Are you a True Crime Rocket Scientist? Test Your Observation Skills on this Everest Summit Photo

Photographic staging and covering up goes hand in hand with the misdirection of staging a crime scene.

When it comes to doctored photos, there are two basic aspects to look at.

1. Is the image definitely altered? If so what has been altered, and how has it been altered? What hasn’t been altered?

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2. The second aspect to figure out is why.

The image above has been doctored. There are a few obvious telltale clues that reveal these changes, as well as less obvious objects in the original that are the same in both photos. Look closely and carefully. Can you identify all the “mistakes” – the giveaways – in the doctored photo? Answer by leaving a comment below.

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Why would this climber go to lengths to doctor this particular image in the first place? Think about it without context. What is the climber trying to prove? Where is he/she? Who is he/she? Why is it important to know the context? More context here.

Throughout history, photos have been doctored as a form of politics and propaganda.

Why is it historically so important to mislead the masses in these instances? More context here.

Which high-profile true crimes involve photo manipulation, or photos and video simply not being provided to law enforcement, or both? Which high-profile criminals are known to “play to the cameras”, or to be more accurate, paid for PR to “restore” their image?

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A classic example of all of these is O.J. Simpson. Remember the ugly ass shoes that were supposedly worn at the crime scene by Nicole Brown’s killer, but not by O.J.? It’s through photos that they were linked to O.J. Remember how O.J.’s defense made his home appear blacker, for example by putting a painting of Rosa Park prominently in O.J.’s home for the benefit of the mostly black jury, when they visited his Rockingham home.

Meanwhile the media – TIME in particular – were rapped on the knuckles for deliberately trying to make OJ appear blacker than he really was. And then there was O.J. himself explaining away things like bloodied gloves and photos of bruises Nicole Brown had recorded of herself.

Listen to the clip below.

Probably the most elaborate cases of staging and misdirection are the Ramsey and McCann cases, and both also include the selective release and censoring of certain family photos.

There’s also a relationship, just as we see in the O.J. Simpson case, between the staging and pageantry we see in court, and the staging of the home/crime scene. In this the media, lawyers, PR folks and invariably the suspects themselves are active players and co-conspirators.

When all work together, the shadowy veil tends to distort reality. But when one area of the pageantry doesn’t fit, the whole veil can turn to dust.

The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey

More: Defense attacks prosecution’s case; says Simpson was framed

Barbara Walters discusses staging O.J.’s home for the jury

O.J. Simpson’s Motive revealed

How the O.J. Simpson Case Explains Reality in 2016

New “Last Photo” of JonBenet Ramsey has just been released – and there’s a problem…

Why it’s Obvious the McCanns’ “Last Photo” is Fake