1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Cursius-West Comparison.

    Many conspiracy minded people pointed out the striking differences between the various photos in the media of the El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius. In particular some found it impossible to reconcile the post-shooting mug shot with either the yearbook photo or the selfie-stye profile picture Crusius used online. Here's a typical comparison.

    They are in fact the same person, Patrick Crusius. The differences are due to a number of factors.

    The first is that the mugshot initially and widely used by the media is distorted. The photo was released at a printed handout, the AP obtained a photo of this photo, and that's what was used by the media, and very quickly it became the default image, on the left in the comparison above.
    Even the above video snapshot of someone holding the handout photo is better than the AP image. You can see the face is longer, and paler.

    But we have the original photo, from the police website:
    Metabunk 2019-08-13 07-45-27.
    https://www.elpasotexas.gov/~/media/files/coep/police department/press releases/19/19-215079crusius.ashx

    As you can see, there's quite a difference between this and the AP photo-of-a-printout

    But this still looks rather different to the profile picture, and this is where people have the hardest time seeing they are the same person, even with the correct mugshot.
    Metabunk 2019-08-13 07-50-50.

    But they are in fact the same person. Other than the obvious difference in his hair and glasses, there are two factors. Firstly the skin color difference is down to different lighting, which you can see in the yellow tint in the shirt. This is due to the incandescent light used for the mugshot. We can correct that do a degree:
    Color balance.
    But still the shape of the face seems very different. This is because of the distance of the camera from his face. The close camera on the right distort the features, making the mouth and nose larger. Compare these two photos:
    They are both photos of me, taken within a minute of each other from different distances. The shape of my head appears radically different. In the "mugshot" style photo the camera is a reasonable distance away, ten feet or more. My eyes, nose and mouth appear smaller, my ears and hair seem larger. In the "selfie" photo the camera is very close. My ears seem to fold back, and the overall shape of my head is more oval.

    Combine that distortion with the images being taken at different times, different hair, no glasses, and under very different circumstances, and it's easy to see why they are so different.

    So with all that in mind, look again at these four photos.
    Metabunk 2019-08-13 08-32-16.
    They do in fact show the same person. Patrick Crusius

    [Update #1]

    There's another profile pic, seemingly taken from a bit closer and lower. This gives even more distortion, making the nose and face appear more rounded. Here I duplicate the general effect with my iPhone front camera. Both bottom photos are me, not cropped, just slightly different camera position and expression, plus glasses. My face is less oval, so it does not bulge as much, but the difference is the same.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The AP actually describe the distorted photo they used as:
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    The 8chan profile photo looks like it was taken with the front-facing "selfie camera" on a phone (or possibly a close up on a computer webcam). As most people who have used the front-facing camera on their phone know, it's not very flattering. The wide-angle lens and close-up viewpoint distorts your face, and especially if (like me) you have a rather large nose, it's not a good look.
  4. Henjin

    Henjin New Member

    The third photo is supposed to be his Facebook profile picture, not an "8chan profile pic". I don't think it's even possible to have a profile picture on 8chan.


    Then what about the two photos below? Both appear to be taken from a fairly high distance.


    You seem so certain for someone who is supposed to be a "skeptic".

    One thing all four photos you posted above have in common is that the person in the photo has a nose that is tilted to the right (or to the left if the photo is mirrored). However it's something that could've been easily photoshopped.

    [Mod: Removed info dump of multiple photos with no context]
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, and you can see they are the same person, no?

    Because I've carefully looked at the photos, and I'm very familiar with this type of thing. But people can try it for themselves. Take photos of yourself from different distanced. Post a variety of photos of yourself from social medial from the past few years. Post your mugshot if you have one. You will see similar difference.
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  6. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    some people suffer from face blindness
  7. From one of my all time favorite Imgur posts:

    The difference a camera lens focal length has on faces

    Eis190k. KSwxr54. lO7k0Nf. 6K8HYnr. 53ksHFm. CVRMx3X.

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  8. Henjin

    Henjin New Member

    Mick didn't yet address the photo of the arrested person, the photo taken on the backseat of the car, or the Twitter profile picture (used by both @outsider609 and @PatrickCrusius):


    The photo taken in the car might actually be of the same person as the mugshot, even if, to me, neither would be of the person in the high school yearbook. Crusius is supposed to have graduated high school in 2017, and the yearbook photos are supposed to be from his senior year, so that they are not even supposed to be very old.

