imageShortly after the Shroud Exposition opened in Turin, the story broke that Italian police had created a “forensic” picture of what Jesus looked like as a boy. They used the image on the shroud. The story overshadowed other exposition coverage.  The story made it into big daily papers around the world and into morning and nightly national television news. The picture is from ABC News a few days ago.

I repeated the story after reading about it in The Times (of London) with Computer Generated Young Jesus From Image on Shroud

Here is how Ariel Cohen wrote it up in the Jerusalem Post. It was syndicated out and many big name, high credibility papers like the San Francisco Chronicle repeated it:

Police detectives in Italy claim that they have revealed how Jesus looked as a child based on forensics from his supposed burial cloth.

The Turin Shroud, one of the most famous Christian relics to date, provided the scientists with an approximate image of Jesus’ face on the material. From there, scientists created an image, and reversed the aging process using cutting edge technology to reveal what Christ may have looked like as a young boy.

The scientists used the same technique often employed to capture Italian mafioso who have been on the run for decades. By reducing the size of the jaw, raising the chin and straightening the nose, the replica of Jesus as a boy became clear.


The digital image was created to go along with the displaying of the Turin Shroud’s two month public display which began this week at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin. Pope Francis is even expected to stop and pray before the cloth on June 21st.

(emphasis mine)

imageDid anyone notice?  Does anyone remember ten years back?  This forensic stuff was a Christmas Day story by Jason Horowitz in the New York Times in 2004. The second picture shown here to the right accompanied that story. (Of course, no one at the Grey Lady realized that this story had nothing to do with Christmas):

ROME, Dec. 25 – Using the same technology that adds wrinkles to the drawings of Mafia bosses to identify them after decades on the lam, the Italian police have shaved years, and a beard, off an image taken from the Shroud of Turin to create what newspapers here this week hailed as the very visage of a young Jesus.

"Here it is, the real face of the baby Jesus," declared the front page of the newspaper Il Giornale. Italy’s largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera, ran a more cautious headline, "Here Is Jesus at Age 12 (According to a Computer)."