This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," May 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: There is breaking news, actually shocking news, about that botched 911 call made from the phone of a murdered college coed, Brittany Zimmermann. People in Madison, Wisconsin, are reeling. Did that bungled 911 call cost Zimmermann her life?
Tonight, we are learning more about what's on that 911 call. Zimmermann, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was found murdered in her apartment on April 2 at 1:00 PM. Someone called 911 from Zimmermann's phone. The 911 operator answered, inquired, got no response, and the call was disconnected. And just hours ago, the Dane County executive announced that during that 911 call, there were sounds that would have significance, but the 911 operator did not call the number back.
Dane County executive Kathleen Falk spoke earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHLEEN FALK, DANE COUNTY EXECUTIVE: Students, Dane County citizens, who are wondering right now whether they should have confidence in their (INAUDIBLE) 911 system. Let me assure you and say you should have confidence.
There was no reason to believe that the equipment or that there were other distractions, given their review of that day and monitoring the other calls that were coming into the department that day, to know whether there would have been a lot of commotion, so to speak, in the background. And that review concluded that there was nothing unusual of background noise or significance or any reason to believe that the operator was not attentive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Jason Shepard, reporter for the weekly Madison newspaper Isthmus broke the story of the botched 911 call. He joins us once again in Madison, Wisconsin. Jason, have they actually released these phone calls, the audiotapes?
JASON SHEPARD, ISTHMUS: Greta, they have not released the audiotapes. They haven't released the time of the call. They haven't released any details about what kinds of sounds were heard. There are more questions unanswered every day.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why have they not released it? Are they saying that it is part of the investigation, or are they -- or are people suspicious that this is just one botched item after another?
SHEPARD: Well, look, those of us journalists who've been on this story have to wonder that this, in fact, is one botched event after another. And we've got to wonder why they won't tell us some more basic information. They say, though, that they don't want to compromise the murder investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You said those of us journalists who are on this case -- you're the one who seems to be dogging this the most. You've been -- you're the one who discovered this 911 snafu, so you get credit for that one. Are they saying when they're going to release the tape, or are they saying -- do they have any leads in this investigation as to who murdered this college coed?
SHEPARD: Greta, one of the pretty amazing things is in a summary of a 40-page investigative report into the 911 call that has continued to be secret, apparently put together hastily over the weekend -- they won't release that report, either. But we don't know if ever we will learn some more information if no arrests are made in this case.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was the murder weapon left on the scene, if you know?
SHEPARD: I've been told it wasn't. The police have not publicly released that.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's the sort of the pulse of the city in Madison? I mean, the college students must be a little bit up in arms. Their parents must be a little bit up in arms. This is the second -- actually, the third unsolved student homicide in a year.
SHEPARD: Look, I mean, there's a crisis of confidence in the leadership of Dane County and Madison right now. There's no question about that. You just played a clip from Kathleen Falk, saying she has full faith in the 911 center. At the end of that press conference, as one of my reporter colleagues noted, she was the only one believing that. People are concerned. People are angry. People want answers. And we aren't getting all of the answers.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is the director of the 911 call service under any fire for the way that this was handled? Protocol was not followed.
SHEPARD: Look, people have been calling for his resignation. Kathleen Falk says she has great faith in him. He will not be disciplined. He will not be fired. The Dane County board is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow night to grill him on what he knew, when he knew it, what happened.
But the sort of alarming thing is the 911 center director, Joe Norwick (ph), who's been on the job for less than a year, has made a number of misstatements. Reporters believe he outright lied to them at a press conference last Thursday. He said things like there was nothing significant heard on the tape, which we now know is not true. He initially said that the dispatcher hung up on Brittany. Now they say they don't know or they won't release how the call ended.
There are just one -- one thing after another that has led people to question whether Joe Norwick is the right person to be leading this investigation, leading the 911 center as the 911 center is under fire. I'm reporting the story tomorrow where three former dispatchers have gone on the record with me to tell me about what they believe has been longstanding mismanagement at the 911 center. They feel that the dispatcher in question here is going to be made the scapegoat, and management is the one that will get away with a number of mistakes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jason, thank you. And once again, three unsolved murder cases in Madison, Wisconsin, or the area, of students, not necessarily connected, but certainly disturbing to other students and people who live in the community, and certainly their parents. Thank you.
SHEPARD: Thank you, Greta.
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