Monday, 26 June 2017

What really happened to Brandon Lawson? What did he really say in that 911 call?

Good evening friends.
Last week at work I was listening to the True Crime garage two-part podcast on missing man Brandon Lawson (which you can listen to by clicking right here)
In the episodes they try to dissect and analyze the call Brandon made to 911. They isolate each sentence, clean it up, slow it down, play it normal speed, you name it, they do it.
Believe it or not, despite knowing of this case, I’ve never actually looked into it, meaning I have no preconceived idea of what Brandon is actually saying, nor have I ever frequented any forum posts on the subject or websites discussing the recording. I really liked the fact that True Crime Garage didn’t attempt to lead the listener in any one direction at the start of their podcast, and I found their break down of the 911 call really helpful.

(Brandon. Source)

All I originally knew about the case was that a few years ago a twenty something man stormed out of his home somewhere in the USA after a spat with his long term girlfriend. He drove off and was never seen again. His truck was found parked on a highway and all anyone investigating the case has to go on was the panicked phone call he made to the emergency services.

It’s hard to make out what Lawson actually says in the call in some parts, but for me at least, clear enough in others. The problem is that in some ways it’s like listening to an EVP, everyone hears something different and the overall audio is garbled. Often times people just seem to shoe horn in words that feel like they’d fit into whatever situation they imagine is happening. The fact of the matter is, nobody actually knows what happened, and Brandon is still missing to this day.

So what do we know to be true?

-Well we can confirm that Brandon Lawson had an argument with his wife.
-He left the house and got in his truck.
-His truck was found parked awkwardly on highway 277.
-A passing truck driver made a call reporting it, but the call is not available to listen to and what was actually said has apparently never been revealed. Most people assume that he was the one reporting the awkwardly parked truck as a hazard to other drivers. We do not know for sure.
-Brandon called his brother to say he had run out of gas. As a result, Brandon’s brother went out looking for him.
-Brandon’s wife did not answer any of the multiple calls Brandon and his brother made to her that night.
-Brandon called 911 and placed the following call.

(Heads up, you might want to click to another tab or not look at the screen while listening as there’s some transcript at the start)

I want to point out that at this point in the post I have still not researched the call. So I’m going to type up my version of what I hear. I’m not going to include all what the operator says as in my opinion it’s quite clear, I’m quite sure you’ll agree with me on that.
After that, I’ll research and get into it.

This is what I hear:

“Hey I’m in the middle of a field, a (cypher?) just pushed some guys over”
“Right here going towards Averlene on both sides”

“My truck ran out of gas, there’s one car here – got chased (taken?) to the woods”
“Please hurry”

“ 'Cause when I was talkin’to ‘em, I suddenly ran into ‘em”

(The operator then says “Oh you ran into them okay”)

“Got (Shot? / just?) the first guy”

The operator then asks if Brandon needs an ambulance, to which he replies “ye-no, I need the cops”

This is strange to me, because when I listen to this phone call I feel as though I’m hearing someone report an accident. But when he rejects the ambulance and confirms he needs the cops, that throws me off and makes me think there’s some sort of ongoing crime happening.
At the end of the call the operator asks “is anybody hurt?

Brandon does not respond and what sounds like the engine of a vehicle can be heard, then the phone call cuts.

Now, let’s get into the happenings of the night the man went missing.

So Brandon Lawson went missing from Bronte (Coke County) Texas.
This information makes me re-think what I heard as “On both sides” because A) what does that even mean in the context or a moving person / vehicle? And B) towards “Bronte” just seems to make more sense in this situation.
So I hit up my old friend Google maps to help me out, since I have no geographic knowledge of Texas at all, and I get this. So now I’m thinking he’s saying “Right here going towards Abilene on Bronte side” – this makes much more sense.

(Image: google maps)

The fastest route to Abilene from Bronte is via highway 277, which, according to this missing poster for Brandon, is exactly where his truck was found. This is also confirmed in the phone call he made to his brother, who set off to take him a jerry can of gas.

This video shows the location more clearly.

Now that we know what the location looks like and have a brief idea of where Brandon was last recorded to be, let’s try and put together a timeline of events that happened the night he seemingly vanished off the face of the earth.

9th August 2013
-Brandon left his San Angelo residence at approximately 11:53pm. He and his long term girlfriend (and mother of his children) got into an argument and he left.

