Issue 1673 - fortnightly, 2013
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The Tragedy of Jazmine Barnes: Phantom Serial Killers and Eyewitness Errors | Center for Inquiry
Go to Link Unlink Change. The fallibility of eyewitness testimony is widely known among psychologists and police detectives anyway, if not among the public , and the mistake is not the fault of the Barnes family or other witnesses. No one was lying or hoaxing; it was an honest mistake—but a mistake nonetheless. But the authorities now believe that the driver — the white man in the sketch — was a bystander. Mistaken eyewitness reports are common, and had terrible consequences in when snipers attacked the Washington, D.
Based upon eyewitness descriptions, law enforcement agencies alerted the public to be on the lookout for suspects in a white box truck or white van. Fairly detailed descriptions were offered, including a roof rack.
Thousand of vehicles were stopped and searched, jamming highways for miles. The focus on a white van intensified after the October 14, , shooting outside a store in suburban Virginia, when a man claimed to have seen the shooter standing next to a white- or cream-colored van.
The man was found to have lied to police about what he saw and made up the story. Police Chief Charles H. In the end, the emphasis on the white van by both the police and the public almost certainly cost innocent lives.
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According to the Washington Post , the police had stopped the Caprice on at least ten separate occasions in the area of sniper attacks, but it was let go because it was not the white van that eyewitnesses had reported. This is a tragic case of multiple mistaken identities, wrong assumptions, and phantom fears. As it happens, the sensational speculation about a racist serial killer was false. The actual killers turned out to fit the statistically most likely profile.
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This was little surprise to the police; serial killers are quite rare, and the subset of serial killers motivated my racism is even smaller. Shootings on Houston streets, on the other hand, are far more common. King is mistaken; no one doubted it was possible that the shooting was motivated by hate. Bizarre, senseless crimes make the news all the time, from serial bombers in neighboring Austin to mass shootings.
What may be more telling is that the whole community came together—including the largely white police force—to bring the killers of Jazmine Barnes to justice.
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Eliana marked it as to-read May 15, Walter Schoenly marked it as to-read Aug 05, Percy Bell marked it as to-read Aug 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Lee Falk. Lee Falk. Lee Falk, born Leon Harrison Gross April 28, - March 13, , was an American writer, theater director and producer, best known as the creator of the popular comic strips The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.
At the height of their popularity, these strips attracted over million readers every day.
tretenregera.tk Falk also wrote short stories, and he contributed to a series of pulp novels about The P Lee Falk, born Leon Harrison Gross April 28, - March 13, , was an American writer, theater director and producer, best known as the creator of the popular comic strips The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician. Falk also wrote short stories, and he contributed to a series of pulp novels about The Phantom Other books in the series.
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