At Home With the Zimmermans

Family keeps 'go bags' to flee, uses code names: Amanda Robb
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2014 4:10 PM CDT
At Home With the Zimmermans
In this April 12, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman listens during a court hearing in Sanford, Fla.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool, File)

The Zimmerman family isn't big on public life these days: They live in an undisclosed location in Florida, and to bring a GQ reporter to the rental house, they wanted her blindfolded. Ultimately, they nixed the visit, but Amanda Robb still interviewed them, and offers a portrait of their lives since what they call "the incident": the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The family—George's parents, Gladys and Bob, and his siblings, Robert and Grace—live in constant fear of attack. They watched the Ben Affleck film Argo "to learn how to live like CIA," Robb writes. That includes code names and color-coded threat warnings, as well as "go bags" packed in case they need to flee.

Meanwhile, they're "deeply in debt," with George owing lawyers $2.5 million; his parents have spent nearly $27,000 on their hidden residence and hotel rooms while still paying a mortgage on their empty house. Robert now sees himself as the "Zimmerman in charge of rebranding" the family. One idea, which hasn't panned out, was to make George into a reality-TV sensation. Robert also offers an interesting tidbit about his childhood: Bob regularly told his kids that "guns will get you into more trouble than they will ever get you out of," Robert says. As for George, they don't see him much, though he calls. He currently fears federal civil rights charges over the shooting: "He's worried that if FBI agents come and kick in his door, he's probably gonna shoot a few of them," his father says. Click for the full piece. (More George Zimmerman stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.