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    Default Police botched 911 call leads to Murder-Suicide

    911 tape reveals serious mistakes

    By MARC FORTIER and JAMIE JAMIESON

    Staff writers

    BEVERLY -- Patrolman Raymond Beals abruptly hung up on a 911 caller reporting a domestic disturbance involving his son, even as another woman could be heard screaming in the background.

    Beverly police yesterday released the tape of the Friday, Nov. 28, emergency call from Gail Corbett, asking for police to come to remove Jason Beals, her daughter's boyfriend, from her house.

    Patrolman Beals was working dispatch when the call came in around 8 p.m., but instead of logging the call and sending another officer, he left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave, police said.

    Three days later, Lori Corbett died of stab wounds in the same Essex Street house. Authorities believe Jason Beals killed her before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.

    At least one law enforcement expert said Raymond Beals badly botched the 911 call, and should never have hung up on a citizen reporting a domestic disturbance.

    "You mean the cop hung up? I thought you were saying the citizen hung up. Of course it's inappropriate," said Jim Brown, associate director of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. "Oh, wow. That's totally incorrect.

    "That's not even 'Police Work 101.' I mean, even a high school kid can tell you that. That's a terrible response."

    He said Raymond Beals, a 25-year police veteran, should have asked several questions: if anyone had been drinking, if a weapon was involved, and how many people were there.

    According to Beverly's 911 policy, dispatchers are supposed to do three things:

    * Determine the exact location where emergency assistance is required.

    * Dispatch the appropriate services to the emergency.

    * Remain on the line with the caller for as long as it is necessary to satisfy the emergency.

    Based on the tape and other information provided by police, it appears Raymond Beals did not adhere to the second and third parts of the policy.

    Beverly Police Chief John Cassola said there is no set procedure that requires a 911 dispatcher to stay on the line until police arrive at the scene of a call.

    "It depends on what's going on," he said. In the case of a suspected housebreak, for example, the caller would be kept on the line in case something happened. "It's a call-by-call basis. Not every domestic call that we have."

    But Cassola did say it is unusual for a dispatcher to cut someone off in mid-sentence. "I guess so," he said.

    23-second call

    When he answered the 911 call, Raymond Beals did not identify himself. But Cassola said he recognized Beals' voice, and Beals told him he was the one who answered the call.

    After Gail Corbett asked for help, saying someone was causing problems at her home, Raymond Beals asked her who was causing the trouble.

    "Jason Beals," she replied.

    "Ohhh-kay," Raymond Beals said. "What's he doing?"

    At this point, another female voice, which police believe to be Lori Corbett, can be heard screaming in the background. The only word she can be heard saying is, "Stop!"

    "She's asking him to leave, and he won't," Gail Corbett said.

    Raymond Beals then said, "OK, yup," before the tape cut Gail Corbett off in mid-sentence as she was saying, "And off ..."

    Police said they aren't sure why the tape cuts off at this point, but they believe Beals hung up on the call.

    The 23-second tape provided to The Salem News does not include the next 911 call, making it difficult to determine if the tape cut off on its own or if Raymond Beals hung up. The newspaper has requested the entire 911 tape recorded that day, and the tape recorded on Monday, Dec. 1, the day of the murder-suicide. But City Solicitor Peter Gilmore said that information won't be available until Monday at the earliest.

    At the start of the tape, a strange-sounding music plays in the background. Cassola said he isn't sure where the music is coming from, but guessed that it could be from the television located in the dispatch area of the police station.

    Cassola said his department still isn't finished with its internal investigation into Raymond Beals' response to the 911 call on Nov. 28. He said it should be complete by next week. Beals, 63, who attended his son's funeral yesterday, remains on bereavement leave.

    The Police Department also released a list yesterday of the officers who were working on the Friday night when the original 911 call came in. The roster shows that the department had a full complement of five patrol officers and a patrol sergeant, two dispatchers, and an officer in charge.
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    If you want to hear the acutual call that he hung up on her go to.
    www.salemnews.com Its on the main page.
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    MORON

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    Wow. What an IA Officers dream.