-Brandon calls his brother at 12.38

-Brandon makes the 911 call we discussed above at 12:54

- Both Brandon’s brother and an officer show up at the unlocked, abandoned truck at the same time, around 1.10am
Brandon was not there and was never seen or heard from again

There’s talk of Brandon possibly hiding from the authorities due to an outstanding warrant. That doesn’t make much sense to me seeing as Brandon called 911 of his own accord and sounded in desperate need of assistance. Also I think for most people, if their life was in danger, they would probably think ‘screw the warrant”. I know we don’t know this for a fact, but the guy called 911 for assistance, so clearly whatever was happening to him was way more serious than getting arrested for the warrant. It seems unrealistic that he would leave behind his wife, children, family, job and everyone and everything he had ever known just to dodge a warrant. Am I alone in this thought?

(Brandon, his common law wife and kids. Source)

Now I’m going to research other people’s interpretations of the phone call and see what they heard. Maybe their translation of the tape can shine some light in the direction of what actually happened.

 So the first place I went to was the unresolved mysteries reddit sub. There was a post about Brandon there and one commenter (subtlelikeatrex) happened to also agree with what I thought I heard in the call.

 Another comment I found really interesting was this one, because it's written by someone who is actually from the area. 

Remember this is just this guys theory.(above)

Now one thing I read in the comments, which never occurred to me as I listened to the tape, is that there was more than one person on the call (on Brandon's end) and that it sounds like it's on speaker phone. Apparently when the dispatcher asks if Brandon needs an ambulance, another voice says "yeah" and then Brandon says "no". Honestly I never thought that the first time, I thought Brandon cut himself off, like "yea-no" and was just panting from running. But now that I listen to it with that idea in mind, I can entertain it (or am I being swayed here?) Either way, it doesn't change what is said in the clip, but him not being alone just adds to the mystery. This is why some people believe that Brandon ran out of gas, or was approached by someone at a rest stop where he assumed his brother would meet him, met someone there who was in trouble and started getting chased down by whoever was after that first guy. He did say in the call he was "in a field", not "by his car" so that would imply he was running from something. 

Some speculate that he was on drugs (meth) and was in a state of paranoia out alone in the darkness in the middle of nowhere. 

Some think that he was saying "State trooper" pulled some guys over (as in the ST was doing some dodgy dealings with locals, Brandon happened to run into them and see the deal going down and they chased him into the woods) 
One reddit user believes that the tape was actually edited, and recorded their own version of how they thought the original went. Check it out here << (Link is now broken sorry guys)

One person suggested Brandon was saying "A scraper just pushed some guys over" as in a type of construction vehicle that may have been on the road for some reason.

There is an endless amount of discussion on this case.
If you want to read more comments and theories or check out the reports and media on the case try these links:


  1. I'm wondering if this was one of those 'bump and sue' kind of incidents that went wrong. The kind where they pull in front of you trying to get you to hit them, and this time it didn't go very well. Maybe when they got out of their vehicle, and there wasn't any damage, they tried to rob him instead, and he drove away, but unfortunately ran out of gas not too far down the road. He saw them coming and ran into the bush to avoid them. This angle makes perfect sense for the 911 call. I made the same comment on the LordanArts BrainScratch video on YouTube. Wondering what others think of this idea.

  2. One thing to remember: the road Brandon was traveling--and the time he was traveling it--would've meant it was completely empty. It's an old country road that doesn't get much traffic in the daytime, let alone in the middle of the night. It's highly unlikely that he happened upon ANYone doing ANYthing out there unless he planned to meet them there himself.

    Brandon had a history of drug use and drug dealing. Particularly meth & marijuana. He's got a lengthy criminal record actually. It's possible he was involved in a drug deal gone bad while actually high himself. It's very common for oilfield workers who put in 80-90 hours per week to use stimulants like meth to stay awake, and perhaps that's exactly what he & Ladessa were arguing about. Maybe HE was the drug dealer and the drug user getting high on his own supply.

    I imagine that the frantic, nonsensical sound of the 911 call can be blamed on intoxication, head injury or blood loss--all of which can cause a sort of delirium that make you babble like that. Maybe he had a bit of all 3. We know he was bleeding because he told his brother as much.

    If it wasn't a drug deal gone bad, then perhaps his truck just died & he had a freakout in the night while high on meth & imagined he was being attacked. Stranger things have happened.

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    2. This is the rightest answer of all the answers on this subject. All the crazy theories and speaking for Brando on the 911 call instead of letting Brandon speak for himself because it just doesn't make sense is actually the best piece of evidence we have of Brandon's mental state. Personally, he said there's a sniper (slow it down, two-syllables very clear to me) unfortunately he goes onto say the sniper was "preaching some gods over" -- maybe he didn't say that but it sure sounded like the did, maybe he said pushing some guys over, I don't eve think Brand knows/knew and that is the whole point of this.

