Tape tells of slayings, suicide wish John Gose told dispatchers he had shot his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and her son. All died. Gose took his own life later —(The Riverside Press-Enterprise)

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The Riverside Press-Enterprise (CA)

October 18, 1997

Author: Joe Gutierrez; The Press-Enterprise

MORENO VALLEY Moreno Valley resident John Gose sounded edgy and despondent as he calmly told a sheriff’s dispatcher Sunday that he had shot three people. “I just shot my girlfriend, I killed her boyfriend and I probably killed her son,” Gose, 50, said to a dispatcher. “If an ambulance has not been sent there, one needs to be there immediately or Lisette will probably bleed to death.”  Sheriff’s Senior Dispatcher Leonore Zielenski had called Gose’s house on Quebrada Court in Moreno Valley after hearing about the shooting at Lisette Dennis’ house.  She asked Gose where the gun was.

“Against my forehead,” Gose replied without skipping a beat.  The chilling conversation was on a tape recording. Gose said he did not intend to shoot Dennis, who had moved out of Gose’s home with her two children about six months earlier. He said he had developed an ulcer and had been unable to eat or sleep for several months.  The audio tapes recorded dispatchers trying to talk Gose into surrendering to officers. They also were trying to obtain information to help the sheriff’s Emergency Service Team if they had to storm the house.  Zielenski asked Gose to put the gun down and go outside to talk to Moreno Valley police officers, who waited crouched behind their patrol cars about 8 p.m. Sunday. “I already destroyed my life.  I don’t want to live anymore,” Gose said. “Why don’t you talk to me for a little bit?”  Zielenski asked. “Thanks for the concern.  No thanks,” replied Gose, who then hung up the phone.

Minutes later Gose called sheriff’s dispatchers and asked about his former girlfriend’s condition.  The dispatcher asked how he was doing. “I’m just biding my time,” Gose said. “I’m just hanging around here long enough to find out if Lisette is going to live.”  Dennis died shortly after rescue personnel arrived at the house that evening.  Shortly before 11 p.m.  Gose shot himself before the special weapons team stormed his house. He died Monday afternoon at Riverside Community Hospital. At a home on Springdale Drive in Moreno Valley, authorities found the bodies of Lisette Dennis, 41, her boyfriend, Michael Nesbitt, 42, a painter and refinisher who had recently moved to Moreno Valley from Cypress.  Nicholas Dennis, 12, was critically wounded and brain dead late Sunday.  He died Monday after being removed from life support systems. The family’s black shaggy dog, Misty, also had been shot to death.

A memorial service for Lisette and Nicholas Dennis will be held at 10 a.m. today at the chapel of Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer Memorial, 7944 Magnolia Ave., in Riverside.  Burial will be private.  Dennis’ co-workers at Campbell Concrete Inc. in Colton have set up a trust fund for her 14-year-old daughter, Monica, said company Vice President Jim Peterson. Donations can be sent to the Trust Fund of Monica Dennis, Campbell Concrete, P.O. Box 5848, Riverside, 92517. Monica Dennis was with friends near the Springdale house when the shooting occurred.  A funeral for Michael Nesbitt will be held on Monday in Lowell, Ark., said Nesbitt’s brother, Harold.  Michael Nesbitt had moved to California from Arkansas in 1984, Harold Nesbitt said. Gose called his oldest son, Jonathan, 21, and said he was going to kill himself after shooting three people. Jonathan Gose made the initial call to police about the shootings.  Neighbor Larry Klinger said Thursday that Gose also had called him after the shooting. “He said, `I’m calling to say goodbye. I’m not going to see you again,'” Klinger said. “Then he told me about the shooting.”

Gose had a criminal record.  He was convicted of exhibiting a firearm against Dennis in August of last year. One of the terms of his probation was to not have possession or contact with firearms for three years, Klinger said.  Klinger said he kept Gose’s three weapons, a .22-caliber pistol, a .38-caliber pistol and a shotgun, for safekeeping.  After hearing of the shootings, Klinger discovered that the .38-caliber pistol was missing. Jonathan Gose, who was with friends when he spoke to his father over the phone, called dispatchers several more times, each time trying to get more news about his father or the victims and offering more information about his father.   He told dispatchers that John Gose was a manic depressive, but did not know if he was taking his medication.   He said his father had seen a doctor, who prescribed anti-depressants and advised him to see a psychiatrist.  John Gose spoke several more times with dispatchers, but his last comments were that he thought he had gone crazy. “I have to be insane in order to have done what I did,” Gose said. “And it is tearing me up.”

Tape excerpts

The following are portions of conversation between Riverside County sheriff’s dispatchers and Moreno Valley resident John Gose, 50, on Sunday.  Gose had shot and killed his his former girlfriend, Lisette Dennis, 41, and her new boyfriend Michael Nesbitt, 42, of Moreno Valley. Dennis’ 12-year-old son, Nicholas was also shot and critically wounded. The boy died Monday. Gose shot himself and he died Monday. Dispatcher: Do you want to live? John Gose: Yes, I do. I really hadn’t intended to hit her, to shoot her. Dispatcher: If you hurt her son, do you think she would really want to live? Gose: She has a daughter. Dispatcher: Does, does that make it OK?  Gose: No. No it doesn’t make it OK and I know that.  Dispatcher: How old are you John? Gose: 50. Dispatcher: You’re still a young man. Gose: What? Dispatcher: I said you’re still a young man. Gose: No, no I’ve aged about 15 years in the last three months. Dispatcher: How do you think he’s (son Jonathan Gose) going to feel if you did something to yourself? Gose: I already know how he’s gonna feel, I talked to him a couple of times. And I don’t want to hurt him but I just (voice tapers off). Dispatcher: Then don’t do it John. Gose: I (pause) sorry (pause) I don’t see any reason. Gose: My other option would be (pause) to be in prison. Dispatcher: What were you thinking about? Gose: Getting even. Dispatcher: Why, cause she kind of got another boyfriend? Gose: Because I’ve been sick for three months. (sigh) And I don’t see, could not see getting better. I cannot function anymore. I can’t do my job. I was really good at my job. I can’t do my job. Gose: I am not the same person that I was. Dispatcher: None of us are. Gose: No, you don’t understand. What I did tonight was not. Is not something that I could do. It (pause) I (pause) It just. (sigh). Dispatcher: It’s like it consumed you?  Gose: Yeah.