Not only did Griffin-Hall not once take charge, but as the tape later revealed, she was more concerned with her own safety. Typically, agencies will not learn from this.
• First call from Elizabeth Griffin-Hall which media continues to incorrectly identify as a social worker.
Most alarming? When Elizabeth Griffin-Hall first smelled gas, she called Josh. (We strongly suggest obtaining her cell phone records.)
Below is a full transcript of the call: Strangest of all, in Griffin-Hall's initial 9-1-1 she doesn't begin with the smell of gasoline.
Griffin-Hall: Hey ~ I’m on a supervised visitation for a court-ordered visit and something really weird has happened. The kids went into the house and the parent, the biological parent whose name is Josh Powell, will not let me in the door. What should I do?
Dispatcher: What’s the address?
Griffin-Hall: 8119... and I think it’s 89.....um. I don’t know what the address is.
Dispatcher: Okay. That's pretty important for me to know.
Griffin-Hall: I'm sorry I can't - just a minute...let me get into my car and see if I can find it.....I'm just....nothing like this has ever happened before at, um, these visitations so I’m um, really shocked...and I could hear one of the kids crying but he still wouldn’t let me in.
OK, it’s uh, 1....oh. Just a minute....I have it here....
You can’t find me by GPS? [1:06 into the call]
Griffin-Hall: OK.....it is...uh....oh, I still can’t find it. [1:17 seconds in]
Griffin-Hall: But I think I need help right away. He’s on a very short leash with DHSH, and CPS has been involved....and this is the craziest thing - he looked right at me and closed the door. Are you there?
Dispatcher: Yes Ma'am I'm just waiting to know where you are.
Griffin-Hall: Okay. It’s 8119 189th Street Court East Puyallup. 98375. [1:46 into the call]
9-1-1 operator misses the clearest sign of doom 1:50 minutes into the call as Griffin-Hall continues.
Griffin-Hall: And I’d like to pull out of the driveway because I smell gasoline, and he won’t let me in.
Dispatcher: You want to pull out of the driveway because you smell gasoline - but he won’t let you
Griffin-Hall: I smelled - he won't let me in.
Dispatcher: He won't let you out of the driveway?
Griffin-Hall: He won’t let me in the house.
Dispatcher: Whose house is it?
Griffin-Hall: He's got the kids in the house and he won't let me in. It's a supervised visit.
Dispatcher: I understand. Whose house is it?
Griffin-Hall: Josh Powell.
Dispatcher: Okay. And so you don't live there, right?
Griffin-Hall: No. I don't...no. I'm contracted to the State to provide supervised visitation.
Dispatcher: I see. Okay. And and who is there to exercise their visitation?
Griffin-Hall: Misunderstands the question. I am. [Huge mistake]
Uh...and the visit is with Josh Powell
Dispatcher: and who supervises...
Griffin-Hall: and he is the husband...
Dispatcher: So you supervise and you're doing the visit?
Dispatcher: So you're doing the visits yourself?
Griffin-Hall: I supervise myself.
I'm the supervisor here.
Dispatcher: Wait a minute.
If it's a supervised visit...you can't supervise yourself - if you're the visitor.
Griffin-Hall: I do supervise myself. I'm the supervisor for the supervised visit.
Dispatcher: Okay. Well aren't you, aren't you the one making the visit? Or is there another party that you're supervising?
Griffin-Hall: No, there's....I'm the one who supervises. I pick up the kids at their grandparents.
Dispatcher: And then who visits with the children?
Griffin-Hall: Josh Powell.
Dispatcher: Okay, so you're supposed to be there to supervise Josh Powell's visit with the children
Griffin-Hall: Yes. That's correct.
[3:15 second into the call and as the 9-1-1- operator sorts out the players, neither returns to the smell of gasoline.]
Dispatcher: and how did he
Griffin-Hall:...and he’s the husband of missing Susan Powell....
Dispatcher: how did...
Griffin-Hall: this is a high-profile case.
Dispatcher: Okay. How did he, how did he gain access to the children before you got there?
Griffin-Hall: He grabbed - they they, I was one step in back of them.
Dispatcher: Okay. So they went into the house and he locked you out.
[3:31 into the call and with comprehension finally achieved, the dispatcher's pace quickens.]
Griffin-Hall: Yes, he shut the door in my face.
Dispatcher: Okay alright. Now it's clear. Your last name?
