I can’t move”, for the third time, without being asked, he offers a reason “why” he is unable to answer.

First operator: How many shots did he fire Bart?

Bart Whitaker: I don’t know.

Note this second “I don’t know”. Bart doesn’t even try to answer, this is unexpected.

First operator: Can you tell me anything bout him at all? Did he sound black, white, hispanic, middle eastern?

Bart Whitaker: Maybe black, I don’t know. I… I couldn’t say, oh.

Note this third “I don’t know” and “I couldn’t say”. He sounds uncooperative.

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

First operator: Okay. When he left, Bart, did he leave out your back door?

Bart Whitaker: Yeah, I chased him that way.

Note “I chased him”.

First operator: He let you chase him out toward the back door?

Note that the operator questioned Bart over this because he is not convincing.

Bart Whitaker: Yeah.

First operator: OK, Bart, where were you when he shot you?

Bart Whitaker: Uh, in the living room. Oh, I chased him, I’m in the living room, right by the kitchen. I went after him.

“Uh” is a pause to think.

Note “I chased him” and “I went after him”, something he told the operator three times.

Bart Whitaker shows a need to persuade that he went after the killer.

Remember, he said “I can’t see” and “It’s dark in here”, so how was he able to “chase on him”?

First operator: Slow down, OK? They are on the way. Where are you in the house right now?

Bart Whitaker: I’m in the living room.

First operator: You’re on in the living room?

Bart Whitaker: On the floor. Oh. Someone’s here.

First operator: OK, do you see the officers Bart?

Bart Whitaker: Yeah.

First operator: OK, that’s the officers coming in. I’m gonna go ahead and disconnect with you, OK?

Bart Whitaker: OK.

First operator: Thank you.


Deception Indicated

When the officers arrived on the scene they found Bart’s brother, 19-year-old Kevin, dead by a single bullet in his chest and Bart’s mother and father, Tricia and Kent wounded but alive. Tricia Whitaker died soon after being airlifted to the hospital. Kent Whitaker survived his gunshot to the arm. Bart also had a gunshot to the arm.

There were no evidence of a break-in on the scene, nothing was missing from the house but Bart Whitaker’s cell phone. The assailant had left the gun on the kitchen floor.

A journalists discovered that Bart Whitaker not only had not graduated from Sam Houston State University but he had not even attended the school.

A Sugar Land police officer recalled that he’d been called to the Whitaker house once before, two years earlier, regarding an allegation that Bart had threatened his parents’ life.

A former friend of Bart Whitaker, Adam Hipp told investigators that Bart had hatched another murder plot, the exact mirror image of the actual crime, that was aborted at the last minute, in which he was recruited to be the shooter.

In July 2004, Bart Whitaker fled the country by the name of Rudy Rios to hide in the town of Cerralvo, Mexico. 

A man named Rudy Rios told investigators that he had sold his identity to Bart Whitaker and helped him escape.

In August 2005, Steven Champagne, who lived a few doors down from Bart Whitaker, confessed his involvement in the shooting of the Whitakers.

Champagne told investigators that Bart masterminded the crime and lured his family to dinner to celebrate his fake graduation from college. While they celebrated, Champagne waited in a car in the parking lot of the restaurant and Bart’s roommate, Chris Brashear, entered the family house with the key and disabled the alarm with the code Bart had given him. When the family left the reastaurant Champagne followed them home,  parked on a nearby street and waited inside the car. After Brashear shot the four of them joined Champagne in the car, they fled the scene and threw a bag of evidence into a nearby lake.

Bart had promised his two friends money, “millions of dollars”.

On Sept. 22, 2005, Bart Whitaker was arrested in Mexico.

In March 2007, a jury convicted Bart Whitaker of the capital murder of his mother and his younger brother. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection. The shooter, Brashear, received life in prison without parole. The getaway driver, Champagne, got 15 years for his role. 

Bart Whitaker spent nearly 11 years at the Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas, as a death row inmate. On February 22, 2018, 45 minutes before his scheduled execution, Whitaker had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment without parole by Governor Greg Abbott.

Do you remember how unexpected was Bart’s answer to the following question?

First operator: Who else was in the house with you?

