A Case of Mistaken Identity? Yeah, Right.

This image was included in a story at Fullerton Stories here and purports to be a 2009 police booking photo of recent Fullerton homicide victim Kelly Thomas that was, presumably, provided by the ever helpful FPD spokehole Andrew Goodrich. Well, this is certainly a scary looking dude: pretty buff and mangy, and sufficiently angry-looking to scare the good folks of Fullerton right back into complacency about the homicide of a mentally-ill homeless man.

The only trouble is that it isn’t Kelly Thomas at all. His parents say this isn’t their son. But we don’t need their expert opinion. Apart from a large nose that is completely different from every other picture of Thomas, Kelly’s hair was flaming red, a simple fact illustrated in every other picture of him in the Fullerton Stories piece.

My powers of observation are really stunning. And if you don't agree I'll have you stunned.

So what gives? Is this just a cheapjack trick by Goodrich & Co. to degrade the victim by presenting Kelly Thomas as a surly, muscular threat to Fullerton’s delicate residents? If so, the Fullerton Police Department has actually hit a new low, and given recent events that’s pretty goddam hard for them to do. But it’s just when you think you’ve hit the FPD basement you find out there are even lower levels.

I will await a comical explanation from the Good Sergeant Goodrich, but of course I won’t be holding my breath.

69 Replies to “A Case of Mistaken Identity? Yeah, Right.”

  1. Fullerton City Council better explain themselves about the problem of the FPD putting out some garbage to the media.

    They surely have sunk to new low.

  2. That guy gives Goodwrench nightmares I guess, so he thought it would scare you Fullerton pansies.

  3. Do you know for sure this photo was a “booking” photo? Lacks the typical booking number id that I would expect to see.

    I am really having a hard time believing the FPD would offer some stock photo of a hairy transient and try to pass it off as a person it is not. That said, if this really went down that way the FPD personnel responsible for such negligence did indeed redefine incompetence.

    Just what the hell is going on @ FPD that they can’t get the most basic information correct in their communications function? Officers are said to have broken bones that don’t. The victim beaten to death is portrayed to be someone else. I am tired of amateur hour over there. Can we contract out the police department?

    1. No, they don’t look like us and sometimes they don’t act like us either. A homeless guy chased me up my driveway and tried to get into my locked door on one occasion. Another guy jumped out of the bushes at Acacia Park at me too.

  4. Nobody likes this photo because they are used to seeeing the pictures that the parents put out from his high school days, 20 years ago. If they were so close to their son then why didn’t they put out a current one?

  5. Um, how about the picture of the guy with the smashed in head in the hospital taken by his dad. Kelly had flaming red hair you flaming red asshole.

  6. P.S. It looks like that inflamed vulva Goodwrench is also using his high school Explorer picture.

  7. Hi, I’m following this story from New York after seeing it mentioned on the Huffington Post. Kudos to this blog for tracking this story. If this is truly a fake picture, they better explain this. Some justice best come of this. This can not stand.

        1. No Travis, THANK YOU for having the stones to cover this and STAY on top of it. I guarantee this story would not have picked up the international coverage it is now getting if you had not pushed as hard as you have. Good work. I am just SO sorry this happened, nobody should have to bury their kid. We certainly never expect to lose a child at the hands of law enforcement.

          1. Tony and Travis:

            You must try to verify that the mistaken photo was supplied by FPD. If it turns out that the FPD provided the photo to Fullerton Stories then an immediate official apology must be demanded from the FPD as well as an explanation as to why any old photo of Kelly would be released.

            I must insist again that someone from the City Council other than Bruce Whitaker speak out for transparency and swift justice in this case.

            The damage to the FPD is growing every single day. I do not believe that the Council as a whole nor the spokesmen for the FPD realize the seriousness of this situation. If they did there would not be this deafening silence concerning this case.

            It seems especially upsetting to learn that both Councilman Bankhead, retired Captain of the FPD and Councilman McKinley retired Fullerton Police Chief had nothing to say at the last Council meeting and remain mum on the issue. If they are incapable of leading on this issue then I submit their police experience is of no benefit to the citizens of this city.

            Finally, as far as I know the police officers’ names involved have not been released nor whether some or all of them have been put on administrative leave.

            Where is the leadership?

  8. the FPD lacks credibility by posting a photo of a man who is not Kelly Thomas and then claiming it is Thomas. Since FFFF graced Fullerton, this website has exposed the corruption and shady deals our council members have indulged in ranging from city redevelopment funds to the infamous Pam “:Goofy” Keller collaborative. Yet, no one directly died from our city’s government actions(maybe indirectly from the poor taste in downtown’s “redeveloped” architecture”). Now, we, residents and taxpayers of Fullerton, find another beast in our midst and it is a lethal liar. It calls itself the FPD. the city of Fullerton’s public servants and its city council , for too long, have been a rogue entity and we good people need national media attention to fight this evil that pervades our city.

  9. The FPD media relations crew has always played local media for fools.

    The sad thing is that the “journalists” never learn.

  10. It could be mistaken identity. After all, these were the same buffons who couldn’t solve the sign theft ring case even though FFFF gave them all the evidence.

