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Old 26 May 2011, 06:25 PM
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Jenn Jenn is offline
 
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Default Identical prisoners

Comment: In 1903, a prisoner named Will West arrived at Leavenworth. The
record clerk took the photographs below and, thinking he remembered West,
asked whether he had been there before. West said no.



The clerk took some measurements, went to the file, and produced this
record, bearing the name William West:



Amazed, the prisoner said, “That’s my picture, but I don’t know where
you got it, for I know I have never been here before.”

Incredibly, this was true. A different William West had been serving a
life sentence at Leavenworth since 1901, and the new prisoner had the
same name, face, and measurements.

The case became a strong argument in favor of the new science of
fingerprinting."
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Old 26 May 2011, 06:34 PM
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Even though there are several similarities, both men look quite different to me. I can see how at first glance someone might mistake the 2 men for each other, but they definitely don't have the same face. The second man has a longer face; lips are different, ears are different
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Old 26 May 2011, 06:37 PM
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Yeah, I was going to say the same thing - they indeed look very very similar, but there are details and features that make it clear it's two different men.
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Old 26 May 2011, 06:55 PM
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Wouldn't it kind of spoil the point of the story if they weren't two different men?
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Old 26 May 2011, 06:56 PM
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How would the new prisoner mistake a photo for himself though? And what does William West look like then??
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  #6  
Old 26 May 2011, 07:03 PM
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Here's an article about William West(s) and the story.
Quote:
It has been well established that Will and William West were both incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, between 1903 and 1909. Their similarity in appearance and Bertillon measurements is also well documented. When one considers the facts and chronology of the case, however, there is ample reason to doubt the significance of the case with respect to the establishment of fingerprint identification in the United States.
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Old 26 May 2011, 07:14 PM
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ETA: Never mind, I misread the OP.
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Old 26 May 2011, 07:17 PM
Magdalene Magdalene is offline
 
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At first glance, the two men do look very much alike, to where I could see a casual observer or somebody who isn't seeing the two of them together getting confused. Add that to having the same/similiar names (since "Will" is frequently a nickname for "William"), and I could see where people would think it was the same man.

But once you start examining the photos, you do see subtle differences between the two. But still, the resemblence is amazing.

Magdalene
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Old 26 May 2011, 07:26 PM
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Since I always believe in conspiracies,I wonder if they couldve been related in some way without knowing.
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  #10  
Old 26 May 2011, 07:47 PM
pinqy pinqy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Even though there are several similarities, both men look quite different to me. I can see how at first glance someone might mistake the 2 men for each other, but they definitely don't have the same face. The second man has a longer face; lips are different, ears are different
But they're both Black. duh.
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  #11  
Old 29 May 2011, 06:14 AM
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I don't think they look that much alike, but with the similar names and measurements I could see how it could be an issue if someone remembered the name and was picturing one of the men's photo from memory when they saw the other.
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Old 01 June 2011, 06:07 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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What's with the same jacket, or was that prison issue at the time?
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Old 01 June 2011, 08:01 PM
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Glasses

This isn't the only time this happened. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the names of the men involved, only that they were older men, and both white (in fact, I thought this was going to be about them).

Seaboe
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  #14  
Old 03 June 2011, 10:28 AM
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While I think that the differences become apparent after only a few moments of studying the photos, I also see that they bear a striking resemblance to each other.

I doubt anyone would get them confused if they were to stand next to each other but if you saw one of them at a casual distance one day, I could see you very easily mistaking that one for the other at a later time.

- AJ from Perth
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