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Thread: Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island 2

  1. #1501
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    Have we ever figured out who this man is? He is frantically pushing people out from just inside the doorway...
    Station Doorway SS.png
    Sorry if it's already been discussed, but my heart hurts for him as I don't think he made it out, and I can't tell who it is. ETA: he kinda looks like Michael Fresolo, IMO...
    Last edited by CommanderAmander; 07-03-2020 at 07:37 AM.

  2. #1502
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    Yeah, Subarctican's take on Ron Barak's escape sure agrees with everything I've seen. But I can appreciate the imagination shown in questioning stuff like that. I know I take certain moments in Butler almost for granted now. So it's fascinating when we have alternative ways of viewing some almost too-familar scenes. If that makes any sense.....


    Okay, so who exactly broke out that lone North-South window in the atrium?

    Mark Knott, the West Warwick P.O., was there from the beginning (with fellow officer Tony Bettencourt). He heard the banging and kicking on atrium windows; he saw smoke swirling, through the glass; and, he saw someone kicking at the North-South window.

    Knott: "I don't know if it was my asp that broke it or that gentleman that was kicking it." Immediately, he says, 6 or 7 people came right out the N-S window under their own power.

    If you go to survivor Brian O'Donnell's witness statement--well, he describes kicking at the atrium window "which faced the front stairs." He was a big guy, too. He kicked the window "a dozen times," gave up briefly, then kicked it again and it broke. (Did his last kick just get nicely timed with Mark Knott's asp?)

    All this makes me think that O'Donnell may have been the real North-South window-kicker. Maybe, in the blinding smoke, Ron Barak and the "small guy" he mentions were really kicking at the first East-West window in front. I don't know. But I do know that that front window was plexiglass while the N-S window was made of real glass (replaced after a 2000 car accident). There is a close-up shot of it in the G. Drive video by Evelyn Brito (VTS_01_1.VOB) taken on 9/02 at a Station comedy night.

    Even that first E-W window could be called "next to the front stairs." (Barak's words.) Just not as specific as "facing them," as O'Donnell phrased it. Maybe after failing to defeat the plexiglass window, Barak and friend may have gotten turned around in the smoke and ended up scrambling through the sudden Butler-cleared space.

    BTW, Butler told the Grand Jury he never set the camera down at the atrium. It was on his left shoulder when he kicked out that lower metal panel, which was at the bottom of window #4 (going left to right).You can see its empty frame in the later pictures of the burning skeleton of the atrium. There was a similar lower panel at window #8. Have never found any specific info about that one ever becoming someone's escape.

  3. #1503
    Mentioned previously, but I was messing around on Reddit, and came to a very stark conclusion...3 deadly nightclub fires from the 2000s had prophetic music playing the night of the respective tragedies before they occurred...SNC had "get ready to meet your maker", Santika had "in the end" - Linkin Park cover, Colectiv had "today is the day we die" by Goodbye to Gravity...just some very odd n sad coincidences I've come to realize....
    Last edited by bustakita; 07-21-2020 at 07:08 PM.

  4. #1504
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    Hi all—

    Amanda—going by witness reports, I think I could use the process of elimination to come up with a list of, say, 5-10 males who it might be. That’s because I think that guy did get out. Just my theory. Also, he doesn’t resemble any of the deceased to my eye.

    Bustakita—well that’s sure strange; what a coincidence.

    Just got up to Rhode Island for 2 weeks. I’m about 25 minutes south of West Warwick. You can bet I’ll be up to the Memorial a few times. Will report on any new findings.

    If you search Great White on YouTube, and put in North Dakota, you can see how they appeared In some virus-precaution-free concert. Someone commented to the effect that they were going to beat their old record of killing 100. 😬

  5. #1505
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Hi all—

    Amanda—going by witness reports, I think I could use the process of elimination to come up with a list of, say, 5-10 males who it might be. That’s because I think that guy did get out. Just my theory. Also, he doesn’t resemble any of the deceased to my eye.

    Bustakita—well that’s sure strange; what a coincidence.

    Just got up to Rhode Island for 2 weeks. I’m about 25 minutes south of West Warwick. You can bet I’ll be up to the Memorial a few times. Will report on any new findings.

    If you search Great White on YouTube, and put in North Dakota, you can see how they appeared In some virus-precaution-free concert. Someone commented to the effect that they were going to beat their old record of killing 100. ��
    Bill- I agree, at first I didn't think he really looked like anyone... but after watching the cleaned up version (thank you again, alpowers7!) I think he looks a lot like Tommy Woodmansee:
    TWoodmansee.jpg
    I slowed the video down on that part so I could get a better look, the hair and mustache are definitely similar, and per his gf at the time (Ashley Poland- they went to the show together), he was helping her get out, and possibly others. He had served a few years in the National Guard as well. I just can't imagine that whoever that was was able to escape from the time it showed him throwing people out the door, to the time the doorway was completely engulfed. Also, per his obituary:

    A graduate of Chariho High School, Tommy graduated from the New England Institute of Technology in 1995. He had been working as a union electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electricians, Local 99, and served for three years in the Army National Guard, in East Greenwich.
    Haines said that her brother saved the life of his girlfriend, Ashley Poland of Narragansett, during the fire.
    "He pushed her up to the window and got her out," she said. "Then he started helping others get out. That's in his nature."

    Thoughts?

    Also, enjoy your RI trip- take some pics of the memorial if you think of it!

    Bustakita- very interesting, and super spooky. I never knew that before!
    Last edited by CommanderAmander; 07-13-2020 at 07:58 AM.

