Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ryan Widmar 911 Call Analyzed


Ryan Widmer:  Innocent or Guilty Caller?

by Peter Hyatt

Ryan Widmer was convicted of killing his new wife.  After spending 5 months in jail, he was granted a new trial after it was learned that jurors did home experiments with their own bath tubs, against the judge's order. The 2nd trial ended in a deadlocked jury, and the 3rd trial ended with a guilty verdict.  

Here we view statements for truth or deception.  We will look first at his 911 call, and then at his words in addressing the court after his first conviction.  

We have specific guidelines to follow in 911 calls of a death in the home.  The transcripts  are from  website and have commentary removed.

We have a checklist for red flags for the possibility of a guilty caller.  No one single detail should make a conclusion, though some points are more weighty than others.  Please see prior analysis on the 911 call of Misty Croslin, as well as "Statement Analysis 101" and "911 Calls Analyzed" links:

In addition to the points below, we follow the same principles of Statement Analysis within the language itself.   

1.  Does the call begin with a greeting?  Given the nature of an emergency , a call that begins with "hello" or "hi" or anything similar, is a red flag that the caller is a guilty caller in a homicide.

2.  Does the caller ask for specific help for the victim? 

3.  Does the caller say, at anytime, for any reason, "I'm sorry"

4.  Order shows priority.  What is the priority of the caller?

5.  Does the caller ask for help for himself or herself instead of the victim?

6.  Does the caller disparage the victim, even in a subtle  manner?

7.  Does the caller attempt to build an alibi anywhere in the call?    

8.  Does the caller seek to explain 'why' something has happened when he/she should be reporting what happened?

Dispatcher:  911 What is your emergency?

This question is open ended, and is the most important question for analysis.  The answer is often telling.  

"My wife fell asleep in the bathtub and I think she's dead"  

Please note that this is a conclusion and not a sentence asking for help, such as, "my wife is unconscious".   Here, the caller gives his opinion on what happened to her rather than simply call for assistance.  How does Ryan know that his wife fell asleep? How does he know she did not pass out, or simply report it as being unconscious or a mystery?  

Note the order as order shows priority. 

1.  Wife fell asleep
2.  I think she is dead

We look for a request for specific assistance by the caller. 

Dispatcher: What's the address?

Ryan: 5250 Crested Owl Court Morrow, OH

Dispatcher: Okay I need you to calm down for me..I can't understand the address, what was it?

Please note:  we do not analyze Ryan Widmar, nor his voice inflection, nor his emotions.  For the Statement Analyst, the "subject is dead" to us, while his statement is "alive" to us.  I recognize that this principle is difficult to follow at times, but it is the words by which we learn the truth.  There are many sociopaths who are amazing in their ability to cry, or carry on emotionally. 

I write this but recognize how inflammatory the laughing of Sergio Celis was on his 911 call reporting a "missing person", his 7 year old daughter, Isabel.  

Still, the principle should be followed.  Listen to his words, not how he delivers them.  

Body language and voice analysis have their places, but this is for analysis only of the words used. 
Ryan5250 Crested Owl Court  

Dispatcher: 5250 Crested Owl?  in Hamilton Township?

Ryan: Yes, Morrow, Ohio

Dispatcher: Now what's going on?

Ryan:  "She fell asleep in the bathtub I think....was downstairs, just came up here  and she was laying face down in the bathtub.

Note next that he repeats that she fell asleep rather than anything else, including passed out, or just that she is unconscious and it remains a mystery.  

Note the order which shows priority:

1.  She fell asleep rather than she is not breathing, etc.
2.  I was downstairs
3.  I just came up here" is an unnecessary connection, which is extremely sensitive. 
4.  She was lying facedown in the bathtub. 

Note the importance of speaking of where he was; his location. 

 Recall:  excited utterance and in this, he has the need to tell the operator his location.  This is sensitive and critical 

Regarding an "unnecessary connection", the teaching is that this is an indication of sensitivity and likely of missing information.  Here is an example:

"I was in the bathroom.  I left the bathroom and went to the kitchen" is an example of an unnecessary connection.  In order to go from the bathroom to the kitchen, one must leave. There is no apparent reason to say this.   By adding in these words, it is an indication that it is of such importance to the subject that he is leaving out what happened between the leaving of one room and the entering of another.  Crimes have been solved by this single principle and it is where investigators focus their questions. It is unnecessary to add in that one "left". 

In the 911 call, the words "I just came up here" are highly sensitive and is an indication that something happened that is not included here. 

Note here he adds "I think" which was not part of "she fell asleep" when he first called. "I think" reduces commitment.  
Dispatcher: In the water?

Ryan: Yes

Dispatcher: How old is she?