Bart Whitaker: We were walking in the house, my brother and my mom and my dad. Oh God, I can’t…

We noted that he didn’t answer the question, he didn’t tell the operator who was in the house but only who was “walking in the house”. Now we know why: his friend Chris, the shooter, was also in the house and Bart Whitaker found an escamotage not to lie to the operator.

Analysis of Stephen Allwine’s 911 call

Minneapolisi, Minnesota. Stephen Carl Allwine worked as an IT specialist and was a deacon at the United Church of God. His wife Amy had a dog training business at their Cottage Grove home. They had been married for 20 years and had an adopted nine-year-old son.

Stephen Carl Allwine

On November 13, 2016, around 7:00 pm, Stephen Allwine made the following 911 call from his home:

Operator: 911, what’s the address of the emergency?

Stephen Allwine: I… think… I think my wife… I think my wife shot herself. There is blood all over.

We note the stuttering “I think” especially because Allwine doesn’t ask for help for his wife.

Note that he doesn’t introduces his wife Amy as expected. The social introductionis a key to understand a relationship. We always note the incomplete social introduction, usually a signal of a poor relationship. We assume that during an emergency call the reason for an incomplete social introduction could be the urgency.

Boy: Shot herself with a gun?

Stephen Allwine: It looks like it.

Operator: Does she still have the weapon?

Stephen Allwine: I don’t know. We just got home.

Note that Allwine doesn’t just answer the question but adds “We just got home”. 

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.

We always note sentence like “We just got home”. This could be “alibi building” and the use of “We” could show a desire to hide in a crowd.

Operator: Where did she shoot herself?

Stephen Allwine: I don’t know. I just saw her and… and blood.

Allwine is referring the operator that he doesn’t know if his wife shot herself, so why his first words were “I… think… I think my wife… I think my wife shot herself”? This is a discrepancy.

Operator: Okay, do you see her right now?

Stephen Allwine: No. I’m with my son.

Operator: Sir, do you know if she was breathing at all?

Stephen Allwine: I don’t. We just got back from dinner.

Allwine didn’t check on his wife, this is suspect.

Note that “We just got back from dinner” is repeated.

Operator: Okay, would do you like to check on her and see if she is or do you believe she is behind help?

Stephen Allwine: Stay there for just a second, they want me to go check on her. Hang on.

“They want me to go check on her” is unexpected.

Operator: Okay.

Stephen Allwine: She is not breathing, I… I can’t tell where she’s shot, I don’t know.

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

(Son: Why did she shoot herself?

Stephen Allwine: I don’t know, I don’t know, bud.

Son: Are you gonna remarry?

Stephen Allwine: (laugh) I don’t know, bud).

Operator: Are there any other weapons in the residence, sir?

Stephen Allwine: Yes, there is a shotgun in the room and… uh… two rifles downstairs.

Operator: Ok, is the shotgun the one she has?

Stephen Allwine: No, she had a handgun.

Operator: Is it just you and your son home right now?

Stephen Allwine: Yes.

Operator: Okay, Stephen, are you able to just step out of the… step out of the home with your son, so my officers can see you when they pull up?

Stephen Allwine: Yeah.


Deception indicated.

Allwine never asked for help for his wife Amy, nor he showed any linguistic concern for her, nor he showed any urgency.

He tried to establish an alibi for himself twice and tried to hide in a crowd twice.

He never introduces his wife Amy 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.

Stephen Carl Allwine has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Amy.

According with the investigation, Amy was killed by a gunshot wound in the right ear and the crime scene looked like it had been staged because many inconsistencies:

  1. Amy was right-handed and the gun was found lying next to and against her left forearm/elbow area.
  2. The gunshot wound was on her right side of the head.
  3. Amy’s hands revealed no soot, no gunpowder stippling, no unburned gunpowder stippling and no blood.
  4. Amy’s body had been moved and someone had cleaned up the scene.
  5. Nine bloodstains were found in the hallway floor and lower north wall outs the master bedroom where the victim was found. A large area on the hardwood floor had blood on it but had been cleaned. Nine bloody footprints that appeared to have been cleaned up were enhanced using Luminol on the floor between the master bedroom and the laundry room.
  6. The autopsy revealed that Amy had scopolamine, in large quantity in her system. Scopolamine is an anti-nausea drug that she was never prescribed.
  7. Local law enforcement noted no force entry into the home.

