Melissa Doi

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Melissa Doi
Melissa Doi.JPG
Doi's name displayed on Panel S-46 at the South Pool of New York City's September 11 Memorial in December 2012.
Born Melissa Cándida Doi[1]
(1969-09-01)September 1, 1969[2]
Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Died September 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 32)
South Tower, World Trade Center,
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death Collapse of 2 World Trade Center (September 11 attacks)
Residence 180 Davis Avenue Apt #12A Throggs Neck,[2]
Bronx, New York City, U.S.[2]
Nationality American
Education Northwestern University
Alma mater Spence School
Occupation Financial manager at IQ Financial Systems
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)[2]
Parent(s) Evelyn Alderete (mother)
Dianne Lopriore (cousin)

Melissa Cándida "Missy" Doi (September 1, 1969 – September 11, 2001) was an American businesswoman in the financial industry who was a victim of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.[3][4]

Doi is known for the recording of the 9-1-1 call she made during her final moments from inside the South Tower as it was engulfed in flames.[5] The recording was used during the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only criminal trials to result from the attacks. Her emotional conversation with emergency operator Barnes[6] made several international headlines.[7][8][9]

Early life and education[edit]

Doi graduated from the Spence School, before attending Northwestern University, where she graduated in 1991 with a sociology degree and was a member of Delta Gamma sorority.[10] She had ambitions to become a ballet dancer.[11] After graduation, she took a job in public relations, then moved to banking. In 1997, she joined IQ Financials and soon became a Financial Manager. Doi was the only child of a single mother, Evelyn Alderete.

Death and 9-1-1 call recording[edit]

According to the 9-1-1 recording played during the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, at 9:17 a.m., on September 11, 2001, when the south tower of the World Trade Center was hit by United Airlines Flight 175, she and another five people were trapped on the 83rd floor where IQ Financial Systems was located when she called 911.[8] During the call, the operator tries to keep Doi calm and extract information from her. She answered, "Well, there's no one here yet, and the floor's completely engulfed. We're on the floor and we can't breathe, And it's very, very, very hot".[12] Due to privacy reasons, only the first 4 minutes[13] of the dispatch call, which lasted 24 minutes, was released by the courts along with the rest of the recordings, numbering more than 1,600.[7] As the south tower burned, she asked the operator, "Can you stay on the line with me, please? I feel like I'm dying."

Near the end of the call, Doi spells out the last name of her mother and asks the dispatcher to set up a three-way call so that she can speak to her mother one last time. "We couldn't put her on," the dispatcher says. "We don't have a three-way system for that." As smoke and heat began to overcome her, Doi gave the 911 operator her mother's name and phone number in hopes of passing on a last message. That evening, Alderete received a call from the 911 operator who had spoken with Doi while she was trapped in the stairwell, who said she had a message for Alderete from her daughter: "Tell my mother that I love her and that she's the best mom in the whole world." [10] After 24 1/2 minutes, the call cuts off. It took three years for her remains to be found in the rubble.[14]At the National 9/11 Memorial, Doi is memorialized at the South Pool, on Panel S-46.[15]

Transcript of the 9-1-1 call[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "September 11 Memorial". 2002-06-19. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Melissa Doi (Missing Person)". 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  3. ^ Moore, Martha T. (2006-08-16). "1,631 calls to dispatchers on 9/11 released". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  4. ^ "List of Victims from Sept. 11, 2001". Fox News. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  5. ^ Dwyer, Jim (2006-08-17). "More Tapes From 9/11: 'They Have Exits in There?'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-26. 
  6. ^ "U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Virginia". Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  7. ^ a b Moore, Robert F. (2006-08-17). "'I Feel Like I'm Dying' - New York Daily News". Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  8. ^ a b "Melissa Doi - The New York Sun". Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  9. ^ "A Call for Help". 2006-08-16. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  10. ^ a b "Obituaries - CAMPUS - The Daily Northwestern - Northwestern University". The Daily Northwestern. 2012-05-08. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Remembering September 11, 2001: Melissa C. Doi Obituary". Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  12. ^ "After a Court Battle, More Sept. 11 Tapes Released". NPR. 2006-08-16. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  13. ^ "Melissa Doi - Call from World Trade Center - Audio Tape". YouTube. 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  14. ^ "The 9/11 Decade: A Lost Cousin Remembered". The Ossining Daily Voice. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Memorial Guide - National September 11th Memorial & Museum". Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Going higher up above the floor is more dangerous, but perhaps the operator meant to get the people off the fiery hot floorboards.
  17. ^ Doi had actually said there were five people with her, not three.

External links[edit]