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    hmmmmm can we say law suit...

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    Default Re: Police botched 911 call leads to Murder-Suicide

    Originally posted by stm4710
    Patrolman Beals was working dispatch when the call came in around 8 p.m., but instead of logging the call and sending another officer, he left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave, police said.

    Three days later, Lori Corbett died of stab wounds in the same Essex Street house. Authorities believe Jason Beals killed her before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.
    maybe it's because I have no background in law enforcement, but I don't think one event directly led to the other. I understand that proper protocol wasn't followed. but please follow my thinking:

    1) woman calls 911, requesting officer remove person from her house
    2) a 25 year veteran police officer arrives, and tells the person to leave.

    sounds like both parties should be satisfied with how the 911 call turned out.

    yes, it's a tragedy that the murder suicide occurred, but I don't think it was caused by this so called "botched 911 call." yes IA will have a field day with this guy, and he should have sent someone else, but he didn't. what if he had been on the road, and the dispatcher had sent him to the disturbance. would people then be saying one thing led to the other? he definetly violated protocol, and dept. regs, and he should be reprimanded.

    but I think blaming him for what happened 3 days later isn't fair.
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    Default Re: Re: Police botched 911 call leads to Murder-Suicide

    Originally posted by DrParasite


    maybe it's because I have no background in law enforcement, but I don't think one event directly led to the other. I understand that proper protocol wasn't followed. but please follow my thinking:

    1) woman calls 911, requesting officer remove person from her house
    2) a 25 year veteran police officer arrives, and tells the person to leave.

    sounds like both parties should be satisfied with how the 911 call turned out.

    yes, it's a tragedy that the murder suicide occurred, but I don't think it was caused by this so called "botched 911 call." yes IA will have a field day with this guy, and he should have sent someone else, but he didn't. what if he had been on the road, and the dispatcher had sent him to the disturbance. would people then be saying one thing led to the other? he definetly violated protocol, and dept. regs, and he should be reprimanded.

    but I think blaming him for what happened 3 days later isn't fair.
    They have everything to do with each other. After she was hung up on the lady in the back round was stabbed and dies as a result of the wounds 3 days later in ICU. Fact is that a patrolman is no more than 2 minutes away from any point in that town due to there patrol areas. He left the station( which under no means should he have done)and as result, this girl was murderd. I perosnally think this cop should be hung out to dry.
    Last edited by stm4710; 12-07-2003 at 03:16 PM.
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    So Dr Parasite, let me get this straight. You see ZERO corroboration between the fact that the officer who answered the call and the suspect were FATHER AND SON. I'd say this cop was trying to keep lil junior out of trouble and ended up making some severe errors in judgement. Now he's minus a son, the caller is minus a daughter and the officer is probably going to be minus a job, reputation and dollars ........ I CAN see the relation between all events here. Go back and re-read the article. Listen to the call.
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    Default Re: Re: Re: Police botched 911 call leads to Murder-Suicide

    Originally posted by stm4710
    They have everything to do with each other. After she was hung up on the lady in the back round was stabbed and dies as a result of the wounds 3 days later in ICU.
    From the original article
    Three days later, Lori Corbett died of stab wounds in the same Essex Street house. Authorities believe Jason Beals killed her before turning the knife on himself in a murder-suicide.
    stm4710, reread the article. I wasn't there. all I can make comment on is what I read.

    what the article says is that the murder-suicide occurred 3 days AFTER the initial 911 call. it did occur in the same house, but 3 days later. It does not say she spent 3 days in the ICU. in fact, the article say "he left the station, took a cruiser to the house, and told his son to leave." I'm assuming his son did leave, and there was no stabbings at this incident. and yes, i'm making the assumption that he was trying to keep his son out of trouble (not saying it was right, just that was his motivation for doing it).

    While both events were part of a the same domestic problem, it isn't fair to blame the officer for something that happened 3 days later. After all, if this had happened a month later, would you still be wanting to lynch the guy? after all, he didn't see it coming.

