When criminals commit their crimes, the job of administering justice falls on law enforcement. Police officers and detectives work together to track down dastardly ne'er-do-wells and make sure they get what's coming to them. But the job of tracking down the bad guys doesn't rest on the shoulders of cops and detectives, alone. We often overlook the people who matter most when it comes to identifying runaway vigilantes. Those people? Sketch artists.
They may not be on the front lines, but sketch artists are every bit as crucial to law enforcement as sheriffs and constables. Without their skilled hands, the public wouldn't be able to identify culprits who are on the lam. It's fair to say that our world would be a lot less safe were it not for the valiant efforts of sketch artists.
But sometimes, sketch artists screw up. Big time. Check out these 15 police sketch fails that are so bad, they're practically hopeless.
15 FBI's most wanted doofus
"Sir, can you describe the criminal so our sketch artist can draw up a likeness?" "Hmmm. Good question, officer. I'm not too good with physical descriptions. Think, 'back woods, buck-toothed hillbilly with a fishing hat,' and you'll have a good idea of what the guy looked like."
Thanks to this sketch, we are able to deduce a few things about the suspect. First, judging by the floppy hat on his head, we can conclude that the fugitive is an avid fisher. We would also be willing to bet that he has a Big Mouth Billy Bass hanging on one of the walls of his single-wide trailer. Next, if you take a careful look at the suspect's teeth, you can clearly see that his parents did not heed the orthodontist's advice about braces. A tragic mistake which doesn't do much for this guy. His misaligned teeth, coupled with his off-center eyes, gives this criminal a real doofus look that very few people can pull off. He's not one of them.
14 His widow's peak murdered a guy
This sketch is a little confusing because it gives the viewer the impression that the man pictured is the criminal. However, that is not the case. The man is quite innocent. It's his widow's peak that the police are after. Even he is astonished at the animosity, nay, the downright sadism of his own hairline. You can see the fear in his eyes. Points to the sketch artist for capturing this innocent bystander's emotional state. Great job.
Back to the widow's peak. We did a little digging, and we found a fake file on this guy's hair. Apparently, his widow's peak was on the run for killing a man. This is the first documented case of a person's hair not only having conscious thought, but also of committing a terrible crime. Thanks to this sketch, this man's hair was quickly found and locked up, where he is serving life without the possibility of parole.
13 . . . Prince? Is that you?
Gasp! Prince, you're alive! We can't believe it! This is so great! So, hey, what gives? How come you ditched your life as a pop star in order to become a really bad criminal sketch in a newspaper? Was that a lifelong dream of yours?
Obviously, this isn't really Prince. But, consider this possibility: it is. Call us a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists if you want, but when you hear our hypothesis, you'll jump right on the bandwagon with us. Mark our words.
When The Artist (formerly known as Prince) departed this earth, he didn't really depart at all. That was all for show. No, in reality, he was selected by a secret made-up government agency to do secret made-up undercover things. And he was doing very well. Until one person believed him to be guilty of a crime, and reported him to the police—hence this police sketch.
If you are living in such a way that you come into contact with a criminal who is vaguely reminiscent of Bob Belcher, you need to rethink your lifestyle. You might also need to stop smoking pot in front of the TV long enough to realize that police sketches aren't supposed to look like this.
Or, perhaps the person describing the criminal isn't to blame, here. Maybe the fault lies with the sketch artist. Maybe, when the victim of the crime was running through the suspect's description, the sketch artist was only half paying attention. Maybe they were too busy binge-watching Bob's Burgers to do their job. If that were the case, we might be a little more understanding. Neglecting our work to watch TV is something that we have all done. But, in future, when a criminal is on the loose, could you pause your show for just a couple minutes? Thanks, sketch artists. You're the best.
11 What is he looking at?
*Looks over shoulder, sweats nervously* Wh-what's he looking at? What does he see? Going by the look in this fellow's eyes, he has seen some sh*t, and he's undoubtedly done some shady sh*t, too. This may be nothing more than a police sketch fail, but we should all fear for our lives.
