As people are trying to catch glimpses of the DC area sniper, police are concerned about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Author Elizabeth Loftus says that memory is not “preserved in stone, but a living thing that changes shape, expands, shrinks and expands again.”

By providing the public with details from eyewitness accounts, like the white van, police hope to trigger the memories of people who were near the shooting sites. But Loftus says such information can “contaminate” good eyewitness accounts.
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