Jill McCluskey desperately called the dispatchers of the campus. His daughter, a student at the University of Utah, was going to pick up her Jeep from a man she had just broken with, and the mother was afraid that he might hurt her.
"I'm worried that he be dangerous, "said Jill McCluskey of Pullman, Washington. "I do not want her to go there alone and something bad happens to her."
The three-minute phone call on October 10 was the first time the police department at the University of Utah heard concerns about the man Lauren McCluskey had left briefly with, and who would kill her 12 days later. He was a sex offender and had lied about his age, said Jill McCluskey.
At the end of the call, she breaks down crying. "She started dating this guy who is a bad person," she said, choking. "She discovered that she is a bad person and broke up with him."
The dispatcher spoke with Jill and Lauren seven times that day. None of these calls would be heard by the campus police officers until after the murder of Lauren McCluskey, a breach that, according to independent reviewers, was one of the department's first mistakes in not recognizing increasing threats to its security.
The recording is one of 15 that the University of Utah published on Thursday, including calls from Jill McCluskey, repeated calls Lauren McCluskey made to the department and the one her father made after she was attacked on October 22. In total, calls include approximately one hour of audio with personal phone numbers and addresses removed.
First communicated with the campus police department on October 12; She called again the next day to report that she received messages that threatened to distribute compromising photos of her with Rowland. Concerned that officers there did not move fast enough, she also approached the Salt Lake City police twice.
A campus detective did not formally open a case until a week after she first called. No one in the department knew that Rowland was on probation. And, according to the investigation, the agents did not understand that their case posed problems of possible interpersonal violence
McCluskey's parents, Jill and Matt McCluskey, have discussed the university's claim that the independent review showed that there is no "reason to believe" that the murder could have been prevented, and they say that the various calls of her daughter should have attracted more attention.
"The recordings of my calls on October 10 make it clear that I informed the campus police that Lauren was in danger 12 days before her murder," Jill McCluskey said Thursday. "I pointed out that the man she briefly dated was a sex offender and a liar who tried to lure her to an isolated place."
Her daughter, she added, "repeatedly tried to get help," and several conversations she had with an officer on her phone were not recorded and were not included in the published 911 tapes
she tweeted on Thursday that the calls are "painful," but hopes they "have a positive impact on the safety of women on college campuses in the future."
US Police Chief Dale Brophy said Thursday that, among other reforms, his department has worked to correct the gap between officers and calls to dispatchers. Now, when someone on campus requests an escort, your name and date of birth will be included in the system that the officers search, instead of just a dispatch list.
"We're going to register them in the system and then we'll link them to the records management system," Brophy said. "We want something done now."
Oct. 10 calls: 'He was lying'.
Lauren McCluskey had broken her one-month relationship with Rowland the previous day, but allowed her to borrow her car the next day to run errands. She expected him to bring his car back to his campus apartment at 5 p.m., but Jill feared the situation was unsafe.
"He was lying to him," he told the dispatcher two hours before the scheduled time to drop him off. "And he's actually a sex offender and he lied about his age and things like that."
The dispatcher tried to reassure Jill that a security guard could help. "That will be totally easy for us," he said.
"Are you comfortable with him doing that?" Asked the dispatcher.
"Yes, I think it's okay," Lauren replied.
The operator suggested that Rowland leave the car at the police department, where Lauren could wait inside. "I do not want to misinterpret what your mother was saying, but I was definitely worried."
"She's dealing with a bad person who lied to her," Jill said.
"Unfortunately, this is something very common on campus," said the dispatcher.
Lauren ended up calling again, saying that the plan had changed and that Rowland or one of his friends would leave the car at the Rice-Eccles stadium. She asked to be taken there before 5 p.m.
Jill called the office to confirm that. She said Lauren hesitated at first because Rowland or her friends said she was "judging" her criminal history. "I feel like he has some control over her," Jill said.
What might have happened: If those calls had been placed in a single system coordinated with the police, the agents would know about Jill McCluskey's concerns when they started investigating the case two days later. Brophy said all dispatchers will receive training on how to bridge the two systems this week.
Oct. 12 calls: 'They're trying to cheat me'
"I called a bit, a few days ago, about a situation and wanted to give a kind of update and ask about some things," he began. . She explained that from the previous night, she had received text messages that she believed were from Rowland and her friends.
"I think they're trying to lure me somewhere," McCluskey said.
At 4:57 p.m., the dispatcher told an officer that the texts were "nothing sinister". There are no threats, "but he added that McCluskey believed that something bad" may have been implied. "
According to a later report from an officer, McCluskey told him that he had found recent publications on networks Socials by Rowland This seemed to prove that some of the texts, which had said that Rowland was dead, were not true The officer wrote that he said there was not much the department could do.
What could have happened: This was the time when the campus policemen started working on the case, but this officer did not know all the information that Jill and Lauren McCluskey had shared with them. Dispatchers, and he did not know that the campus housing officers had a report that Rowland had a weapon.He did not verify Rowland's criminal history, the department never determined that Rowland was at liberty If he had, he could have contacted Rowland's probation officer. The possession of a weapon and the use of social networks were prohibited under the terms of his release and could have led to his arrest for violations of probation
Oct. 13 calls : "I'm … being blackmailed for money."