Griffin-Hall: My name is Elizabeth Griffin-Hall.
Dispatcher: Griffin-Hall is hypenated?
Dispatcher: And what’s your phone number Elizabeth?
Griffin-Hall gives number.
Dispatcher: And what agency are you with?
Griffin-Hall: Foster Care Resource Network. And the kids have been in there by now um, approximately 10 minutes. [4:14 minutes into the call and Griffin-Hall, who is required to take "assertiveness training" has yet to mention Urgency, or "life threatening."]
Dispatcher: How many children?
Griffin-Hall: And he knows it’s a supervised visit. Braden is 5 and Charlie is 7.
Dispatcher: And the dad’s last name?
Griffin-Hall: Powell. P-o-w-e-l....l
Dispatcher: Two L’s?
Griffin-Hall: No response.
Dispatcher: Two "l's" at the end of Powell?
Dispatcher: His first name?
Griffin-Hall: His first name is Josh.
Dispatcher: Black, White, Native, Hispanic, Native?
Griffin-Hall: He's White.
Dispatcher: Date of birth
Griffin-Hall: I don't know...he's about 39.
Dispatcher: How tall?
Griffin-Hall: Um, 5'10" 150 pounds.
Dispatcher: Hair color
Dispatcher: Did you notice what he was wearing?
Griffin-Hall: No I didn't notice what he was wearing.
Dispatcher: Is he alone, or was anyone with him?
Griffin-Hall: I don’t know. I couldn’t get in the house.
Dispatcher: Are you in a vehicle now or on foot?
Griffin-Hall: I’m in a vehicle. I'm in a Prius. Um, a 2010 Prius.
Dispatcher: Elizabeth, Please listen to my questions. What color is the Toyota Prius?
Griffin-Hall: Gray, dark gray.
Dispatcher: And the license number?
Griffin-Hall: Um. I don’t know, I can look. (Sound of door opening...exiting vehicle...panting)...750 ZMH
Dispatcher: Zebra, Mary Henry?
Dispatcher: Alright, we’ll have somebody look for you there.
Griffin-Hall: How long will that will be?
Dispatcher: I don't know, they have to respond to emergencies, life-threatening situations first. [Clearly the dispatcher doesn't grasp what is going on, but this is due in part because Griffin-Hall never mentioned Powell as a "person of interest" in the case of the missing Susan Powell.]
Griffin-Hall: Well this could be life-threatening! [6:24 into the call and this is the first time Griffin-Hall mentions "life threatening"]
He went to court on Wednesday and he didn’t get his kids back and this is really... I’m afraid for their lives. [6:35 into the call and Griffin-Hall suddenly says she's afraid for their lives? Interestingly, at 1:50 Griffin-Hall's first concern was to move her car. ]
Dispatcher: Okay. Has he threatened the lives of the children previously?
Griffin-Hall: I have no idea.
Dispatcher: OK we’ll have the first available deputy contact you.
Griffin-Hall: Thank you.
In later interviews with ABC Griffin-Hall claimed:
"I did everything I was supposed to do. I did everything right and the boys are still dead!"
Such is the mind set of people charged with guarding the safety of our children. This is denial in its highest form and is likely to be repeated as CYA begins. Dispatcher Lovrak admitted fault. Griffin-Hall is clinging to her story of being right.
• Second call from social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall
Dispatcher: Hello. Were you calling about the fire on 189th street?
Griffin-Hall: Yes, he exploded the house. He exploded the house.
Dispatcher: Ma’am, do you know the exact address?
Griffin-Hall: It’s 8119 189th Court East in Puyallup
Dispatcher: What are you calling about?
Griffin-Hall: It exploded, the house.
Dispatcher: Do you know where you are? [this is a professional?]
Griffin-Hall: 8119 189th Street Court East in Puyallup
Dispatcher: Do you know if there’s anyone in the house? [Do dispatchers not speak to each other?]
Griffin-Hall: Yes, there was a man and two children. I just dropped off the children and he wouldn’t let me in the door. [Doesn't identify Josh Powell, or that she was hired to protect the two children she dropped off. For which she earns income. Why?]
Dispatcher: Stay on the line with me. I’m going to get the fire department. Hang on. Don’t hang up. Stay on the phone here with me ma’am. Fire this is Rose. I’m transferring the lady who has the exact address.
Griffin-Hall: I can hear the fire trucks, but they’re not here yet. It’s 8119
Dispatcher: We have an engine there.