  6. #1506
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  7. #1507
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    Life is different in the Dakotas...
    "When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself."
    -Anonymous

  8. #1508
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    Hi Folks

    It's amazing to see all the work that's being done and the interest. You folks continue to be amazing and supportive.
    I wanted to leave you with more about Becky Shaw.
    I met the friend of hers that I had taken about, on her birthday. He knew me, but by what I was called then. He was her significant other after me. He had thought the note I left on her cross was from her parents and was surprised to find out it was me after all these years. This was because I left the same note at the memorial and he was blown away. He didn't know her Mom and Dad left the chocolates at the cross, either. He and I actually knew each other in passing, it just never clicked. He remembers being in her dorm when she yelled out to me to say hi as I played frisbee with my old roommates after I had left school. Amazing to hear that she described me as the guy she was dating, that just made me feel good. He was really nice, he really loved her. I got so many details filled in that I really needed. He said it was better that I wasn't at the funeral. It was so bad. Her family was devastated. There was a bunch of personal stuff I found out that I'm not comfortable sharing, some sad and some happy. He had her mass card, and the picture from the funeral. That was sad to see and hold. The picture of her on the secondary memorial behind city hall is her senior photo and the same at her funeral. There were lots of funny stories! He knew "Becky Time" where you were always late with her. All her little quirks, too. He also filled in the time I wasn't in contact. Just to clarify, we're both not sure who wrote her obituary. Wow, it's all over the place. She didn't play dress up, she was dressed up. We both agreed it didn't do her justice other than that she did spoil her friends. It was amazing to finally connect my own timeline from way back that was so jumbled and to see what was going on in her life from his perspective. There were so many things he mentioned that she knew of because of me and I was a little surprised that so much of what we did together was so enjoyable that she continued to want to enjoy those places and things.
    Randomly, I was going through my Becky keepsakes to bring to this meeting and happened to unfold the fleece blanket I ended up with from her. It must not have been opened since 1997 because her hair is all over it still. Kinda wild, folks!
    He didn't know about Jeff's picture. I showed him. That was not easy. I can walk through the fire in my head after all this and I walked him through to where I'm sure she was. It was heartbreaking to do and cathartic for both of us. He was relieved to hear the timing and how quickly she probably perished. She was so in love with Jeff. She went to see him in California, that's so not Becky! She would be in her apartment and Jeff would call and she would be off on the phone with him forever. Also not Becky! She really loved this guy and both of us think Jeff and Becky were each other's "one." Knowing the day they had before the fire, I have this hope: I want to think that because Jeff had made everything SO perfect for that day for her, that maybe he would have proposed that weekend. I could see it happening.
    I've been to the memorial five times now. It's so good to be able to talk to her. I bring her caffeine free diet coke and crumble some grass for her. I always have a hard time leaving her. I've driven by her folks house a few times wishing that maybe somehow when I get to a certain place it will be 1999 and when I get to her folk's house she'll come bouncing down the side stairs. Her friend understood that. He mentioned Becky always said she never wanted to grow old. I never heard her say that and I was surprised to hear it. Becky loved the British show Absolutely Fabulous. Nobody knew about that. She would have grown up to be the most beautiful and successful version of Patsy from that show. I wish I could have told her that in person.
    It's just so good to be able to go to the memorial and talk to her. I'm sure this is not the most coherent post, but I'm really trying not to fully engage this in my head and take me to a bad place. Thank you all again, the respect and dignity you all have for this is powerful. I will check in as February gets closer and let you know when I'll be at the memorial for the anniversary. I would be happy to meet and talk to any of you there. I'm actually in the background of the video the news shot this year, I'm the blue lump in front of her stone!

  9. #1509
    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    -YET EVEN MORE QUOTES-



    8.) "Crispy Critters." - an unknown policeman's radio reply to a fellow officer who'd asked about the condition of the clubgoers they were about to be dealing with.
    Where did this quote come from. It's very harsh ☹️

  10. #1510
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carpenter View Post
    It's amazing to see all the work that's being done and the interest. You folks continue to be amazing and supportive.
    I wanted to leave you with more about Becky Shaw.
    I met the friend of hers that I had taken about, on her birthday. He knew me, but by what I was called then. He was her significant other after me. He had thought the note I left on her cross was from her parents and was surprised to find out it was me after all these years. This was because I left the same note at the memorial and he was blown away. He didn't know her Mom and Dad left the chocolates at the cross, either. He and I actually knew each other in passing, it just never clicked. He remembers being in her dorm when she yelled out to me to say hi as I played frisbee with my old roommates after I had left school. Amazing to hear that she described me as the guy she was dating, that just made me feel good. He was really nice, he really loved her. I got so many details filled in that I really needed. He said it was better that I wasn't at the funeral. It was so bad. Her family was devastated. There was a bunch of personal stuff I found out that I'm not comfortable sharing, some sad and some happy. He had her mass card, and the picture from the funeral. That was sad to see and hold. The picture of her on the secondary memorial behind city hall is her senior photo and the same at her funeral. There were lots of funny stories! He knew "Becky Time" where you were always late with her. All her little quirks, too. He also filled in the time I wasn't in contact. Just to clarify, we're both not sure who wrote her obituary. Wow, it's all over the place. She didn't play dress up, she was dressed up. We both agreed it didn't do her justice other than that she did spoil her friends. It was amazing to finally connect my own timeline from way back that was so jumbled and to see what was going on in her life from his perspective. There were so many things he mentioned that she knew of because of me and I was a little surprised that so much of what we did together was so enjoyable that she continued to want to enjoy those places and things.
    Randomly, I was going through my Becky keepsakes to bring to this meeting and happened to unfold the fleece blanket I ended up with from her. It must not have been opened since 1997 because her hair is all over it still. Kinda wild, folks!
    He didn't know about Jeff's picture. I showed him. That was not easy. I can walk through the fire in my head after all this and I walked him through to where I'm sure she was. It was heartbreaking to do and cathartic for both of us. He was relieved to hear the timing and how quickly she probably perished. She was so in love with Jeff. She went to see him in California, that's so not Becky! She would be in her apartment and Jeff would call and she would be off on the phone with him forever. Also not Becky! She really loved this guy and both of us think Jeff and Becky were each other's "one." Knowing the day they had before the fire, I have this hope: I want to think that because Jeff had made everything SO perfect for that day for her, that maybe he would have proposed that weekend. I could see it happening.
    I've been to the memorial five times now. It's so good to be able to talk to her. I bring her caffeine free diet coke and crumble some grass for her. I always have a hard time leaving her. I've driven by her folks house a few times wishing that maybe somehow when I get to a certain place it will be 1999 and when I get to her folk's house she'll come bouncing down the side stairs. Her friend understood that. He mentioned Becky always said she never wanted to grow old. I never heard her say that and I was surprised to hear it. Becky loved the British show Absolutely Fabulous. Nobody knew about that. She would have grown up to be the most beautiful and successful version of Patsy from that show. I wish I could have told her that in person.
    It's just so good to be able to go to the memorial and talk to her. I'm sure this is not the most coherent post, but I'm really trying not to fully engage this in my head and take me to a bad place. Thank you all again, the respect and dignity you all have for this is powerful. I will check in as February gets closer and let you know when I'll be at the memorial for the anniversary. I would be happy to meet and talk to any of you there. I'm actually in the background of the video the news shot this year, I'm the blue lump in front of her stone!
    Carpenter, thank you so much for opening your heart to us about Becky. She seemed like an amazing girl! I hope your visits to the memorial and the opportunities you've had to speak with others from her past are cathartic for you. I love reading these stories. Please don't forget about us here and continue to check in. <3

