Police Sketch Artist Likes How Portrait Of Serial Rapist Turned Out

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Vol 41 Issue 16

Losing-Powerball-Numbers Announcement Enters 17th Hour

URBANDALE, IA—The announcement of losing Powerball numbers for Saturday's $83,000,000 jackpot entered its 17th hour Sunday. "3, 15, 17, 35, 47, and Powerball 23," said Powerball host Bill Somerford, reading from his 237-page list of losing combinations. "7, 23, 40, 46, 52, and Powerball 24. 9, 13, 27, 40, 53, and Powerball 14. 12, 15, 18, 27, 52, and Powerball 26. 1, 11, 35, 46, 53, and Powerball 36." The losing numbers will be continue to be broadcast until 10:59 EST Wednesday, after which the losing-numbers announcement for the next drawing will begin.

Study: 80 Percent Of All Hermits Recovering From Broken Hearts

AMHERST, MA—According to conclusions reached by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, four-fifths of the world's dedicated recluse population were once luckless in love. "We have conclusively linked heartsickness to the behavior of dwelling in remote mountaintop caves, in bramble-covered forest huts, and on nameless unmapped islands," professor of solitary psychology Ludwig Meyer said Monday. "The loss of a lifetime's one true love seems to be enough to drive some people into splendid isolation in arctic regions and trackless jungle wilds." The study noted that the remaining 20 percent of hermits were driven from human contact by the desire to run naked around the woods, urinating though their knee-length beards.

Another Comedian Ruined By Parenthood

AUSTIN, TX—Ed Corgi, once hailed as one of the area's funniest and most ribald stand-up comedians, has lapsed into mediocrity due to the 2003 birth of his daughter Grace, a friend reported. "Ed used to get up there and just spit venom against the entire world until the crowd was dying," fellow comic Rick Haste said. "Last week, I saw him do a bit about grape juice and another about how hard it is to get a stroller in a car trunk. He did swear a lot as he pantomimed folding the stroller, but still." Corgi's new sitcom Grape Juice is currently in development at ABC.

Sir Charles Barlow Is Interested Only In Your Dowry

Lydia! Lydia! Pray forgive this unannounced visit to Twelveswood, but I felt you must know straight away. I cut short my stay in London to deliver some unfortunate news. Our hostess Mrs. Heggarty was kind enough to lend me use of her coach and... Oh, no, no, Edgar is well, thank Heaven, as is little Ivor. It's about Sir Charles, the man to whom you are affianced. No, he lives still, although if there were ever a body upon which I wished every earthly evil to be visited, it is his.

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Aw, Who'm I Kidding... I'll Never Top 21 Jump Street

It's only natural for artists to compare the creative purity of their early work to the compromised work of their later careers. I'm no exception. As I sit here in my chateau in France, absent-mindedly flipping through the script for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly by Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, I think of the man I used to be, and my heart sinks. I know I shouldn't let thoughts of the past get me down. Rather, I should overcome my insecurities and remind myself that there could be an even bigger success around the corner. Why, you never know what you can achieve if you just believe in yourself and... Aw, hell. Who'm I kidding here? I'll never top 21 Jump Street and I know it.

New Tech-Support Caste Arises In India

NEW DELHI—Thanks to widespread outsourcing of telephone-service jobs, a sixth caste has blossomed in India: the Khidakayas, a mid-level jati made up of technical-support workers. "I am happy to be a Khidakaya," said technical-support agent Ranji Prasat, who speaks English with a flawless American accent and goes by the name "Ron" at work. "While we rank below members of the reigning order, those of us responsible for helping Americans track their online purchases and change their account PINs share many privileges not enjoyed by the merchant class below us." Prasat said he expects to marry another tech-support worker.

Are Tasers Safe?

Most security personnel defend the use of Tasers, but Amnesty International said that there have been more than 100 Taser-related deaths since 2001. What do you think?
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Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

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Innovation

Police Sketch Artist Likes How Portrait Of Serial Rapist Turned Out

BIRMINGHAM, AL—Area police officer Lynn Marie Potter said Monday that she is "pretty proud of" her latest sketch, a drawing of an unidentified white male suspected of committing at least four recent Birmingham-area rapes since February.

Potter and her sketch.

"He looks so real, doesn't he?" said Potter, 38, admiring her rendering of the Caucasian believed to be in his early-to-mid 30s. "I mean, he looks like he could just leap off the sketch pad and violate you."

Potter, a certified criminal-image profiler who has drawn more than 400 composite portraits of wanted criminals in her eight years with the Birmingham Police Department, believes this latest illustration is her "finest work yet."

"I've done some good work before this, like my African-American carjacking suspect of 2002, or last year's Latino mugger, but this definitely tops those," Potter said. "What makes this one different is the palpable sense of menace—the disdain at the corners of his mouth and the ice in his gaze. You can practically touch the fibers of his stocking cap."

Potter called her previous drawings "competent, but flat."

"The others were void of personality," Potter said. "But this drawing makes you think, 'I know this guy. My God, maybe he's in my neighborhood right now.' It makes you want to lock your doors."

Added Potter: "I think I'll ask to keep the original of this one and get it framed."

Potter based the sketch on the eyewitness description given by one of the suspect's alleged rape victims, a University of Alabama student attacked at knifepoint in her dorm room.

"As is customary, I sat down with the victim and drew while she described the perpetrator," Potter said. "While I'm very methodical, sometimes it's hard to capture the physical features people describe, and often I have to heavily revise what I've drawn. But when I was done and showed the U of A student the drawing, she said, 'That's him,' and broke into tears."

"I was like, 'Yes!'" added Potter, pumping her fist in triumph.

Detective Fred Haines, Potter's colleague who has been assigned to the rape case, praised the work.

"I like how she added a little white dot to the suspect's pupils to make his eyes stand out," Haines said. "It sent a little chill up my spine, I'll admit. And the shading on the face is nice, too. She's come a long way with skin tones. I remember how, when she first started working here, Lynn Marie would just rub the side of the pencil lead across the paper if she had to draw a black suspect."

Potter's supervisor, Sgt. Dennis Schumacher, defended her early style.

"People in the squad room are likening her recent work to Lucian Freud's confrontational portraiture, but I prefer the crudeness of her novice period," Schumacher said. "The rudimentary line work and the thick, basic contours often captured the anonymous criminals' brutality and low, animal cunning. Though several of her early muggers and murderers looked very different from their portraits, police sketching is less about precisely capturing reality than interpreting it. Yes, Potter's later sketches are technically more accurate, but they have none of the robust expressionism of her early period."

Although a successful police sketch often hastens a suspect's capture, Potter admitted that some part of her hopes that the suspect rapes enough women to attract wider public attention.

"My dream has always been to see my sketches on the wall of post offices from coast to coast," Potter said. "If only one of my drawings ends up on the wall next to mug shots of suspected terrorists and bank robbers, I want it to be my best work."

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