According with the prosecutors Stephen Allwine’s had tried to hire a hitman to murder his wife but when his plan failed he drugged Amy to incapacitate her, then killed her with a single gunshot wound to the head and made her murder look like a suicide.

On January 31, 2017, Stephen Carl Allwine, 43, was convicted by a Washington County jury of first-degree premeditated murder in the killing of Amy Allwine on Nov. 13, 2016. On February 2, 2018, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Washington County prosecutors argued that Stephen’s motive was to collect his wife’s $700,000 life insurance policy, of which he was the sole benefactor.

Stephen Allwine is serving his term at the St. Cloud Prison.

Omicidio di Eligia Ardita: analisi della telefonata di Christian Leonardi al 118

Christian Leonardi ed Eligia Ardita

Christian Leonardi è accusato di aver ucciso sua moglie Eligia Ardita, un’infermiera di 35 anni all’ottavo mese di gravidanza. Il Leonardi ha prima confessato l’omicidio e ha poi ritrattato. Secondo i medici legali Veronica Arcifa e Giovanni Bartoloni che hanno eseguito l’autopsia “la causa ed il mezzo della morte di Eligia Ardita sono riconducibili ad un meccanismo patogenetico da asfissia meccanica violenta verosimilmente da soffocamento con compromissione polmonare e cardiaca”, una causa di morte che si accorda perfettamente con il racconto dell’omicidio che il Leonardi ha fatto al magistrato durante la confessione.

La telefonata di Christian Leonardi, marito di Eligia Ardita, al 118, è delle ore 23:23 del 19 gennaio 2015:

Operatore: 118, operatore 81. 

Christian Leonardi: Sì, buonasera, mi chiamo Leonardi Christian, cortesemente, mi dovete mandare un’autoambulanza velocemente perché c’ho mia moglie incinta (incomprensibile).

Si noti che Leonardi riferisce il proprio cognome e poi il proprio nome all’operatore ma non fa altrettanto riguardo a sua moglie che introduce semplicemente con un “mia moglie”.

Christian Leonardi, prima della richiedere un’ambulanza, saluta con un “Sì, buonasera” e poi aggiunge “cortesemente”. I convenevoli sono inaspettati in una richiesta di soccorso in quanto servono semplicemente a chi chiama per ingraziarsi l’operatore e generalmente celano delle responsabilità. In questo caso il desiderio di accattivarsi l’operatore del 118 è una priorità per Leonardi che solo in seconda battuta  chiede “un’ambulanza velocemente”.

Operatore: Lei chiama… da dove? Da dove chiama?

Christian Leonardi: Da Siracusa, da Siracusa.

Operatore: Che via è?

Christian Leonardi: Via Calatabiano… Non respira, in poche parole.

Si noti la frase “in poche parole” che presuppone che ci sia altro da riferire ma che sia stato lasciato fuori.

Operatore: Come non respira?

Christian Leonardi: Non respira, non respira, respira mo… molto a fatica.

Operatore: A che mese di gravidanza?

Christian Leonardi: Ottavo mese.

Operatore: È cosciente? Parla?

Christian Leonardi: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Operatore: Non parla?

Christian Leonardi: No, no, no.

Operatore: Ma da quanto tempo?

Christian Leonardi: Ora, ora è successo, ora, mi sono svegliato ora proprio.

Si noti che il Leonardi ripete l’avverbio di tempo “Ora” per quattro volte e infine lo accompagna a “proprio” mostrando un bisogno di convincere l’operatore che le difficoltà respiratorie della moglie siano appena iniziate; queste ripetizioni lasciano intendere il contrario ovvero che ci sia stato un ritardo nell’allertare i soccorsi da parte del Leonardi.