  11. #1511
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    Amanda - Yeah, I can see a bit of a Woodmansee resemblance. My only issue is that his girlfriend Ashley Poland says she got out a window and implies it was with Woodmansee’s help. But here we have this guy struggling to get out the front door. So, I don’t know.....

    Carpenter - Good to see you back. Amazing how much of Becky’s world you’ve recaptured in the last six months.

    Bustakita - If you listen to all the police radio from that night, I guarantee you’ll hear it. I wasn’t taking so many notes back when I first heard it, so I’m sorry I can’t pinpoint it for you.

    Yeah, initially I thought it was harsh, too. But then, when taken in context, it became nothing more, really, than one cop conveying as quickly as possible to a fellow cop what they were in for at the scene they were speeding to. It never sounded like a dark bad joke; just shocking shorthand to accurately describe the grim, body-bagging task ahead.

  12. #1512
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    Hi all. Hey, the next anniversary (18th) is less than six months away.


    -BONUS QUOTES-


    --"...no one knows right now what I will do in July. Well, of course, I don't know if I'll be alive in July. The world could be a much different-looking place.....know what I'm saying?"--comments made by Dr. Metal (D) on his last WHJY radio show.


    --"I went to my Mom's house, and all the lights were on and her clothes were still on the bed."--Sarah Ballard, daughter of Sarah Telgarsky (D), on the morning after the fire.


    --"Shawn Corbett did tell me he was guilt-ridden because he and Ed had had an argument either that day or the day before and the harsh words they said to each other were their last. That messed him up."--a friend of Shawn Corbett, who lost his younger brother Ed Corbett in the fire.


    --"I looked at him and said, 'Well, if a fire breaks out, I'm going through those [atrium] windows.' Twenty minutes later I'm going through the [bar] windows over there."--John "Jack" Rezendes after being told by his friend, Paul Vanner, that Brian Butler was there to shoot a piece on nightclub safety.


    --"Dad, don't wake me. I have a personal day. Love, Pam."--the note Pam Gruttadauria left at home before leaving for The Station.

  13. #1513
    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Hi all. Hey, the next anniversary (18th) is less than six months away.


    -BONUS QUOTES-


    --"...no one knows right now what I will do in July. Well, of course, I don't know if I'll be alive in July. The world could be a much different-looking place.....know what I'm saying?"--comments made by Dr. Metal (D) on his last WHJY radio show.


    --"I went to my Mom's house, and all the lights were on and her clothes were still on the bed."--Sarah Ballard, daughter of Sarah Telgarsky (D), on the morning after the fire.


    --"Shawn Corbett did tell me he was guilt-ridden because he and Ed had had an argument either that day or the day before and the harsh words they said to each other were their last. That messed him up."--a friend of Shawn Corbett, who lost his younger brother Ed Corbett in the fire.


    --"I looked at him and said, 'Well, if a fire breaks out, I'm going through those [atrium] windows.' Twenty minutes later I'm going through the [bar] windows over there."--John "Jack" Rezendes after being told by his friend, Paul Vanner, that Brian Butler was there to shoot a piece on nightclub safety.


    --"Dad, don't wake me. I have a personal day. Love, Pam."--the note Pam Gruttadauria left at home before leaving for The Station.
    Wow some deep quotes!!! As always I'm always thinking of all involved in SNF

  14. #1514
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    --One thing about the fire that always gets me, is when we can see--in hindsight--how even the smallest of actions by club-goers can suddenly take on real life-or-death consequences.


    Example: Mike Stefani decides to use the ladies room.

    The story: Mike Stefani and Kevin Washburn (D) catch a ride to The Station with friends. They are running late, and the pair bolt out of the car and hustle into the club only ten minutes before GW takes the stage. They take the path to the main bar and are soon surrounded by old friends and Station regulars. (In Butler's pre-show we see Kevin Washburn smiling and socializing. Mike Stefani is never seen on camera; he's a tall guy, always wearing his signature raccoon cap.)

    Finally, they break away from the bar crowd to go and use the bathroom. Then, their plan is to get some beer before the show starts.

