Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Google’s Cameras See Everything, Even Possible Murder

A bird’s-eye view of a jetty in an Amsterdam-area park has been the subject of some debate online. First posted on Reddit, the image was captioned “A murder near my house on Google Maps.” The photo, taken by a Google Earth helicopter, shows three forms on the octagonal wooden  jetty. Two appear to be people, one standing up and one leaning over, and the third is harder to make out. Some say it’s a wet dog, or maybe a small boat, while others insist it’s a body, surrounded by a trail of blood that leads all the way to the water’s edge. The image was captured in 2009, so it’s doubtful this question will ever be resolved. In the end, the dog argument seems most compelling. However, another Google maps image (seen further down the page) leaves little doubt that foul play was involved.

Below, an edited image showing evidence that the shape purported to be a dead body is actually a dog. Source: Reddit user ThatLunarCastle.

If only to shield ourselves from the idea of a murder happening in broad daylight at an idyllic park, let’s go with dog on this one. But the image below, captured above railroad tracks near Sanford Avenue in the city of Richmond, California, clearly shows a human body on the ground and police on the scene. It’s unclear what happened, but according to local blog Richmond Confidential, those railroad tracks are a high-crime area where several murders have occurred in recent years. In August, 2009, police found the beaten and shot body of 14-year-old Kevin Barrera in that area, and in February of that year, 17-year-old Kianna Smith was shot to death near those very same tracks.

It is possible that the man in the image below is not dead, but has been ordered to lie on the ground by police. There is no blood or injury visible in the photo, and an officer appears to be approaching him. However, because the image was captured from several angles, it is likely that the person was lying on the ground for a long time.

Life on the Street as Captured by Google Street View



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