It seems those miracles of forensics and technology we see on police TV shows don't necessarily happen in real life. Seattle Police are apparently unable


Tim Brenton Murder: A Suspect Vehicle, No License

It seems those miracles of forensics and technology we see on police TV shows don't necessarily happen in real life. Seattle Police are apparently unable to obtain the license number of the suspect car in the ambush of Officer Tim Brenton even though they saw it and have pictures of it.

The department has asked the public for help in identifying the 1980 to 1983 Datsun 210. "It is important that if anyone has recently sold a vehicle of this type or had one stolen that they call Seattle Police at 206 233-5000," says Assistant Chief Jim Pugel. That request wouldn't have been necessary if technicians had the computer imaging capability to obtain a blown-up license number from grainy police-car photos.

Camera shots released by SPD indicate that possibly three patrol cars passed the suspect vehicle that night - apparently minutes prior to the 10:06 p.m. shooting.

Pugel yesterday also issued a profile of the suspect - now the subject of $105,000 in reward money - and his likely actions afterward. Oddly, Pugel says, "We do believe that although he shot a police officer, he may in fact admire them and even act like them." It appears they have no likely suspects and are hoping the crime is solved the way most are: someone drops a dime. Or, today, a quarter.

Here's Pugel's thoughts:

After the homicide, he may have displayed uncharacteristic behavior, such as being silent and quiet about the shooting when others would have expected him to be outspoken about it. He may also display an uncharacteristic interest or even fascination in the news of the shooting. Regardless, the stress of this homicide may cause him to behave differently from his norm.

On Halloween night, October 31st, he was notably absent for a period of time, in the hours before midnight. If there are others who are a part of his life and aware of his routine, and this includes relatives, co-workers, friends or others, he will have had to provide a plausible explanation for this absence to them.

He likely has experienced a significant personal crisis in the recent past. This event may have been the death of a loved one, loss of job or status, divorce, financial hardship, or other failure. Whatever it is that is bothering him, he may often be outspoken about what he perceives to be a deeply personal grievance. We'd like to know what this grievance is. His grievance may relate to his employment or position in life.

He knows that there are very good officers, and Officer Tim Brenton was a very good officer who swore a solemn oath to protect our citizenry. We'd like to know why this person chose the Seattle Police Department as the target of his grievance.

While it may appear we are focusing on a sole male offender, we have not ruled out the possibility of this crime being committed by a small group. What I have been describing is the likely personality and behavior of the dominant individual behind this plan that has turned into a serious crime. In fact, there may be others involved in the planning or actual attack who may not have expected this incident to have become the murder of a good and innocent police officer. If there is such an individual he or she may be in fear for their own safety. We are willing to listen and help, if such an individual wishes to contact us about the killer.

Clearly, we are also willing to listen to the offender to better understand his grievance.

We ask the public to carefully consider the information provided above and consider whether or not they may know this offender or have noted behaviors or activities suggestive of involvement in this incident. Please contact the Police Department if you feel you may have information related to this crime, no matter how insignificant it may appear to you.

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