October 28, 2021

This Is What a 19th Century British Assassin Looked Like

first_img This image of John Bellingham, the only person to have successfully assassinated a British Prime Minister, doesn’t look that impressive.But behind that blank stare and stodgy smile is powerful technology.The portrait, revealed this week by Queen Mary University of London, was created through forensic reconstruction based on a skull.AdChoices广告Known for executing Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812, Bellingham was publicly hanged, and his skull preserved at Queen Mary’s Pathology Museum.Nearly 200 years later, forensic imaging expert Hew Morrison used the bones to digitally reconstruct Bellingham’s face around the time of his death.“This is a novel way to engage the public with a previously one-dimensional ‘specimen,’” Carla Valentine, a technician at Queen Mary’s Pathology Museum, said in a statement. “In this project, we specifically opted to reconstruct a well-known figure in order to reinstate his personality.”John Bellingham’s skull (via Queen Mary University of London)Born in England in 1769, Bellingham’s work as an agent for importers and exporters twice took him oversees to Russia. In the early 1800s, he was accused of a debt and jailed in the foreign country; upon release, he attempted to impeach the Governor-General, and was again imprisoned.When Bellingham finally returned to England in 1809, he unsuccessfully petitioned for compensation over his incarceration. Four years later he renewed his fight. And when a civil servant in the Foreign Office told him he was at liberty to take whatever measures he thought proper, Bellingham purchased two .50 calibre pistols and shot Perceval in the heart.During his trial, Bellingham admitted he would have preferred to shoot the British Ambassador to Russia, but insisted that, as a wronged man, he was justified in killing the representative of his oppressors.As the punishment for murder at the time was to be “hanged and anatomized,” the killer’s skull was consigned to the museum, where it remains the most famous item in the collection.John Bellingham (via Queen Mary University of London)“A skull which has been denuded of its facial features—and therefore its identity—has less of an impact on a museum visitor than being able to see the person’s face,” Valentine said. “The impersonal presentation of a skull can also be seen as creating a ‘spectacle’ out of the person, which is an issue when we work hard to display human remains to the public in an appropriate manner.”So, with Bellingham’s living relative’s permission, Morrison got to work rebuilding the 19th century assassin’s mug.Using a large database of high-resolution photographs of human faces, computer software helped combine and blend everything together to create the completed simulation.“John Bellingham would have had a long, narrow, slightly downturned nose,” Morrison, who created the face of Bronze Age woman ‘Ava,’ explained. “I gave him a neutral expression as I treated this like any other facial reconstruction.”And while hair color, eye color, and skin tone can’t be determined from skeletal remains, Morrison used his expertise to add a suitable hairstyle, as well as period clothes.“Despite committing the crime that he was found guilty of and subsequently executed for,” he said, “I did not feel the need to make him look bad or mean in any way.”More coverage on Geek.com:DNA Facial Prediction May Threaten Personal PrivacyWould You Pay $10K For This AI-Generated Portrait?Infrared Imaging Reveals Hidden Secrets Beneath Picasso Painting NASA Engineers Are Working on Exploring Robots for Future MissionsLondon Police’s Facial Recognition System Has 81 Percent Error Rate Stay on targetlast_img read more

Posted in jqmsncdfeqhbTagged ,,,,,,,,,,,Leave a Comment on This Is What a 19th Century British Assassin Looked Like