Judging by his bowl cut, this poor fellow has been subjected to terrible things. And, yeah, sure. He is a criminal. But you still have to feel bad for a guy whose police sketch is this terrible. His ears are too small, his nose is too tubular, and his mouth region is reminiscent of an elderly tortoise. And what is with those shifty eyes and that bowl haircut? That's why the police want to catch him. They want to teach him about the wonders of letting professionals cut your hair, so you don't have to resort to the salad bowl and safety scissors.
10 The blind criminal
Oh, well. No wonder this guy has glasses. We've heard that it is very difficult to see when you have no eyes. Maybe that's why he turned to the life of a criminal—to pay for his eye-installation surgery.
We're going to play devil's advocate here for a second, so please indulge us. If, on the off chance that the guy who committed a crime had no eyes at all, why would you need a police sketch of him? Wouldn't he be pretty easy to find? How would an eyeless person even commit a crime? They would need a partner, right? And wouldn't it be more logical to do a sketch of the partner, not the guy with no eyes? What if he committed the crime with the aid of his seeing eye dog? Would they try the dog in court? Can we get custody of the dog? How would we go about doing that? Anybody?
9 Simple-Face Steven
Here's what happened. The sketch artist was out on paternity leave for a few weeks. The sheriff's office was getting along fine without him—that is, until Simple-Face Steven came to town. Within hours of his arrival, crazy ole Simple-Face robbed every gas station, bank, and grocery store in the town. He was a hardened criminal, the likes of which the townspeople had never seen. The sheriff had to take action. He had to catch Simple-Face, and fast.
But, like we said, the sketch artist was on vacation. Desperate for a likeness of Simple-Face Steven, the sheriff and his deputies turned to one second-grade girl: Penelope Haynes. Penelope was well-known for her ability to draw stick figures moderately well. And her shapes rivalled Da Vinci himself. Thanks to Penelope, the cops were able to release this sketch. As a result, Simple-Face Steven has never been caught because no one has any idea what the hell he actually looks like.
8 Part ninja, part cosmonaut, all criminal
This guy was trying to rob a bank, but he ended up failing because no one took him seriously. He was all, "Put the money in the bag! This is a stick up!" But the teller at the counter was all, "Dude, are you serious? WTF are you supposed to be? A ninja? An alien? A bug? Why would a bug need money, huh?"
The poor bandit wasn't prepared for all of those questions. He ended up breaking down in tears before dropping his loot bag and leaving the bank, a disgrace to bank robbers everywhere. The real reason why this sketch was released was because the police were hoping that they would be able to get this guy some counseling. Detectives theorize that his desire to steal money from the bank was actually a cry for help. Indeed, all this poor cinnamon roll criminal really needed was a friend.
7 Big eyes = cute? You decide
According to Disney logic, if you have big eyes, you're adorable. Check out the movie Bambi. Every single animal in that film has big eyes, and that is supposed to make them irresistibly cute. We're not criticizing. We love Bambi. And for baby deer, big eyes are precious. But does the "big eyes = cute" theorem work for people? Debatable.
This guy thought he was enhancing his natural beauty when he decided to have his eyes enlarged. He was actually a really big Disney fan, and he made up his mind to use himself to test the Bambi theory. Unfortunately, it went horribly, horribly wrong. Instead of cooing and "fawning" over him, people screamed and ran in terror, or worse—they pointed and laughed. Well, he would show them. He would show them all. He would put an end to the "big eyes = cute" theory by destroying the source. Yes, it's true. This son of a b*tch shot Bambi's mother.
6 The faceless bandit
Sketch artist: "Okay, Ms. Harris. I realize that you are still in shock after just witnessing a crime. But time is of the essence, right now. We need to catch this guy before he can strike again. We need your help. Do you think you could describe him to me so that I can make a sketch for the police to issue during their press statement? We'll start with his head. What was it shaped like?"
Ms. Harris: *Sniffles* "His head was like a really long, upside-down egg."
