Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageUPDATED: Key FBI photo of Dzhokhar shows evidence of Photoshop Special

By Ralph Lopez     May 29, 2013 in World
UPDATE II, 6/1/2013: Thanks to the reader who pointed this out. Reader said:
"It's pretty simple really. Find the media release of David Green holding his phone with the photo of the suspect running away on it...
...Crop and enlarge that image on the actual phone. You will see an object behind him, just below his elbow and above the girl in the blue top that's running across the road. The object is light colored and is around the same size and position of his backpack. The object is NOT in the media release of David Green's photo. Anyone with photo shop and basic skills can verify this for themselves."
I tried it and sure enough there is something there, maybe not a backpack, but where a backpack might be if you were fleeing. The image of the witness holding his phone is an 180 KB file file from the Fairfield-Suisun Daily Republic.
It seems too large to be an insignificant reflection or artifact of some kind. But I could be wrong. But if it's there, it has to be looked at, for no other reason than the importance of the backpack, or absence of it, at this point in time.
Fairfield-Suisun Daily Republic Newspaper
Detail from Daily Republic Image
Same Area of Detail from Public Media file
JPEG File of iPhone
File released to media (posted at
Please discuss. Please address the evidence only and refrain from ad hominem attacks. Calling something a "conspiracy" is merely intellectual laziness.
UPDATE 5/31/2013: Honest disagreement has arisen within the comments over whether or not the evidence presented here is what I have argued: evidence of a cut and paste.
Therefore I am perfectly happy to concede that nothing is conclusive. Perhaps while I seem to have assembled a stellar panel of experts, a look can be taken at another point of contention with the photograph: the irregularities which many have argued are evidence of Photoshopping around the area where a backpack might be seen. Instead there is a squared-off corner and a sudden change in sleeve color. Furthermore, the skeptics contend that remnants of a Photoshopped hand can be seen, where it was lassoed and moved up, as if to cover a backpack strap. Below is a color manipulation which brings the rectangle behind the suspect into sharper relief, using a version of the photo published by People Magazine, which the FBI circulated to the media. A video of the case is also included below.
It is not a small detail. Recall the entire case hinges around Dzhokhar leaving without his backpack. This is the only physical evidence that is not the word of the FBI.
Thanks to participants in all sides of the discussion. As for whether the Boston Marathon was a conspiracy, we already have the admission by the FBI that they had interviewed Tamerlan at least once in 2011, and the US Senate Intelligence Committee saying that Russian intelligence had warned the US repeatedly. Yet the FBI goes on record, not only at first denying that it had ever interviewed Tamerlan, but then asking the help of the public in "identifying" the "suspects," when the FBI knew perfectly well who they were.
Therefore it is perfectly reasonable to ask, what else is the FBI not telling us? About the only thing we do know is that we have reason not believe a single word the FBI says without critical examination. The expertise and insight of the readers is most welcomed.
Image of detail circulated by FBI and published in
Color saturation
The photograph released by the FBI alleging to show Boston bombing suspect Dzohkahr Tsarnaev fleeing the scene without his backpack shows clear evidence of being a composite image made with software such as Photoshop.
This reporter went to the scene of the photograph and took pictures for comparison purposes, shown below.
The image is touted as evidence that the younger Tsarnaev brother arrived with a backpack but left without it, therefore possibly planting one of the bombs. In the image, a different color and pattern of brickwork can be seen adjacent to Dzhokhar's head, within a rectangle similar to what would be visible if the image were cut and pasted from a different source. The brickwork inside the rectangle also appears to be more sharply in focus than the brick around it.
The difference in brickwork can be seen using a free add-on to the Firefox web browser. By using the "Image Zoom" add-on, and zooming in to the original full-size image, investigators can reproduce the resolution and features in the images below. The full-size image is 1600 x 1200 pixels.
The photograph was released to the media by the FBI to assist in the identification and capture of the suspect. This was after a runner in the Marathon posted a wide-angle photo of the scene immediately after the explosions in The photograph then went viral across the Internet. The witness said that he contacted the FBI when he realized that a man in the background was wearing a white hat similar to the one seen on a suspect in surveillance photos. The photograph was seen as of prime importance because the suspect no longer appeared to be carrying a backpack as before.
The lack of a backpack in the photo immediately cast Dzhokhar as a key suspect, along with his brother Tamerlan. It was assumed that the backpack might have contained one of the bombs.
Full 1600 x 1200 pixel image at
Full image at Drop Box.
Full image below:
David Green
A close up of the area enlarged by the FBI appears below. The lines in the image below it show where one brickwork ends and the other begins.
In the below image, some irregular brick patterns are highlighted.
Using a unique pattern of two darker bricks spaced two rows apart as a visual reference point, it is possible to make a comparison between the area in the FBI photo displaying the different brick texture and irregularities, to a photograph of that area taken last week. None of the different brick sizes and discoloration show up in the recent close-up photo of the wall.
Corner of Boylston and Fairfield Streets, Boston
The apparently different backdrop in the immediate vicinity of the suspect's head and face, which shows discontinuity from the larger field of brick, suggests that the entire head and face area may have been pasted in.
Tutorial: How Photoshop software works
More about boston marathon bombing, FBI, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Latest News
Top News