Reopening a Murder Investigation

Business sector

Law Enforcement


Restoring old 9-1-1 emergency call recordings linked to a murder investigation


Dictaphone Guardian, DDS tape, 911 public safety

Business Drivers

Retrieving data from obsolete systems

The Challenge

An Ohio murder investigation from 1992 was cold-cased until new evidence was introduced.  A witness came forward with information more than 25 years after the murder and suggested that a 9-1-1 call should be reexamined.  A single magnetic tape (DDS-2) in possession of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) could hold the clues to move the cold case forward. The BCI had no way to restore and review the audio because the original call recorder was decommissioned and the recorder manufacturer was now out-of-business.

Solution Overview

Ohio BCI identified XOVOX as an expert specializing in audio restoration and conversion with proprietary call recording technologies.  Having no other information with which to work, XOVOX engineers utilized XTRACT to read the raw data on the tape. The team quickly recognized a long obsolete audio format – Dictaphone Guardian.  XOVOX restored the data for the specific date and time range and then converted the audio files and metadata to a PC-reviewable format.

The Result

The investigators used the timestamps retrieved with the per-call metadata to pinpoint and playback the call of interest. As of April, 2023, the case is still pending in Ohio courts.

Unifying 300 Million Recordings Into a Single System