Quando l’uomo ha cercato di ritrattare ha confermato questo ritardo: “La sera del 19 gennaio 2015 verso le 23 e 05 sentivo mia moglie che respirava male, come un rantolo, e dissi: “Amore, che hai?”. Non ricevendo risposta, saltai dal letto e accesi la luce, la televisione si era spenta con il timer, mia moglie distesa sul letto non dava risposta ai miei insistenti richiami “Amore che hai? Eligia, rispondimi”. Alché, presi il telefonino e chiamai il 118 spiegandogli che mia moglie non respirava, respirava molto a fatica e che era all’ottavo mese di gravidanza”. E’ il Leonardi a riferire che le difficoltà respiratorie della moglie datavano quantomeno dalle 23:05, l’uomo chiamò però il 118 quasi 20 minuti dopo, alle 23:23. 

“mi sono svegliato ora proprio” è una frase ricorrente nelle telefonate di soccorso e viene generalmente pronunciata nell’intento di crearsi un alibi.

Operatore: Allora via Calatabiano, numero?

Christian Leonardi: Quattro.

Operatore: Quattro, famiglia?

Christian Leonardi: Leonardi Cristian.

Operatore: Va bene, le faccio arrivare un’ambulanza al più presto.

Christian Leonardi: Grazie mille.

Si notino le parole “Grazie mille” che rappresentano ulteriori convenevoli che servono al Leonardi per continuare ad ingraziarsi l’operatore.

Operatore: Prego.


La telefonata di Christian Leonardi al 118 è in linea con la sua confessione, non con la ritrattazione della stessa. Il Leonardi, durante la telefonata:

  1. si è perso in convenevoli, un comportamento anomalo viste le drammatiche condizioni di sua moglie che verrà trovata in arresto cardiaco dai soccorritori;
  2. quando ha detto “Non respira, in poche parole”, ha mostrato di nascondere delle informazioni ;
  3. ci ha rivelato di aver chiamato il 118 in ritardo quando ha ripetuto per tre volte l’avverbio “Ora”;
  4. si è precostituito un alibi dicendo “mi sono svegliato ora proprio”.

Nelle chiamate di soccorso fatte per essere d’aiuto a qualcuno e non per apparire un “bravo ragazzo” e precostituirsi un alibi, si ascoltano frequentemente parolacce ed imprecazioni e spesso chi chiama non solo non saluta l’operatore ma comincia a parlare prima di essere interpellato o sovrappone la propria voce a quella del suo interlocutore. 

– Confrontiamo l’esordio della telefonata di Leonardi, in cui compaiono le parole “Sì, buonasera” e cortesemente”, con quello della chiamata al 118 effettuata da Bernardo Mingrone nel caso del suicidio di David Rossi:

Operatore: 118?

Bernardo Mingrone: Deve mandare subito a Siena, Rocca Salimbeni… subito un’ambulanza.

La richiesta di soccorsi di Mingrone è immediata e concisa e non sono presenti convenevoli.

– Confrontiamo ora la risposta del Leonardi al 118 con l’esordio della chiamata al 118 effettuata da Antonio Ciontoli, condannato in primo grado per l’omicidio (colposo) di Marco Vannini:

Operatrice del 118: 118 romana, salve, buonasera.

Antonio Ciontoli: Eh, buonasera, senta c’è un’emergenzaaa a via Alcide De Gasperi a Ladispoli.


E con l’esordio della chiamata al 118 di Federico Ciontoli, condannato per concorso in omicidio colposo:

Operatrice del 118: 118, Roma.

Federico Ciontoli: Eee… buonasera, mi serve urgentemente un’ambulanza a Ladispoli.


E con le parole di Maria Pezzillo, condannata per concorso in omicidio colposo. la donna, madre di Federico Ciontoli interloquì con l’operatrice del 118 durante la telefonata fatta da suo figlio:

Maria Pezzillo Ciontoli: No, eh stava facendo… ee… il bagno, il ragazzo stava nella vasca… Si è ripreso? Aspè… mmm… stava facendo la… la… stava facendo il bagno, stava nella vasca… è entrato… non serve. Vabbè eee, nel caso richiamiamo.

Operatrice del 118: D’accordo, Grazie.

Maria Pezzillo Ciontoli: Grazie.


Si noti che tutti e tre i componenti della famiglia Ciontoli si sono sperticati in convenevoli.

