It’s an age-old method to help catch a criminal: describe their appearance to authorities. To this day, police rely on descriptions of criminals from eye witnesses to create facial composites of the suspects. This involves the witness detailing everything they remember about the possible perpetrator while an artist creates a sketch of the suspect.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone is able to recall the face they saw, or articulate its appearance well, and the details of the assailant may become muddied in the witness’s memory. When that happens, the results can be really, really far off the mark when all is said and done, and those sketches, in retrospect, are often hilariously unrecognizable.
These 21 police sketches are perfect examples of just how inaccurate composite sketches can be. Whether the witness forgot the details or the artist simply couldn’t recreate what they were told, the results are undeniably amusing…
1. When describing a criminal to a sketch artist, it’s important to give as detailed of an explanation as humanly possible. Funny enough, this particular composite doesn’t really look human at all, and doesn’t share many features with the actual criminal on the right, though.
Lamar County Sheriff’s Department
2. At first glance, this composite appears to be fairly accurate. The shape of the face, setting of the eyes, and style of mustache are actually pretty spot on. It’s the added unibrow and silly hat that might throw most people off. Maybe his name started with an “A?”
3. Unless this person witnessed Justin Bieber commit a crime, there’s really no explanation for the uncanny resemblance to the pop singer. Not to mention, the unrefined details of the face make it look like this was sketched by a fifth grader.
Sacramento Police / sacbee.com
4. While you can only assume that this person was wearing a scarf over their face at the time of the crime, it’s going to be hard to find someone without seeing the bottom half of their face. It’s safe to say that this case has gone… ahem… cold.
New Castle County Police / delawareonline.com
5. This sketch, if you can really even call it that, looks like a mix between the David Spade character Joe Dirt and a 1990s professional wrestler. Whether or not that’s the case, you have to admit that it’s a terrifying combination.