Ryan: She's 24  

Dispatcher: And she's in the bathtub?

Ryan:  Yes, she's in....the water's draining right now....I tried to do everything I could I.....                                      (1:00)

Note that a sentence that is broken is an indication of missing information. 

Note the topic of the water draining out is important enough to the subject to tell the 911 operator.  
Note that "tried" in the past tense, often indicates attempt and failure.  
Why the need at the 1:00 mark to report "the water's draining"?

Please note "the water's draining" is passive.  He did not say "I am draining the water".  
Dispatcher: Have you taken her out of the water now?

RYan: Yes the water's completely drained but she's just laying here unconscious....

Please note that the question is answered with "yes" (he took her out) but then offers the additional information, seconds later, that the water is "completely" drained out.  Why the need to report about the lack of water?  How could the water go from draining to completely drained in a matter of seconds?

Note that he uses the body posture in his response.  She would not be expected to be anything other than laying. 
Dispatcher:  So she's still in the bathtub?

Ryan: Yes, Yes,

If you found your unconscious wife in the bathtub, would you leave her in it?  Please note the time pace.  
Dispatcher: Okay Okay. drained the water out of the tub?   (1:15)

Ryan: Yes

Dispatcher:  How long was she in the bathtub?                        (1:23)

Ryan: I....I...I have....15 minutes to a half hour...somewhere in there...I was downstairs watching TV...she falls asleep in the tub all the time but....

Repeated stuttering on the pronoun "I" is a signal of anxiety if the subject is not a stutterer.  By his other words, he does not appear to be a stutterer. 

Please note that "she falls asleep in the tub all the time" may be a slight disparagement or explanation rather than a cry for help. 
Dispatcher: And how are you related to her?  uh...Are you her mother?

Ryan: I'm her...I'm her husband...

Dispatcher: Husband?

Ryan: Yes

Dispatcher: What's your name?

Ryan: Ryan Widmer

Dispatcher: Spell that last name for me Ryan

Ryan: W-I-D-M-E-R 

Dispatcher: Have you tried CPR?

Ryan: much as I could....what little bit I know..

Please note that "as much as I could" signals that he was limited in what CPR he could do.  This could be due to anything from limitation by knowledge, or limited by his goal of homicide.  Here, he explains why he was limited.  Please note that this is similar to "so, since, therefore, because" as a reason to explain why, rather than report what has happened.  "...what little bit I know" explains why, making CPR sensitive. 
Ryan:  Is somebody coming?                                    (2:23)

We note that this is not a call for specific help for the victim. 
Dispatcher: Yeah, they're on the way Ryan...There's no way you can get her out of the bathtub?

Ryan: I can try but I have to set the phone down..

Dispatcher: Go and get her out of the bathtub and get her on a flat surface.

It is difficult to think that a young husband would allow his seemingly dead wife remaining in the bathtub and would need the 911 operator to instruct him to take her out.   
Ryan: Okay, Okay.....I'm dropping the phone  (Sound of phone being put down)   (2:39)

Ryan: She's on a flat surface.   


Dispatcher: What's that?

Ryan: She's on a flat surface....

She's on a "flat surface" is reflective language, which is expected.
Dispatcher: Okay, go ahead and get back to doing CPR....try to do CPR  They'll be there in a little bit, okay?

Ryan: K

Dispatcher:  Is your doors unlocked?

Ryan: No

Dispatcher: Are you using....Okay Run and unlock the doors so when they....they can get in....when they come back

Ryan: okay   they're unlocked now.. 

Dispatcher: Okay

Ryan: We're.....I'm upstairs..

This is a broken sentence and means that there is missing information.  Initially Ryan intends to report where he and his wife are, then changes his speech to reflect that he is upstairs.
Dispatcher: You're upstairs?                                       (3:39)

Ryan: Yeah  

Dispatcher: You have more than one bathroom in the house?

Ryan: No, there's two but the upstairs is the only one with a bathtub

Dispatcher: Ry...Ryan put the phone down and try CPR for me?

Ryan: Okay....Come on baby...come on.....

"baby" is  a term of endearment



Tape ends 5:52

Ryan's cell phone shows call was almost 7 minutes before his cell phone hung up

There are enough red flags in this call that indicate that he withheld critical information in the call.  The red flags in the call indicate that an investigation was warranted.  

Next:  Ryan Widmer addresses the court after the initial guilty verdict.  


Jazzie said...

What struck me weird is the draining of the tub.
This struck me as an odd thing to do if you found your beloved dead in the bathtub.

Ivy said...

