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Gruesome Crime Photos Sent to Cops

May 14, 1998

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Detectives are trying to solve a death with nothing but mysterious pictures to go on after photographs of a grossly disfigured corpse were mailed to police last week.

The two Polaroid photographs show an elderly white man whose head appears to have been either blown off or crushed. One shot shows another person’s feet next to the body, which is outdoors next to a vehicle of some sort.

It appears the man was shot at close range with a shotgun, but police cautioned that they can’t be sure.

Included in the envelope was an anonymous, handwritten note saying where in the city the pictures were found. ``I hope this helps you with some case,″ the writer said.

But detectives don’t know who the dead man was, where or when he died, least of all who killed him. And they don’t have his body.

``They don’t look like police crime-scene pictures,″ Lt. Carlos Noriega said. ``We really have no way of knowing how he was killed.″

Police have learned from the serial numbers stamped on the back of the pictures that the film was made by Polaroid either in 1982 or 1993, with a one-year shelf life _ meaning the man could have died as recently as four years ago or as long as 16 years ago.

Investigators have sent messages to other police departments and the medical examiner’s office to determine if they have handled such a case.

``We’re putting fishing lines out there to see if we get a hit,″ Noriega said.

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