      If Brandon was on a meth field trip and hadn't come home the night before it's likely he'd been up for about three days, probably hadn't ate much or hydrated much during that time. He wandered around out there in the pitch black, tripping, falling, and growing more and more disoriented. By the time the sun came up and the August heat kicked in, Brandon had no liquids and his core temp climbed until he was forced to sit and likely simply died.

      Then again, maybe a home owner near by took a shot at him (the sniper) and Brandon bled out somewhere in one of those fields. As for his body, we don't know. But his bank account and phone--his entire social footprint ended there that night.

  3. Hi, I lived in Texas for the last 19 years. I am from Northern Virginia area originally. At one point Brandon and Ladessa lived near by my family in Texas. Anyway, I was not friends with them but I am familiar with Texas and back roads at that time of night. While this might seem like a back road and a back road that most people would not consider busy, it gets a fair share of traffic. Even on a Thursday night/Friday morning. it is a connector road that does have travelers often. The thing people are missing and I know from experience is Texas is far from perfect in small towns. Small town law enforcement in Texas is very questionable sometimes. They do things that you can never image and no one believes until they have dealt with it. I honestly think due to the time line, that he and Ladessa had a fight and he left angry. If memory serves, fights would happen he would peel out and make a scene and then go back to make up shortly and everything was fine. From my understanding it was not far from their house to where the truck was found but nearly 45 minutes had passed before he called his brother out of gas. Why did it take him so long to call when he wasn't 45 minutes away? I personally think he was either going to meet someone for something illegal or he came up on a situation, because it isn't that unreasonable knowing Texas first hand that drug people from Mexico will meet on roads to make exchanges in transporting drugs. Usually in these smaller towns where law enforcement isn't monitoring the area the best especially at nearly 1 am. Some law enforcement may not be fully ethical either. I agree with the writer that is could be on the "Bronte" side opposed to both sides. I do feel that makes sense. It sounds like distant gun shots that get closer at the end. What truly bothers me in this is that no one is looking at the local ranchers. the local landowners and sheriff don't want searches done on private land. Texas tends to be a shoot first place especially in small towns. If they have nothing to hide they should allow professional searches. I almost think he ran into one of these ranchers (perhaps Brandon was under the influence) and he disturbed a rancher or something. Texans also think land that is public is theirs too and they are weird about it if he pulled over and one felt it was too close to their property line for example. I think perhaps there was some kind of road altercation or disorientation of Brandon and he ran onto someones land who began shooting at him for trespassing. I think he got shot on the land and the sheriff is friends with the rancher and they are covering up. Blanket statements that local ranchers won't allow searches when someone's missing suggests to me that someone is hiding something. To avoid a lawsuit, whatever it is being covered up. Maybe the sheriff doesn't even know. But it is entirely possible a rancher did it and refusing searches because it would reveal the truth. Texans are strange about their land and in small towns. If someone was missing and I could help I would search my property or allow police to search. Of course drug deals, coming up on something bad, a lot of conspiracy things etc, could be true as well. Maybe even a combo of things. I just think the whole rancher thing is being completely missed.

    1. From what i understand, it is the sheriffs land!

  4. I think when Brandon ran outta gas I think he saw something happening he wasnt suppose to be seeing!I think he saw state troopers who had vehicles pulled over on both sides of the road and he got chased into the woods I think Brandon and whomever was chasing him he was able to overtake him but eventually the others caught up with him...I dont hear a car in the back ground it sounds like possible gunshots! But Im hoping and praying that hes just walking around somewhere with amnesia and someday we can find him! Brandon was a big part of my life he was my sons bestfriend and where you saw one the other was close by! He is loved and misses by so many and the fact is whether he has active warrants or a past drug history is really not the issue...the fact is hes missing and theres something terribly wrong with the sheriffs department out in Bronte Tx You would think they would have done more than what they did that night and the 911 operater / call center was very unprofessional as well! Pray for Brandon and his family
    We will never giveup hope and we will bring him home!

  5. Sounds like the state troopers have some going down on both sides of the road. Probably something illegal. He stumbled upon them and was chased into a field. Probably private property. This is why they won't let them search their land. I don't hear a car I hear gunshots. Small Texas towns hide alot of secrets. I've lived here my entire life. I would bet his body is on someone's property and the State Troopers know exactly where.