He tried to do everything he could. 1) as Peter pointed out, he only tried to do everything he could but actually didn't -- this makes no sense -- so he's saying he didn't do everything he could 2) we know he didn't actually do everything he could because at the time he's saying this, Sarah is still I. The tub and the water is not finished draining 3) he says he performed what little CPR he knows on her but she's still in the tub with the water draining -- which means he did this CPR while she was still in the tub with water in it (only takes a few minutes tops to drain a tub) -- I suppose someone who didn't really know how to do it might try that and panic and call 911 bit it seems very unlikely -- that really goes back to him not doing everything he could and 4) as Peter pointed out, it is shocking that the operator would have to tell him to take her out of the tub -- that seems like it would be instinctual and again confirms he didn't do everything he could -- I haven't listened to the call but reading it you can almost see the operators disbelief that this guy's wife is still in the tub. What is the deal with him saying she was dry when the police arrived? I didn't watch the show -- what is that supposed to prove? Also fell asleep face down? I mean I've fallen asleep in the tub many tu rs but if I found someone face down in the tub that's not even on the list of what I would think have happened to that person.

Shelley said...

Like Ivy.. First thing I noticed too was that he already attempted CPR.. Yet she was still in the bath tub. Like mr Jeff macdonald... Clearly your "attempts" at CPR are BS. Never happened.

And if you would lie about attempting CPR.. Then to me.. It is likely because CPR would not support your goal... Murder...

Shelley said...

One more thing...

What amazes me... Is no one catches this discrepancies.. A 911 operator especially who does this everyday...I would think this type of discrepancy like doing CPR yet she was still in the tub (CPR can not be attempted ever with our being flat and um, he said she was "faced down" even.

I would love to see a response to one of these guru callers when a 911 operator confirmed the victim was still in the tub... Then confirm again they attempted CPR... Then ask "explain how you performed CPR on a body face down in a tub? Walk me thru this... And then
Wait for them to answer...

Ivy said...

Yeah I recall with Macdonald he said he did cpr on all of them but especially the older girl was found tucked up in bed. He said it both to look innocent but also to explain why he had their blood on him etc. A portion of his statement was analyzed here. I read fatal vision in October and the chapters containing his interrogation (intersperse with interview) made for fascinating reading. I am guessing the statement can't be analyzed in whole for copyright but it is an amazing book just for the interrogation alone. The many other statements from the interviews with the writer are fascinating too. Even if some of the evidence has been discredited (only read a little about this aspect I think the mp did not treat him fairly though I have to say some of the stuff that is brought up like the table or phone wiping is pretty weak -- hippy stuff is more interesting but still not convincing especially after reading his statements but would want to read more) I strongly recommend fatal vision to sa fans -- just a wealth of statements from an interesting subject. I don't take a position on the ethics of McGinnis writing the book as he did though that might stop some from buying the book

Sandy said...

Right off the bat I'm suspicious that he knows his 'wife fell asleep in the bathtub..." if she was sleeping, how did she get face-down? I've fallen asleep in the tub, but if I start to roll over, I immediately wake up when the water hits my face.

If I was calling in about a body in a tub of water, I'd be hysterical, first of all... then I'd be telling the 911 operator to send someone while I was trying to pull the body out of the tub to do CPR... I wouldn't be casually discussing the condition of the body and the water and the draining of it...

And by the way, a wet, dead body is probably too heavy for anyone to lift... I don't know from experience but I'm guessing that at my age I would not be able to manage it alone. How ghastly!!

How do these people stay so calm on the calls?

Gambler777 said...

I agree with the above comments regarding the time in the call where Ryan is asked about CPR. At the point in the call when the operator asked him if he had done CPR the water was still in the tub.

What I don't get about the 911 operator is when Ryan responded, Yes as much as I could, what little bit I know. Why didn't he ask him how he was doing it or assist him?

Habundia said...

If the body was dry......I wonder was the bathtub wet when officers arrived at the scene?

Another thing. How far was the bathroom he was in from the front door he was asked to open. It took him 29 seconds or less to go from the bathroom to unlock the door and back into the bathroom (upstairs)
Was it even possible to do this within that time space? (Go downstairs, unlock door and back upstairs)

As others said....for can't be performed on a body laying face down in a bathtub! That's just impossible!

Anonymous said...

Ryan has made some edits to his 911 call. Very concerning, yet he seems quite unconcerned, claiming he didn't testify because everything he knows is in his 911 call.

Ryan now claims Sarah's body was face up. He sat her body up in the tub and drained it before calling 911 (still vague on the draining). He doesn't mention performing CPR prior to calling 911, and since she was sitting up, he likely did not.

He says when he moved Sarah from the tub to the bedroom, she slipped momentarily from his grip because she was wet, but paramedics who arrived minutes later stated Sarah was dry.

These are very serious story changes/discrepancies to which Ryan acts indifferent. IMO, he's where he belongs and should not be free until he clears up these discrepancies.