The Private Life of Bradley Manning

FRONTLINE Exclusive: The Bradley Manning 911 Call

After attending high school in Wales, where his mother moved after his parents' divorce, Bradley returned to the U.S. and moved in with his father Brian and his new wife in Oklahoma City. Brian tells FRONTLINE that his son was "a different person" when he returned and that there was tension over money, the house rules and Bradley's relationship with his stepmother.

Years later, Bradley would claim he was kicked out of the house for being gay, but his father tells a different story. Bradley had become increasingly erratic at work and lost his job at a software company after a heated confrontation with his boss.

At home, the tensions reached a boiling point. In March 2006, a family argument became violent -- Bradley allegedly threatened his stepmother with a knife -- and police were called to the Manning home.

Listen to the 911 call (2:01)

Bradley was escorted from the house by police, but was not arrested or charged. The next day he moved out and never returned.

Transcript of the 911 Call

DISPATCHER: Oklahoma City 911.

CALLER: Yes I need an officer here at my house please. And I need him here immediately. My husband's 18-year-old son is out of control and just threatened me with a knife. And his father has just had surgery and he is down on the floor… Get away from him! You, get away from him! Get away from him!

DISPATCHER: Why is he on the floor?

CALLER: Because he tried to protect me and so he fell.

DISPATCHER: Is he white, black, Indian or Mexican?

CALLER: Get away from him! Get out of here!


CALLER: I'm sorry.



DISPATCHER: Is the kid white, black, Indian or Mexican?

CALLER: Pardon?

DISPATCHER: Is he white, black, Indian or Mexican?

CALLER: Uh, white.

DISPATCHER: What color shirt or jacket is he wearing?

CALLER: Black.

DISPATCHER: Black shirt? What kind of pants?

CALLER: Jeans.

DISPATCHER: And he has a knife?

CALLER: He doesn't now. [He put it down.] He did.

DISPATCHER: Where'd he put it?

CALLER: I don't know, out in the kitchen… Well guess what?

DISPATCHER: And he pushed down his father, is that correct?

CALLER: Pardon?

DISPATCHER: He pushed his father down?

CALLER: No, he didn't push him down, he fell down trying to protect me because he came at me with a knife.

DISPATCHER: OK. Does he need an ambulance?

CALLER: No, I don't think so.

DISPATCHER: OK. Where is the stepson right now?

CALLER: He's standing here. He won't go away. I told him to get out of this room. He won't leave.

DISPATCHER: Does he live there at the house?

CALLER: Yes he does.

DISPATCHER: OK. What's he upset about?

CALLER: Because I have been telling him he needs to get a job and he won't get a job. He said he thinks he should be able to just take money from us.

DISPATCHER: Has he calmed down any?

CALLER: Somewhat.


CALLER: He ain't staying here. I ain't staying here with him. You better find somewhere for him to go because he ain't staying here.

DISPATCHER: Alright, we'll have an officer come by there, OK?

CALLER: Thank you.


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Posted March 29, 2011

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