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Crimes, Stories and Eyewitness Accounts

I have been reading a lot lately in newspapers and online, and one thing I know for sure -- I will take an eyewitness only so far. With the recent killing of a teenager for apparently throwing rocks across a river at a Border Agent, I no longer trust what "people at the scene" report or with the killing of the woman in Peru.

I only believe timed video tapes with log on dates stamped (as in Peru) or photographs that are time stamped or dated. I was once an "eyewitness" to a crime taking place.

I was at a Big Lots store, and as I enter two men were running out and someone was shouting stop them, they just robbed the store. Well, of course, I wasn't going to try and catch them but I certainly took a good look and saw where they had run off.

The cops arrived almost immediately and questioned myself and my girlfriend who was with me and we gave totally different descriptions of the two men including their ethnicity, what they were wearing under their caps, clothes, and which way they took off.

Were we at the same scene? We were starring at each other and looking aghast at our totally different scenarios. I immediately starting testing my observances and trying to explain my position. She did the same. After talking to some people, including other cops arriving, they said it is that way all the time. Very hard to trust an "eyewitness" as our eyes deceive us when stressed or under extreme adrenalin rushes.

I have thought about this often when I see things occur in front of me or interpret what someone has said to me. Did I see it right? Did I hear it correctly? Now every time I read a story in the paper or online I immediately discredit the "eyewitness" and look for other clues to help me decide if a story is as it seems.

Just thinking about it this morning as I am online with some very heated=up people over what really happened to the border agent and the kid who died. Interesting for a person who prides herself on finding and speaking truths. What is your experience?


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