by Dee McLachlan
You gotta love that FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers who told the people of Boston to look only at the photos he chose. ‘“For clarity these images should be the only ones, I emphasize, the only ones that the public should view to assist us. ” (Said at 2:41 on this video of the 18th of April press conference in 2013.)
I’ve been hooked into the Marathon case for the last ten days, thanks to our two new writers at Gumshoe News, Cheryl Dean and Josée Lépine. They have piles of documents and videos to show me.
Funnily enough I started off being obedient to Mr DesLauriers. I looked at his selected photos, and oh boy, is he going to be sorry that he told me to have a look!
It’s not for nothing that my neuronal pathways have been shaped by four decades of being a cinematographer.
Below are two images (PHOTOGRAPHS) that were allegedly taken at 777 Boylston Street, and appear in the VIDEO (Exhibit 22), entitled, “Boston Bombing – Tsarnaev Trial – Exhibit 22.“
These images are NOT frames that occurred within the surveillance video (as is the rest of exhibit 22). Rather, it appears they are still pictures that were – I’m trying not to say “planted” – let’s see what other word I could use besides planted – OK, I think they were inserted.
Let us look at the first picture (the “finger-cap” picture) below. What is strange is that Dzhokhar (“Jahar”) Tsarnaev seems to be the focus here — whereas the background is in soft focus and the runners are obscured.
The resolution of this picture is good — much better than CCTV footage. The camera is about ten feet away from Jahar – and taken about eye height in a PORTRAIT, not landscape, frame.
But take note: We cannot see Jahar’s backpack. Maybe there were other photographs taken – but this one was CHOSEN because a lifted hand from another spectator conveniently HIDES Jahar’s silver-white backpack.
Who took this picture and why?
Picture 2 (the “square” picture) below is even more interesting.
Again, this is not surveillance footage — with the camera probably about six to eight feet away when the shot was taken. It does show the runners — but they are OUT of focus. No one else seems to be the centre of attention here, except Jahar.
But now I offer my big scoop — take note: The picture is presented as SQUARE.
Cameras usually don’t take square pictures.
I speculate that the photograph, as most photographs are, WAS rectangular. It was either landscape or portrait – but then it was CROPPED.
Why would anyone bother to make it a square? This is my guess:
Recall that the trial was claiming that the so-called pressure cooker bomb was housed in a black backpack carried by Jahar Tsarnaev. As Gumshoe contributors have said over and over, there are many photos (and video) showing that the backpack Jahar wore was white or silver-grey — definitely not black.
The whole case hangs on this bit of evidence.
I suggest that in the “square” photo we’re precluded from seeing the backpack (that is, it’s been CROPPED away).
For clarity, let me demonstrate. The red border is most likely the frame of the original picture.
The ORIGINAL picture would have demonstrated in HIGH-RES that Jahar was lugging a silver-white backpack – and NOT the black backpack that was presented as evidence.
Even the slowest member of the jury would have said — “Hey, the backpacks don’t match up.”
My second Eureka of the Day
I was excited with this find, but a certain friend reminded me that just because I speculate that the square photo used to be a rectangular one does not mean the police sirens should start humming right away towards the home of, say, Carmen Ortiz.
Then it hit me.
The white circle is ALSO CROPPED. See — the circle, like a halo around Jahar, is missing its lower 30%.
It proves that this picture used to be a bigger picture! The bottom would have shown the backpack.
Manipulating the Evidence
I presume the prosecution lawyers were aware of this – and deliberately CROPPED the backpack out of the “square” picture above — and then inserted it as part of video evidence (to disguise its origins).
Is this tampering with evidence? Is the Pope Catholic?
Plainly the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence which is against the court’s own rules.
This single (cropped) photograph might reveal the major flaw in the Boston Marathon bombing case against Jahar.
Grounds for a mistrial, anyone?
Maybe I’m getting carried away here, but there are a few questions that need to be answered:
- Who took these photographs?
- Was this picture taken by a random spectator or a player in this Boston story?
- Are there more photographs taken around 777 Boylston Street?
- Why is the focus seemingly on Jahar?
- Why were the photographs “slipped” into the surveillance video, into Exhibit 22 — and not presented as separate photographic exhibits?
- Who drew the circle — then cropped the picture?
It appears a crime has been committed in the obstruction of justice.
Richard DesLauriers and his gang presented the jury with a SQUARE photo. Maybe a few of them should be put in a square cell.
Per the General Law of Massachusetts, Section 13E (b)
(b) Whoever alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the record, document or object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding, whether or not the proceeding is pending at that time, shall be punished, by (i) a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years…
Update: 3:00 pm
The resourceful girls up north have now added to my knowledge about the square picture. Josee Lepine sent me the larger photo, of which the one I talked about is a cutting.
But the same logic applies. I would say the lower part of the picture, which would reveal the white backpack was cropped.
I now update my ‘accusation’ to say that only a small portion of a large photograph of the Marathon was used in Exhibit 22. But that doesn’t get anyone off the hook.
Your Honor, may I draw your attention to the full picture. It, too, is almost square. This is most unusual. Photos don’t generally look like this. An average rectangular frame is 480 x 800 for example. (And why point towards the buildings and cut people off at their necks?)
I hypothesize that the original photo revealed MORE legroom (as displayed by the red border in the photo below). This would have displayed Jahar’s backpack.
Again — the white circle was probably drawn on an original rectangular portrait (i.e., vertical) picture – then CROPPED afterwards.