Recipe for Turning a Thug Into a Martyr: First Steal a Bag of Skittles


he 911 calls began flooding in at 7:15 PM on 26 Feb 2012. A man was screaming, “Help! Help!” over and over. The screams were so bone-chilling that only two of the many callers looked outside to see the cause. The rest told the dispatchers that they were too frightened to look.

The two who looked saw a man in a gray hoodie kneeling astride the chest of a man in a red sweater, who was lying on his back. Gray hoodie was punching red sweater in the face and smashing the back of his head onto the pavement. Red sweater’s hands fluttered ineffectually at his attacker, as he screamed and screamed.

One 911 caller had the courage to run outside and yell at gray hoodie, “Stop it! I am calling the police!” Gray hoodie ignored him and continued smashing his fists into the head and face of helpless red sweater.

Kel-Tec PF9

The “pop!” of a small handgun abruptly ended the attempted murder. Gray hoodie fell dead. Red sweater stopped screaming. He rose bleeding unsteadily to his feet, still holding his Kel-Tec PF9. Just then, Officer Timothy Smith of the Sanford police department arrived on scene, 75 seconds after the gunshot.

The above is incontrovertible. Audio recordings can neither “spin” a story nor lie. The chilling screams, the frightened 911 callers, the sound of the shot, the end of the screams, and the arrival of Ofc. Smith are all clearly audible on several of the recorded 911 calls. Click to hear a typical one. The gunshot is at the 45-second mark. Ofc. Smith arrives just before the 2-minute mark. Oddly, the sudden silence after the gunshot frightened even more people, who called 911 to report that the screaming had stopped.

Officer Smith disarmed, cuffed, and identified red sweater, who turned out to be George Zimmerman, a local neighborhood-watch volunteer who was licensed by the state to carry a concealed pistol for self-defense. At the same time, Ofc. Ricardo Ayala of the Sanford PD arrived, checked gray hoodie for vital signs, and adminstered CPR until EMTs arrived. Grey hoodie carried no ID, so was tagged as a “John Doe”. Supervisors and crime-scene investigators arrived. Later, the dead thug was identified as Trayvon Martin, a non-resident of the region who was visiting a relative while on highschool suspension for drug possession.

All of the above is incontrovertible unless you assume a conspiracy involving much of the Sanford PD. The facts presented by the two eyewitnesses (Martin astride a supine Zimmerman, beating the back of his head onto the pavement) are confirmed by forensic evidence of patterns of grass stains and moisture (it had been raining) on the men’s clothing. The effectiveness of Martin’s fists (and ineffectiveness of Zimmerman’s) are confirmed by forensic evidence of bleeding from Zimmerman’s nose and from contusions/lacerations on the back of his head, and the absence of any wounds (other than the fatal gunshot) on Martin. Click here for a PDF of Ofc. Smith’s and Ofc. Ayala’s reports.

How was Ofc. Smith able to arrive on scene 75 seconds after the gunshot? The policeman was already en route. He had been dispatched to a 911 call from Zimmerman, reporting Martin as a suspicious-acting stranger in the neighborhood.

That seemed to be the end of the story. It appeared that a petty drug dealer realized that he was observed and attacked the observer in a rage. Had his victim been unarmed, it would have been just one more inexplicable random murder. Instead, Zimmerman’s self-defense not only saved his own life, but ended the career of a murderous thug. The police released the details to the local media, the story was published, and it eventually faded. Click here for many additional details of the incident from the Sanford PD.

Weeks passed.

Suddenly, simultaneously across all mainstream newsmedia in the United States, the same well-crafted publicity-campaign story appeared. In every medium, the story led off with same photo of Martin when he was twelve years old. Everywhere it appeared, the story’s hook was that the innocent child Martin was shot for carrying a bag of Skittles, by a gunman who got away with it because of something called “Florida’s stand your ground law”.

Millions of dollars obviously went into fabricating and disseminating the story of the innocent child, shot to death for wearing a Hoodie and eating Skittles. The marketing creativity of juxtaposing a photo of a 12-year-old with candy and a sensless death is so brilliant that the triple image must have cost a fortune.

The artifical meme quickly became viral, forcing the Sanford Chief of Police and Zimmerman into hiding from credible death threats, prompting the U.S. president to assign two agencies to investigate the situation, spawning thousands of demonstrations across the country, and (of course!) unleashing Sharpton and Jackson into turning it into a “race” issue by stupidly ranting that Zimmerman (a Hispanic) must be White because he is not Black.

We are left with two questions: who paid for the manufacture of this viral artificial meme and why?