– Confrontiamo ora l’esordio della telefonata del Leonardi con gli esordi delle due telefonate di soccorso fatte da Raffaele Sollecito, la mattina del 2 novembre 2007, alla presenza di Amanda Knox, pochi minuti prima della scoperta del corpo di Meredith Kercher. Sollecito fece due chiamate al 112, una alle 12.51.40 e la seconda alle 12.54.29. Le telefonate di Sollecito sono da collocarsi temporalmente dopo l’arrivo della polizia postale che raggiunse il luogo dell’omicidio in seguito al ritrovamento dei telefonini della vittima.


Sollecito: Eh, pronto, buongiorno, senta ehm…. qualcunooo è praticamente entratoo in casa sfondando la finestraaa ee ha messo mo.. molto disordine e c’è una porta chiusa, la via è mm.. (suggerimento di Amanda)  … via della pergola 7.


Sollecito: No, non… non c’è il furto… hanno rotto la finestra… i vetri…  molto disordine… c’è pure una portaaaa… chiusa… pure disordine.


Sollecito: Si vede dai segni… poi c’è, c’è… ci sono pure macchie di sangue nel bagno.



Operatore: Carabinieri, Perugia.

Sollecito: Sì, salve. Ho chiamato due secondi fa praticamente.


Sollecito: Non hanno portato via niente, il problema è che c’è una porta chiusa… ci sono macchie di sangue.

Operatore: C’è una porta chiusa. Qual è la porta chiusa?

Sollecito: Di una delle coinquiline che non c’è e non sappiamo dove sia…


Operatore: Arrivederci.

Sollecito: Arrivederci.

Sollecito si è intrattenuto in convenevoli sebbene, seppure tardivamente, lo stesso abbia descritto una situazione al limite del drammatico per la presenza di tracce di sangue, disordine e per l’incapacità di contattare Meredith la cui porta della stanza era chiusa a chiave. 

Analysis of Calvin Stoudt’s 911 call

Owensboro, Kentucky.

On June 25, 2006, around 7:45 PM, Calvin Andrew Stoudt, 45, called 911 to say his wife Corrine D. Behl Stoudt, 46, wasn’t breathing:

Operator: 911 operator. What is your emergency?

Calvin Stoudt: It’s 1735 Lee Court. I just came home from church and my wife’s not breathing and the bedroom is messed up.

“I just came home from church” is alibi building.

Note that Stoudt’s priority is not his wife but to built an alibi for himself.

Moreover, he doesn’t just say “I just came home” but adds “from church”; those two words have a reason, Calvin Stoudt has the need to represent himself as a religious man, this is the “good guy/bad guy” principle in analysis. Virtue signaling means projected guilt.

Therefore “I just came home from church” is not just alibi building but it is also a way to portrait himself as a “good guy”.

Note that Stoudt doesn’t introduces his wife as expected. The social introduction is a key to understand a relationship. We always note the incomplete social introduction, usually a signal of a poor relationship. We assume that during an emergency call the reason for an incomplete social introduction could be the urgency. We also note that in this first answer the incomplete social introduction is in association with two other sensitivity indicators.

With “the bedroom is messed up” he is suggesting the operator that his wife could have been murdered during a robbery.

Operator: Your wife’s not breathing?

Calvin Stoudt: No, I checked for a pulse and her face is all red. She’s naked on floor.

Operator: Okay. How long have you been gone?

Calvin Stoudt: I’ve been gone since a quarter to five.

Operator: What’s your name?

Calvin Stoudt: Calvin, I’m her husband.

Operator: What’s your last name, Calvin?

Calvin Stoudt: Stoudt… It’s S-T-O-U-D-T.

Operator: Are you the only one home right now?

Calvin Stoudt: Yeah, I mean, I don’t hear anyone in the bedroom but I haven’t gone all the way in.

Note that he answers “Yeah” despite the fact he didn’t check the house.

“I mean” is a pause to think.

Operator: Okay, I got officers and an ambulance on the way. Okay.

Calvin Stoudt: Do you want me to do anything? Her face is all purple.

“Do you want me to do anything?” is weak, Stoudt doesn’t show urgency.

Operator: How long did you say you had been gone for?

Calvin Stoudt: Since about 4:30, quarter to five.