  11. Travis –

    Ron Thomas called us to say the photo was not of Kelly, so our reporter Amy Dempsey went back to the police station to triple check. She was provided that photo as well as 18 other booking photos of Kelly that were provided by the OC Sheriff’s office. According to Amy, “there’s no way it’s not Kelly. You can really see the decline over the course of time.”

    After that visit we talked again with Ron Thomas and he accepted that conclusion.

    We were not allowed to copy the other photos because they are not the property of the Fullerton PD. Had we been able to we would publish those as well.

    1. Davis, “We were not allowed to copy the other photos because they are not the property of the Fullerton PD.”

      If the other photos were “not the property of the PD, that means the FPD stoled those pictures. How typical.

      It’s time for the good cops in the PD to stand up and take control of the PD.

  12. I go on vacation for a few weeks and the police department has imploded.

    I am intrigued by Geere’s comment. How realistic is it for Fullerton to contract its PD and could it save money? Remember reading recently about Fullerton being the lead on merging some fire departments?

    Merging with Anaheim could potentially provide some cost savings and they have a jail. There is also the county sheriff.

  13. Sorry Travis, my mistake – the above comment should have been addressed to Mr. Peabody.



  14. I could accept that Kelly’s nose was broken and permanently altered. Bur really, the guy had bright red hair and beard. You can see it in the hospital photo. The mug shot guy’s hair might be dirty but it isn’t red.

  15. Whether that picture is of Thomas or not the question is why is FPD releasing it at all? Of what benefit is showing a two-year old booking photo – other than than to portray the victims as a threatening, disreputable, bum.

    Shame on FPD either way. They’re only silent when it doesn’t help their twisted cause.

  16. We can not release the video of what ACTUALLY happened because there is an ongoing investigation. Oh, you need a booking photo of the victim (or someone who has some similar characteristics we can pass off as him) no problem.

    Does anyone else see the absolute vacuum of logic here? The citizens will not get their hands on truthful information under the guise of protecting the process, meanwhile the police department releases misleading and false propaganda during the same pending investigation.

    Saying nothing at all is better than lying. We don’t expect much from Goodrich and Co. But is that really too much to ask?

    1. According to Vicky Vargas with NBC4, Chief Sellers said that all the cops but one who were involved in the deadly beating are back on the streets.

  17. DA Asks Witnesses to Come Forward in Kelly Thomas Case

    July 27, 2011The Orange County District Attorneys office has just released a Request for Public Assistance in finding witnesses to the arrest of Kelly Thomas at the Fullerton Transportation Center July 5, 2011.

    Anyone with information or who believes they may be a witness are asked to call District Attorney Investigator Stan Berry at 714-347-8813.

  18. Either Way and Hollis are right. Why is FPD spending so much time propagating a prejudicial image that has ZERO to do with the death. And shame on Mr. Barber for allowing them to use him so blatantly.

  19. This story like 99% of all posted on this site is bullshit. I will take that $1000.00 Tony.

    1. I wonder who the public will believe. The FPD? How are those broken bones healing?


  20. Is this whole thing a practical joke? I can’t believe people who are responsible for the safety of a city do this kind of dumb games?

    Are you kidding?? That picture is not Kelly. Ask people who take the bus every day from the Fullerton bus stop. He hangs out there most of the time. May be he has done some petty things. I don’t know.

    But do not deserve this kind of ongoing insult. For god’s sake he was a human being.

  21. His father did not recognize the photo because he has not seen him in several years. The father finally admitted that the photgraph is his son as stated in comment # 31. I still haven’t heard when and where Ron worked for the Sheriffs Dept. Can you please verify. Thanks

  22. Tony where can I collect that $1000.00?

    You guys mad at Davis Barber? Sounds like a man without an axe to grind.

  23. I, and FullertonStories.com wish to correct a statement written by me in a previous post on Friends For Fullerton’s Future. In it I described the circumstances in which FullertonStories.com confirmed Kelly Thomas as the person depicted in the 2009 police booking photo published last Sunday.

    I incorrectly stated that Mr. Ron Thomas accepted our conclusion that the photo is indeed Kelly. He has not. I apologize to Mr. Thomas for my misunderstanding of his reaction to our conversation with him about it.

    As to the veracity of the photo, I’ll again say that FullertonStories.com inspected a series of booking photos of Kelly Thomas taken at the Orange County jail. In many, Kelly’s hair was dark and he looked much different than the photos we have been accustomed to seeing of him.

    This is not unusual. Police photos are generally not well taken, the lighting is generally bad, and in almost all cases, they depict a suspect at their very worst. Expecting someone to look “right” is an unreasonable expectation.

    But consider this: the wall behind subjects at the Fullerton Police Station is gray. The background behind Kelly is green, or blue, depending on which source file you look at. If you open the file within Photoshop and make the background gray, you will see a sudden change in Kelly’s hair color to red.

    FullertonStories.com published the photo having slightly adjusted the contrast to improve its readability, and nothing more. Perhaps we should have made the background gray. But we go out of our way not to change the content of many images, stories or comments sent to us or taken by us.

    Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich also confirmed that fingerprints taken at the same time of the booking photo, November 19, 2009, matched fingerprints from another arrest of Kelly on February 28, 2011, by the Tustin Police Department.

    During our inspection of the photos, Sgt. Goodrich offered to show Ron Thomas the same photos. Mr. Thomas told us this morning, Thursday, that he has not taken up Goodrich on the offer, and that he has no intention to. He also said he will no longer talk to FullertonStories.com.

    Finally, FullertonStories.com published that photo to show the decline in Kelly Thomas’ well being over the years. The story itself painted Kelly as a human, and not a victim, something other media outlets have yet to do.

    We could have shown the photos of Kelly in the hospital bed, bloody, bandaged and looking awful; the same photo that has been published in the FFFF blog and elsewhere. We chose not to because it did not advance the story as a profile of Kelly. We felt he deserved to be shown as a human, and not just a victim.

    Agree with us or not, FullertonStories.com stands by the authenticity of the photo. We have done all we can to prove its accuracy; others have not. There is no need to make bets, threats or personal challenges about the photo, FullertonStories.com, or anyone else, when an effort is not made by the complainants themselves.

    1. “We have done all we can to prove its accuracy; others have not. ”

      If you can provide some higher resolution (as high as possible) versions of the pics you posted on your site, particularly ‘mug shot’ and the photo with Kelly on the right, next to his dad, it would be possible to do some careful Photoshop overlaying and compare some visible facial landmarks.

    2. Davis, “FullertonStories.com published the photo having slightly adjusted the contrast to improve its readability, and nothing more.” Really? Why would anyone do anything unless unless they were trying to portray Kelly as a “fighter”, “burglar”, “thief”.

      fullertonstories is trying to poison the well. I’m sure Goodrich will continue feeding fullertonstories with more “misinformation”.

      Mr. Thomas did the right thing saying he will “no longer talk to fullertonstories.com”. Word has it that others are saying the same.

  24. FStories is probably right. I hate to argue with the father of the deceased, but it looks to me like that could be a photo of Kelly Thomas. Look at the dark eyes. The nose may look bigger from that angle (and could have been broken on the streets?), but the general shape is the same as in the other images. The hair color is easily explained by Barber above. Fact is, people look different after living on the street.

  25. What? So it is excusable for six trained law enforcement people to beat to death a man who is physically fit and looks angry? or worried, or afraid, or tired.

    1. No, I didn’t mean to suggest that the way some one looks should determine how they should be treated. I just meant to disagree with the premise of the story, which is that the picture is not Kelly Thomas. I think it could be him in the picture.

  26. I have lived, gone to college and own a business in Fullerton for nearly 20 years. I live in Downtown Fullerton and I have seen Kelly on the streets many times. Yeah he was a little scruffy but always polite and never asked for anything – unlike many other homeless people here. I can say this – this picture above from the FPD is not of Kelly! This is not Him. Period. Anyone who had ever walked passed Kelly or knew him will agree. I am still livid!

  27. Keep the pressure on! Web sites like Fullerton’s Future is the only hope for justice. Maybe Jon and Ken can help organize another protest this Saturday

  28. Goodrich you fat fuck! Either you are fucking incompetent at your job (mistaking actual identity of the suspect’s photo), or you’re just a pathetic human waste for misleading the public, either way you are as useful as a condom with holes. Go fuck yourself and karma is a bitch.

  29. Why does that fat ass Goodrich have 2 pens in his pocket in his PR photo. Part of the uniform? What an idiot. Who hired this guy to represent the PD? He looks like 10 pounds of shit stuffed into a 5 pound bag.

  30. This is a rabbit trail that takes away from the main story and hurt the credability of those making this accusation. Bait from FPD?

  31. Having seen Kelly for years around downtown, I can tell you that looks just like him. Sometimes his hair was red, sometimes it was not. It depended on if he had washed it or not.

  32. Went to the vigil Saturday. It was nice. On the subject of the photos, I thought more about this and reconsidered the picture. This could very well be Kelly. I do recall the last time I saw him… About 7 weeks ago he looked a little more gruff and his hair was much lighter. I thought he looked like he was vacationing somewhere like down at the beach. Maybe his nose was broken which would alter his profile. This is still a sad ending do a human life. Perhaps in Kelly’s death we will see see something good. Mental health, police brutality, justice, charity, lots of issues to consider. There will be another vigil next Saturday at the Police Station/City Hall. http://briancarrillo.com

    1. Brian, I’ve others say that, too. I’ve got a lead on a recent picture. If I get it I’ll do a side by side.

      Still, as others have pointed out the real issue here seems to be why the FPD is releasing old booking photos that have ZERO relevance the homicide – just a cheap way to prejudice the public against the real victim. And that really is low.

  33. Is there a vigil this Saturday? I really wish there was a section that could instruct the readers how to get more involved, if I would have heard about this I would have definitely been at the protest and been a part anyway I could.

  34. I was at last Saturday’s vigil. Ron Thomas was there and spoke to the crowd indicating that he would be at City Hall every Saturday. Most of those in attendence applauded this call to action and commitment. Bring your candles and wind cup. I am guessing this movement will gain huge steam.

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