Griffin-Hall: People are saying there is not somebody here, but there’s a couple of boys, 5 and 7, he has supervised visitation and he blew up the house and the kids.
Dispatcher: The kids and the father were in the house?
Griffin-Hall: Yes, he slammed the door in my face so I kept knocking. I thought it was a mistake, [Really? Griffin Hall thought it was a mistake? With the smell of gasoline...she called JOSH or her supervisor first, and then told the 9-1-1 operated that she said she wanted to move her car. ]I kept knocking and then I called 911.
Dispatcher: You saw him go back in the house?
Griffin-Hall: He didn’t ever leave the house, he just opened the door, the kids were one step ahead of me, they are 5 and 7, they were one step ahead of me and he slammed the door in my face.
Dispatcher: Do you think he might have done this intentionally?
Dispatcher: County, go ahead with what you need.
Dispatcher: What is your name, ma’am?
Griffin-Hall: I’m Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, I’m the supervisor visitation (incoherent noises and crying)
Dispatchers: What is your last name?
Griffin-Hall calmly spells it.
Dispatcher: Where are you at right now?
Griffin-Hall: I’m at 8112 on the same court,
Dispatcher: So you are at 8112 189th Street Court East
Dispatcher: Are you in the car?
Griffin-Hall: I was in it I’m standing outside it right now
Dispatcher: Is that your home address?
Griffin-Hall: No, I’m the supervised visitation coordinator.
Dispatcher: What is the person’s name
Griffin-Hall: His name is Josh Powell. Just a minute the sheriff is here. [Finally, Griffin-Hall speaks his name.]
Dispatcher: Go ahead and talk to the officer, ma’am
END OF CALL
• Call from Alina Powell, who is sobbing throughout the call, sometimes becoming too garbled to understand
Alina Powell: I think my brother might be in trouble or something.
Dispatcher: what’s going on with your brother?
Alina Powell: I don’t know. He’s sending weird emails and stuff.
Dispatcher: What’s his address?
Alina Powell: I don’t know his address offhand. I just know how to get there.
Dispatcher: I’ve got to know something. Is he’s in Puyallup?
Alina Powell: I don’t know, I can drive there and I can tell you.
Dispatcher: What’s his last name?
Alina Powell: Powell
Dispatcher: And his first name?
Alina Powell: Josh
Dispatcher: What makes you think there’s a problem with Josh?
Alina Powell: (crying) There’s been a lot of abuse against him and he’s really upset.
Dispatcher: What’s your name?
Alina Powell: My name is Alina, and I’m his sister.
Dispatcher: And what’s your last name?
Alina Powell: Powell.
Dispatcher: Howell with an H?
Alina Powell: No with a P. There are emails and stuff and he left me a voicemail thing that got forwarded. He said something like he can’t live without his sons and (high-pitched moan) and goodbye and (crying)
Dispatcher: What’s Josh’s number?
Alina Powell: Gives number.
Dispatcher: How long ago did you receive this message?
Alina Powell: I don’t think it came in at 11 after [doesn’t give the hour, just the minutes] I just saw it a few minutes ago.
Dispatcher: Does he live at 189th Street Court East?
Alina Powell: I think that’s our house, I don’t know.
Dispatcher: Does he live on 189th street Court East?
Alina Powell: I don’t know it’s so close.
Dispatcher asks for physical description.
Dispatcher: Was he going to have supervised visits today?
Alina Powell: I think so. He normally does.
Dispatcher: This is the Josh that has been in the media?
Alina Powell: Yes, the one who has been abused by everyone. (crying).
The boys are 5 and 7.
Dispatcher: What’s the inside phone number there?
Alina Powell: At my house?
Dispatcher: The house at 189th.
Alina Powell: I don’t know. He only has a cell phone.
Dispatcher: Did he say he’d harm himself?
Alina Powell: No, he was just saying goodbye. (crying)
Dispatcher: (Attempts to calm her down). The more you’re getting worked up the less helpful it is for me. 189th street Court East is what I’m seeing.
Alina Powell: That could be it, that sounds about right.
Dispatcher: How long has he lived there for?
Alina Powell: A few months, four or five months, like October or something. I know it’s been hard on him, the abuse has been extremely difficult.
Dispatcher: What else did the email say?
