Oct 9, 2007

Interpol Untwirls a Suspected Pedophile

interpol_1901.jpgSource: The New York Times Blogs
Written by Mike Nizza

The world locked eyes with a suspected pedophile today after a lot of digital photo manipulation and an apparently unprecedented global appeal by Interpol to help find him. From Agence France-Presse:

“For years, images of this man sexually abusing children have been circulating on the Internet,” Interpol chief Ronald Noble said in a statement.

“We have tried all other means to identify and to bring him to justice, but we are now convinced that without the public’s help this sexual predator could continue to rape and sexually abuse young children whose ages appear to range from six to early teens.”

This was “the first time the organization has made such an appeal,” Interpol stressed.

The suspect wasn’t caught in the act so much as found performing with a mask in public. About 200 photos of the suspect with 12 different young boys were located on the Internet in December 2004, an Interpol official said. But in each image, his face was obscured, apparently by use of a standard Adobe Photoshop effect called twirl, which is used by digital artists to manipulate images.

Apparently, the suspect, or whoever handled the pictures, did not think it was possible to reverse the twirling, a capability that at least one Interpol official was intent on keeping confidential.

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