Wild, brutal, and accidentally artistic - this book is an interesting one for your photo book collection.
The crime-scene photographs featured in this grisly collection were discovered during a renovation of the former NYPD headquarters. As filmmaker and author Kaute explains, the images were intended as purely objective documentation of crimes and offer little to no personal identification of the victims. The photographs show the slain lying supine on sidewalks or in the stairwells and bedrooms of cramped tenement buildings, their faces and wounds unobscured. The causes of death are at times specified and stem from such causes as domestic disputes, gang-related entanglements, and personal grievances. Despite the explicit violence of the photographs, they also contain a haunting intimacy: the dead are often surrounded by the trappings of their home lives, such as pictures on the walls and cherished personal trinkets. Essays by Kaute and German writer Joe Bausch contextualize the early use of crime-scene photography, while excerpted newspaper accounts elaborate on and sometimes sensationalize the various crimes. The book serves as an emotionally arresting window into the city’s tumultuous past that may be disturbing to many readers. B&w photos.