Saturday, March 9, 2013

Eric Koula 911 Call and Interview

As requested:

We'd need transcripts to get past the crying and carrying on from the subject.  He appears to know that he is blurring information with his carrying on.

*Here is a lesson on how not to ask questions:


john said...

They are all (closed) yes or no question's which are the easiest to answer and less stressful to answer also.

The suspect is using the interviewers own word's to answer his question's(Reflective Language).

He should be asking open question's.

Ie,What did you do on the night in question.

Open questions have the following characteristics:

They ask the respondent to think and reflect.

They will give you opinions and feelings.

They hand control of the conversation to the respondent.

He also ask's the dreaded (compound questions).

Anonymous said...

The 911 call was a little overplayed. Even after he told the operator his name was Eric she kept calling him "ma'am", even she wasn't used to a man being so hysterical.

Peter Hyatt said...

We must not teach a subject how to lie by our questions.

Anonymous, I caught that as well. It was overplayed.

Body language of the 'yes/no' questions was interesting, though, especially with the closing of the eyes.


john said...

Q; "Did you walk into that house get your fathers 22 caliber rifle and shoot your mother mona in the back of the head"

A:"No did not" (unreliable denial)

Q:"Did you then wait for you father to come home and when he entered the home shoot him in the back of the head"

A:"No i did not"(unreliable denial)

Q:"And you sear on everything you believe in and you swear on your families own honor your children's own honor that you (that you did not kill your parent's)"

A:"Yes i do i swear on their honor that (i did not kill my mum and dad)".(Reliable denial?.)

This is NOT reliable, the suspect has been fed the answer in the question.
He is reflecting the word's of the interviewer back at him..

Anonymous said...

"And you swear on everything you believe in and you swear on your families own honor your children's own honor that you (that you did not kill your parent's)"

What kind of crazy question is that?

Anonymous said...

Hard to hear the 911 call. Did he ask for help?

Peter Hyatt said...


by asking that "crazy" question, the interviewer is telling us more about himself than the case!

I think we all find it as odd as you did, but should consider why the interviewer feels the need to make this elongated oath.

Julie Moon said...

It's ironic that he's on trial for murdering both of his loving parents, and is asked to swear upon the family honor and his own children's honor.

Shelley said...

To me he sounds like he's laughing but trying to play it off as crying.

I couldn't understand any of the words really so not much other areas to comment on

Anonymous said...


I'm the anon asking about the "crazy" question" - yes, you are right, I am just having a hard time getting past such an unethical ungodly question! I am shocked.

Why do you think he asked it? Was it laziness?

No one should ever tempt anyone with a question like that. If this guy is guilty, he has enough problems in eternity. Holy Canolli!


Anonymous said...

Some of the 911 recording is transcribed for the hour long program, right at the beginning and then again around 18 minutes into it.

Jen said...

Agreed Shelley! He is faking it big time, to me it sounds like hes laughing or just blubbering in an incredibly exaggerated way trying to sound like inconsolable panic/grief. The operator asks him to calm down repeatedly and can barely get the address from him to send help/LE.

The only words I can make out is one sentence where he says how he just came over, after not being able to reach his parents all weekend. Then the call disolves into..buuuuhuuuhh buuuuuuhuuuuhhhuuuuuh, buuuuhuuuhhuuuhu. The only thing he clearly relates between his 'crying' is his alibi (basically, that he just found them and hasn't been there all wknd). Pretty convenient that he managed to get that part out, but can't relate how his parents are injured, nor give any info to facilitate their possible rescue.

Anonymous said...

18 minutes in!? That's a really slow response time! Maybe the 911 operator thought she was working in tandem with LE?

Anonymous said...

Have LE worked out the problems with the slow response time?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I should have clarified. I meant that if you want to see a transcription of the 911 call, the TV show displays the words that are being said, near the beginning of the episode (Desperate Measures) and then later during the episode, about 18 minutes into the episode (Desperate Measures). Unfortunately, the TV show does not transcribe the full call. The call itself was about 6 minutes.

Thanks for your website!

Anonymous said...

I don't think he killed his parents. All of this is my personal opinion. The crime scene looked like a professional hit and the neighbor had been getting death threats. The online map was pulling up the wrong house in the photo related to the address of the banker neighbor.

