Listener: Beware suspect sketches used by police

Dear Mr Pratt,

I saw the DNA profile sketch released on the news last night about the girl murdered in Brownwood. You are 100% right to be concerned about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for catching the monster who’s capable of committing this crime but we need to be careful.

Back in 1995 I was delivering freight to another state and stayed in a hotel on the way back home. There was a Pizza Hut across the street so I walked over for dinner. The place was crowded so I ordered the buffet and a pitcher of beer. As I sat down I noticed everyone in the place was looking at me and they got up and left until I was the only one in the place. I finished my meal and paid without any eye contact or a thank you from the waitress.

The next morning I checked out of my room and went to the truck to prepare for the ride home. I was immediately surrounded by police and pulled out of my truck. They questioned me on my whereabouts two days earlier and said I fit the description of a young male exposing himself to underage girls.

Long story short. I was able to prove with my log book, bill of lading paperwork and a call to my boss by the police that I was not in the area on the days in question. The officer then pulled out the artist sketch of the guy who exposed himself and I was speechless. It looked exactly like me. That’s when I realized why all the people left the restaurant when I walked in the night before. The local television station had been showing the picture.

The call to my boss by the police ended up affecting my job later on. My boss openly joked about it with other employees until nobody would talk to me. I know I could have pursued the matter but I chose to move on and find another job.

When I saw the DNA profile on the news last night it reminded me of my situation. People today are quick to judge someone with all the social media and police have to be under pressure to solve this crime. I’m just wondering if this computer generated profile sketch is the way to do it.

Thanks for your time and I always enjoy listening to your opinions.

Gary

Comments

  1. The sketches presented in an effort to find criminals are at best, estimates of appearance. Unless the persons providing the information upon which the sketch is based are trained or skilled in making identifications, even a photograph can be misleading. We see photos of people as the crime is taking place that don’t look like the criminal once they are caught. I have had skilled artists make sketches of me from life, and they look kind of like me, but that’s all.

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