The Trayvon Hoax and the truth
Seven years ago, a six-person jury acquitted George Zimmerman of all charges related to the death of Trayvon Martin. Since then, Martin's death has become a symbol of racial injustice and a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter. Curiously, despite his death remaining in the public consciousness, few have bothered to revisit the details of the case.
One exception to this is filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who released a documentary on the case last September. When Gilbert sifted through the mountain of witness depositions, police reports, and evidence connected with the case, he made a shocking discovery: Rachel Jeantel was probably not the woman on the phone with Trayvon Martin the night he died.
At Zimmerman's trial, Rachel Jeantel testified that she had been on the phone the night George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and had heard the beginning of the altercation. Jeantel told jurors that she heard Trayvon ask, "Why are you following me," and a hard-breathing Zimmerman reply, "What are you doing around here?"
She then told jurors that she heard Trayvon yell, "Get off, get off," and a scuffle ensue.
While the testimony of someone who claimed to hear the start of the altercation over her cell phone could never definitively tell us what happened, her testimony was the one piece of evidence that pointed to Zimmerman as the aggressor. The physical evidence and the testimony of Zimmerman's neighbors all supported Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.
Jeantel's testimony suggested that Zimmerman started the altercation.
In a documentary released last September, Joel Gilbert presents a compelling case that the woman on the phone with Trayvon Martin was not Rachel Jeantel, but her half-sister, Diamond Eugene.
Before his death, Trayvon Martin was on the phone with someone using a pre-paid phone with no name attached to it. This phone number was listed in Trayvon Martin's contacts as his "Bae," or girlfriend, along with a picture of a young woman who is definitely not Rachel Jeantel.
Gilbert pored over the 750 pages of phone records connected with Trayvon's phone and discovered a trove of text messages between Trayvon and his Bae. Often sexual, these texts strongly suggest an intimate relationship.
At the trial, Rachel Jeantel was asked about a letter that she had purportedly written and signed "Diamond Eugene." Jeantel testified that Diamond Eugene was a "nickname," and she had dictated the letter to someone else. The letter was handwritten in cursive, which Jeantel could not read.
Among the many text messages Trayvon received from his Bae were dozens of photographs, none of which resembles Rachel Jeantel. However, the pictures strongly resemble a Tallahassee woman who happens to be named Diamond Eugene, who Gilbert believes is the half-sister of Rachel Jeantel, based on DNA samples surreptitiously collected from both women.
When Benjamin Crump first announced that he had located the person on the phone with Trayvon before his death, he described her as sixteen years old. This was the precise age that Diamond Eugene would have been at the time, and two years younger than Rachel Jeantel.
It isn't absolutely certain, but the evidence strongly points to witness fraud. The phone and text records, the letter signed Diamond Eugene, Crump's initial description of the witness — all support Joel Gilbert's contention that it was Diamond Eugene on the phone with Trayvon Martin.
If we accept that Gilbert's contention is true, the prosecuting attorneys almost certainly would have known or suspected something suspicious. The disturbing implication is that a trio of corrupt prosecutors committed brazen witness fraud in one of the most high-profile murder trials in American history.