    They join the line for the mens room. But Mike cracks open the door to the ladies room, sees no one, and uses one of the stalls. When he comes out, Mike says he kiddingly laughed at Kevin because Kevin is still stuck there in the line for the mens. So Mike says he'll go for the beer, and that's the last time he saw his friend, Kevin Washburn.

    Later, Mike has a lot of guilt about that...like he should have stayed with Kevin, he should have made Kevin go with him, etc.


    --Knowing what's about to happen to people who have no idea what's about to happen, adds a terrible suspense to everything--large or small--on the Butler footage and throughout the witness statements.

  15. #1515
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    --One thing about the fire that always gets me, is when we can see--in hindsight--how even the smallest of actions by club-goers can suddenly take on real life-or-death consequences.


    Example: Mike Stefani decides to use the ladies room.

    The story: Mike Stefani and Kevin Washburn (D) catch a ride to The Station with friends. They are running late, and the pair bolt out of the car and hustle into the club only ten minutes before GW takes the stage. They take the path to the main bar and are soon surrounded by old friends and Station regulars. (In Butler's pre-show we see Kevin Washburn smiling and socializing. Mike Stefani is never seen on camera; he's a tall guy, always wearing his signature raccoon cap.)

    Finally, they break away from the bar crowd to go and use the bathroom. Then, their plan is to get some beer before the show starts.

    They join the line for the mens room. But Mike cracks open the door to the ladies room, sees no one, and uses one of the stalls. When he comes out, Mike says he kiddingly laughed at Kevin because Kevin is still stuck there in the line for the mens. So Mike says he'll go for the beer, and that's the last time he saw his friend, Kevin Washburn.

    Later, Mike has a lot of guilt about that...like he should have stayed with Kevin, he should have made Kevin go with him, etc.


    --Knowing what's about to happen to people who have no idea what's about to happen, adds a terrible suspense to everything--large or small--on the Butler footage and throughout the witness statements.
    So, so eerie... I love these little antedotes you post Billoween, thank you. To everyone else, I hope you're doing well, it's been quiet here lately!

  16. #1516
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    Thanks Bustakita and thank you Amanda. Good to see everyone keeping up on the thread. Much of the Stefani story came from one of his old best friends, who I was lucky enough to meet last February.

  17. #1517
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    I’m in Rhode Island for the weekend and I’m sitting here at The Cowesett Inn. They still have a deep, loyal support from this community. Even during the pandemic. Plus they have excellent food.

  18. #1518
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    Yesterday, youtube user "sharon white" shared this 2018 article with me: https://www.providencejournal.com/ne...educed-penalty

    By 2013, the Derderians hadn't paid even $5 of their million-dollar fine, so they appealed. In 2014, they settled and agreed to pay $150,000 instead.

  19. #1519
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    RodentLady - Thanks for the Derderian article; talk about being let off the hook. Still, conscience-wise, I wouldn't want to live in their heads, even for a second.

    Lt. Frank - Any new ID's to unveil? I miss your photo captures. You touched on the following in one of your posts, so I ran with it.....



    --Comments from those Station survivors who initially believed that they might be in trouble, somehow, for their struggles in the fire's free-for-all, are almost comical in retrospect. Maybe what they illustrate most is just how rapidly conditions went downhill.


    1.) Ron Barak - He and "a small guy" tried to break an atrium window using shoulders and feet--and unsuccessfully, it turned out. Barak said that the people who were moving toward the front door looked at [them] like they were crazy. He wondered if a bouncer would try and stop them, and figured he would have to pay for the window.

    2.) Tony Cugini - He reached the panic bar of the bar door exit very early on; the band had just quit playing. The thought that occurred to him then was, "If fire was [really just] part of the show, I could get in trouble for going out a fire exit." (Opening that door was never something that would trigger any alarm.)

    3.) Brian Butler - He used his left foot to kick out the square metal panel at the bottom of East-West atrium window #4. Butler said, "...once I'd kicked it out I thought to myself for a second, you know, when they put out this fire they're gonna wonder who started destroying their building."

  20. #1520
    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    --One thing about the fire that always gets me, is when we can see--in hindsight--how even the smallest of actions by club-goers can suddenly take on real life-or-death consequences.


    Example: Mike Stefani decides to use the ladies room.

    The story: Mike Stefani and Kevin Washburn (D) catch a ride to The Station with friends. They are running late, and the pair bolt out of the car and hustle into the club only ten minutes before GW takes the stage. They take the path to the main bar and are soon surrounded by old friends and Station regulars. (In Butler's pre-show we see Kevin Washburn smiling and socializing. Mike Stefani is never seen on camera; he's a tall guy, always wearing his signature raccoon cap.)

    Finally, they break away from the bar crowd to go and use the bathroom. Then, their plan is to get some beer before the show starts.

    They join the line for the mens room. But Mike cracks open the door to the ladies room, sees no one, and uses one of the stalls. When he comes out, Mike says he kiddingly laughed at Kevin because Kevin is still stuck there in the line for the mens. So Mike says he'll go for the beer, and that's the last time he saw his friend, Kevin Washburn.

    Later, Mike has a lot of guilt about that...like he should have stayed with Kevin, he should have made Kevin go with him, etc.


    --Knowing what's about to happen to people who have no idea what's about to happen, adds a terrible suspense to everything--large or small--on the Butler footage and throughout the witness statements.
    Wow. A story I hadn't heard before. I'm sure that there are many more we haven't heard as well.

    OT: (somewhat) I was watching the world news tonight and as many wildfires that are happening in Cali, some idiots decided to do a gender reveal using pyrotechnics nd started ANOTHER wildfire. Like Wtf.

  21. #1521
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    Hi all--and howdy to all you lurkers, as well.



    As well documented as the Station Fire is, there was nearly way way more information. Here are three examples of what could be called "almosts"--what very nearly was.


