Defendant sought to introduce a copy of parts of the Pasadena police dispatch tape for the late afternoon and evening of November 3, 1980. On the tape, according to a transcript in the record, the police dispatcher is heard to discuss, briefly and sporadically with various police officers and records personnel, an investigation she had apparently been asked to make into recent motor vehicle collisions in Pasadena.15 In one discussion the dispatcher suggests to a Lieutenant Roberts that with Prentice Snow in custody she thought “maybe we didn’t need the visor.” Roberts corrects her: “We need everything we can get on this one.” Earlier on the tape the dispatcher mentions to another officer that at Roberts’s request she has been “looking for something in revab” in connection with a suspect in custody “from Walnut.” At another point she inquires of a department administrator whether an accident at Lincoln and Walnut two days earlier involved a motorcycle. Told it did, she asks whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet. Told he was not, she thanks the administrator and ends the conversation.
The prosecution police witnesses had testified that the bubble shield that bore defendant’s fingerprint was found in a Pasadena street around 12:40 p.m., shortly after Koll’s death. Interpreting the dispatch tape excerpts as showing that the police were still in search of a visor, or face shield, much later in the day, the defense argued at the hearing on admissibility of the tape that the dispatch tape impeaches the prosecution witnesses and tends to show the existence of a police conspiracy to manufacture evidence against defendant.
15 From the testimony of the dispatcher and a defense investigator, the date and time of the recording was established as November 3, 1980, after the dispatcher started her shift at 3:30 p.m. The dispatcher, for whom the tape had been played outside of court, was able to identify several of the voices heard, but had no memory of the events referred to on the tape.