Amateur Sleuth: On Matching Up Mugshots . by Alice B. Clagett

Published on 29 April 2018

  • My ‘Criminology’ Background: Co-Author of a Crime Avoidance ‘How To’ Book Some Years Ago
  • Thoughts from an Amateur Sleuth
  • Mugshots: Matching Head Size and Then Analyzing Each Facial Feature
  • Mugshots: Taking Age DIfferences into Consideration
  • Mugshots: Differences Caused by Head Tilt
  • Mugshots: Width or Fullness of the Face Due to Weight Gain, Steroids, Botox, or Addictions
  • ‘Crime Clusters’ on Background Alert: Criminal Obfuscation or Cyber Crime?
  • Conclusion

Dear Ones,

My ‘Criminology’ Background: Co-Author of a Crime Avoidance ‘How To’ Book Some Years Ago

As you may know, some long years ago, using the pen name Cricket Clagett, I co-authored a book, now out of print, entitled “1001 Ways to Avoid Getting Mugged, Murdered, Robbed, Raped, and Ripped Off” …

Link: “1001 Ways to Avoid Getting Mugged, Murdered, Robbed, Raped, or Ripped Off,” by Vivo Bennett and Alice Clagett, https://www.amazon.com/dp/0884054063/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me= .. out of print

It looks like there’s a reprint being ‘ripped off’ now … go figure! ..

Thoughts from an Amateur Sleuth

Since then, I have had a casual, ‘amateur sleuth’ interest in criminology. Lately, I’ve been interested in ‘crime makeovers’ (you can search that phrase on my blog for what I’ve come up with).

From time to time, I will see two mugshots (facial photos), and ask my family and friends: Do you think these are the same person? And I’ve noticed, they say, “No! They’re two different people.”

I find this interesting, and I wonder why they arrive at these conclusions. For myself, when I analyze two mugshots, I notice that I also make snap judgments, such as:

Gosh, do these two people look different!

Then I think: Well, but they somehow feel like the same person. This is the intuitive in me speaking I guess. What they call, in the detective novels, a ‘hunch’ (as opposed to a ‘lead’ … which I figure must be more substantial).

I know there are all kinds of ways to alter facial features and body statistics so as to avoid detection by camera at a crime scene, and also to avoid criminal database matchups. I have put a little about this in another blog, which I feel might be an interesting read …

Link: “Crime Makeovers 1,” … by Alice B. Clagett, revised 17 April 2017 and 15 April 2018 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-76J ..

Mugshots: Matching Head Size and Then Analyzing Each Facial Feature

So then, I came up with the notion of sizing the bottom of the chin and top of the head (as opposed to the top of the hair) on each mugshot the same. And then going facial feature by facial feature. For instance, observing first the nose, then the eyes, then the eyebrows, then the pattern of the facial hair, then the ears, and so on. And then making a tally of likely matched features. And then deciding the likelihood of a match (even though date of birth, weight, social security number, and even height might vary).

Mugshots: Taking Age Differences into Consideration

Age can also make it challenging to match mugshots. The age disparity does make these mugshots look different, but, I feel, not too different …

Mugshots: Differences Caused by Head Tilt

I have also found that when a person looks slightly down or up, when a photo is taken, then the photos look very different, and a matchup becomes more challenging because of that. The middle vertical row of faces in these artistic sketches clearly illustrate the differences that head tilt causes …

Link: Artist renditions of head tilt, https://drawingartistic.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/drawing-a-face-looking-down-draw-a-face-diy.jpg ..

Some of the most notable of these are the length of the forehead, the nose, and the chin. The eyebrows, eyes, mouth, and ears also look very different, do you not think?

Mugshots: Width or Fullness of the Face Due to Weight Gain, Steroids, Botox, or Addictions

I have also noticed that a change in width or fullness of the face can make it look very different.

‘Crime Clusters’ on Background Alert: Criminal Obfuscation or Cyber Crime?

As a casual user of Background Alert, I might discount this ‘crime cluster’ … had I not run across it several times elsewhere; this makes me wonder if the middle names and other police report statistics might have been misrepresented in some way, possibly by the suspects, or maybe through cyber crime?

Conclusion

Well, dear reader, it is up to you to figure out this puzzle. And puzzle it is! For there is nothing that an outlaw likes to do more, than to elude a posse! I wish you the best of luck in your own amateur sleuth endeavors!

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

Video: “Pancho and Lefty,” by Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, 3 April 2016,  by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbZ3VdYb90o ..

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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crime makeover, mug shots, crime databases, crime clusters, Background Alert, law enforcement, Wild West, Pancho and Lefty, outlaws, gunslingers,

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