Headless bodies copulate on screen at R. Kelly trial

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guillotine

Today's testimony started slow in the R. Kelly trial, but things spiced up this afternoon when the jury was shown a video of a headless couple having sex.

Defense expert Charles Palm made the clip from a section of the sex tape at the center of the case, using special effects to illustrate how easy it is to digitally manipulate video. The defense hopes Palm can successfully refute the evidence of prosecution expert Grant Fredericks, who said that the tape could not have been digitally altered. Parts of the media have dubbed this the "Little Man Defense" or the "Wayans Defense."

The clip showed the couple on the tape having sex in what the state says is the hot tub room at Kelly's former home. Their bodies slowly become transparent, then slowly reappear. Then their heads slowly disappear until their two headless bodies are romping. At one point, the man on the tape - his head intact - appears to be having sex with a headless woman.

The heads come and go "like ghosts" on the manipulated tape Palm said.

Palm also showed a clip of the tape which the state says showed a mole. Though a spot that corresponds with a mole on Kelly's back was clearly visible in 17 frames of video Fredericks played for the jury last week, no such mole was visible in the frames Palm showed.

The spots which appeared on the man in the tape's back were "video noise," not moles, Grant said.

He added, "There were marks in the image that came and went and basically they were artifacts that were propagated through the image."

Moving on to the tape of the headless couple that he'd prepared, Palm said that there are many commercially available computer software packages that allow people to manipulate video. It is easy to overlay moving images over a stationary background, he said.

"You've got the ability to make people come and go at your will," he said.

It took him only two hours to manipulate a section of the video to show a headless couple having sex, he said. The computer "tools do a lot of the work for you," he said. Fredericks claimed it would take 44 years to digitally manipulate every frame of the 27 minute tape.

Palm said he wasn't a special effects professional, suggesting that an "artist" could do a better job of manipulating the video.

He's now being cross-examined by the state.

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16 Comments

they couldnt have manipulated the images of his home though...how would they get that exact scene...and who would pay the cost for an "artist"...so rediculous

This is filth-mongering.

I have been a R. Kelly fan since Public Announcement. I have 3 children of my own and 2 of them are girls. I do not like child molestors and I feel that they should be punished way more than the law allows. But I also know that all young girls (including me)have lied about our ages, and the way that these girls are developed and shaped now hell I am confused. If my daughter came and told me 5 years later that happened to her, I would have to ask why didn't you tell me then, and if a tape had to be mailed to the suntimes for something to be done, well I think that is kind of dramatic. Most women that have been rapped or molested are angry about something deep inside if it is not on the surface and it will eventually come out, and if she knew she had the whole world on her side she wouldn't keep saying for 5 years it wasn't me.

This is not the first time...other cases were settled out of court

To the poster with 3 kids who made a comment above: the state should take your 3 kids from you. Point is an adult male, which is Mr. Kelly in this case, had sex with a child. Period, point blank. He knew how old she was because he had his assistant pick her up from middle school on occasion. How dare you make this about the child. This is all about him. I tell you what, why dont you leave your 3 children alone with Mr. Kelly since you know for a fact they would tell you if he raped them. Then, we will see if you still feel it is about the girl. Stupid and call yourself a mother

Headless bodies can be done by a 5th grader on a desktop. Putting heads and faces, complete with FLUID FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, EYE MOVEMENTS, BLINKS, SMILES, TONGUES, EYEBROWS, SHADING BASED ON CONTOURS OF THE FACE AND LIGHT INTERACTION, AND NOSTRIL FLARING, for each frame would take EONS of work by a team of professionals. And would likely cost a few million dollars for the equipment alone.

Unless R. Kelly has top secret information about the European Union being in cahoots with Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez to destroy the United States buy attracting a golden asteroid with a tractor beam, I doubt anyone would go through all that trouble and cost to set him up.

headless, nice.
yeah, why would anyone want to fake such a tape? especially when he could allegedly indulge in the real thing? maybe the scam artist is your palladino.

If it is so easy to impose new heads onto the bodies, then why didn't the defense's so called experts add new headsd to the bodies? The reason why he only removed heads is because you would be able to tell the tape was altered with the new heads on there.

Besides, it probably took the past six years to alter the tape since the technology probably wasn't around back when this occurred.

How do a girl have to be to have a baby and be able to keep it?

R. Kelly has been getting away with fooling around with young girls for years. Long before these charges came along, I heard reports from my younger cousins about the guy and some of their friend's "activities".

This is the craziest defense that I've ever heard, and it's all coming from a man who admits he has had no professional training in the field what-so-ever. It might not be difficult to "remove" heads from videos, or to cut out moving objects and then superimpose them into other scenes, but it is virtually impossible, even with millions of hours of manual editing, to do what the defense claims was done to fake this video. In order for the video to be faked, somebody would have had to of obtained 27 minutes of unseen footage of R. Kelly and the girl's head at every possible angle and lighting scenario, with countless facial and verbal expressions, and then stitch each frame onto the body of unknown actors so that it was completely undetectable. They'd also need to forge a soundtrack, and the scenery of the film which at points was identified as specific rooms of the place R. Kelly lived in. Unbelievable.

Somehow, some men in our society have come to beleie that it is OK to have intercourse with underage girls. I can not beleive that it has to be drilled into their heads that this is not acceptable. That is truly ashame. As for the mothers, we need to know where are children are at all times.

If this defense works and Arruh is set free, then we need to shut down the Chicago public school system and provide vouchers for everyone to choose a private school. Anyone with the least amount of savvy could see that this is the most dumb-arse defense since "can you define 'is'".

It is not that easy to munipulate a tape like that especially with everything that was going on and the voice on that tape was 100% r kelly so that dog wont hunt. Who would spend millions of dollars to frame r kelly its all lies did they make all those other tapes r kelly has created over the years???????? and furthermore in reading the fine print of the testimony I noticed that this video guy said and I quote "There is no indication that the tape was altered but its possible" If the tape was altered as the defense claims wouldn't he just say it was.

I had to comment on this. I am a multi-media designer, and yes, you can remove a head from a clip, but placing the head where it looks real is very difficult. YOu literally need to be against green screen and the bkg placed in that area... LOTS OF MONEY & TIME. There is no faking the R. Kelly Video. And to the lady who said that she would ask her daughter "why didnt you tell me"... you should be jailed yourself. Grown men know better to have sex with a child, enough said.

Here we have a super expert witness, former police officer who is part of associations, teaches courses, and is well known through-out the video analysis community...Grant Fredericks.

On the other hand, we have a strong academic who is no formal recognition for video analysis, Charles Palm.

When you reach the top of your field such as Grant, there's only one way left to go...down. His judgement on this one was heavily discredited by someone who just used common sense, someone who saw things the way they are. Surely Grant was being paid to lean towards prosecution with his extreme remarks...especially the one about 44 years to re-create the same effect. And at what cost was it to Grant to undertake such an aggressive conclusion ? The cost of being discredited of confusing a distorted pixel/ artifact with reality ? Anyone in professional imaging works is aware of artifact and subtractive comparison, or even averaging for comminalities. And this is what Charles displayed successfully. There weren't any bold comments by Charles unlike that of Grant's to thwart the jury from common sense.

A lesson be told to those of you whom are expert witnesses. Balance the loyalty for your side with what can be used against you later on in your career. A winning fight doesn't necessarily win battles.

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R. Kelly on trial


The story of the allegations against R. Kelly started here in the Sun-Times. Almost six years later, it's now finally reached a trial.

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This page contains a single entry by Kim Janssen published on June 5, 2008 3:31 PM.

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