The Lookout

Note from victim of September 11 attacks reached family 10 years later

Eric Pfeiffer
The Lookout

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Denise Scott holds a copy of the note written by her husband on 9/11. (Lindsay Niegelberg /Stamford Advocate)


"84th floor, West Office, 12 people trapped."

Nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks, a seven-word note from 9/11 victim Randy Scott reached his family.

Until last summer, Denise Scott and her two daughters believed their husband and father had died instantly when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into Two World Trade Center.

But the handwritten note tossed out of an 84th-floor window by Randy Scott finally made its way to his widow and children after passing through a chain of hands.

"I spent 10 years hoping that Randy wasn't trapped in that building," Denise Scott told the Stamford Advocate.

The note was first given to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York guard, who then passed it on to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

A single thumbprint of blood from Scott is pressed onto the note, which medical examiners used to match with his DNA, confirming the source of the note. And finally, in August 2011, the note was given to Denise Scott and her children by Dr. Barbara Butcher, chief of staff and director of the Forensic Investigations at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York.
"I thought he was killed instantly," Rebecca Scott, 29, said of her father.

"It was so close to impact," Alexandra Scott, 22, added.

In the days after the terrorist attacks, his family had listed Randy Scott as a missing person, searching local bars, restaurants and hospitals hoping to find him amid the chaos.

Just minutes before the second plane struck the second tower, Scott had attempted to reach his wife at work. Instead, he left a message for her, letting her know that he was fine.

And even though the note changes their collective memory of what happened to him, Denise Scott says it still helps bring closure amid the pain.

"The minute I saw it I didn't need to see the DNA test," Scott told the New York Daily News. "I saw the handwriting. It's Randy's handwriting."

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