Alina Powell: He sent several emails about how to handle his property and his utilities. They started a while ago, I didn’t think anything of it. They started early this morning. They were just weird emails. There was some kind of forward or something. I just missed it.
Dispatcher: I think I have a valid address, if there’s a way to get it confirmed...
Alina Powell: I’d have to drive there.
Dispatcher: Is he home by himself ?
Alina Powell: I don’t know. He might be.
Dispatch: I’m going to start a welfare check. What does he drive?
Alina Powell: A light blue minivan, but it won’t be in the driveway. It will be in the garage.
Dispatcher: I need to know if you can get a confirmed address.
Alina Powell: The only way I can do it is to drive over there, but I’m terrified to drive over there.
Dispatcher: You don’t have to make contact. An officer will do that.
Alina Powell: I’m not afraid of him, he’d never hurt me, I’m afraid [of what I’ll find] (garbled crying)
Dispatcher: I need you to take a deep breath and calm down, I need you to calm down, it’s not helpful for you to cry and not help us with our information.
[Continues to try to calm her down] Is there any way for you to get confirmation of his address?
Alina Powell: Only driving over there.
Dispatcher: If you don’t want to drive over there, I understand . If you get a different address call us right back .
Alina Powell: OK
Dispatcher: Bye bye.
Alina Powell: Bye. (crying)
END OF CALL
• Call from Jeff Bassett, Josh Powell’s attorney
Bassett: This is attorney Jeff Bassett calling. I’m not sure who I need to call, but I’m Josh Powell’s attorney and I understand he had an explosion and I have some information.
Dispatcher: What kind of information?
Bassett: If it was an accident or if it was more than that.
Dispatcher: What do you have?
Bassett: I have an email from my client, and that email gives me every indication this was intentional.
Dispatcher: And your client was Josh Powell?
Bassett: I just found out about all this.
Dispatcher: Can you give me a synopsis of what it says?
Bassett: Basically it says "I’m sorry. Goodbye." I haven’t seen it myself but I just called home and was told it was in my inbox.
Dispatcher: Was there any other information in the email?
Bassett: Not to my knowledge. I just found out about the explosion and called home and told it was timed at 12:05.
Dispatcher: I appreciate your patience.
Bassett: If you want I can look for it while you’re on the phone. It will be on my cell phone.
Dispatcher: Go ahead, sir.
Bassett: Just a second. That is all it says, I just checked it. It’s 12:05. It says I’m sorry period goodbye period.
Dispatcher asks for phone number and asks if Bassett needs to be called back.
Bassett: It’s not necessary, I’m, unfortunately, I’m in the middle of a closing day performance of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and I’ll be on stage between 3 and 5:30.
Dispatcher: I’ll give them your information. If you receive any other emails, let us know.
END OF CALL
• Call from Josh Powell’s boss
Dispatcher: This is valley with a transfer
Man: Josh Powell works for me, I just saw on the news today that there was a problem. I got a strange email from him today at 12:05.
Dispatcher: What does the email say?
Man: I’m sorry, goodbye. That’s all it said
Dispatcher gets identifying information and phone number.
END OF CALL
• Call from male witness who saw house fire from the back of the home
Man: I just had a house explode.
Dispatcher: What’s your exact address?
Man: 8404 189th East Court East
Dispatcher: Hold the line
Man: There’s a house on fire and (excitedly talking, gives a couple different approximate addresses of the fire).
Dispatcher: You’ve changed the street numbers three times now.
Man: There’s explosions too.
Dispatcher: Is anyone home?
Man: I don’t know the house is totally engulfed.
Dispatcher: I’m getting help out there right now.
Man: I think it’s a possible meth house.
Dispatcher: Was anyone home?
Man: I don’t know, but if they were, they’re toast.
END OF CALL
• Call from female witness to the fire:
Woman: I’m on 87th Street
Dispatcher: Your phone is breaking up.
Woman: garbled and static.
Dispatcher: I can barely hear you because your phone is breaking up.
Woman: Can you hear me? It’s in Puyallup, South Hill. I’m not sure of the address, it’s behind me, like 8108 189th Street.
Dispatcher: You need to speak a little quieter and slower and not yell.
Dispatcher: This is behind you?
Woman: Yes. The house just blew up and is on fire.
Dispatcher: What happened?
Woman: God, I don’t know.
Dispatcher: Do you see smoke and fire?
Woman: Yes, and a loud and huge boom and there’s crap flying all over the place and there’s other people that can see it.