Harold Sewell strangled his girlfriend to death. The murder started around 3:00 a.m., when his girlfriend dialed 0 and managed to say "help" to the operator before the call was dropped. The line was traced. When the operator called back, Sewell answered and was speaking incoherently while a female could be heard begging for help and saying that she could not breathe. Police were then sent to the house the call came from.
When the police arrived, Sewell refused to let them in and told them that they were not needed. But the police decided that there was a female in the home who needed medical help, so they forced their way inside. When police entered the home they heard Sewell talking on the phone saying, "she came at me with a knife, I had to do what I had to do." After subduing Sewell, the police found his girlfriends body on the floor.