Thursday, November 8, 2007
The Blind Sherlock Holmes
Coincidentally, the second story today also concerns a blind individual, this time a Belgian police officer named Sacha van Loo. Blind since birth, Mr. van Loo has developed stunning abilities that compensate for his lack of sight. It’s these abilities that have earned him the nickname The Blind Sherlock Holmes.
Mr. van Loo works in the anti-terrorism department of the Belgian Federal Police, where his skills are in high demand. When officers eavesdrop on criminals, they often ask Mr. van Loo to listen in. Using his acute sense of hearing, he can pinpoint a suspect’s location from the faint noises in the background or the way the person’s voice bounces off nearby walls. He can tell what kind of car a criminal is driving just by listening to its engine. The “library of accents” in Mr. van Loo’s head allows him to identify a suspect’s background. And if a person makes a call, Mr. van Loo can immediately identify the telephone number that was dialed simply by listening to the sounds made by the touch-tone keypad.
Mr. van Loo’s abilities have proven so useful for catching criminals and terrorists that the Belgian police have recently developed an entire unit of blind officers.
Read more about Sacha van Loo here.