Forensics Experts: Zimmerman Not Heard Screaming for Help in 911 Call

According to experts in forensic sound analysis, the voice of a person screaming for help on a 911 recording just seconds before Trayvon Martin was shot to death did not belong to the man holding the gun, George Zimmerman.

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A woman walks out of a security gate in front of The Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman

Sides supporting both Trayvon Martin’s family and George Zimmerman have argued that each of them could be heard screaming for help on a 911 recording of the fight that resulted in Trayvon’s shooting death.

A woman who lives in the gated community near the scene of the shooting in the called police when she heard someone yelling for help. Others also called police, but her call is the one where the screams can be heard, along with a final shot.

(MORE: George Zimmerman’s Lawyer: ‘Facts Have Been Spun by the Media’)

However, two forensic voice identification experts told the Orlando Sentinel that based on their separate analysis, it was not Zimmerman yelling.


Tom Owen, who works as forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and serves as chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used Easy Voices Biometrics software to make a comparison between Zimmerman’s calm voice, which can be heard minutes before the shooting speaking to police dispatchers, and the screaming voice on the 911 call.

(PHOTOS: Trayvon Martin’s Death Sparks National Outrage, Mourning)

Comparing the two resulted in a 48% match. To reach a positive match with the audio used, he would have expected a 90% match. “As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen said. But he also cautioned that he could not confirm it was Trayvon’s because he has no other audio of his voice to compare it to.

But Ed Primeau, a Michigan-based audio forensic expert who specializes in audio evidence for legal proceedings believes it is the teen screaming for help. “I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau said, because of the tone of the voice. “That’s a young man screaming.”

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