    Here's a version of the Twitter profile picture that I made brighter:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2019
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    they all look like the exact same person to me. You can find photos of people 2 years apart. Google "photo highschool to college" or scroll through the Ugly duckling thread on Reddit. at that age bulk changes are normal. i'll give one example here even though I feel icky sharing other people's photos

    25 to 28.PNG
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  10. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Those are striking differences? I see more striking differences in the faces of the latest Norwegian terrorist, Philip Manshaus. Striking differences mostly from being struck in the face.

  11. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Funny how the discussion about focal length and foreshortening parallels the discussions of Earth photos taken from different altitudes.
    [very off topic question removed]
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Again, hold the camera close enough so you face fills the frame, and you get all kinds of distortion by changing the angle.

    Here's another photo of me showing this effect.
    Metabunk 2019-08-13 13-55-58.

    All three photos taken today.
  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    That looks rather similar to the Facebook selfie pic (labelled as 8chan in the OP) - in both of the "selfie" pictures his nose looks much more prominent than it does in photos taken from a greater distance with normal cameras. It's the same effect.
  14. Henjin

    Henjin New Member

    Doesn't the person in the Twitter profile picture also seem to have thicker eyebrows? His nose seems to be wider relative to the width of his face. He appears to have a shorter distance from the eyebrows to the hairline. Also his lips look thicker, even though maybe it's because of his facial expression. Also his face looks more round rather than long and narrow.


    Even though out of the three photos of himself Mick posted, in the third photo he also looks like he has shorter distance from the eyebrows to the hairline, thicker lips, thicker eyebrows, and a wider nose relative to the width of the face.

    However the purported Twitter and Facebook profile pictures of Crusius are taken at approximately the same distance. I don't know how to estimate the focal length of the photos.
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Just to be clear, this is not a function of the focal length, it's a function of the camera distance. It's a relevant point, as phone cameras usually have a fixed focal length, and yet can take different photos based on distance. Here's two photo taken with the exact same focal length. I just moved the camera.

    Metabunk 2019-08-13 16-11-29.
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  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    the same distance as Mick's two pics, you mean? I agree. Which is why Mick's pics look the same as Crusius'.
  17. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    You know some people trim their eyebrows, right? I know I do.

    As for the rest, it's at a different angle, distance, age, haircut, glasses, and lighting.

    Metabunk 2019-08-13 16-26-57.

    Bottom two photo are both me, taken seconds apart, same focal length. I couldn't manage a symmetrical lip curl as I'm still a bit numb from the dentist. But you get the idea.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  18. Henjin

    Henjin New Member

    The tweet below seems to indicate that the purported photo of Crusius in a car is supposed to have been taken after the arrest:

    Source: https://twitter.com/Anna_Giaritelli/status/1157816540273762305

    I can't tell if the person in the picture below has facial hair, but if he does, at least his sideburns don't seem as dark as the sideburns of the person in the car.


    moderator:text removed due to Link Policy violations, speculation with no point stated
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2019
  19. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    perhaps looking at other sources would help you understand that cameras sometimes suck.



    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2019
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  20. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    Here's an illustration of how you can get five very different photos of the same person.

    (On the two photo of Crusius with glasses I've faded out the glasses a bit, and partially fixed the eye size for better comparisons with the other Crusius photos)
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  21. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not willing to prove this, but faces can also change day to day for various reasons. Some days I wake up and my face in the mirror looks like your 4th pic, and then the next day I wake up look in the mirror and look like your first face.

    And those are on normal days, add a sinus infection or a hang over into the mix and I might be almost unrecognizable.

    Just throwing that out there.
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It can also change second to second with the same camera distance. I took these three photos of myself over a ten-second period.
    Metabunk 2019-08-15 08-23-11.
    The difference is gravity. In the first photo I'm looking straight up, so my face is pulled back giving me a bit of a face lift. The middle photo is sadly my more normal look. The last one is me looking straight down.

    (Note in the fifth photo in my comparison above, he's looking down)
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  23. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    yea even young (30 year old :) ) beautiful models give photo tips like pulling your ears back and raising your eyebrows and chin a bit for photographs ..basically a little mini facelift vs looking at the camera with a completely relaxed face.