Operator: And she was fine when you left?

Calvin Stoudt: Yes, madam.

Note the word madam. This is unexpected politeness. He has a need to ingratiate himself with the operator.

Operator: Okay, did she say she had any friends coming over or anything?

Calvin Stoudt: No, she was going to take a walk and that’s all I know about.

“that’s all I know about” is a way to close the topic.


Deception indicated.

Calvin Stoudt’s priorities were to establish an alibi for himself and to appear a “good guy”.

He never asked for help for his wife, nor he showed any linguistic concern for her, nor he showed any urgency.

His linguistic disposition towards his wife Corrine spoke of a poor relationship between the two at the time of the call.

He has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Corinne.

Corrine D. Behl Stoudt

When detectives arrived on the scene found no signs of forced entry and no signs of a struggle. Corrine Stoudt’s nude body was face down. She had marks on her neck that looked like she had been strangled but no defensive wounds. Dr. Bob Howe, the Daviess County coroner confirmed she had been strangled and died from asphyxiation shortly before noon.

He husband had called 911 at about 7:45 PM asserting that he had left the house at 4:45 and that she was fine. The coroner said that she died eight hours before her body was found.

On October 20, 2006, Calvin Andrew Stoudt was arrested and accused of murdering his 46-year-old wife, Corinne. He pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole. Calvin Andrew Stoudt died in prison on June 2, 2016.

Analysis of Timothy Permenter’s 911 call

Karen Pannell and two of her brothers

On October 11, 2003 at 10:30 a.m., Timothy Permenter called 911:

Operator: 911, what’s your emergency?

Timothy Permenter: Please, come, send the police (crying). Karen is death.

Note the word “Please”, a signal that Permenter has a need to ingratiate himself with the operator.

Note that Permenter doesn’t introduce Karen properly. 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.

Operator: Is that your wife?

Timothy Permenter: Uh, my girlfriend. I just came over here and I found her. Please, please, hurry.

Note that, before answering, Permenter needs to take time to think with a pause. The word “Uh” shows that the question is sensitive to the caller.

Note that Permenter doesn’t just answer the question but adds “I just came over here and I found her”. 

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.

“I just came over here and I found her” is alibi building.

Note the words “Please, please”, another signal that Permenter has a need to ingratiate himself with the operator.

Operator: Is this suspicious?

Timothy Permenter: I would say so, yeah, I opened the door and she’s in the kitchen and there’s blood everywhere.

Note that Permenter doesn’t say that he reached Karen on the floor inside her house but that he just opened the door, saw her and the blood.

Operator: I have paramedics on the way. What’s the problem?

Timothy Permenter: (crying) I don’t know. She’s just laying there.

Note the word “there”. He doesnt say “here” but “there”, this word means physical distance between him and her.

Operator: She’s what?

Timothy Permenter: She’s laying there.

Note the word “there” again.

Operator: Is she conscious?

Timothy Permenter: No.

Operator: Is she breathing?

Timothy Permenter: I don’t know. She’s laying there on the floor and there’s blood everywhere.

Note the word “there” again.

Note that Permenter didn’t check on his girlfriend. He says that he doesn’t know if she is breathing but his first answer to the 911 operator was “Please, come, send the police (crying). Karen is death”. How does he knows she is dead?

Operator: There’s blood everywhere?

Timothy Permenter: There’s blood everywhere.

Operator: And where’s the blood coming from?

Timothy Permenter: I don’t know.

Permenter confirms to the operator that he didn’t even touch his girlfriend Karen. 


Deception indicated.

Permenter felt the need to ingratiate himself with the operator in two occasions.

During this short phone call Permenter tried to establish an alibi for himself.

Permenter didn’t even touch Karen, he knew she was death because he had stabbed her few hours before this phone call and when he went back he found her in the same position she was when he left her house after the attack.

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

Timothy Permenter has guilty knowledge of what happened to Karen Ann Pannell.

Timothy Permenter during his trial

On October 24, 2007, a jury convicted Timothy Permenter of the first-degree murder of Karen Pannell. The jury voted seven to five in favor of the death penalty, but the trial court sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ursula Franco, MD and criminologist