Forensic Experts: with ‘Scientific Certainty’ it was not Zimmerman’s voice screaming for help

March 31, 2012
By

After 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, everyone has weighed in, including politicians, bloggers and the media. The 911 call which displays a man screaming for help is on everyone’s mind; whose voice is it?

The Orlando Sentinel had leading experts in the field of forensic voice identification answer that question.  The experts after analysis deemed the voice to not be that of George Zimmerman, however, they did not have a recording of Trayvon’s voice to analyze.

Orlando Sentinel reports:

‘Scientific certainty’

After the Sentinel contacted Owen, he used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to compare Zimmerman’s voice to the 911 call screams.

“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,” Owen says.

The software compared that audio to Zimmerman’s voice. It returned a 48 percent match. Owen said to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he’d expect higher than 90 percent.

“As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen says, stressing that he cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon’s, because he didn’t have a sample of the teen’s voice to compare.

Forensic voice identification is not a new or novel concept; in fact, a recent U.S. Department of Justice committee report notes that federal interest in the technology “has a history of nearly 70 years.”

There is a lot of speculation being tossed about — some recklessly, and some out of concern for justice – but with this story highlighted due to efforts by activists to push it into the public eye, the truth will come out.

Read their full story here.

 

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  • JeanetteVictoria

    Mr. Owen. Is NOT really a “forensics expert?” He has a B.A. in History, not forensics. He has never worked FBI or CIA as a forensics examiner? But he did work for the New York Public Library in charge of their Rogers and Hammerstein archive. He doesn’t have a lab he has a computer in the basement of their house in New Jersey right next to the railroad tracks. That American Board of Recorded Evidence he a member of. LOL he and his wife run that. Mr Owen doesn’t seem to understand basic statistical inference. This is an example of how easy it is to mislead the layman with statistical arguments. Given that a 90 percent match is supposedly needed to prove that a voice sample matches an individual, and that only a 48 percent match was found for Zimmerman, all we can say is “the software was unable to prove that Zimmerman’s voice is on the recording.” Note that this statement is profoundly different from “the software proved that Zimmerman’s voice was not on the recording.” This is a very basic Stats 101 error that is made all the time by people with no statistical training,

    • shivabeach

      He doesn’t have to be in forensics. Forensics has nothing to do with Owen

      http://www.owlinvestigations.com/about.html

      And you have no clue of how the software works. You see, you got the info from the same place the other idiot did. Jennifer Owen is his DAUGHTER!
      God you look stupid

      man, where do they come from?

  • Gus_5319

    Well I’d shot the s.o.b just shut his mouth dame what a nasty scream!

    Zimmerman is what thy say in a world of shit with this kind of evidence what a mess.

  • PaulNSH

    This is total BS. How can you compare normal calm talking with screaming in a life-or-death situation? Of course there’s not going to be a match even if it’s the same person.

    • http://clintjcl.tumblr.com/ ClintJCL

      Wow Paul. You really don’t understand the basic concept of a voice print, do you? Why don’t you look a few things up online before leaving an embarrassing comment. Your voice print does not change based on your inflection. I knew this as a child over 20 years ago. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

    • http://clintjcl.tumblr.com/ ClintJCL

      Wow Paul. You really don’t understand the basic concept of a voice print, do you? Why don’t you look a few things up online before leaving an embarrassing comment. Your voice print does not change based on your inflection. I knew this as a child over 20 years ago. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

  • Hhh

    Owen said it’s a 48% match, and he would expect that to be higher in recordings of this poor quality, but also didn’t compare the recordings they have of Trayvon Martin (from his phone, other recorded messages that are available from him, etc.)

    -Taken from reddit poster “justanothercommenter”

    “As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman.” You could also say with reasonable scientific certainty that it might be Zimmerman (since it’s a 48% match).

    Now, let’s get to Mr. Owen. Is he really a “forensics expert?”

    Well, no. He has a B.A. in History, not forensics.

    Well, surely since he’s an expert, he went to Harvard or Yale or Oxford, right?

    Well, no he went to Bellarmine College in Kentucky. You’ve heard of Bellarmine College, right?

    Well, but surely he’s worked for the FBI or CIA as a forensics examiner?

    No, but he did work for the New York Public Library in charge of their Rogers and Hammerstein archive – coughgaycough.

    But surely he’s written some books about forensics that the FBI and CIA use, right?

    No, but he has written extensively about the banjo and did a coloring book:

    Tom Owen, Scaling the Fretboard (Chappell Music 1973)
    Tom Owen, The Chord Coloring Book (Chappell Music 1974)
    Tom Owen, Tenor Banjo (Chappell Music 1975)
    Tom Owen, Lead Guitar (Chappell Music 1976)
    Tom Owen, The Classic Blues Singers (Chappell Music 1977)

    What about his wife Jennifer Owen … surely she’s a hotshot FBI forensics examiner, right?