Sketch artist: "Okay. Okay, I think I've got it. Now, Ms. Harris. Let's move on to his hair. Can you describe it for me?"
Ms. Harris: "It looked like a bunch of haphazard pencil marks."
Sketch artist: " Okay. If you're sure. Moving on. What did his facial features look like?"
Ms. Harris: "No."
Sketch artist : ". . . No?"
Ms. Harris: "Did I stutter?"
5 The basketball-headed burglar
Just because your head is shaped like a basketball doesn't mean that you are automatically good at sports, you know. In fact, having a basketball-shaped head will get you made fun of in middle school. Just ask this poorly-drawn, basketball-headed criminal. This unfortunate guy was picked on every single day when he was in school, and it was all because of his oddly-shaped skull. We can't say for sure since we literally know nothing about this guy or the crime he was supposed to have commit, but it is highly likely that all of those years of mockery set him on a path of crime.
The grief of being shunned by his classmates was too much for this young criminal. Not only did it cause him to embark on a life of crime, but it also, sadly, caused him to swallow his own lips. Let this be a lesson to your children about the dangers of bullying.
4 This one's just a "hair" off
According to this police sketch (which is a definite check in the fail column), the culprit rubbed his head with a balloon during, or shortly before, he committed his crime. We aren't sure if that was all a part of his wicked plan, or if it just worked out that way. Come to think of it, we don't even know how rubbing a balloon on your head would be a logical step in a crime at all. Regardless, static electricity is a very poor method of styling your hair, and it's quite possible that that is exactly why this guy was wanted by the police.
His mustache, on the other hand, is on fleek. A+, man. Your soul may be dark and disturbing, but we've never seen facial hair as pure and perfect as that mustache. We hope that this guy had time to update his Instagram before the police caught up with him, because sending a 'stache as sweet as that to the slammer is the real crime, here.
3 Pale Skin Jim
Okay. We hope that all of you readers can appreciate the self-control that we are showing right now by not laughing. We're not bragging or anything, but the fact that we can actually talk about this terrible police sketch fail without cracking up is nothing short of amazing. You should be impressed.
Moving on to the picture above. "What's going on here?" you might very well be asking. Well, we have a theory. See, we think that Pale Skin Jim, here, was on his way home from a mime competition. He came in third place, which made him very angry. And, rightly so. Look at him! If he's not a mime, we don't know what he is (seriously, what is he?). Anyway, in his anger, he snapped, and stole all of the mime face paint from every single one of his competitors. Oh, yeah, and he also tied a shoelace around his neck. We don't know why.
2 Wow! We can't believe this isn't a photograph
Well, this is incredible. Seriously. Who among us can say that they would be able to draw something one iota as good as this police sketch? We certainly wouldn't be able to. The skill, the sheer brilliance, that the artist demonstrated when they put pencil to paper for this sketch is a thing of beauty. This artist is going places . . . certainly not art museums, but places.
Judging by this drawing (which kind of looks like a scary puppet from a kid's show), anybody can be a sketch artist. You don't have to have any training whatsoever. You don't even have to know how to hold a pencil. You can draw with your feet, for all the police care. Just as long as you can draw up something for them to stick in front of the camera when the local news comes on in the evenings, they'll be happy.
1 The perfect picture to "cap" off this post
"'Kay, let's make this quick, 'cause I got a lunch date in a few minutes. What did the guy look like?" "Well, the bottom part of his face kind of resembled David Bowie." "Got it. Great. What about the top of his face?" "That's the thing. I couldn't see the top of his face because it was covered up with a baseball cap." "A Baseball cap, perfect. Here. Is this what he looked like?" "Well, yes, but—" "Awesome. Tell my boss I knocked off. I'm going to Arby's for a roast beef sandwich."
Criminals often wear disguises. This stems from the fact that they don't want to be identified and, subsequently, arrested. However, we feel that it is our duty to note that after committing their crimes, criminals often remove their disguises, and this makes sketches of criminals wearing their disguises useless. They should really cover this stuff in sketch artist school, it's important information.