The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America


After a painstaking investigation into the Trayvon Martin shooting, I have produced a film and written a companion book, both called The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America. Only after I started the project did I realize I had stumbled onto the most spectacular case of identity fraud in modern American judicial history. Thanks to the folks at American Thinker for allowing me to reveal it here for the first time.

I had originally set out to produce a documentary about the rise of 2018 Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The more I looked into Gillum’s success, however, the more need I saw to investigate the unanswered questions of the criminal case upon which Gillum built his career.

I had followed the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman from afar and, like many others, I had grave concerns about the lynch mob mentality that drove the case.

With his dying breath, Trayvon Martin made a final, desperate request of the man who shot him, “Tell Mama ‘Licia I’m sorry.” I was the first person in the media with whom George Zimmerman shared Trayvon’s last words.

Upon hearing Zimmerman reveal this, I had to rethink the direction of a documentary. As with Citizen Kane’s dying “Rosebud,” I was convinced that if I could decipher the meaning of Trayvon’s last request, I could find my way to the heart of the case, maybe even to the dynamic behind Gillum’s rapid ascent.

By examining Trayvon Martin's 750-page cell phone records which included 3,000 photos and 1,500 contacts, I got to know Trayvon in the last months of his life. I learned he was neither the rocket scientist the media made him out to be, nor was he a thug. Trayvon was a good kid with many friends and family that loved him. “Mama ‘Licia” was one person Trayvon loved most. I learned what it was he was “sorry” for.

At the end, Trayvon was a very troubled teenager. I came to see his life as a series of betrayals, one more crushing than the next. His pain played out in reckless behaviors such as fighting, gun dealing, and heavy marijuana use. On the day of his death, Trayvon feared one more betrayal, this from the girl he knew as “Diamond,” the girl who had stolen his fragile heart, the girl with whom he was on the phone up to the very minute he died, the girl who would emerge, in various forms, as the “star witness” in the case against George Zimmerman.

Indeed, it was 16-year-old Diamond Eugene’s recorded phone interview with Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump and ABC News that prompted George Zimmerman’s arrest and the subsequent 2013 trial.

In my quest to find this mystery girl, Diamond Eugene, I found myself being pulled down a mysterious side road, a dark one. To understand Gillum, to understand Florida, to understand Trayvon, I would have to travel this road of many unexpected turns. At the end of it, I would discover, was hard evidence of an epic and ultimately lethal deception, a stunning witness fraud that divided America.

After speaking with Benjamin Crump, for any number of good reasons, Diamond Eugene refused to "follow the script." She refused to speak with the state prosecutors or bear false witness against George Zimmerman under oath.

Instead, the plus-sized 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel was substituted for Diamond, and Jeantel became the key witness in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. Jeantel was a fraud. She was not the "phone witness" speaking to Trayvon Martin in the minutes before he was shot. She barely knew him. This witness fraud resulted in the seminal race hoax of the Obama years. I call it “The Trayvon Hoax.”

This is the hoax the media play on black Americans every day: that blacks should vote Democrat to protect themselves from a racist America where whites want to harm them because of their skin color. The massive racial turmoil stirred up by media coverage of the shooting followed, and no one has suffered more as a result than the black youth of America.

My investigation took me places I never expected to go. From the back alleys of Little Haiti in Miami to the bucolic campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, I got an earful and an eyeful. I ended up centering both the film and book on “Diamond.” Indeed, after much search, I managed to find her.

Her full legal name is Brittany Diamond Eugene. And, in getting to know this young woman, I was introduced to Miami’s urban youth culture, a culture that thrives on some mix of sex, drugs, gangs, texting, clubbing, shopping, and social media. Diamond’s particular Haitian-American milieu featured its own unscrupulous subspecialty: identity switching.

Who knew about the witness fraud? Any number of interested parties profited from the hoax. The railroading of George Zimmerman, for instance, helped Trayvon Martin’s biological parents shift the blame from their parenting deficiencies to a racial scapegoat. They extracted a huge settlement from a homeowners association and cashed in on book and movie deals.

The family attorney, Benjamin Crump, got his slice of the insurance payout and forged a national identity as a civil rights champion. The old school race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson reestablished their relevance and refreshed their cash flow. Of even greater significance, politicians like Gillum and President Barack Obama successfully exploited Trayvon Martin’s death to harvest votes and win elections; power!

As I argue in The Trayvon Hoax, if there is a main culprit of my investigation, it is the press. The Zimmerman case was ground zero for the explosion of fake news and the race hoaxes that have followed, one more preposterous than the next. Think “hands up don’t shoot” or the beyond preposterous Jesse Smollett racial “attack” by Trump supporters at 2 AM in subzero Chicago, a hoax so phony only the media could fall for it.

We expect individuals to be greedy and exploitive, politicians especially. It is the nature of the beast. As their very mission, however, the media are charged with shining light on political schemes. Time and again, however, the media have betrayed their craft. It is appalling that six years after the Zimmerman trial so much information was left for me, an independent filmmaker, to discover.

If the media had wanted to find the truth, it was there for the plucking. I was able to uncover it simply by reading publicly available information from the legal proceedings and following up on what I read. How is it possible no one in the media chose to do what I did? The answer is simple. The media did not want to know. The truth would not have advanced their fear-fueled racial agenda.

The power of investigative journalism is the ability to set the record straight, to change history for the better by shedding light on facts and exposing lies and liars. Can anyone even remember the last major investigation broken by a major news organization? I can’t.

In an odd way, I suppose I should thank our lazy and disingenuous friends in the media for making it possible for an independent film maker like me to tell the incredible story of The Trayvon Hoax. The book and film are available for pre-order on the official film website and on Both will be available Monday, September 16, the day of the film’s premier at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

You are about to see how America got played by an epic race hoax that divided us for no good reason and, alas, just keeps on dividing.

I will be screening The Trayvon Hoax and holding a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Monday, September 16 at 1 PM. The press and the public are invited to attend.

Official Film Website:

Hollywood film director Joel Gilbert is president of Highway 61 Entertainment. He is also a political commentator and foreign policy analyst. Among Gilbert's many films are political documentaries including Trump: The Art of the InsultThere's No Place Like UtopiaDreams from My Real FatherAtomic Jihad, and Farewell Israel, as well music history films including Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years.

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