    1.) the Bill Long videotape

    Bill Long, Trip's beloved road manager and the man known from the Butler video for resembling a zombie, told an upstate New York newspaper about shooting his own video on the night of the fire.

    Long: "The vibe we felt that night was so incredible that I jumped on stage. I got up on the stage with a video-camera and video-taped the fans because they were having so much fun."

    But soon after, Long had to leave his video camera behind to make a last-second escape from an atrium window (with help). So yeah, this was an "almost."


    2.) a second GW pre-show crowd sequence

    Butler wanted to shoot even more concert-crowd footage from the stage, but he basically ran out of time.

    Butler: "I was hoping to get on the stage again and video-tape the [same] shot that I had taken earlier, but now with the [red, green, and blue stage lights] going on and off."

    Tracy King led him to within 4 or 5 "rows" of the stage, but, with the band only seconds away from coming out, Butler had to settle for filming the band's opening, which he figured would at least show some crowd reactions from behind.
    So maybe call this the-pre-concert-crowd-footage-that-almost-was.


    3.) the Station's closed-circuit TV tape

    There were cameras aimed on the front ticket counter, on the cash register at the main bar, and on the register at the backbar; all the points where money was handled. The cameras appeared to have been operating normally on the night of the fire, all linked to a video-tape recorder in the main office. The recorder--no surprise--did not survive. In this case, I'm almost glad.



    (NOTE): There may exist a still photo by Bill Long that we've never seen. And I'm not quite sure why, given the thoroughness of the investigation.

    The Syracuse Post-Standard: "[Long] quickly snapped one photo of the fire, stuffed the camera into his pocket.....and headed for safety. By then, the flames were heading across the ceiling of the club."

    Has anyone ever come across one photo credited to Long?
    Last edited by billoween; 09-14-2020 at 06:53 PM.

  22. #1522
    A couple of random thoughts that have come into my head recently...

    1 - Great White continuing to play after the fire broke out may have saved Brian Butler's life. It's not until the band stopped playing that the crowd all seemed to turn around and head for the exit, and that could've happened while Brian Butler was still deep in the crowd near the stage if the band had stopped playing a few seconds earlier. In such a scenario he may very well have gotten caught in the pileup or been stuck inside the club and forced to try to make an alternative exit.

    2 - I think the screaming immediately after "where's my husband" is taking place from outside rather than inside. I know we've discussed this before, particularly after the discovery of that Pickett tape sample with that screaming not being audible on the tape, but I've noticed another detail that would seem to support this - we can hear Rick Sanetti yelling for Bridget repeatedly by the bar windows, and we can very clearly hear one last "Bridget!" when Brian Butler is all the way over by the tour bus. So the sound out there carries quite far, and that's pretty much exactly what happens with the initial screaming after Butler makes it out of the club - we keep it hearing it very audibly even when he's over by the back of the club, which would not necessarily be the case if it was coming from inside.

    Also, a minor random detail I noticed for the first time - the stage door disappears from sight behind a thick layer of smoke in the last second or so before Brian Butler turns into the entrance hallway on the video. Looks like those last couple people off the stage (including Jack Russell, I think?) would've already faced pretty deteriorated conditions going through that door.

    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    2.) a second GW pre-show crowd sequence

    Butler wanted to shoot even more concert-crowd footage from the stage, but he basically ran out of time.

    Butler: "I was hoping to get on the stage again and video-tape the [same] shot that I had taken earlier, but now with the [red, green, and blue stage lights] going on and off."

    Tracy King led him to within 4 or 5 "rows" of the stage, but, with the band only seconds away from coming out, Butler had to settle for filming the band's opening, which he figured would at least show some crowd reactions from behind. So maybe call this the-concert-crowd-footage-that-almost-was.
    This is also an example of what very nearly wasn't - Brian Butler said he was having an off night and wasn't sure he'd gotten many good useable shots. He was pretty much done filming when he saw the stage lights flashing which prompted this journey toward the stage because he wanted to get a better shot of the lights than he'd had before. If he had finished just a couple minutes earlier he may very well have packed up and walked out of that club before this happened and the video of the fire would never have been taken.

  23. #1523
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    Yeah, good point Sub; the holy grail, the Butler tape itself, very nearly wasn't.

    Butler didn't arrive at The Station until 10:40-ish. He'd been aiming to get there at 10:00, but the WPRI Assignment Desk Manager had given him an additional task that took him up to Cranston. (All for a segment about a man who had prayed for his sick son in the name of fallen 9/11 hero Father Michael Judge, and who claimed his son was getting better.)

    So yeah, so many alternate scenarios could have played out if Butler had arrived on time and/or if Butler had felt more confident in "his game" and had plenty of usable material already.


    PS--Isn't it almost funny at the end of Butler's tape when we're seeing total chaos and at the same time we're hearing Butler trying to explain to his seemingly oblivious girlfriend, Tammy, why he won't be home soon.

    Butler: "Tammy, listen to me . . . you have to listen to me."

    She apparently doesn't get it at all, and you're thinking, what the fuck--is it like his dinner's on the table and it's getting cold?

  24. #1524
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    Okay, back in 1990, best friends Kris Somers, Arthur "Jamie" Conway, and Shawn Sweet got an older friend with a beat-up Monte Carlo to drive them from their hometown of Pembroke, Massachusetts, to the Worcester Centrum Center for the first big concert of their teens; Great White with The Scorpions as the opener. "It was a great night," Conway recalled in an interview with The Boston Globe.


    So.....thirteen years later, in 2003, Somers convinced his old friend Conway to see Great White once again. Since high school, Somers and Conway had drifted apart some from their old pal, Sweet, so this time around it was going to be just the two of them, driving from Pembroke to West Warwick.