    I'm not saying what he did was right. In fact, I do think that what he did was wrong. But hindsight is 20/20. and I don't think anyone (including the officer himself) expected his son to come back 3 days later with a knife.

    back to what i said in an earlier post, what would the reaction be if he had been on the road when this call came in, and it was in his zone. or what if he had been dispatching, and had sent another car to investigate the problem? what if he did everything by the book, and the end results turned out exactly the same? what would you be saying then? would you still want to lynch the cop because he dispatching? or because it was his son involved?
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    DrParasite, I'm sorry, I was the one who had to go back and re-read the article. I didn't notice the 3 days later statement. I do, however, feel that perhaps the whole point is if the call had been handled properly the deaths "may" not have occurred. Perhaps IF the son had been detained, at the time of call, things would have turned out differently. We will never know, and this is just another one of those things that we can "what if" to death.
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    I agree with DrParasite. How can you hold the guy responsible for something that happened 3 days later. Yes, he was wrong for handling the situation the way he did. As Pfire said, you can "What If" this situation to death and we will never know what could/would have happened if he did handle it properly.

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    Despite a separation of days, I still believe a connection is reasonable because an officer responding to the initial incident who did NOT have a massive conflict of interes, depending on the situation he found, may have arrested the younger Beals, who would not have had the opportunity to come back and commit a murder.

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    I thkn the whole thing speculating..............so the cop is dispatching but the newspaper says they had a full staff on duty including 2 dispatchers...so why was he in dispatch ? All I got was that he took a call, went to the scene and removed the occupant, no where does it say that the deaths were related to anything from that night .......ya it looks bad when it is a cops kid doing ANYTHING wrong, and another unit besides his shold have handled that call ....but I dont see the coorelation ..............no where did it say that the Beals who was causing the inital disturbance was in trouble for an arrestable offense.
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    Guys. Trust me. This cop is screwed. Hdid lots wrong. I would bet my mortgage there were past incidents here. I defend cops to the hilt, as you know, but there is no, none, zero good points here for the cop.

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    Ya know, this article kinda reminds me of a lot of NIOSH LODD reports -- they yack about technicalities and miss the key mistakes.

    The problem isn't he hung up a 911 phone and didn't determine some stuff protocols said he should.

    Like others said -- he tried to protect junior. Massive conflict of interest. The handling of 911 is just a sideshow to this.

    You don't always have an oppurtonity in small and smallish towns to avoid all "conflicts of interest," but he sure could've if he wanted to had another officer respond with him, too.

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    I'm there with George. I've got 20 years of being a cop and I can guarantee you that this guy was protecting Jr. His assignment was at dispatch and he should have sent another cop to handle the call. Had someone else responded than maybe Jr would have wound up in jail or at the very least someone could have told the victim that she probably ought to be getting away for a few days.

    That the murder was commited 3 days later does nothing to mitigate this guy's conduct.
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    That the murder was commited 3 days later does nothing to mitigate this guy's conduct.
    I don't think anyone is debating that what he did that night was wrong. My point was just that the murder was three days later, not that night. I'm not a cop, but I bet if he was arrested that night, then he would have still been out of jail 3 days later after posting bond........

    I still say, from the information I have seen (which probably isn't the whole story), you can't hold the murder-suicide against him,BUT HE WAS STILL WRONG FOR HANDLING THE SITUATION THE FIRST NIGHT THE WAY HE DID!!

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    Ya know, this article kinda reminds me of a lot of NIOSH LODD reports -- they yack about technicalities and miss the key mistakes.
    Right. And we have people on these forums who miss the key mistakes also.
    I'm not a cop
    Exactly.
    but I bet if he was arrested that night, then he would have still been out of jail 3 days later after posting bond
    You can't say that. You have no idea what an objective party would have charged him with, you have no idea what his bond would have been and if he would have made it, you have no idea what his past criminal history was, you have no idea what his past experience with this victim is, you have no idea what the cop/dad's past experience with this victim is, and you have no idea about many other things that came into play that night.