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  9. Ok.Here's my 2 cents ��

    -Brandon left his home after a fight w/his GF (they were NOT married) & was heading to his dad's house 3hrs away (near Ft.Worth I believe)! Ladessa has NEVER publicly said EXACTLY what they were fighting about.I don't know bout you but I'm NOT driving 3hrs away for sum lil tiff! What was the fight about? I ask because this could help w/Brandon's state of mind @ the beginning of this nightmare!
    -Again,according to Ladessa, Brandon took the ONLY house charger for the phones. That is why she had hers charging in the van.You mean to tell me that in a house w/4 children & 2 adults..there was ONLY 1 charger? No USB cables? If this is true, how did they charge their phones when they were both in the home? On a rotating schedule? LOL
    -Brandon's brother, Kyle, called Ladessa to get a gas can.She states she'll leave it on the porch cuz she's going to bed. Huh? You've just been told the "love of your life & father of your kids" has run outta gas & you're going to bed? W/out ur phone (because its charging in the van)?
    -The 9-11 call is NOT the last time Brandon is heard from.He spoke to Kyle's GF AFTER he made the call & left countless voicemails on Ladessa's phone (which she has NEVER released)! Kyle told Brandon there was a State Trooper @ his truck (because he knew about Brandon's warrant). Also, Kyle's GF said that she got a garbled call from Brandon & all she could make out was he was bleeding.
    -I've noticed A LOT of people claim that Brandon uses some mixture or slang for "State Trooper" in the 9-11 call. My thoughts? WHY would you tell the operator that you needed the cops..if the cops were the 1s chasing you??? To me, that's like asking for more muggers while you're being mugged!!

    IMO, there's A LOT of things we still don't know about Brandon's disappearance! But what I do know is this..the cops aren't the only shady as F*** people in this case! Look closer to home & see where it ALL began! Ladessa points an accusing finger @ the cops while witholding information! Kyle is no better! I just don't trust the "stories" outta those 2!

    What's my theory you might ask? Brandon left the house after a HEATED argument w/Ladessa. He thought he could make it to a gas station before he ran outta gas! Whoops! WRONG! As he was ����towards the rest area (or skipping it & heading to gas station) he came across some SHADY she*t! And not cops!! Just ur average, run of the mill bad dudes! They saw him & gave chase! Maybe they were disposing of a body. Maybe they were shaking some1 down 4 $$. Who knows. They caught him, beat him to death & then disposed of him (either in the river or @ another location near by).

  10. @mitchell Mitchell I swear I thought I was the only one thinking this also. I believe 100% it was a local rancher with another family member. Thanks for laying it out!

  11. I know everyone e has an opinion and who knows what happened. But my thoughts are when he ran outta gas he started walking in the direction his brother would be coming from and saw state police chasing possibly multiple cars and pulling one over where the person gets out and runs and brandon probably had ran out in the field when he saw the commotion and the guy that ran from the cop and brandon ran smack into each other and brandon tried to talk to him but the guy just kept running. Brandon makes the call to the 911 I believe because he wants the cops their because he just saw the guy that ran from the cops. Now after I dont know if maybe he fell and got hurt causing him to bleed maybe even eventually bleed out or the guy that was running hiding ran into him again and killed him or maybe the troopers were doing something wrong and killed him. But it is very strange all together. But when I heard the 911 call I understood what he was saying the first time I dont know if it's because I have a country accent to. He just seemed to be outta breath from running. I do find it strang that the land owners haven't allowed a search. But I dont believe he was near his truck when he made the 911 call.

  12. It always seemed odd to me that someone attempting to conceal themselves from law enforcement, drug dealers, ranchers, etc...trying to harm them, and who were nearby, would speak so loudly into the telephone. Or use it after employing the speaker function. I do agree with Mitchell that the ranchers in the area might know something about Brandon's disappearance. Then of course there is the meth and subsequent paranoia angle.

  13. I have been following this story for a while. My thing is has the family checked to see if there was any other person missing on that day? has someone filed a missing police report on their loved one. Did anyone checked in the hospital that day with gun shots or something? Because if he wasn't alone and the person he was with was hurt they should have seeked medical care.

  14. Is scrapper used as slang in Texas for a old car or street car
    And he I hear him say suddenly ran into which would implying This event was serious situation that had accelerated

    1. Also if state troopers and sheriff were encoded unit should have gps locators
      also his brother had come clean to sheriff there is no guarantee Brandon would not have been detained meaning he would have had to post bail or see a judge on Monday more than likely which would may have ruined his new job that started that following Monday

  15. Little weird how the link to the "unedited" 911 call leads to a 409 page and says I cant have access to the link.

    1. Hey thanks for pointing that out man. Didn't realize it was now a broken link. I'll search for another!