    They arrived late, with little hope of getting close to the stage which was their preferred position. Instead, they settled for standing back in the middle of the club.

    Well, Kris Somers ended up getting out the main door without a scratch. "The second I saw fire I headed out," he told police. Conway, unfortunately, was a little ways behind him in the crush. On the Butler tape, you can clearly see Somers, with his distinctive white-blonde curls, making it to the ticket counter's pinch-point. He suddenly turns his head back, probably trying to spot Conway.

    Conway ended up getting caught in the pile-up, but was soon pulled out by an unknown male. He had difficulty breathing and third-degree burns over his hands, so Somers rushed him right to Rhode Island Hospital. (Conway was a carpenter and a piano-player.)

    By Saturday, Conway heard the names of the dead over the TV in his hospital room. And that's how he learned that Shawn Sweet, his other buddy from the '90 Great White show, had also been there at The Station that night. Conway figured he'd probably been up closer to the stage, dancing with his girlfriend of two years, Laura Gillett (D).

    Four days later, a firefighter cousin of Sweet's would play bagpipes at his packed memorial service. And very soon after, at Laura Gillett's memorial as well.

  25. #1525
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    I barely comment. But I've been apart of the FAD awhile mostly as a viewer.. anyway isn't it crazy when you're trying to match people to the BB video and after awhile all the brunettes start looking alike from their profiles/bios. Frustrating. Today I come to find out the lady at the horseshoe bar is Nancy Noyes. Makes me happy that she got out. Not Totally unscathed. But she has recovered. I was always curious about her. Thank you Rodent Lady for the info

  26. #1526
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    Hey guys.. just found a brand new podcast featuring the SNF..
    https://youtu.be/9HrzLCjQmTs

    Its not very good but if anyone is interested go right ahead.
    There are several inconsistencies.. however no one is as good as US when it comes to the SNF.. we could crush it on a podcast for this topic

  27. #1527
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    Hi guys, new poster here. Read through most of the forum but took me a long time to get my account working. Has anyone ever transcribed what is said on the snippet of Matthew Picket audio we have from the John Barylick lecture? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUndJG44Moc&t=4723s

    Specifically what a woman shouts. I have an idea but I want to hear someone else's opinion before I share and possibly taint the answer. She starts at around 15:54. Man would I love to hear the audio in its entirety -- seems like the sound picked up is completely separate to that from the BB camera, and it would probably reveal a lot more about the fire.

    Listened to a bit of that podcast but it was all commonly known stuff to me.

  28. #1528
    I don't think a transcription has been made by anyone here of the Pickett tape snippet. As far as the woman shouting, it's pretty unintelligible to me though it does sound like she says the same thing twice. I hear something that perhaps sounds like "let's go", like maybe she's yelling at someone she's with to hurry up and go, but not even remotely sure that that's accurate (by that point I think it'd be pretty obvious to everyone not to linger around anymore).

    I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on that.

  29. #1529
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    Irishman - a few more things we know about 42 year-old survivor Nancy Noyes:


    --She used to date a member of the band Metallica.

    --She was pulled from the front door and was put into a 3-week coma.

    --She was troubled after the fire by her complete lack of memory as to how she got out. Her last memory was of darkness and smoke.

    --She got a big emotional lift, weeks later, when she got back a charred photo that she'd kept in her purse. It was a shot of her with Gene Simmons of Kiss.



    Yoyoyo - welcome aboard.


    Can't quite make it out. Is she yelling about something being on fire, like her hair? It doesn't sound good......



    --Random thought:

    Let's say something takes you out tomorrow--the proverbial bus, the virus, maybe election stress. Have you ever wondered which photos of you would be used for YOUR obituary or memorial service?

    It makes it kind of creepy every time you have to dress up for any big event with lots of picture-taking. Like, you know, will that photo be the one they use if I die in a crash on the way home? Could that photo I just posed for with my old best friend get cropped and become my "forever" shot?

  30. #1530
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    Yeah I was thinking it could be “just go” or “let’s just go”. Was also thinking she could be saying the word “foam” in some context. But perhaps that’s unlikely unless she was a regular and knew about the foam soundproofing. Possible though that as it started to melt and drip, she cried out about it.

    Interesting thought about last photos. Hate all pictures of myself 😂

    I was wondering if anybody else would be interested in starting a document on Google Drive where we can note particularly interesting quotes from witness statements. I have read a lot of the statements but there are so many and in different folders, or difficult to read, not enlightening/relevant etc.

    Also, has anybody heard anything about that documentary that was supposed to be coming out soon?
    Last edited by Yoyoyo; 10-10-2020 at 11:01 AM.

  31. #1531
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    This is my first post. Hope it works. Can anyone ID the young lady closest to the camera around 0:25 (circled in the attached pic). Thanks! Girl1.jpg

    I think the consensus in the old thread was that the person on fire was Kathy Sullivan. She survived but three of her girlfriends did not.
    Last edited by pkstracy; 10-17-2020 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Combined Posts.

  32. #1532
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    Airyaerie, Welcome to the forum. One of the rules here is posts must be 30 mins apart, please read the rules by clicking the FAQ section at the top of thread or at the main page. I hope you enjoy your time with us.
    No More Stolen Sisters.

