Crystal's call to psychologist expressed fears for safety

Brame investigation: Police release phone message, photos

October 1, 2003 

Crystal Brame's black Toyota Camry is the 2nd car on left in this crime scene photo taken by Gig Harbor police April 26. David Brame's maroon Camry is the 2nd car on right.

GIG HARBOR POLICE DEPARTMENT

On the April day her allegations of domestic violence hit the news media, Crystal Brame called her psychologist and, with a sense of concern in her voice, left a message detailing her increasing worry about her husband.

In divorce papers, she'd accused David Brame, Tacoma's police chief, of choking her and threatening her life. Now those statements were making headlines and leading newscasts.

"It is in the newspaper now and he has told me and warned me that he hasn't even begun yet, that I haven't seen anything yet," she said in the two-minute message to Dr. Maxwell Knauss, which was released Tuesday. "I still have a great concern, a greater concern now for my personal safety, now more than ever."

The next afternoon, Crystal and David Brame met by chance in a Gig Harbor parking lot. David Brame, armed with his department-issued handgun, fatally shot his wife, then himself.

Gig Harbor police Tuesday released the last two pieces of their investigation into the April 26 Brame deaths - the phone message and 28 photographs of the crime scene and the Brames' two Toyota Camry autos.

Last week, the police department released nearly 300 pages of police reports, property logs and witness interviews that investigators had compiled over the past five months.

"We have released everything that we've got that we can legally release," said Gig Harbor Police Chief Mitch Barker.

The photographs depict images from the Gig Harbor parking lot, including Brame's gun, the position of the Camrys and the bloody scene in and around Crystal's car, where the shots were fired.

Another series of photographs was taken of the vehicles, their interiors and pieces of evidence, including the groceries and children's toys Brame bought earlier in the day.

The photographs help record what happened and where, Barker said.

"It's just to capture generally what we saw," he said. "It's just standard investigative stuff."

Investigators obtained a search warrant to get Crystal Brame's April 25 phone message from Knauss. She called him about 4:35 p.m. and repeatedly asked him to call her back.

Crystal Brame mentioned the media coverage and her quest for a restraining order against Brame.

"So I do still have concerns, since the restraining order is not in place yet," she said. "His attorney is back East and they need a representative apparently to be at the courthouse with Joe (Lombino, Crystal's attorney)."

She again told Knauss how to reach her.

"I would just - I'll look forward to hearing from you," Crystal said. "Have a great weekend. Thank you so much. Goodbye."

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268
stacey.mulick@mail.tribnet.com



SIDEBAR: Transcript of Crystal Brame's call to therapist


This is a transcript of the phone message Crystal Brame left April 25 for her psychologist, Dr. Max Knauss:

"Dr. Knauss, this is Crystal Brame. If you could give me a call when you are available. It's about 4:35 on Friday afternoon. I was told you probably not in, that you weren't in today.

If, when you get this message, if you could call me I would appreciate it. Uh, if you would call my parents' number at (phone number), I would greatly appreciate it. I need to discuss with you some recent things that have happened and, uh, at least to let you know.

Also in today's paper, if you do have copies or can get a copy of the Seattle P-I and on the Internet and nwcn.com for Northwest Cable News.

(cough) Excuse me. Pardon me.

I got (unintelligible) into Northwest News and the article.

David had called me just last night and he'd hung up on me two times, uh, stated he would trash me in the newspapers and that's exactly these articles are not very, um, flattering to say the least.

But anyway, uh, it is in the newspaper now and he has told me and warned me that he hasn't even begun yet, that I haven't seen anything yet. So I do still have concerns, since the restraining order is not in place yet. Um, his attorney is back East and they need a representative apparently to be at the courthouse with Joe, won't return calls. So Joe was not be able to enter anything in the way of the personal restraining order.

So, I'll be back and forth still at my home. I need to stay there a few nights. I have to establish that I am living there.

And I still have a great concern, a greater concern now for my personal safety now more than ever.

Um, anyway, if you could call me at your convenience I would really appreciate it. Again, try my parents' number at (phone number) or my mom's cell phone at (phone number). Um, and I would just - I'll look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend. Thank you so much. Goodbye."



Audio: Hear the phone message Crystal Brame left for her psychologist: www.tribnet.com/news/projects/david_brame/story/4046694p-4066692c.html

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