    No, she makes Powerpoint presentations and is a secretary with a political science degree, not a forensics degree.

    On the plus side, she lists a February 2003 course in Microsoft Office on her CV. So if you need her to type up your bullshit story for you, she’s your goto.

    But surely they have an advanced forensic acoustics labratory where they conduct their forensic analysis right?

    No, they just have a computer in the basement of their house in New Jersey right next to the railroad tracks.

    But surely he’s a member of the American Board of Recorded Evidence.

    Yes, he and his wife run the outfit. He’s the chairman, and she’s a board member. The Board is run out of a weight-loss clinic in Springfield, Missouri. They certified themselves experts by creating this fake board.

    They do tend to testify in a lot of cases if you pay their fees and travel expenses, though.

    Now, let’s examine the software they used to perform their analysis. How good is it?

    Well, given two KNOWN samples of speech by President Richard M. Nixon, the software only matched two recordings to a 86% match.

    Remember, Mr. Owen said he’d expect a 90% match before he concluded that the voices were identical. But in the software makers own demonstration of the product, using two KNOWN samples of speech from the same famous person, there was only an 86% match.

    What about the algorithm they’re using to make the comparison? How good is it? UNKNOWN. That’s propietary. They won’t tell you what they’re actually measuring.

    What about the second “expert,” Ed Primeau. Surely he was educated in forensics?

    Nope. He was a Communication Major, like Katie Couric. Only he didn’t graduate and was awarded no degree. He was a probation officer.

    Here’s what he said: “I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau says, stressing that the tone of the voice is a giveaway. “That’s a young man screaming.”

    And remember, there’s allegedly NO AUDIO TO COMPARE OF TRAYVON’s VOICE. But somehow, the second expert was able to match it even without any way to compare what he heard to a known recording of Trayvon Martin.

    • shivabeach

      There was no need to compare to Trayvons voice because Zimmerman made the claim it was him crying for help. The 90% match would conclusively mean that it WAS Zimmermans voice based on the tapes.

      However, the test only came back 46% which indicates it it most certainly NOT a match for Zimmerman

      Which leaves….who? Take all the time you want.

      Did you read the part in other articles where this test has been being used for a very long time?

    • shivabeach

      There was no need to compare to Trayvons voice because Zimmerman made the claim it was him crying for help. The 90% match would conclusively mean that it WAS Zimmermans voice based on the tapes.

      However, the test only came back 46% which indicates it it most certainly NOT a match for Zimmerman

      Which leaves….who? Take all the time you want.

      Did you read the part in other articles where this test has been being used for a very long time?

    • shivabeach

      Since you are not capable of doing your own research, you may read a more detailed article on this subject here

      http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/01/10963191-trayvon-martin-case-911-call-screams-not-george-zimmermans-2-experts-say?preview=true

    • shivabeach

      Since you are not capable of doing your own research, you may read a more detailed article on this subject here

      http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/01/10963191-trayvon-martin-case-911-call-screams-not-george-zimmermans-2-experts-say?preview=true

    • shivabeach

      And again, since you are not allowed to do your own research, you may read Mr Owens history here which proves your girlfriend is very wrong. Jennifer Owns is his daughter. And you have just been taken for a ride

      http://www.owlinvestigations.com/about.html

      I suggest you start researching other peoples BS before you repeat it. He just made a fool of you

    • shivabeach

      BTW, a sound analysis expert doesn’t work in the forensics field.

      Your girlfriend made a fool of you again

    • shivabeach

      BTW, a sound analysis expert doesn’t work in the physical forensics field. They work in voice forensics, of which Owen is an expert

      Your girlfriend made a fool of you again

  • George Riddle

    To all the conservatives posting on here: your idiocy knows no bounds. Congratulations on becoming society’s tumor. Keep up the good work! Jesus 2012!

  • George Riddle

    To all the conservatives posting on here: your idiocy knows no bounds. Congratulations on becoming society’s tumor. Keep up the good work! Jesus 2012!

  • Malinda4871

    Who is “Owen”??? No credit given unless FULL names are given! Seriously, how can you expect us to believe this, when the ONLY full names given are those involved? (George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin) No other full names are given – in fact, no other names – aside from this “Owen” person – are given! So, WHO is “Owen”??? Is that a first name or a last name? Even this ‘article’ is written by “Anomaly” – what, can’t give YOUR name, either?? SMH.

  • NunyaBizness

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