In retrospect -- even just on paper -- the words chill the soul.
"Don't try to talk me out of it. Get 'em all off the property now."
Charles Roberts, the gunman who shot 10 schoolgirls and killed five, is heard talking to a 911 operator on Oct. 2.
The Lancaster County District Attorney's office released the transcripts of the 911 calls that preceded the deadly rampage.
"He appeared very calm,'' Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit. "I would describe it as a flat affect to his voice, and there was no background noise. You couldn't hear any of the victims in the background,'' he said, pausing. "Saying anything at all.''
"It was very chilling in hindsight,'' Totaro said, "to listen to that conversation and realize what he was about to do.''
For almost a week, Roberts, the local milkman had been stockpiling enough weaponry and supplies to carry out a prolonged, merciless siege on the minds and the bodies of a group of little girls.
Furious at God, tortured by the 1997 death of his infant daughter, Elise, and seemingly helpless to control unthinkable urges, Roberts moved methodically through the final routines of the last day of his life. There were virtually no indications of what he was about to do.
911 DISPATCHER: Do you have an emergency?
911 DISPATCHER: OK, what's the address of the emergency?"
ROBERTS: It's on White Oak Road. I just took, uh, 10 girls hostage and I want everybody off the property or, or else.
911 DISPATCHER: OK, all right.
911 DISPATCHER: Sir I want you to stay on the phone with me, OK? I'm going to let the state police down there. I need to let you talk to them. OK, can I transfer you to them?
ROBERTS: No, you tell them and that's it. Right now or they're dead, in two seconds.
911 DISPATCHER: (to unidentified) He won't let me transfer.
(to Roberts) Hang on a minute. We're trying to tell them, OK.
ROBERTS: Two seconds, that's it.
911 DISPATCHER: Sir, listen to me. Listen? (line goes dead)
One by one, the 911 operators took frantic calls from witnesses.
The first call came in at 10: 35 a.m. from resident Amos Smoker.
SMOKER: There's a, there's a guy in the school with a gun.
Three minutes later, an obviously distressed Marie Roberts, the wife of Carl Roberts called 911
M. ROBERTS: Yes, my name is Marie Roberts. My husband just called me on his cell phone and told me that he wasn't going to be coming home, and that the police were there and not to worry about it. And I have no idea what he is talking about, but I am really scared. And I wondered if how I find out what's going on?
After getting her name, the dispatcher asked the woman to confirm her husband had called on a cell phone.
M. ROBERTS: Yes, he did.
911 DISPATCHER: OK and, all he said to you was that?
M. ROBERTS: I'm not coming home, um, he was upset about something that had happened 20 years ago, and he said he was getting revenge for it. I don't think he was getting revenge on another person. I'm worried that maybe he was trying to commit suicide.
As painstaking seconds passed, another dispatcher asked Roberts to repeat her name and her husband's name.
M.ROBERTS: Charlie Roberts,
911 DISPATCHER: What does he look like?
M. ROBERTS: He is 6 foot 2, short brown, you know like buzzed brown hair, um, he is 32 years old, wears glasses. I guess he's maybe like 195 pounds.
911 DISPATCHER: OK, you say he left notes?
M. ROBERTS: Yes
911 DISPATCHER: What did the notes say?
M. ROBERTS: Like the thought of ... my children, not seeing them grow up, like, let's see, uh, I'm not even sure, here it is, my daughter Abigail I want you to know that I love you and I'm sorry I couldn't be here to watch you grow up. That's how the notes start.
911 DISPATCHER: OK, hold on one moment (line goes dead).
He had gathered a small arsenal -- 600 rounds of ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 9 mm handgun, an illegal stun gun, eye bolts, flex ties, toilet paper, a 5-gallon bucket, extra clothes, rolls of clear tape, lumber and nails, and sexual lubricant, according to Pennsylvania state police.
A Routine Day
Roberts finished his milk route around 3 a.m. and parked his work truck at the Nickel Mines Auction House, across the street from the yellow, one-room schoolhouse where the massacre would take place later that morning.
At 7:15 a.m., he was home with his wife, Marie, helping her get their three children, two boys and a girl, ages 2 to 7, ready for school.
By that point he appeared resigned to a fate that would devastate a community and stun the nation. Paula Derby, a neighbor, told ABC News that she saw Roberts at the bus stop that Monday morning about 8:45 a.m. She said that Marie usually saw the children off to school, and found it unusual that both parents would be at the bus stop. As the Roberts children bounded up the bus stairs, their father called them back.
"Go back and give your father a hug,'' she remembered the driver telling them. As they descended the stairs, their father crouched down and hugged them.
"Just remember how much your daddy loves you," Derby quoted Roberts as saying. It was the last demonstrable act of love from a man being consumed by hatred. Co-workers and relatives told police that Roberts had seemed moody and distracted in the weeks before the shooting, but that over that last weekend, he appeared to brighten.
"A few days before the shooting, a weight was lifted," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller told reporters last week.
Marie Roberts left the house, authorities said. By 9:15 a.m., she was at a prayer group with other mothers. Her husband was at the hardware store buying more flex ties.
And just before 10 a.m., Roberts backed his wife's grandfather Lloyd Welk's pickup truck up to the front of the one-room schoolhouse.
'They Couldn't Run Away'
He walked in briefly, turned, walked out and calmly began to load a gun. He ordered the boys, the teacher and several older girls out. "Obviously, the teacher was very concerned right away," Miller told ABC's "Good Morning America" last week. "He wasn't agitated, but he was very serious about what he was doing, and methodical in how he separated students, allowed certain people to leave, and then began to bind the female students he had at the blackboard. "They weren't able to get away. They were basically standing, bound to each other, their legs were bound together. They couldn't run away from that location."
At the last minute, a little girl reportedly escaped and ran with teacher Emma Zook to a nearby, non-Amish farm, where a 911 was placed at 10:36 a.m.
At 10:50 a.m., Roberts called his wife, Marie, who had arrived home from the prayer group and was wondering where her husband was, authorities said. He told her he had molested two young relatives 20 years before, a claim investigators now believe is fiction. The two relatives, then 3 and 5 years old, told police they "have no recollection" of being violated by Roberts. In suicide notes found at his home, Roberts claimed he'd been having dreams about molesting children.
"The note that he left for his wife talks about their good memories together, the tragedy with Elise. It focuses on his life being changed forever ... over the loss of Elise, his hatred toward himself, his hatred toward God as a result of that event, and he alludes to this other reason for this anger but he can't discuss it with her and it happened 20 years ago," Miller said. "Later in the note, he talks about having dreams in for the last couple of years about what he did 20 years ago, and in those dreams he says he wants to do those things again."
Within nine minutes, two state troopers were outside the schoolhouse and eight more were at the end of the driveway.
'I Am Not Worthy'
Behind riot shields, the troopers stormed the schoolhouse. They never fired a shot, Miller said. Roberts turned the gun on himself and fired. "I don't know how you put up with me all those years,'' Roberts wrote to his wife in a suicide note. "I am not worthy of you, you are the perfect wife you deserve so much better."