    But you do know one glaring thing. The cop did not do his job as it should have been done. He MAY have been able to prevent this homicide.

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    You can't say that. You have no idea what an objective party would have charged him with, you have no idea what his bond would have been and if he would have made it, you have no idea what his past criminal history was, you have no idea what his past experience with this victim is, you have no idea what the cop/dad's past experience with this victim is, and you have no idea about many other things that came into play that night.
    Actually George, I can say whatever I want. That's why I gave the precursor of "I'm not a cop". I wasn't there. Were you? Nope, don't think you were, unless you're keeping somthing from us. And all that stuff that you said I didn't know........ Why don't you tell me. You can't because you don't know it either.As I said before........

    from the information I have seen (which probably isn't the whole story)
    You let me know when you have the full complete story George instead of passing judgement on something you don't have all of the information on.

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    Originally posted by firenresq77


    Actually George, I can say whatever I want. That's why I gave the precursor of "I'm not a cop". I wasn't there. Were you? Nope, don't think you were, unless you're keeping somthing from us. And all that stuff that you said I didn't know........ Why don't you tell me. You can't because you don't know it either.As I said before........

    You let me know when you have the full complete story George instead of passing judgement on something you don't have all of the information on.
    You see, I don't know. I never said I did. All I know is that the cop did not do his job. I never said it would have prevented the homicide. I said it MAY have prevented the homicide.

    And you're right. you can say whatever you want. You just can't say it with any credibility.

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    Fireresq........There were a boat load of articles right after this happend. I didnt post them cause they had nothing todo with firefighting. Until this one came out about the 911 call. I posted it for people to look at and say " oh my, that could happen here with our current sops". What I have been able to piece together is----the first call you heard was the inital 911 call. This guy left the station, his son meanwhile forced his way in there stabbed her then himself. Hence you see the mention of the second 911 call. She died 3 days later----from the wounds she got that night. This lady lived in an upstairs apartment---thats how loud she was screaming.The article I posted does not do a very good job describing this murder---nor is really about the murder. Your right this is just the tip of an iceburg.

    I said it MAY have prevented the homicide.
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    I didnt post them cause they had nothing todo with firefighting.
    Nothing on this thread has to do with firefighting.


    One question, about his leaving....is he a dispatcher or a patrolman? Our dispatchers don't have cars and are not able to go on the road. Our patrolmen do cover the dispatch desk during the dispatchers dinner/lunch hour. Is it possible this guy was just covering a dinner break, which ended at 8 when the call came in, so he self dispatched as it was time for him to return to the road anyway? Seems like there are way too many unknowns here to crucify a guy.
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Nothing on this thread has to do with firefighting.


    One question, about his leaving....is he a dispatcher or a patrolman? Our dispatchers don't have cars and are not able to go on the road. Our patrolmen do cover the dispatch desk during the dispatchers dinner/lunch hour. Is it possible this guy was just covering a dinner break, which ended at 8 when the call came in, so he self dispatched as it was time for him to return to the road anyway? Seems like there are way too many unknowns here to crucify a guy.
    Yes it does----
    " oh my, that could happen here with our current sops".
    The reason I said that is hopefully someone might realize that there sop's need changeing to prevent a firefighter from getting a call and takeing an engine by himself to the fire and not letting anyone esle know about it.
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    The reason I said that is hopefully someone might realize that there sop's need changeing to prevent a firefighter from getting a call and takeing an engine by himself to the fire and not letting anyone esle know about it.
    If I had a FF get a phone call reporting a fire and they took a truck by themself and told noone else....an SOP is the last thing I would be thinking about. I'd probably be taking a good, long, hard look at my membership review committee and wonder how this JA got in my department.
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    True bones. But Beverly PD didnt think anyone would ever take a call and just goto it without telling anyone else. If nothing else that policy should be on paper to protect your department ( pd,fd) from the flood of law suits!!!
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