911 tapes in Cook case evoke strong reaction from domestic violence foes



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Posted on March 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 8:26 PM

DALLAS -- Her murder lasted more than eight minutes, and after seven months, the autopsy report was released Thursday.

It said Deanna Cook was a victim of drowning. She was found face down in a bathtub full of water, two days after a 911 call recorded her murder.

The call was obtained by News 8. In it, Cook can be heard pleading for her life, saying "please help me," again and again.

Her ex-husband, Delvecchio Patrick, is accused of drowning her.

On the tape, Cook asks, “Why are you doing this to me?”

Paige Flink, who runs The Family Place and deals with domestic violence every day, could only listen to a couple of minutes.

“It’s just too awful," Flink said.

The 911 operator who took the call never upgraded it to a top priority, so it took officers 51 minutes to get to Cook's home. But once there, they didn't go inside. They left after not getting an answer at the door.

“[I] absolutely feel like 911 failed her," Flink said. "You couldn't miss it. How could you not know the person was in grave danger, or at least, in so much distress she couldn't answer you back?"

And there are two other tapes obtained by News 8. They are 911 calls made by Cook in the weeks prior to her death last August. She begs police to help her.

“He's already tried to kill me three times," she tells the operator. "I'm really just fed up with this."

She told 911 operators in prior calls that Patrick had tormented her for five years.

Mayor Mike Rawlings, who is leading a rally in Dallas against domestic violence this month, talked about the Cook case on News 8 Daybreak Thursday.

“First of all, we - as a society, then as a gender of males - have failed her," he said, "and then her safety net wasn't there for her."

The mayor and Flink say they hope Cook's case will bring about more changes to prevent this from happening to someone else.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com