  33. #1533
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    Someone asked about a small portion of the Pickett audio. I didn't reply to the message correctly ... I hear something like, "You have to... Let Fred go! You let Fred go!" Probably wrong and I mean no disrespect with my story, but I hear the word "Fred." Fred Levesque got out the bar door. Fred Vallante got out the main door. That leaves Fred Crisostomi. He was near the stage beside his fiancée Gina Russo, so I'll attribute the voice to her in this scenario: The couple attempts to exit the stage door. A bouncer is blocking their way, so Gina starts to tell him to get out of the way ("You have to..."). Fred maybe tries to go around him at this point, the bouncer grabs him and Gina yells, "Let Fred go! You let Fred go!" [I didn't listen to anything after this], the bouncer lets Fred go but still has no intention of letting them pass, so he and Gina go to the front door. Gina is horribly injured but survives. Fred doesn't survive, but must be very proud of all the good work Gina has done.
    Last edited by airyaerie; 10-17-2020 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Clarification that this is a reply

  34. #1534
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    I have a couple of questions you may be able to help with:

    - Where can I find a clear copy of the Butler video? The ones on YouTube and SF_Public>Contents Not From Original Hard Drive are very degraded. If anyone else is watching YouTube-quality videos, I've attached a comparison with the close-to-original video quality.

    - Can any identify the women circled in these three photos?

    Thanks!
    Girl1.jpgGirl2.jpgGirl3.jpgQualityCompare.jpg

  35. #1535
    Unfortunately a high-quality version of the full video is not publicly available anywhere as far as I know. There are snippets of it you can find in various news reports (like this one, or this one) but I believe the full video would only be available from the original news channel (WPRI) and they have not published it anywhere. I'm curious where you found that high-quality snapshot? It certainly highlights how much detail we're missing with these low-quality youtube videos.

    I'm not too knowledgeable when it comes to identification, however I seem to recall that the woman circled in the first photo and the woman whose hand is holding a beer next to her were there together and one of them is thought to potentially be the "Where's my husband?" lady.
    Last edited by subarctican; 10-17-2020 at 05:20 PM.

  36. #1536
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    Hi Friends!

    My name is Mark, I have followed this tragedy on this thread and before for like 10 years or more. I believe the Butler tape is the most fascinating disaster footage I have ever witnessed, for as much as it doesn’t show as for what it does. On an annual basis, or sometimes more, revisit these threads and the google drive material. I certainly don’t remember it all but over the years have dissected the witness statements and of course the video second by second. I am excited to see what 2020 has brought this group: the Pickett tape excerpt and and much sharper video footage and more! My interest is in the survivor and victim’s stories. In a perfect world I would know where each person was when the fire broke out, where the escaped or fell, and their statement about what happened. I think this group and the material is getting their information wise, but I’d like to be able to help organize that information to tell those stories.

    Anyways, here is what I find interesting about the Pickett Tape:

    - He fell his buddy to snap a picture, but apparently they never communicate again? There was no, “Hey Joe! This Way!”.... or “Don’t let go of me, Matthew” as they search through zero visibility.

    - There is a chunk of time where it is almost silent, how is this possible? Where could he have gone where there wasn’t any yelling? Then the yelling comes back.

    - The gasping has to be him, or maybe someone fell on him, it sounds awfully close.

    Do we know where he was found? I don’t remember if it was mentioned isn’t he book.

    Finally, if Barylick has permission to play the audio in paid presentations of his, and he keeps a full butler video/Pickett audio sync on the laptop that he travels and makes presentations from, I believe that to be a positive sign that the audio will be released in the future, either accidentally or purposefully. I was under the impression the audio was locked away by the family, but here Barylick has it on his laptop and actually uses parts of it in paid presentations.

    Alright all, thanks for letting me introduce myself and ramble a bit. Talk with you all soon!

  37. #1537
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    I don't remember where I got the high-quality snapshot. If it was from a video, it must've been a couple of seconds long. I'm really surprised we're all (apparently) missing the good-quality video, Pickett audio, and 364749.wav. Does anyone know who the lady in this pic is? The only name I've heard, that I can remember, is Linda Suffoletto. It doesn't look like Linda to me. Whoever she is, I'm glad she was happy. It did my heart a world of good to see Pixie so happy on her last night!
    GLinda.jpg

  38. #1538
    Does anybody know the name of the man wearing a white shirt and black leather jacket trying to pull people out of the front door? He is there from the first time Butler captures the pile up until 6:10 walking between cars with jacket over arm. I’d be very interested in reading his witness testimony.

  39. #1539
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    Welcome, new members!
    The "TVL" on that clear screenshot means it's from channel 12 WPRI.

  40. #1540
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    Yoyo - I'm clueless about the documentary's release. Sorry. Netflix someday?


    airyaerie - Welcome. That's Angela Ochs who you've circled, and she was thoroughly ID-ed by Lt. Frank some 3-4 pages ago. And there, too, is the tattooed arm of her friend, Cynthia Nobles--with beer. Their husbands were on a run to the men's room.

    -3 photos: 1.) A. Ochs 2.) unknown blonde at the main bar. 3.) most likely Lisa Kelly (D). (Next to Cathy Carignan).

    -Fantastic photo of all the bar windows in full rescue mode! It's sure helpful in ID-ing the rescuers, some of whom told investigators what they were wearing. Thanks for that.

    -I've always contended that the blonde is Linda Suffoletto, and gave my reasons, a few times, some 4 pages back. Don't want to bore anyone reiterating all that.


    Mark - Hello and welcome.

    Well, we know Matt Pickett (D) and Joe Cristina were standing in the atrium, 15 feet from the right speaker. Cristina said that the lower ceiling there blocked any view of the fire and that they'd thought all the commotion might be because of a fight. It wasn't until a group of people rushed past them, heading toward the front door, that they could see the fire.

    Then, they'd actually "waited for the area to clear out," Cristina recalled--just so he could get a good picture. (This, of course, is the Jeff Rader shot.)

    Joe zipped the camera (with his only shot of the night) into his fanny pack and the smoke hit hard. He lost Matt and the rest was hell, until he saw a speck of light, crawled, and dropped out a busted atrium window.


