Can you tell from the 911 call whether the person calling committed the crime?

This study examined verbal indicators to critically analyze 911 homicide statements for predictive value in determining the caller’s innocence or guilt regarding the offense. One hundred audio recordings and transcripts of 911 homicide telephone calls obtained from police and sheriffs departments throughout the United States provided the database for the study. Using qualitative approaches for formulating the linguistic attributes of these communications and appropriate quantitative analyses of the resulting variables, the likelihood of guilt or innocence of the 911 callers in these adjudicated cases was examined. The results suggest that the presence or absence of as many as 18 of the variables are associated with the likelihood of the caller’s guilt or innocence regarding the offense of homicide. These results are suggestive of up to six distinct linguistic dimensions that may be useful for examination of all homicide calls to support effective investigations of these cases by law enforcement.

Source: “Analyzing 911 Homicide Calls for Indicators of Guilt or Innocence, An Exploratory Analysis” from Homicide Studies February 2009 vol. 13 no. 1 69-93

If you’re curious about this kind of stuff you really should read my post: You just committed murder. What should you do now? Perhaps appropriately, assembling that post nearly killed me.

Great books about crime are here, here, and here.

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