Have you seen the earless man? Bolivia's public enemy No 1
Wednesday 25 November 2009
He doesn't have any ears, his chin's lop-sided, and his haircut bears a passing resemblance to the roof of a thatched cottage. But to police in Bolivia, he's public enemy number one.
The picture, widely described as the world's worst photo-fit, was drawn by a woman who witnessed the violent murder of Rafael Vargas, a taxi driver from the city of Santa Cruz who was stabbed to death before being set on fire in the street last March. After Bolivian TV showed the image, accompanied by dramatic music, the case became a cause célèbre.
Clips of news reports describing crime were uploaded to YouTube, and went viral, sparking comparisons between the suspect and, among other things, a character from the TV series Fraggle Rock.
Police had the last laugh, though. Thanks to enormous public interest in the case, they have arrested two men. Under local laws, the suspects cannot be identified, so TV stations replaced their heads with cartoons of the now-famous photo-fit.
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