【FBI全新指纹识别算法:无法确认死者身份?不存在的】

【FBI全新指纹识别算法:无法确认死者身份?不存在的】先前FBI使用的最先进的指纹识别算法必须在获得全部手指清晰指纹的条件下,才能和系统中的数据建立联系,而这套全新指纹识别系统仅通过一根手指的一枚不清晰、难以辨识的指纹就可以对应到死者身份。日前,FBI已用这项技术确定了70年代至90年代间的204具尸体的身份,并获得解决1983年一桩悬案的重要线索。

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5034215/New-fingerprint-algorithm-helps-ID-bodies-decades-ago.html

Incredible new fingerprint algorithm developed by the FBI can identify bodies found up to 45 years ago and has already solved HUNDREDS of cases

  • The algorithm can make matches from low-quality prints from a single finger
  • Previously, techniques needed quality prints from all 10 fingers to make a match
  • One of the key cases cracked using the technique dates back to 1983 

 

An incredible new fingerprint algorithm is helping the FBI to identify bodies dating back to the 1970s.

The algorithm can make matches from low-quality prints or even a single finger or thumb.

Previously, the standard algorithm typically needed quality prints from all 10 fingers to make a match.

Since launching the new effort in February, the FBI has identified 204 bodies found between 1975 and the late 1990s.

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An incredible new fingerprint algorithm is helping the FBI to identify bodies dating back to the 1970s. The algorithm can make matches from low-quality prints or even a single finger or thumb (stock image)

An incredible new fingerprint algorithm is helping the FBI to identify bodies dating back to the 1970s. The algorithm can make matches from low-quality prints or even a single finger or thumb (stock image)

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The computer algorithm can make matches from low-quality prints or even a single finger or thumb by looking at a variety of patterns in the prints.

It can be used to identify bodies dating back to the 1970s.

Previously, the standard algorithm typically needed quality prints from all 10 fingers to make a match.

Since launching the new effort in February, the FBI and local medical examiner offices have identified 204 bodies found between 1975 and the late 1990s.

The cases stretch across the country, with the largest number in Arizona, California, New York, Florida and Texas.

Over the past year, the FBI and local medical examiner offices have identified bodies from across the US, with the largest number in Arizona, California, New York, Florida and Texas.

'We didn't know the actual potential success. We were hoping to identify a few cases, maybe five or 10,' said Bryan Johnson, a manager in the FBI's Latent Fingerprint Support Unit who proposed the effort.

'We're really proud that we found another way of doing this.'

Under the new program, Mr Johnson and eight others in the FBI unit ran fingerprints from about 1,500 bodies through a new computer algorithm that could make matches from low-quality prints or even a single finger or thumb.

Previously, the standard algorithm typically needed quality prints from all 10 fingers to make a match.

The unit is now urging local authorities to search through other old case files and send in smudged or partial prints that couldn't previously be matched.

One of the key cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey, who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983.

This spring, Mr Downey's brother, James, received a call from authorities, reporting that the remains of a man found beaten to death decades ago along a brushy path in Des Moines, 800 miles away, had been identified as John.

'We always figured something had happened to him,' James Downey said from his home in Houston.

'We all assumed he'd got killed somewhere or died in an accident.'

 One of the cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey, who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983. Pictured are experts examining the case

 One of the cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey, who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983. Pictured are experts examining the case

The FBI's newfound ability was key to the Des Moines case because by the time Mr Downey's body was found in February 1984, it had been buried under snow and dirt for months and was severely decomposed.

Authorities sought the public's help in identifying the body, including publishing drawings of distinctive tattoos in the local newspaper, but no one came forward.

'We know he was murdered and dumped in this area but Des Moines police never really developed any leads on it and basically forgot about the case,' county Medical Examiner Greg Schmunk said.

It was one of several cases that medical examiner investigators called 'shelf dwellers,' referring to cremated remains that would sit for decades on storage shelves.

IDENTIFYING THE BODY OF JOHN DOWNEY

 One of the cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey (pictured), who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983

 One of the cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey (pictured), who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983

One of the cases that the new algorithm has helped to solve is that of John Downey, who disappeared after Thanksgiving Day in 1983.

This spring, Mr Downey's brother, James, received a call from authorities, reporting that the remains of a man found beaten to death decades ago along a brushy path in Des Moines, 800 miles away, had been identified as John.

The FBI's newfound ability was key to the Des Moines case because by the time Mr Downey's body was found in February 1984, it had been buried under snow and dirt for months and was severely decomposed.

Authorities sought the public's help in identifying the body, including publishing drawings of distinctive tattoos in the local newspaper, but no one came forward.

'We know he was murdered and dumped in this area but Des Moines police never really developed any leads on it and basically forgot about the case,' county Medical Examiner Greg Schmunk said.

It was one of several cases that medical examiner investigators called 'shelf dwellers,' referring to cremated remains that would sit for decades on storage shelves.

But the fact that this was a homicide and the unusual tattoos - including a skeleton clad in Nazi garb and a cartoon figure wearing a hat and smoking a cigarette - prompted investigators to rummage through police archives and resubmit the single available thumbprint into the Missing and Unidentified Persons System, called NamUs.

They were shocked months later when the FBI's Johnson called to confirm they had matched the thumbprint to prints of Downey taken after an earlier arrest in Texas.

But the fact that this was a homicide and the unusual tattoos - including a skeleton clad in Nazi garb and a cartoon figure wearing a hat and smoking a cigarette - prompted investigators to rummage through police archives and resubmit the single available thumbprint into the Missing and Unidentified Persons System, called NamUs.

They were shocked months later when the FBI's Mr Johnson called to confirm they had matched the thumbprint to prints of Downey taken after an earlier arrest in Texas.

Experts were shocked when the FBI called to confirm they had matched the thumbprint to prints of Downey taken after an earlier arrest in Texas (pictured)

Experts were shocked when the FBI called to confirm they had matched the thumbprint to prints of Downey taken after an earlier arrest in Texas (pictured)

About 40 per cent of the identifications through the FBI's new process have been cases in Arizona.

Most are people who died while attempting to make the dangerous desert crossing from Mexico.

Bruce Anderson, the forensic anthropologist for Pima County, Arizona, keeps more than 1,000 unidentified person charts filed along his office wall.

This late 1950s photo provided by the Downey family shows John Downey, far left, posing for a photo with siblings in Rogers, Texas

This late 1950s photo provided by the Downey family shows John Downey, far left, posing for a photo with siblings in Rogers, Texas

'If you can remove one of these charts, have one family reach out to you to confirm an identity, some of that weight on us is removed,' Mr Anderson said.

Aden Naka, assistant director for forensics investigation in New York City, said many of the new identifications there were of bodies found in water, with some dating back to the early 1990s.

Once they had a match, Mr Naka said, staffers tried to find relatives or aid a criminal investigation if one is open.

'This matters tremendously,' Mr Naka said. 'Everyone deserves a name.'

 


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