I wish I had seen this last week - a fellow toured the Retreat at Twin Lakes, talked to neighbors, and recreated the scene of the Trayvon Martin killing. He posted his results on March 22. His photos of the covered patios are gold.
He also claims to have an answer to my question - where was Zimmerman's car parked? Tie that in to Zimmerman's address as provided by the Times diorama and Zimmerman's path seems quite clear. I am quoting myself here:
The Times adds Zimmerman's house, which raises a new question about his driving route to the Target for groceries. His most direct route to the main entrance seems to have him overtaking Martin from behind. Which suggests what? That he followed along slowly behind him?
A more circuitous route has Zimmerman up Twin Trees Lane, so Martin would have crossed his path from in front. One wonders which direction his car was parked when it was finally recovered. This is one more thing to puzzle over about Zimmerman's story.
Apparently his car was parked on the side of the street consistent with overtaking Martin from behind.
Otherwise, we all seem to agree on the location of the killing and the likely paths taken by everyone. As to the rest of the narrative, maybe not so much, but a lot is speculation.
DETECTIVE OBVIOUS HERE: One of the major mysteries of this incident is, how did Martin and Zimmerman meet up? Martin seemed to have been well ahead of Zimmerman and hoofing it for home, less than a miute away. How did they meet?
One can see from the pics posted by MarinaDave that each back patio has an overhang. One can easily imagine Trayvon Martin flitting from one back patio to the next along the houses that front Retreat View Circle and back on to Twin Trees Lane in order to avoid the rain.
Zimmerman eventually parks on the opposite side of the street from those houses and observes. Martin sees him, checks him out, moves on, and, per Zimmerman, runs.
But what did Martin see? Zimmerman may simply have been a mysterious, mencaing figure in a SUV.
Now Zimmerman gets out of the car and goes on his walkabout. In the old narrative a 5'9" man of 250 pounds got out of the SUV and no one had a real compelling explanation for why Martin turned back to assault this mountain in motion.
But now the Times has downsized Zimmerman to 170 lbs, and the possibilites change. Once he is out of the car, the mysterious menacing figure Martin once saw is revealed as a shortish guy about Martin's size. From this he was running? Martin's confidence spikes, he approaches Zimmerman, and...
Marina Dave's guess is almost as good as mine, and if you can't conjure at least five scenarios you lack imagination. Over to Marina Dave:
Here’s where it gets tricky. If a nutbasket like Zimmerman came up to me, I’d want to know who gave him the authority to question who I am and why I’m anywhere. I’d ask him if he were a cop. No? Then get out of my face. It’s none of his business. That’s a natural reaction. Someone pushed first. It doesn’t matter who, because, in no time at all, a senseless vigilante pulled out his weapon and shot an innocent person dead on the spot.
Well, not so fast. This is a homeowners association, not public property, so trespassing is a live issue. People who belong there actually do have the right to confront people they don't recognize, if we limit "confront" to conversation. And one might hope a similar right to a "Hello, neighbor, can I help you" exists on the public sidewalks of America, in this era of New Civility.
Zimmerman's story is that Martin introduced himself with a blow to Zimmerman's face. I can imagine that. I can also imagine an exchange of words, Zimmerman saying let's wait for the cops, Martin saying he plans to make like a tree and leave, Zimmerman grabbing his arm to restrain him, Martin punching him in the face to enlighten him, and here we are.
I don't know what happened, and I think they can investigate this forever and we still won't know. And if Zimmerman took a few blows to the head, he may not know either, even if he thinks he does. If we ever get to trial, remember where you heard about a defense motion to dismiss all his statements to the police on the basis of head trauma and PTSD. (Don't worry, I'll remind you.)
In this country, we don't send people to jail on the theory that we don't know if they are guilty or not.
UNRELATED: Think how far ahead of the Elite Media the blogosphere was on this story, for people who looked. The NY Times has a great diorama but where are their pictures showing the sheltered patios under which Trayvon Martin probably got out of the rain?