The Rachel Henry Case

On January 20, an amphetamine user named Rachel Henry killed her three young children. You can read the story here:

 You can read the Addendum narrative on page 3 of the documents below:
The report is thorough and objective, but it could be more efficient.

Straightforward sentences save time (a precious commodity for officers) and make a report more readable. Here’s a portion of the original narrative – 112 words:

On January 20th, 2020 at 1920 hours, officers with the Phoenix Police Department responded to a call of an unknown trouble at 2520 East Vineyard Road. Dispatch advised an unidentified female was calling to report three children under the age of three years old were found inside the residence. Officers and fire personnel responded within several minutes and determined all three children a three year old male, a one year old female, a seven month old female were deceased. The father of the children, , and the mother, Rachel Henry were both on scene and transported to Phoenix Police Headquarters for further interview. The homeowner and  aunt, , were also transported.

This revised version is 84 words – more efficient and easier to read:

On January 20th, 2020 at 1920 hours, officers with the Phoenix Police Department responded to 2520 East Vineyard Road. Dispatch said an unidentified female called to report three dead children under the age of three. Officers and fire personnel confirmed all three children were dead: a male three years old, a female one year old, and a female seven months old. Police drove the father, , and the mother, Rachel Henry, to Phoenix Police Headquarters. They also drove the homeowner and X’s aunt, . 

Some comments:

  • Omit “a call of unknown trouble” – the next sentence explains what the “trouble” was
  • Omit “were both on scene.” If you arrested them, obviously that’s where they were.
  • Dispatch told (not advised) you about the dead children. Advised means “gave advice” – it’s the wrong word here. 

In my next post, I’ll have more examples from the narrative.

Rachel Henry


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