I think if he was going to write himself a check before murder, he would have been more generous to cover all his debts, not just $50,000 worth. He deposited the money within the time that might very well have been before he knew his parent's were dead. He had taken money from his parents in excessive amounts before and he planted the mailbox note to protect his son. His actions were very wrong, but within the realm of possiblity. He does admit his failings although utterly embarrassing and stupid and he recognizes them as such. He verbally takes responsibility for his stupidity, but never for the killings. He uses "I" and "did not kill" often and expects to be believed.

Do they know for a fact that the video of the first store he went to was not mis-dated? It happens frequently on camera dates, why not store camera dates? Where did he get a gun if he was the shooter? Did he or his parents have a gun that matched the ballistics?

As for his 911 call, I think he was explaining how he came to find his parents, not trying to trick the operator. His panic sounds very real to me and his denials sound reliable to me, as well. His high pitch was not a normal tone for him and it seemed as if he could hardly catch his breath. If someone walked in to find both parents dead, I believe they would panic as he did on the telephone. A real world shock like that would send many different people into a state far from their normal being. He was so shocked that he could barely form words. This would especially be the case if he had never seen someone bleeding to that extent or if he had never seen a dead body. Plus, those dead bodies were his parents.

In the episode, his sister was said to get only a pittance in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he was given. She seems overly dramatic to me in her facial expressions (closing her eyes and scrunching up her face) and she wants justice. What does she want justice for? Not being given as much as her brother? Justice against perceived favoritism? Or, for her parent's killing? All of the above and more? I think she should have been looked at more closely. However, it is just as possible that these deaths were from a stranger. There was no trace or evidence of Eric being there when they were shot. His tears appear to be spontaneous at the time when the police arrive and when he recalls the event of finding them dead plus his eyes are red from a lot of crying. Again, all of this is my opinion only. Am I way off base, Peter?

Anon "I"

BJ said...

When you see how hysterically he reacts to the note being found in the mailbox (the note he later admitted planting) it negates the sincerity of his reaction at finding his parents' bodies.

As the detective observed - Eric simply had to ask for help when arriving at the crime scene, rather than carry on as if all hope was lost. If he was innocent he wouldn't know how recently they were killed, so his first instinct would be to seek help urgently.

Justice said...

When people are obviously dead, lying in a dried pool of blood and you touch their leg and it is stiff, what help should he try and get? I work in EMS and obvious death is just that. He was hysterical as anyone would be. Since this was out of character for his parents to not answer and then he gets to the house and first discovers the cars and trucks in the driveway and garage, he was already in a panic mode. The fact he could actually use his phone to dial 911 and could talk at all, is amazing. If he would have been the one to kill them, do you think he would have been the one to find them? Also he would have had 3 days if they say he did it and that gives a lot of time to "practice and plan out" your discovery. If this would have been planned he wouldn't have been rambling and rambling. Also consider the drive from black river falls pharmacy to this address....58 minutes...I have even driven it, so maybe 55 minutes with a few minutes added on for in and out of the pharmacy and the car...Eric was covered in grout and had no way to know that digitql forensics, and which is wrong in the case anyway, was going to give them the exact time of death for Merna!, how would anyone know that? So trying to say he then made the 14 minute drive from the house to the shopko, which I also drove, in order to form an alibi is ridiculous. He would be sprinting and out of breath for starters! You expect me to believe he could off both his parents with one shot and simply walk out? Did we see this guy in panic mode? Yes we did??? And he offed them to then calmly walk out leaving no trace of evidence? Why didn't they swab him for GSR? None of this fits at all. His dad still owed him 400k for the sale of the ford dealership, so was he mouching, sounds like getting paid over time to me. He had only been given 600k out of a total of a million profit, so yeah his parents were an atm because his dad controlled the account where all the assets were from the sale of the dealership. Then you have cynthia and her husband pat, he was out of work and drunk at home playing video games while dennis and merna were paying their bills, a nearly forclosed mortgage and fully supporting them. Would you expect someone to say that they were being cut off? Yeah when he can't get out and look for a job and wants to sit on his ass and do nothing. Eric had more to gain from his parents remaining alive than dead because he was still owed 400k and then a sizeqble inheritence at their eventual death from old age which would have been in the next 10 years or so! Cynthia and patrick had notta! One car between the two that they couldn't keep running! What a joke! And look at this!!!! If Eric was so destitute and then he goes to prison why didn't his family then have a bankruptcy and forclosure...remember they were so indebt!!! Look it up not one single bill went to collections or anything! I would probably have to file bankruptcy if that had happened to me! Just saying! People need to look at the facts and screw their oppinions on this or that. When you put it all together it is easy to see he had no way of doing this just based on the time line!!!