I suggest that we can eliminate the usual suspects: Sharpton, Jackson, (and nowadays I add Holder) because the creation of such a meme is beyond their intellectual capabilities. In design and execution, it is far ahead of such crude hoaxes as Tawana Brawley, the Jena Six, the Duke Lacrosse team, or Fast and Furious.

Mars Inc. is a possibility. A Mars subsidiary makes Skittles. Mars is the fifth most powerful corporation in America and by far the most secretive because it is not publicily held. In favor of this suggestion is that their press release about the incident came out suspiciously close to the release of the meme itself–as if they knew ahead of time. On the minus side, it would be like using a tactical nuke to kill an ant-nest. It would have more cost-effective to simply increase the Skittles advertising budget.

Anti-gun organizations are a possibility. They would like to see all self-defense outlawed. On the other hand, they could never keep such a project secret.

But what if Skittles (and hoodie) sales or gun control were not the real targets at all? What if this were all merely a test run? What if the most brilliant marketing teams around the globe are making a pitch to an entity of vast financial resources? An entity insatiable for power. The power of total control over the United States.

“If you fund us, we can make Americans think anything that you want them to think: black is white, night is day, up is down, anything. You will rule by thought control through the media.”

“Prove it. Show us that you can do this.”


“A pilot project. Something meaningless. Dig up the lawful killing of some two-bit thug. A killing so slam-dunk deserved, that no one would question it. Turn the dead thug into a national saint, a holy martyr. Make the president claim him as a son, and drive the police chief and his lawful killer into hiding fearing for their lives. Do that and we will hire you.”


Scary, isn’t it?


Frank W. Sweet is the author of Legal History of the Color Line (ISBN 9780939479238), an analysis of the nearly 300 appealed cases that determined Americans’ “racial” identity over the centuries. It is the most thorough study of the legal history of this topic yet published. He was accepted to Ph.D. candidacy in history with a minor in molecular anthropology at the University of Florida in 2003 and has completed all but his dissertation defense. He earned an M.A. in History from American Military University in 2001. He is also the author of several state park historical booklets and published historical essays. He was a member of the editorial board of the magazine Interracial Voice, and is a regular lecturer and panelist at historical and genealogical conferences. To send email, click here.

3 Responses to “Recipe for Turning a Thug Into a Martyr: First Steal a Bag of Skittles”

  1. Christopher Tracey Says:

    This article is as dumb as the stanford police department! First let me start by saying it took the stanford police three days to ID Trayvon, while all the while they could have checked Trayvon’s cellphone for information. I guess they have a precinct full of Barney Fifs working there. Secondly, Trayvon wasn’t doing anything. From Zimmerman’s own accounts, he said Trayvon looked suspicious because he was looking around at houses. Not inside windows of the homes but looking arounding at houses, and that prompt Zimmerman to start tailing Trayvon. Oh yeah, I almost forgot Trayvon was also wearing a hoodie, nevermind it was raining at the time. Lastly, Trayvon did everything right. Let me ask you, if you saw someone you didn’t know suspiciously following you in a car. What would you have done? Trayvon had two choices, he could have ran which would have alarmed Zimmerman even more or continue walking doing what he was doing. I would have done what done what Trayvon did, I would have continued walking until they person in the (unmarked) jeep decide to do something and believe me they would have a fight on their hands if did. Zimmerman chose to get out of the car and start following Trayvon. Trayvon was in his right to defend himself if he felt threaten! People keep forgetting that there were two unknowing parties. Zimmerman didn’t know who Trayvon was, the same as Trayvon didn’t know who the individual was in the (unmarked) jeep! No one knows a person’s intention only their actions. And based on their actions I feel Zimmerman was in the wrong.

  2. Admin Says:

    @Christopher Tracey: You wrote, “Trayvon had two choices, he could have ran [sic] which would have alarmed Zimmerman even more or continue walking doing what he was doing.”

    He had a third choice if he was fearful. He could have called 911 on his cellphone.

    You wrote: “I would have done what done what Trayvon did, I would have continued walking until they person in the (unmarked) jeep decide to do something and believe me they would have a fight on their hands if did.”

    If you were to physically attack someone merely for following you, you would either be shot (as Martin was) or you would be convicted and sentenced for assault (as Martin would have been, had he not been killed). Your choice. For more on this, see When Does Provocation Bar Self-Defense?

    You wrote: “I feel Zimmerman was in the wrong.”

    Thank you for your opinion.

  3. Christopher Tracey Says:

    Hi again,

    Thank you for responding to my post. My apologies about the delayed response. About your third option, if you remember when they the authorities checked Trayvon’s cellphone records they discovered that he was on the phone with his girlfriend minutes before his untimely death.

    I wouldn’t physically attack anyone unless its in self-defense. The Key words in my statement is “Do something”. Never the aggressor!