An FBI computer cleanup project launched in January led to the capture of a “poet killer” in Chicago, says the Chicago Sun-Times. The FBI knows that criminals’ fingerprints are often entered into its national database under aliases. This year, it started comparing the millions of prints in the database to isolate those listed under fake names. The fingerprints for Norman Porter Jr. — a murderer who escaped from a Massachusetts prison 20 years ago — matched the fingerprints of “Jacob Jameson,” arrested in 1993 in Chicago for failing to pay a roofer. Porter was known in Chicago under his alias of Jameson, a respected anti-war poet who recently was named ChicagoPoetry.com’s poet of the month. Ivestigators tracked Porter and he was arrested Tuesday as he walked into his church.
In 1993, the FBI’s fingerprint identification system would have been unable to link Porter’s fingerprints from his 1961 Massachusetts murder case to his arrest in Chicago. “We are consolidating our records to make sure one fingerprint is associated with one subject,” said an FBI spokesman. “There could be 10 fingerprint cards with different aliases for the same person. We know that happens. We’re cleaning out the database to make sure we have one person per image.”