1The court employee who was fired after leaving an accidental voicemail about how little he actually does
He was thisclose to retiring and getting his pension, but one accidental phone call later, he's out of a job altogether.
For the past 20 years, David Bookstaver was the spokesman for the Office of Court Administration (OCA) in Westchester County, until his boss, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, retired at the end of 2015. Janet DiFiore was sworn in the following year, and she brought in one of her top staffers to replace Bookstaver. His responsibilities were stripped, but his title and $166,000 salary as communication director remained. He was only six-weeks away from retirement when he was canned for bragging on voicemail about getting paid the hefty taxpayer-funded salary to do nothing and working just two days a week.
2A Kentucky drug deal goes sour after an accidental call to 911
The Madison County emergency dispatch center got an accidental call in the wee hours of the morning regarding a drug deal that was about to go down at the Circle K in Berea. Operators pinged the location of the phone and notified police, who found Greg Collins and Justin Cruse inside the gas station and a female waiting in a truck. When police asked Collins to come outside, he left a bag near a soda station, which officers said contained money, meth, and heroin. A Glock handgun was also found inside the truck.
Although the duo claims not to know each other, both were arrested. Cruse was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Collins was charged with possession of heroin and meth, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief.
3An accidental phone call leads to a murderer's convinction
Palm Desert, California teacher Jill Thomas Grant, 41, who was found murdered in 2013, was overheard begging for her life in an accidental call made by her suspected killer, boyfriend Michael John Franco. Franco slit her throat with a box cutter, ran over her with a car, and dumped her body at a golf course not far from their home in Indio.
Franco's phone left a message in a friend's inbox on the night Grant went missing. The voicemail appears to capture the victim in the last moments of her life. Much of the conversation is inaudible, but in the snippets that can be understood, she speaks as if trying to convince Franco they could call 911 and say she was attacked by someone else.
This, along with a mountain of other evidence, led to a conviction for Franco in February 2017. He now faces life in prison without parole and has also been found guilty of special circumstance allegations of torture and committing the murder during the commission of a kidnapping.
4An accidental phone call to an escort service has led to a college coach's resignation
Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze butt dialed a number from his university-issued phone that is associated with several websites advertising female escorts. This raised a potential issue in the back-and-forth between the university's legal counsel and the attorney for former Rebels football coach Houston Nutt.
Nutt's lawyers filed a request for Freeze's phone records over a six-day period that included Jan. 21, 2016, the day the call was made. The coach is seeking compensation for the smear campaign he alleges Freeze and other university officials ran against him to pin the majority of the school's recent NCAA violations on him.
The records do not show Freeze immediately redialing a different or similar number, nor do other calls to a 313 number appear in the phone records covering the days requested. However, the damage has been done, and Freeze has resigned.
5The thieving duo whose plans were foiled by a butt dial
Danville, Kentucky residents Robert Bourne and David Grigsby were overheard discussing their plan to rob Brothers BBQ and Brewing in December 2016 when one of them pocket dialed 911.
In an ironic twist, local Police Chief Tony Gray was eating dinner there at the time. Investigators pinged the phone's location and discovered the men were actually in the restaurant's parking lot at the time. So far, the criminal masterminds have only been charged with public intoxication.
6A woman's life is saved when she encounters bears and makes an accidental phone call
Occasionally, a butt dial can result in a good outcome. Virginia Differenz, 70, was hiking a trail in Athabasca, Alberta when she encountered a mother black bear and her cub. They were "were standing on their hind legs and they were kind of batting each other and playing" when they spotted her. She attempted to scare them away by playing music on her phone, but it only made them more curious. Shortly afterward, she pocket-dialed her sister, who heard nothing but rustling on the other line and worried she was in danger. Her sis called Athabasca RCMP, who searched the area on ATVs until they found her. Officers said the bears didn't appear aggressive, but Differenz was still relieved to see them.