What use are the composites? At this stage–decades later–they are probably not useful. The notion of sorting them and providing context may appear useless.
However, the composites are prominent with any Google search on the subject, they are mostly decontextualized when they show up on various websites, and people still use them when talking about particular Persons of Interest.
Decontextualized composites are not just useless, but potentially harmful to the public’s sense of the criminal.
Providing context, then, is at least a potential corrective to that danger.
I’ve divided the composites into three categories, each with a separate page:
- Canonical (the posts below of suspicious men, typically associated with EAR)
- Connected (suspects of unrelated crimes, no solid connection, yet the suspects and images circulate with EAR)
- Fake or Creative (not generated from an official suspect or crime, but created for some other purpose)
Sources: Most of the information about the composites originated in forum posts (A&E, now defunct; earonsgsk; ons) from members with access to LE reports. Other sources of information include the EAR/ONS timeline and Richard Shelby’s Hunting a Psychopath. See About page for more details.