St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

911 transcript of double murder-suicide

Associated Press
Published March 30, 2005


NEW SMYRNA BEACH - This is the transcript of the Monday morning 911 call 5-year-old Tia Hernlen made after she found her mother dead or dying and father mortally wounded in the bedroom of their New Smyrna Beach home:

OPERATOR: 911, what is your emergency?

CHILD:Um, hello.

OPERATOR: Hello. Is everything OK?

CHILD: My mommy and daddy

OPERATOR: Uh-huh.

CHILD: I think there is a bullet on the floor.

OPERATOR: And the what?

CHILD: And there is blood, coming out of my dad's mouth and he fell off the bed.

OPERATOR: He did? Where's mommy at?

CHILD: She is, I don't know, I think they're dead.

OPERATOR: What do you mean sweetheart?

CHILD: I don't know.

OPERATOR: OK, your daddy's on the floor. How old are you?

CHILD: I'm 5 years old and I have a dog in a house.

OPERATOR: OK baby, OK. Let me get someone right over to you. Did you, did you go in your mommy and daddy's room?

CHILD: Uh-huh, and there is blood.

OPERATOR: All over the place?

CHILD: Not all over. There's blood on the plant and blood on the floor.

OPERATOR: Oh my goodness and you have your little doggie with you?

CHILD: And three cats.

OPERATOR: And three cats too?

CHILD: Three cats and one dog.

OPERATOR: OK, are you the the only one there besides mommy and daddy?

CHILD: Well I said "Mommy" and "Daddy" and they didn't even answer.

OPERATOR: OK, OK, what I want you to do honey. I want you to stay on the phone with me. What is your name?

CHILD: (tells operator her name)

OPERATOR: Oh that is a very pretty name.

CHILD: (blocked out)

OPERATOR: Oh, I'm so sorry, that is a beautiful name. What is your doggie's name?

CHILD: Lizzah

OPERATOR: OK, and what made you wake up tonight?

CHILD: There was, I think I heard a gunshot.

OPERATOR: You heard a gun?

CHILD: Yes, and I see a bullet lying on the floor. I think it's a bullet.

OPERATOR: Really!

CHILD: Mmm-hmm

OPERATOR: Who has a gun in the house?

CHILD: I don't see a gun but I'm scared.

OPERATOR: Oh sweetheart! . . . I will not let anything happen to you.

CHILD: Can you send a deputy down here?

OPERATOR: I promise I will . . . and you're only 5 years old?

CHILD: Mmm-hmm

OPERATOR: You are so smart for 5 years old. Wow! . . . are you off from school this week?

CHILD: Um, no, I go to school next year.

OPERATOR: You do? Oh my gosh, you're not even in kindergarten yet?

CHILD: Nope.

OPERATOR: Oh, what's your doggie's name?

CHILD: Lizzah

OPERATOR: Lizzah, what kind of doggie is she?

CHILD: She's a lab.

OPERATOR: Oh my God, I love those. Those are so beautiful. Is she a black lab or is she a yellow lab?

CHILD: A black lab.

OPERATOR: Oh, you are so smart.

CHILD: With, um, brown eyes.

OPERATOR: Oh my goodness, how old is she?

CHILD: She is like 3 years old, or, 2 years old, I don't really know.

OPERATOR: Wow! . . . You can remember for a really long time.

CHILD: Yup.

OPERATOR: Oh my goodness. Was there anybody else in the house tonight besides you and mommy and daddy tonight? Like an uncle or anything?

CHILD: No, there's no robber in the house.

OPERATOR: OK, well I didn't think there would be a robber sweetheart. Did you have anybody staying over the night with you guys tonight?

CHILD: Nnn- nnn

OPERATOR: OK. So and the doors are all locked? And everything like that . . . Where are you in the house?

CHILD: Well, I was in my room sleeping till I heard a noise shot and it woke me up.

OPERATOR: Oh my goodness. Uh, what part of the house are you in at now?

CHILD: I'm in the one, it's yellow, all yellow house, of green, green with it, a little bit of green, and a pink door.

OPERATOR: Oh my goodness, that sounds really cool. Did you pick out the pink door?

CHILD: Um, no, my mom picked out the door.

OPERATOR: Look, I bet you that is beautiful. Does mommy and daddy have a car in the driveway?

CHILD: Mmm-hmm, two cars.

OPERATOR: Two cars? What kind of cars do they have?

CHILD: Umm, my mom has a Toyota

OPERATOR: What color is that Toyota?

CHILD: Umm

OPERATOR: Is it dark, or grey, or silver?

CHILD: It's um red.

OPERATOR: Red? OK, what kind of car does daddy have?

CHILD: He has a Jeep. It's black and . . .

OPERATOR: OK, listen to me (name). Is your phone the type that you can take with you and walk around?

CHILD: Um, this . . .

OPERATOR: There should be an officer at your front door. I need for you to take your phone with you and walk over to the door and open it for me, OK? And I will stay on the phone with you, OK?

CHILD: But um . . .

OPERATOR: I will not hang up.

CHILD: I'm naked.

OPERATOR: Oh, well do you want to grab a towel or something? I don't think the officer's going to care baby. We just want to make sure that mommy and daddy are OK, all right?

CHILD: Mmm-hmm.

OPERATOR: Grab a blanket or something. Stay on the phone with me, stay on the phone, alright?

CHILD: OK.

OPERATOR: My name is Donna, by the way. You are doing a wonderful job (blocked), wonderful job.

CHILD: And I know what to do for (incoherent)

OPERATOR: You did great!

CHILD: I knew

OPERATOR: You were wonderful, absolutely wonderful. You should be very proud of yourself.

CHILD: I'm to the door, I'm unlocking it.

OPERATOR: OK, you let me know when the officer talks to you. OK you go ahead (blocked), talk to the officer.

OFFICER: (background) You talking to the dispatcher? OK, tell her I'm here now and you can hang up.

OPERATOR: Bye sweetheart.

CHILD: Um, he's here.

OPERATOR: OK sweetheart, you be good, OK? Bye-bye.

[Last modified March 30, 2005, 17:35:03]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT