DeeDee Interview Audio – my angst continues…
The DeeDee soundbite thing is now driving me crazy. This is a question of fact-finding about media coverage and the actions of the attorneys, not a question having anything to do with DeeDee herself or the substance of her accounts.
I now have identified 6 different soundbites of DeeDee that were played on news broadcasts following Crump’s press conference. (There may be more.)
Here are the issues:
a: According to all sources I can find, including both media reports and court documents, the only time DeeDee gave a recorded statement before she spoke to BdlR was the phone interview she gave to Crump, in which Matt Gutman of ABC was in the room at Crump’s end. (If you know of any reports of another recorded interviews, let me know.)
b: All the sound-bites of DeeDee played on news reports are clear and audible, free of room reverb etc. They would seem to have been recorded from a “mult-box”, a tap directly into the phone line routinely used by journalists for phone interviews.
c: The recording of the Crump interview released as part of the discovery is of terrible audio quality, and much of it is utterly unintelligible as a result.(http://tinyurl.com/c3shbes, also on AxionAmnesia at http://tinyurl.com/d3y622m). It seems to have been made with Crump’s personal voice recorder, with its built in mic picking up DeeDee’s call coming in over some time of speakerphone. The audio is choppy, masked by room reverb, and overlaid with handling noise. Crump also starts and stops the interview several times because he is worried about the audio quality of the call. After one of these pauses, as the recording resumes it is obvious that DeeDee is already well into her story, and had given a large chunk of her narrative before the recorder had been turned back on.
d. When Crump gave his press conference revealing part of the DeeDee interview to the media (http://tinyurl.com/c723sbz, he played it back from a personal voice recorder, holding it near the microphones on the podium.
The segment he played IS in the recording that was released with discovery — DeeDee’s words and inflections are the same. But the sound picked up by the mics at the press conference is BETTER than the discovery recording. There is some room reverb coming from the fact he’s playing back a recording into a microphone, but the sort of intelligibility-obscuring room reverb present in the discovery recording is absent, and so is the handling noise. Meaning, the recording Crump played for the media is NOT the recording that was released in the discovery.
FWIW, in the press conference Crump says of the tape he had just played, “This will be given to the Justice Department investigation. The family does not trust the Sanford Police Department.”
e. Of the 6 soundbites of DeeDee I have been able to find, after listening to the grating discovery file many more times than I care to, I can only find ONE that corresponds to a section of the discovery recording. And that was edited in a way some commentators may find questionable. On ABC, DeeDee says, “Trayvon say ‘What you, what you following me for, and the man come and say ‘What you doing around here.’ Somebody pushed Trayvon, cause the headset just fell.” What DeeDee actually said was: “Trayvon say ‘What you, what you following me for, and the man come and say ‘What you doing around here.’ And then they’re like pushin’ And you can know somebody pushed Trayvon, cause the headset just fell.” So the edit gives the clear impressioin that GZ started the physical confrontation, when DeeDee’a actual statement was ambiguous on that point.
f. While the audio of all the news-story soundbites are clear, the tonal quality is not the same. This could just be different choices in EQ by whoever edited the packages, but it could also result for the clips being from different recordings.
g. One of the soundbites – “He said this man was watching him. So he put his hoodie on.”* – would likely have been uttered in the part of DeeDee’s narrative that is missing from the discovery recording. This was included in the same ABC story as the soundbite that IS in the discovery recording; the one endind “Somebody pushed Trayvon, cause the headset just fell,” mentioned above. These two soundbites do have the same tonal quality.
* (Not that we’ll ever know, but I’d lay 5-1 that soundbite is edited as well, and those two sentences were not contiguous, or even necessarily in that order.)
h. Not only do none of the other soundbites played in the news reports have matching sections in the discovery tape, but they cover parts of DeeDee’s story that ARE in the discovery tape. In other words, they seem to be different ‘takes’ of her describing the same events: the wording is slightly different, as are the pace and inflections. In one of these she sounds tired, and says ““Trayvon aks the person, aks the man, ‘Are you following me for?’ and ‘What you doin’ around here?’ In other words she completely forgets to note that there is a change of speaker between the two quotes. She may be inarticulate, but we have plenty of examples of her speech, especially regarding these quotes, and she not THAT inarticulate. In fact, in the discovery recording when Crump offers back a slight paraphrase of “What you doing around here”, she corrects him back to the exact words she had used. In the soundbite where she fails to ID GZ as the speaker, I get the feeling she’s telling the story over again to someone who has already heard it, so she’s kind of abbreviating, assuming the listener has already heard and understood. How else to explain that she fails to identify the speaker of “‘What you doin’ around here?’” except that she’s gone into a kind of summary / short-hand mode?
