Only one person alive knows exactly what happened in the final confrontation between 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot Martin dead on Feb. 26. That man, of course, is Zimmerman, and he reportedly told police that after calling 911 to alert the cops to Martin’s “suspicious” behaviour, Martin attacked him and bloodied him up, spurring Zimmerman to shoot Martin in self-defence.
As a special prosecutor looks into whether Zimmerman’s story holds up to scrutiny, the news media is finding some evidence that it may not. The latest: Forensic voice identification experts tell the Orlando Sentinel that the final screams before the fatal gunshot — captured in a neighbour’s 911 call — aren’t from Zimmerman, as his supporters claim. How do the experts know, and how damning is this clue? Here’s what you should know:
How was this analysis conducted?
The Sentinel spoke with two experts. The first, biometric voice analyst Tom Owen, studies the characteristics that make each voice unique and identifiable. After using sophisticated computer technology to compare the scream in the background of the neighbour’s 911 calls to Zimmerman’s own 911 calls, Owen tells the Sentinel that “you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman” screaming. The second expert, Ed Primeau, enhanced the audio recordings and relied on his ears — and years of forensic audio experience. Based on tone, “I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” he says. “That’s a young man screaming.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.