Rapist Search
June 16, 2008 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Is this photo real?

I can only find it on funny pic sites, so probably not I guess, but I wonder if anyone knows for sure. I checked snopes and a few other places.
posted by king walnut to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have often wondered the same thing. Don't know the answer, but I'm pretty sure that is a real anchor on ABC7 in Los Angeles, if that helps at all.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:08 PM on June 16, 2008

Zooming in on the image doesn't reveal any obvoius artifacts, but the JPEG compression makes it hard to tell very definitively. My vote is for yes, it's real.

That said, the two don't really look very much alike.
posted by chrisamiller at 6:14 PM on June 16, 2008

I would guess not, because the text 'Rapist Search' is not aligned with the border above or below it.
posted by b33j at 6:33 PM on June 16, 2008

That's Marc Brown from KABC, if it helps.
posted by iconomy at 6:37 PM on June 16, 2008

That's Marc Brown, of LA's ABC7 as drjimmy11 says. From his bio, he doesn't appear to be in the pokey.
posted by mumkin at 6:38 PM on June 16, 2008

Seconding drjimmy11. I remember when this first made the rounds about a year ago, someone said he was Marc Brown from the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. That might help you in your search for its authenticity. Here's his bio from the ABC-7 website.
posted by amyms at 6:39 PM on June 16, 2008

I'm with b33j; the fact that the text isn't aligned with the rest of the inset image screams "fake" to me.
posted by Class Goat at 7:27 PM on June 16, 2008

When enlarged, the artist's sketch looks more blurred/out of focus than Marc Brown.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:35 PM on June 16, 2008

It looks like someone took a picture of a television.
posted by onepapertiger at 8:41 PM on June 16, 2008

Despite being hilarious, I would say it's fake because of the misaligned text. The graphic framing the picture has a curved effect going on that the text doesn't follow. Either it's a fake, or the graphics team at LA's ABC 7 is pretty sub-par.
posted by carpyful at 10:12 PM on June 16, 2008

Dunno if it's real or not, but I could believe something like that could be a bad stylistic decision by the graphics department. I've seen worse on local news broadcasts.
posted by secret about box at 11:37 PM on June 16, 2008

I would guess not, because the text 'Rapist Search' is not aligned with the border above or below it.

This might not be significant - a lot of video graphics overlay software (especially years ago) would place titles and images separately, and most users would overlay the text on a background image (for various pipeline reasons), and a lot of these programs could not do complex transforms to text, and even those that could... doesn't mean that the operator would.
The curves of the background image do suggest "we're trying to make our stuff look more organic, but we're working around our titling limits by making the curve of the bar as much as we can before it starts to show that it doesn't align with the text."

That's about the same amount of curve I'd put in when I was working around similar limits, but it never looks quite right. So to me, that text missmatch looks like a production company trying to spruce up their presentation style within the limits of their tools, rather than a photoshop job.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:13 AM on June 17, 2008

I'd say it's real simply because if I photoshop'd the image I wouldn't have taken a picture of my TV to do it. Also I wouldn't have curved in the image to try and make it look classy. I probably woudn't have know how to degrade the insterted image to look like the rest of the picture on the TV. (Notice the difference in quality between the picture on the TV and the fram of the TV it's self.) If that is photoshop'd they did a really good job, either that or I'm a lazy photoshopper.
posted by magikker at 1:33 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's probably real. The picture URL has 2006 in it so I searched the archives of ABC 7 for rape, pulled the likely articles from 2006, searched the suspect's names in Google, and got this:

Alleged Movie Theater Rapist Arrested

America's Most wanted even got involved: Marque Clark
posted by jwells at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2008

I vote for not fake -- those guys don't look the same. One is gaunt with a more rectangular head. The newscaster is chubby-cheeked and has a rounder head. They are both black, however, so perhaps they are the same person. I mean, their eyes are kinda the same and it's enough to be funny, but it's not enough to be uncanny or anything.
posted by zpousman at 6:52 AM on June 17, 2008

the graphics and production on that channel are god-awful
and i've seen that photo taken from diff angles also

posted by swbarrett at 9:07 AM on June 17, 2008

That looks very tough to photoshop. The glare looks perfect and the graphics look fine. If you examine the graphic you'll see that it tapers but the inserted text is straight. That's News Production 101. Its only recently that you'll see snazzy graphics at local affiliates.

If it was fake you would also think that the drawing would look more like the newscaster. Bigger forehead, less lines in the cheeks, etc. Maybe even wearing the same suit. Its looks off enough to suggest being real, or at least not suggest a likely fraud.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:30 AM on June 17, 2008

In my link above, Alleged Movie Theater Rapist Arrested, I should have stated the sketch is shown clearly. The poster writes:

"I wrote about the “Movie Theater Rapist” quite awhile ago. In that entry I marveled at how well the 10-year-old victim was able to provide such a clear description of her attacker. It enabled a police sketch artist to create the composite shown on the left.

Pictured to the right of the composite sketch is 31-year-old Marque Clark, the recently apprehended suspect, who confessed to the crime."

The newscaster isn't mentioned at all. This is the real context of the photo.
posted by jwells at 12:46 PM on June 17, 2008

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