Grainy Video Catches Alleged University Of Texas Murderer

The investigation into a murder on the campus of UT in early April has been aided by public showing of the video below, showing the possible assailant.

More than one person was able to identify the suspect. When I first saw the video, I thought "good luck with that." I was think there would be too many false tips, and would hamper the investigation.

But I was wrong. Here's the video:


This was a guy on a college campus riding a red or pink bicycle, which is going to make a person stand out.

Also, the guy made it worse for himself by staying in the area and committing another crime:

A crucial tip came from Austin firefighters who on Monday put out a trash fire near the scene of the crime. They told police the man in the video looked like the person who started the fire, Acevedo said. They also took the man's bike which looked like the one in the video.

The chief said police jotted down the firebug's name and took him to a homeless shelter.

Acevedo said another tipster was a woman who reported the fire. She also contacted police after she saw a resemblance to the video.

If he would have immediately left the area or simply discarded the bicycle, the likelihood of catching him would have been much lower.

If he would have immediately left the area or simply discarded the bicycle, the likelihood of catching him would have been much lower.

Agreed.

So I take it that had you happened upon this clip right after it was posted, that you might have thought what I did; that this was unlikely to help?

Its hard to argue after the fact with success, but I think they were extremely fortunate, maybe more than they realize.

that this was unlikely to help?

As a general rule, low resolution / detailed clips like that can only be useful if someone else knows the suspect. Because if you know someone, you do not need every detail, you can tell by their general physical appearance / movement and knowledge of where they go / what they do.

This is why, also as a general rule, if you are monitoring a known population, you can often settle for lower pixel density than a public area.