"It's a picture of me and my ex," he explained a moment later. "He's threatening to send it to everyone and he's asking for a thousand dollars."
She had received the first email extortion message at 6 or 7 that morning, she said. A text message with a threat of similar blackmail arrived around 8 a.m.
The dispatcher requested some more details, requested McCluskey's contact information and said an officer would call soon.
A different officer called her and then received her at the campus public safety building. She filled out a witness statement and told him that she had already sent $ 1,000 to the account as required.
He asked dispatchers to review Rowland's criminal records and learned of his past convictions for luring a child through the Internet and attempted forced sexual abuse, but in part due to lack of training, they did not realize that Rowland I was on probation. The report was assigned to a detective, who did not follow up immediately because of another job.
McCluskey called the Salt Lake City police later that day, worried that the campus department was moving very slowly. "Hi, I've been blackmailed for money," he told them. "He was worried because he was not sure how long they would take to file an arrest."
When the dispatcher realized that McCluskey lived on campus, he referred her to university police
What could have happened: Jill and Matt McCluskey said they believe that the university police department did not act with sufficient urgency in the case of his daughter. The school has said that its force does not have enough personnel and needs more officers. Experts in domestic violence have said that, regardless of staffing, officers should have seen the threat of extortion as a risk factor for the increase in interpersonal violence
Oct 19 calls: "I have not received an update"
McCluskey attempted to call the campus police on October 15, but did not contact an officer immediately. An officer called her twice; He did not reach her. Still worried about the inaction of campus officers, McCluskey approached the Salt Lake City police on October 19.
"Last Saturday I reported and I have not received an update," he said.
The dispatcher of the city told him to call the U. detective assigned to his case. After he did, the detective called him back and told him he would not be at work until October 23. He suggested that McCluskey call the campus office if he received another message
The detective opened a formal case on October 19, but did not do so until McCluskey was killed. The U. did not provide a recording of their conversation because the outgoing calls of the officers are not recorded.
The next day, McCluskey e-mailed the screenshots of Rowland's criminal history detective. The detective did not see them until after the murder of McCluskey.
What might have happened: At the start of the extortion investigation, the reviewers said the detective should have determined if Rowland was on parole. They also said that the department should ensure that important cases are tracked when the assigned officers are out of service. In addition, officers must be trained to recognize when cases involve possible domestic violence and to connect students with victim advocates.
Oct. 22 Calls: 'I Think She Was Assaulted'
At 10:39 am on the day she died, Lauren McCluskey e-mailed the campus police to report that I had received a text message from someone. Affirming to be an assistant chief of the University of Utah. She suspected it was Rowland's. She was afraid he would try to lure her out of her room to hurt her
She tried to call the detective but got no response. Shortly after, an officer returned the call to his cell phone. That call was not recorded or released by the U. because it was outgoing.
That officer told him to ignore the text but did not tell anyone else about the strength of McCluskey's call or concerns.
At 8:20 p.m., while McCluskey walked back to his bedroom after class, Rowland confronted her in a parking lot. She was on the phone with her mother, who heard her scream "No, no, no".
Matt McCluskey called the campus office. He relayed what his wife had heard and asked the officers to respond. "Someone could have grabbed her or something," he said.
In the background, Jill McCluskey cried and had difficulty answering questions. "Just concentrate, Jill," Matt told him. "We have to concentrate on helping."
Matt told the dispatcher that campus police were already working on his daughter's case. Then someone started talking from Lauren's phone, who had been silent but was found by a passerby.
"Hi, I found a backpack and I see a phone," said one woman.
"Can you stay there? I think she was assaulted," Matt replied.
The dispatcher told the woman to call him to locate him, and Matt hung up.
Officers searched the parking lot and found McCluskey's body in the back seat of a car. Police located Rowland early on the morning of October 23, just before he shot himself inside a church in downtown Salt Lake City.
What might have happened: Jill and Matt McCluskey say that their daughter's repeated reports "did not go anywhere." They called it "an unforgivable lapse of judgment and professional competence." asked for someone to be disciplined.
"At this moment, the 30 recommendations are being worked on," said Brophy. "It's a number one priority for college."
Its officers will be trained to recognize interpersonal violence, he said, and to conduct lethality assessments in the spring. The department has applied for national accreditation. And it is in the process of hiring a victim advocate; the work has been published and is expected to be completed by the end of February.
Brophy also intends to hire two detectives, a part-time evidence technician, an administrative lieutenant and a community relations officer. He said he is looking for people trained to respond to domestic violence.
His department has also worked to improve communication with campus housing officers. And his detectives meet once a week to talk about their cases. There will also be a guard detective available at any time, who will be updated on all pending files so that nothing goes out through a hole when someone is turned off.
"We are all extremely sensitive to all these types of crimes that would occur on our campus," said Brophy.
Your officers will also be trained to check the status of the offender and communicate with the victims in person. He said the security guards act as escorts 1,250 times a year, and wants to make sure the department meets the concerns of any student.
– Tribune reporters Nate Carlisle and Sean P. Means contributed to this report.