    >Pickett and Cristina had been to The Station several times together; once, it appears, to see the band "Slaughter."
    >Cristina says he could see Matt and himself on the Butler tape.
    >Cristina also saw himself on some local TV coverage, lying on a stretcher.
    >Investigators asked Cristina to listen to the first portion of Pickett's audio tape to ID both his and Matt's voices, and then, too, to confirm that it was Dr. Metal's voice introducing the band.
    >Pickett's family was given his last belongings: a Sony DAT Walkman, an Elgin watch, a AAA card, a pair of Adidas, and "assorted ID's melted into a ball."

    --a thought: Sure, Pickett says, "Joe, take a picture!" But Joe might not have even had his camera out yet, for all we know. The Rader picture might not have been snapped for another, say, 10 seconds after that. Just saying...
    Last edited by billoween; 10-20-2020 at 09:47 PM.

  41. #1541
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    Slouchergroucher - That’s Robert Cripe, who narrowly avoided getting caught in the pile-up himself. He’s the guy who used his jacket like a rope to save his girlfriend, Sharon Wilson.
    He saved several others, too, as he continued to look for his and Sharon’s friend, Bonnie Hamelin (D).
    Hamelin is seen for a split-second on the left side of the frame the instant Tracy King starts leading Butler through the main bar. (pre-show)

  42. #1542
    Ok Thanks for that info Bill! I find Robert to be the anti-Derderian of this tragedy. At no point did he take a break to hide his wallet in the snow.

  43. #1543
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    Thanks Bill for the additional information about Pickett. I think that perhaps you are right about the delay, and perhaps the picture wasn’t taken until after people cleared, and that may be when it started to quiet down. If then the smoke hit hard that could be the gasps we are hearing. Being only a minute and a half long, that indicates that perhaps there was more conversation in the first 4 minutes of the 8 minute tape. Which, ultimately indicates we were not hearing the dying gasps of Pickett at the end of the 90 second clip.

    Appreciate your posts and passion, Bill and everyone!

  44. #1544
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    Not sure if it's been posted before but there are a few seconds of super clear footage in this news report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFMzD-Sk4Fk

    The clip of the door at 1:03 jumped out at me. Hadn't watched that scene in such clear detail before.

  45. #1545
    Based on the smoke level, I suspect the Jeff Rader picture was taken a few seconds after Brian Butler entered the exit hallway and the view of the stage disappeared from the video, which would be approximately 15 seconds after Matthew Pickett says “Joe, take a picture”. That seems like a pretty realistic timeline to get out the camera, turn it on, wait for the area to clear out, and get the picture. After that point there would’ve just a few seconds before the smoke layer made it down to head level and plunged them into apocalyptic conditions.

    As far as I know most of the victims did not have their individual location recorded and I believe Matthew Pickett was no exception to that. That said, based on the audio snippet I think it's likely he was caught in a pileup, either in the entrance hallway or perhaps in the Atrium (I seem to recall reading that there was a smaller pileup in the Atrium).

    At 16:13 in the John Barylick video with the Pickett tape sample, you can clearly hear the distortion as something impacts the microphone recording the audio and this is right around the same time the clattering sounds start in the Butler audio (either from the front door pileup or in the Atrium, not sure). After that you can consistently hear the same woman at roughly the same volume until the audio snippet ends, which implies that they’re stuck together rather than freely moving around.

    Yoyoyo - good find, I don’t think that one’s been posted yet. It’s yet again a pretty stark contrast to the potato-quality youtube videos going around. So many details visible we couldn’t otherwise see.

  46. #1546
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    Sub, whatever you sent must have been so good that it disappeared like a tape on Mission Impossible.

  47. #1547
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    I’ve been thinking of the Atrium windows lately. 26 people found life through the atrium windows. Butler, in his impeccable timing that night either helps bust out the first atrium window or is literally right in front of it as it busts out. Then 10 seconds later Butler runs into Barak as he escapes out. After reading the witness reports of him kicking at a window with smaller guy for a bit, I believe the smaller guy may have escaped out the same window while the camera was turned away, with Barak following. Yet 24 other people apparently escaped from that window, and what I think is one other window. Do we know what the other window was (or more if that is the case) and when these people escaped? Even when Butler goes around back the 2nd time we don’t see people falling out windows escaping or even bodies lying near those windows. When did they escape and am I missing anything in the videos?

    I appreciate your thoughts.

  48. #1548
    I think the smaller man may have fallen out at the same time as Ron Barak, if you look carefully at the video you can see what appears to be a second person just behind Ron who gets up and runs in the opposite direction.

    The other window was facing the stairs by the main entrance, if I recall correctly Linda Fisher was banging on it and couldn't get it to break, then some guy got a tire iron from his car and smashed it and she was able to escape that way. There, too, you can see a person or two run away from the window just before Brian Butler moves past the smoke column and the front door pileup comes into view for the first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Sub, whatever you sent must have been so good that it disappeared like a tape on Mission Impossible.
    I'm not sure what you mean?

  49. #1549
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    Sub - I was just referring to a post with your heading that "came over the wire" at 9:12 PM last night. But the content area was blank, all white. No biggy, just thought maybe you'd butt-dialed us. Nevermind. LOL


    Markinthedark - There has been a lot written about the atrium in the last bunch of pages. May answer some of your questions to review.
    Last edited by billoween; 10-21-2020 at 12:16 PM.

  50. #1550
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustakita View Post
    Where did this quote come from. It's very harsh ☹️
    The policeman's quote about "crispy critters" isn't necessarily harsh. People in these fields often use "dark humor" to cope. The real effect this kind of job has (on many) can be seen in an interview with John Gregson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8xhBDI1SQ4 I think I read (probably on this thread) that four of the first responders committed suicide after the SNF, as did at least one of the survivors, and the ex-fiance of Stacie Angers. Amazing how some people feel so much, while others (Derderians, Vieira, Larocque, Darigan) are virtually devoid of remorse, compassion, or empathy.

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