Author Topic: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights  (Read 11962 times)

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« on: December 17, 2012, 01:36:42 PM »
With the lively discussion starting here, I think it's time these items got their own thread.

I just realized that in the linked post, I referred to 'Zimmerman's concern, expressed on the police call, that Martin might be close enough to hear his phone number'. Obviously, that should have been 'close enough to hear his address'.

The subject of this post is an additional bit of evidence that Zimmerman was correct when he said his primary flashlight wasn't working. On the police call recording, the sounds of Zimmerman hitting the flashlight, trying to get the switch contacts to seat properly, are audible. I recall some people identifying these sounds in that way before the SPD interviews were released.

Tapping sounds are clearly audible from 2:42, when Zimmerman was giving the dispatcher his name, to 3:35, when Zimmerman decided not to give the dispatcher his address. The call lasted for another 30 seconds.

Offline leftwig

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 11:38:21 AM »
If I've missed this piece of evidence and discussion to this point I apologize, but I've not heard this discussed before.  I was directed to a transcript of the GZ NEN call to look at something else and the transcript I used was one from a user that had decoded various sounds he could discern.  In that transcript, he attributes GZ saying that he left his keys in his vehicle when describing where it was parked.  The operator was talking over him, so many transcripts don't have this statement, but when I listened to the call, it sounds like thats what he said.

So my question is, we all know a key chain with a smaller flashlight and Honda key was found at the scene and  logged into evidence.  Did this key chain have his SUV key on it, or was it a different key?  Obviously the implication would be that if it was his SUV key and if he had left his key in his truck, it would mean that he went back there and got it, then returned to the 'T'.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 12:42:16 PM »
In that transcript, he attributes GZ saying that he left his keys in his vehicle when describing where it was parked.  The operator was talking over him, so many transcripts don't have this statement, but when I listened to the call, it sounds like thats what he said.

I've heard that before, but I've never put any stock in it.

I can't make out what Zimmerman was saying at that point, but I think he was giving the make, model, and color of the truck. He said he did that a few times in the SPD interviews, just at that point, as the final part of the directions he gave.

In that context, it makes no sense that Zimmerman would say the keys were in the truck. That's not something the officers could see at a distance, to distinguish the truck from the other one parked nearby. I also see no other reason Zimmerman would want to give the dispatcher that information.

I don't know that it has been determined that the key on the flashlight keychain fit the Ridgeline, but the key is described as 'Honda brand name' in the evidence log (5/184).

ETA: Leaving the key in the truck would be a dumb thing to do, with a suspected thief in the area.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 12:44:37 PM by nomatter_nevermind »

Offline leftwig

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 01:02:42 PM »
I certainly don't disagree that it would be dumb nor that it would have been intentional.  The link to the transcript I was referring to is still linked from this site in the "alternate versions" section of transcripts.  I do agree its difficult to tell just from the audio of the NEN if GZ says his keys were in the ignition, but if you listen to other sounds on the call, I think they indicate it is possible.  The individual that broke down the background sounds on the call identifies gear shifts and windshield wiper noises.  I don't find any flaw in what he deciphered.  He's got constant windshield wiper sounds occurring at routine intervals which would only happen if the keys were in the ignition and in an on position.  Also, when he exists the vehicle, you hear the door alarm.  Could be the sound made when lights are left on, or that his keys were still in the ignition.

I don't know what other cars they may have or what other vehicle the key in evidence might go to, but it does seem a possibility that GZ;s keys remained in his vehicle when he exited.  I'd be interested in hearing whether an audio expert could pull GZ's words out of the NEN recording.  It does sound to me like one of the words he uses is "keys" (around the 3:10 mark).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 01:05:52 PM by leftwig »

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 01:04:07 PM »
Obviously the implication would be that if it was his SUV key and if he had left his key in his truck, it would mean that he went back there and got it, then returned to the 'T'.

Why? If he wanted on address on RVC, he could have driven there, and waited for the police without standing in the rain.

Offline leftwig

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 01:11:35 PM »
Why? If he wanted on address on RVC, he could have driven there, and waited for the police without standing in the rain.

I think I am just stating the obvious when I say if GZ's keys were in his truck as he finished talking with Sean and the key ended up on the ground by the 'T' during the fight, then that means he went back to his SUV and got the key, then returned to the 'T".  I am not attempting to explain why GZ would have chosen to do that.   I guess I'd like to talk through whether its a possibility that his keys were in the truck at that point, then if we can establish that with any credibility, then I'd discuss how that affected his actions and the case in general.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 01:42:18 PM »
He's got constant windshield wiper sounds occurring at routine intervals which would only happen if the keys were in the ignition and in an on position. 

In his last SPD interview, Zimmerman noted the moment he turned off the ignition.

2/29-3, 6:31-40
Quote
Serino: OK. Is that you getting out of the car?

Zimmerman: Yes.

Serino: OK.

Singleton: So, as soon as he runs, you're getting out of the car to follow him?

Zimmerman: When he says "Which way are you [sic] running?" I turned off the ignition.

When a vehicle has automatic headlight cutoff, would it also have a headlight alarm?

