Remember Tom Owen, the “forensic voice recognition” analyst touted by the Orlando Sentinel? He said the person screaming on the Trayvon Martin 911 tape was not George Zimmerman. True believers seized on the story as proof that Zimmerman was lying.
When I asked “Is forensic voice recognition reliable enough to be admissible in court?” some pinhead replied:
Of course. Voice recognition has been used in criminal trials for years now. Google “reliability of forensic voice recognition” and you get links to many studies.
Ah, yes. Google is our friend. All hail the mighty Google. Here is what Teh Google uncovered over at Just One Minute:
For a lighter look, from ‘someguy’ in the comments, I am stealing a quick Frequently Unasked Questions about Tom Owen. Imagine this as a trial cross-examination, because the prosecutor may be having nightmares about just this:
Tom 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? [Normally I deplore this credentialism but if Tom Owen was an expert for the right his college degree is all we would hear about.]
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.
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.
But surely they have an advanced forensic acoustics laboratory 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, but he and his wife run the Board. He’s the chairman, and she’s a board member. The Board is run out of a weight-loss clinic in Springfield, Missouri along with a bunch of other dubious “boards,” “colleges” and “Institutes.”
American Board for Certification in Homeland Security – Address: 2750 East Sunshine St. Springfield, MO
American Association for Integrative Medicine Inc – Address: 2750 East Sunshine St. Springfield, MO
American College of Forensic Examiners International – Address: 2750 East Sunshine St. Springfield, MOC
College of Wellness – Address: 2750 East Sunshine St. Springfield, MO
American Psychotherapy Association – Address: 2750 East Sunshine St. Springfield, MO
There are no colleges or real boards here. There’s a fat farm weight loss clinic at that location. They appear to have certified themselves experts by running this board themselves.
There is a bunch more. I especially liked the part where Maguire impeaches Owen with his own “expert” statements.
On another topic, I have seen a number of posts bemoaning how the “wingnuts” are smearing Tayvon Martin and defending his killer. According to these people anyone who casts doubt on Zimmerman’s guilt must be a wingnut.
Since when is defending accused criminals a wingnut activity?
Zimmerman self-identifies as Hispanic and is a registered Democrat. Some people jumped to conclusions and assumed he was white and therefore a racist. When his picture was first published it became apparent he was biracial, so the media began using the term “white Hispanic”. I never heard anyone call Barack Obama “white African American” before, did you?
This case has become highly politicized, but it weren’t the wingnuts that done it. The Casey Anthony case was a media circus but it wasn’t political. Even the OJ Simpson case wasn’t as highly politicized as this one.
Investigations are supposed to be about a search for the truth. Let the chips fall where they may.
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