Life and Death > Private Eyes

could a PI really tell?

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B L McAllister:
(This is just for curiosity, now, because I don't think I'll really write the story that was going to use it. It didn't seem to work, for too many reasons.)
A suspect contends that at the time of the crime he was on the beach in, say, the Bahamas and has a winter's tan to "prove it." Can the sharp eye of a suitably well-informed or well-trained PI tell a beach tan from a tanning bed tan? How about a chemical tan? Could a doctor tell? (Without getting the suspect stark naked.)

I forget who had a daughter on this site who works in the ME's office,  but she could answer this better than I could about differences in natural and tanning bed tans.

That said, I doubt very much that if his only claim to an alibi is that he has a tan in winter is going to be enough.   There're way too many variances for that to be an acceptable alibi.

To start with, a tan doesn't take all that long?  Did he get the tan and then come back? 

I'd also be asking for a lot more proof for his alibi than that. I'd want to see plane tickets,  hotel bills,  and several people who saw him at that location on the days he stated he was there.  Without that backup evidence,  there is no way I'd accept a "suntan in winter" as an alibi.

So,  as a law enforcement officer, I would need a lot more than a tan for proof of alibi.   That wouldn't work for me in your story.


B L McAllister:
I gave up on the story for a number of reasons, and I'll add your reasons to the list. But, as I began by saying, now I'm just curious about whether there's any way to tell.

Old Bill:
Actually, it could be used as a way to "arouse" suspicion that someone is/is not telling the truth.  Just sayin'.  Hope you guys had a safe and happy 4th!!

B L McAllister:
Good idea. Thanks, though for the moment at least I can't use it since that story doesn't work. Maybe in something else. Meantime, I'm still just wondering whether the difference can be observed (by a trained observer, anyhow). :-\


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