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Old 10-15-2011, 08:03 AM
benjulmag benjulmag is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 344

Barry, thanks for your response. And yes, I would want you to be objective. I might add to what you said that Mark's expert also says the differences are not exclusionary.

It is not my intention to restate what I wrote in the newsletter. The only point I want to make here is that it is Mark's subjective opinion that the facial mismatches are signficant. Others, including recognized professional experts, not only may but in fact do vociferously differ not only as to their significance but whether they in fact even exist (being caused instead by photographic illusion or studio touch up).

Mark is correct about one thing -- I am not an expert in photographic facial comparison. I wasn't when I acquired the dag over 20 years ago, and I'm not now. Yes I know a thing or two, and I certainly know a lot more now than I did a year ago when Mark and I first began discussing this question, but nothing compared what a true expert knows. That was why I consulted with experts before I bought the dag, and why now I retained who I believed was the top photographic facial comparison expert in the country. Before Jerry Richards agreed to take on the project, he made it crystal clear to me that he was going to call it as he saw it and that if I expected otherwise he did not want to get involved. I also made it a point to not discuss the item's provenance with him until after he had completed his analysis as I did not want there to be any question that even subconsciously that information might have influenced him.

Jerry opines that the facial mismatches Mark and Mr. Mancusi speak of, besides not being exclusionary, are not even close to being exclusionary. The single most important "difference" to Mr. Mancusi, iris size, doesn't even exist. At this point, I don't even know what Mr. Mancusi's conclusion would be today if he eliminated the irises, nose and scar from his analysis. Those were three differences he put tremendous emphasis on and I believe Jerry Richards has completely shattered the validity of all of them.

I might also add, that as to the question of who a true photo ID expert is, a point Mark devotes a section of his report to, I still am having great difficulty with Mr. Mancusi's falilure to understand that in order to compare an image to another image, one must do a direct comparison. It is not sufficient to compare image #1 to image #2, conclude they probably are of the same person (a conclusion which in this instance Mr. Richards disagrees), and then say the conclusions one draws from comparing image #1 to the image in question would be identical to the conclusions one would draw from comparing image #2 to the image in question. That something so basic as to go to the core of how one undertakes a photographic facial comparison, is consistent with every notion of common sense, and the fact that Mr. Mancusi doesn't understand it I find very troubling.

Last edited by benjulmag; 10-15-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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