Knife Tip: Don’t Let Strangers Use Your House Phone

Image courtesy Porter County Sheriff

Your home may be your castle, but its walls offer little protection when you open the door and invite trouble inside. Trouble, in this case, came in the form of Billie Jo Moore. According to police, she got in a car accident and asked to use the telephone at a nearby house. Homeowner Robert Gottschling was outside fetching his mail, and he let her in.

Bad call.

Moore allegedly made a few phone calls before Gottschling asked her to leave, and then she stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. She claimed that he attacked her with the knife first, but prosecutors pointed out that his clothes were cut and bloody while hers were clean and undamaged.

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

Deputy Prosecutor Trista Hudson said Moore stabbed Gottschling when he asked her to leave after she placed a second telephone call from his kitchen.

She said Gottschling fought back against Moore’s attack, using the least amount of force needed.

While Moore claims she was the one attacked, it was Gottschling who was stabbed, Hudson said. And the clothes Moore wore at the time were not damaged, unlike those worn by Gottschling, she said.

Moore is charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and battery with a deadly weapon. The first charge carries a potential sentence of six to 20 years behind bars and the second has a penalty of two to eight years.

Maybe Moore is a stone-cold badass who disarmed Gottschling and turned his knife back on him, but I’d lay long odds against that possibility. More likely she’s a drugged-out loser or psycho, whom Gottschling invited into his home and then inadvertently provided with a weapon. He survived, but he was lucky to survive a stab wound near his heart.

Don’t be like him. Just as many stranger child abductions start by asking a child for help finding a lost puppy or kitten, the use of a woman pretending to ask for help has become a common ruse in home-invasion robberies. The woman begs for help, the homeowner lets them in, and the rest of the gang rushes the door as soon as it’s opened.

If a stranger asks to come inside to use your home phone, keep them locked outside and offer to place the call and leave a message for them. If they demand to be let inside, tell them to go elsewhere and then call 911 to report the incident.

I’m not recommending you do nothing; I’m reminding you to be careful.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    Funny story (except for the homeowner). I don’t have a house phone. Problem solved.

  2. Aharon says:

    I wouldn’t let any stranger into my home to use the phone (I only use cell) or my restroom. Even if a person does not attack you they can later make up false allegations of assault against you.

    Adding on to yesterday’s news about Israel: police chiefs have gone public about women hitchhikers who have made false rape allegations against men. Warning: being armed with a gun and knowing self-defense will not protect you against false allegations out there. As much as I am opposed to the police-security state police cameras (especially in the U.K.) have saved a number of men from being prosecuted by a false rape allegation.

    1. Aharon says:

      Correction: yesterday’s news as reported on TTAG.

  3. Ralph says:

    Unless you’re from Fedex or UPS, I’m not opening my door for you if I don’t know you. If you are from Fedex or UPS, you don’t know that I’m carrying and if things go according to plan, you never will.

    If you’re a stranger who needs help, I’ll call 911 for you (or maybe on you), but you’re not getting into my home. No, you can’t call your brother to come and get you. No, you can’t use my bathroom. No, you can’t bleed on my carpet. And no, I don’t give a damn that you’re wearing a blue uniform. GTFO.

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Knife Tip: Don’t Let Strangers Use Your House Phone

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