Offline leftwig

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 02:01:34 PM »
My past 4 vehicles have had automatic headlight shut off.  If I have the keys removed from the ignition, the car lights stay on for 15 seconds or so and makes no noise when I exit the vehicle.  I have never owned a Honda Ridgeline.  I do get the dinging sound if I have left the keys in the ignition or if I have left an interior light on (another possibility).

GZ mentions turning off the car, but doesn't mention removing his keys.  I would think however that if he was turning off his car as he was getting out that he would have also taken his keys. 

I still wonder whether its possible to pull GZ's words out from Sean talking over him around the 3:10 mark of the NEN call.

Offline unitron

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 02:15:03 PM »
With the lively discussion starting here, I think it's time these items got their own thread.

I just realized that in the linked post, I referred to 'Zimmerman's concern, expressed on the police call, that Martin might be close enough to hear his phone number'. Obviously, that should have been 'close enough to hear his address'.

The subject of this post is an additional bit of evidence that Zimmerman was correct when he said his primary flashlight wasn't working. On the police call recording, the sounds of Zimmerman hitting the flashlight, trying to get the switch contacts to seat properly, are audible. I recall some people identifying these sounds in that way before the SPD interviews were released.

Tapping sounds are clearly audible from 2:42, when Zimmerman was giving the dispatcher his name, to 3:35, when Zimmerman decided not to give the dispatcher his address. The call lasted for another 30 seconds.

Anybody who ever owned a 2 AA cell mini-Mag-lite recognizes that sound.

But of course that's not nearly as dramatic as Zimmerman jacking a round into the chamber, so that's what lots of other people are convinced they heard.

Offline whonoze

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 03:39:34 PM »
One of the false assumptions people make is that because a Honda key was found near the T, it must be THE key to GZ's truck. AFAIK, it has not been reported what that key actually fits. My guess is that it's a spare key to Shellie's Honda sedan. I believe the proper way to look at it is a flashlight that just happens to have a key attached, not vice versa. GZ would have grabbed it when leaving the house because he knew his other flashlight was unreliable.

I have spent considerable time breaking down the phrase. "They'll see my truck: the keys are in the ignition." using an audio editor, isolating the syllables and so on. I am positive that's indeed what GZ says, and he is speaking to Sean (not to some 'accomplice' as the conspiracy buffs imagine). I can say with even greater certainty that the phrase is NOT anything else people have proposed. He certainly does NOT say the words "Honda" or "Ridgeline" or anything of the sort.

Why did GZ report this? Who knows? My guess is that by that time he was far enough from the truck that he expected the arriving officer to get there before he would, and his purpose was not so much to identify the truck (though that may have been part of it) as to ward off the officer having any thoughts of something being amiss if they found the truck with the keys in it like 'the keys are here, but where's the driver?'.

I think he left the keys in the truck absent-mindedly as he hurried off to follow TM once he saw the youngster running away. He wouldn't have worried about some "asshole" stealing the truck because his intent was to maintain surveillance on the only "asshole" he thought was around.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 04:06:37 PM »
GZ would have grabbed it when leaving the house because he knew his other flashlight was unreliable.

Were that so, I think he would have remembered that he had it and started using it sooner. He was trying to get the primary flashlight to work for almost a minute.

Quote
My guess is that by that time he was far enough from the truck that he expected the arriving officer to get there before he would, and his purpose was not so much to identify the truck (though that may have been part of it) as to ward off the officer having any thoughts of something being amiss if they found the truck with the keys in it like 'the keys are here, but where's the driver?'.

That makes sense.

I still don't think it makes sense that Zimmerman would deliberately leave the keys, or that he wouldn't go back for them when he realized he had left them carelessly. His following Martin would have been a first trial of the concept, and he was keenly aware of how easily a suspect could lose a pursuer. By the time of the remark, he had lost sight of Martin.

Offline unitron

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 04:34:41 PM »
One of the false assumptions people make is that because a Honda key was found near the T, it must be THE key to GZ's truck. AFAIK, it has not been reported what that key actually fits. My guess is that it's a spare key to Shellie's Honda sedan. I believe the proper way to look at it is a flashlight that just happens to have a key attached, not vice versa. GZ would have grabbed it when leaving the house because he knew his other flashlight was unreliable.
...

More likely, it seems to me, than taking off in his truck and depriving her of the key to her car would be that each had a spare key for the other's vehicle that they carried.

That's assuming the flashlight key was to her car, and not a spare truck key that he carried that happened to have a small flashlight on the keyring.

I could see him carrying a spare truck key regularly even if he wasn't prone to lock himself out of his truck (and I have no knowledge of whether he was or not).

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 04:47:36 PM »

From the evidence log entry, that key was the only one on the chain. That suggests a spare key.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 05:27:13 PM »
I could see him carrying a spare truck key regularly even if he wasn't prone to lock himself out of his truck (and I have no knowledge of whether he was or not).

He has a terrible memory.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Zimmerman's Two Flashlights
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 05:36:43 PM »
Do these recent revelations about the keychain undermine that Zimmerman had only the flashlight attached to it to navigate and that it most probably was dropped at the T at the start of hostilities?

 

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