Thus, quite simply, there has to be audio of DeeDee that has not been disclosed to the public. If these recordings have not been disclosed to the defense, that might even be grounds for a mistrial. So what can be concluded, or posited as reasonable speculation from this evidence?
1. How did Crump get a better copy of the interview to play for the press than the one he gave to the SAO? Two possibilities here:
a. (most likely IMHO) Crump made the recording he gave the SAO during his DeeDee interview with his personal voice recorder. At the same time, ABC news recorded the call via a mult-box. After the interview, Crump played back his recording and discovered it was largely unintelligible. He told this to Gutman, and Gutman gave him a copy of all or part of ABC’s clean recording, which Crump then copied to his personal recorder and played back at the press conference.
b. Crump’s original recording was clean. What he played at the press conference was indeed what he recorded. However, he did not want the SAO to have this evidence for some reason, and so he re-recorded it in an intentionally lo-fi manner. (That is he played the audio from his little voice recorder while recording the sound from it’s little speaker with some other recording device, in a situation that introduced room reverb, handling noise and additional distortion). I really doubt this, as I doubt Crump has the technical sophistication to realize he could obscure DeeDee’s remarks in this way. It also seems like the kind of ethics breach that could get him into real trouble. But as I have already noted her to my apoplexy, the legal community seems to take ‘discovery’ as requiring any sort of copy of evidence, not necessarily a ‘good’ copy.
2. How did various broadcast news outlets get clear soundbites of utterances by DeeDee’s that were not in the discovery recording at all, and are redundant to the tellings that ARE in the discovery recording?
a. All the soundbites are from ABC’s ‘simul-cording’ of the Crump interview, and the gap in Crump’s recording is way longer than we might imagine. That is, Crump may have had DeeDee repeat her story a few times, again perhaps because he was worried about the audio quality, and only part-way through the last go round did he get the recorder out of ‘pause’ and into ‘record’. The buttons on these things are small, they don’t make any noise when they’re recording, and even professionals sometime get caught being in ‘pause’ when they think they’re recording. You might think that at the point Crump did get the recording going again, he would have realized that he’d missed something, and asked DeeDee to start over (no matter how many times she may already have done so). But that’s not necessarily the case. He could have bumped the device back into record accidentally. Or, looking down and seeing it was in pause, he could have assumed that this was the result of an accidental button push only moments before, and thus by putting it back in record he hadn’t missed anything of substance. Kind of an unlikely scenario, but possible.
b. There was more than one recorded DeeDee interview prior to her meeting with BdlR.
i. In the discovery recording, Crump mentions to DeeDee talking to her the night before. A ‘pre-interview’ just to map the discursive terrain is standard practice in news/documentary work. these usually aren’t recorded, but its possible this one could have — though how Crump would get good audio on a pre-interview and then botch the audio of the official interview would boggle the mind.
ii. After Crump discovered the problem with his recording, he called DeeDee back and they did the whole thing over again. Crump used the clip from the first interview in the press conference because DeeDee’s voice has more energy, and the effect is more dramatic. The news editors pulled the bites from the second interview because… oh hell i don’t know.
iii. Despite everybody’s claim that only Crump was allowed to question DeeDee, and Gutman was just a silent witness, she give her account a second time directly to someone at ABC.
Now, why I say this is driving me crazy is that there’s substantial physical evidence here pointing to some kind of shenanigans by Crump and/or ABC, but I can’t figure out WHY this would be the case. There’s something about this that doesn’t make sense. So I don’t have any kind of hypothesis for which I’m searching for evidence to support. I’ve just been struck by OBVIOUS facts — “wtf? those two recording are NOT the same!” and trying to dig deeper. But so far there’s no light at the bottom of this hole.
Again, if anyone has a source indicating there was another recorded interview of DeeDee other than the one with Crump and the later one with BdlR, please post the info here.
I have started work on a YouTube vid that would let you hear the differences between all these different versions, and point out the tell-tale markers that indicate there are both different recordings of the same thing, and recordings of different things involved. But it a fair piece of work and my time is limited, so, no promises. (And as much as this audio mystery bothers me, I don’t sense that other folks are all that concerned.)
(One obvious suspicion about some sort of shenanigans would be that whatever recordings might be ‘hidden’ could further undermine DeeDee’s credibility. While that’s possible, I don’t think it’s likely. Although most of the discovery recording is unintelligible, you can catch enough words here and there to get the gist of what she’s talking about, and it seems very similar and consistent with what she told BdlR later.)