University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Brittany Zimmermann Was Murdered in Her Madison Apartment in 2008
In 2008, University of Wisconsin-Madison student Brittany Zimmermann died in her downtown Madison apartment from unknown causes. An investigation that followed led to the conviction of David Kahl, now serving a life sentence for his involvement. Last November, Judge Chris Taylor found him guilty of first-degree intentional homicide after pleading guilty last fall to the charge.
On a tragic and violent night in Madison, Wisconsin, 21-year-old Julia Zimmermann died. Her fiance Jordan Gonnering returned from class and found his beloved dead on the floor of their first floor apartment. Search warrants reveal that an unsolved murder had brutally beat, strangled, and stabbed Zimmermann over an hour long span – sparking fear across campus and throughout Madison itself.
Police vowed to get to the bottom of this case and put an end to Zimmermann’s tragic death. Detectives are making great progress, with Chief Noble Wray saying they believe they will identify whoever or persons are responsible for such a brutal killing of such a young woman.
Search warrants and other records have revealed that Zimmermann called 911 at 12:20 p.m. on April 2nd, just minutes before her fiancee discovered her bloody and cold body in her home. The call was made from Zimmermann’s cell phone and recorded by Rita Gahagan, the 911 dispatcher.
On Gahagan’s call, you can hear a scream and muffled sounds, followed by the sounds of struggle. However, she did not follow up or send police to investigate further.
That is why the brutal death of Zimmermann prompted an extensive internal and external investigation into the 911 center’s response to the call. Now, one County Board Supervisor has written a letter asking for a special meeting to question him about his actions.
On Friday, Topf Wells, chief of staff to Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, announced that Gahagan would be suspended for three days. In addition to attending a training session on the new 911 policy and being evaluated for her job, Gahagan must also attend an evaluation.
Since Zimmermann’s passing, the 911 call from her cell phone has been the subject of much controversy. But according to NBC15, an internal investigation is nearly complete into how it was handled.
According to the investigation, Gahagan, the 911 operator who received Zimmermann’s call on April 2, 2008, will be suspended for three days from her job at the 911 center. Norwick will also be interviewed regarding the botched 911 call.
Gahagan was suspended and Norwick questioned about the call by one County Board Supervisor; she is set to meet with another Board Chairman this week as well. According to the chairman, 911 center director should be held accountable for her actions.
Dane County Board Supervisor Chris Norwick is demanding an investigation into the botched 911 call made on the day Brittany Zimmermann was tragically found dead in her Madison home in 2008. The County Board Chairman wants to question the director of the 911 center about this tragic event that occurred before Zimmermann was stabbed to death at her Doty Street residence; yet Norwick, who directed 911 operations, admitted hanging up on her without calling back despite following policy by not following up with her immediately after making it.