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High schoolers take teacher to his very first rock show—the Stones in ‘78: Here are his photos
05.29.2015
07:07 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Rolling Stones
photography


 
Photographer Joseph Szabo is not one of the bigger names in photography, but his work is nonetheless influential. His book Teenage is a collection of photos of students from Malverne High School in Long Island where he taught photography from 1972 to 1999. A beautiful record of 70s and 80s adolescence, Teenage captures students in class, at home and “at play,” sometimes in fairly sexual situations. The anthology contains an introduction by writer/director Cameron Crowe, and I’d say you can see some of Szabo’s eye in Crowe’s film Almost Famous.

The work you see here is actually from Szabo’s lesser known series, Rolling Stones Fans, a document of his first-ever rock concert. If Teenage seems like the sort of thing that would get a teacher in hot water today, know that Szabo got these pictures after students offered him a ticket (and themselves as subjects) in exchange for a ride. Szabo considers his work a collaboration, with the kids posing and mugging for the camera, so the “staged spontaneity” is a lively theme to his work.

This was from The Stones’ ‘78 tour, promoting Some Girls
 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Girlfriend’: Austere portraiture of spectacular 90s drag queens
05.25.2015
12:59 pm

Topics:
Queer

Tags:
photography
drag queens
Michael James O'Brien


Lady Bunny
 
Photographer Michael James O’Brien‘s Girlfriend exhibition—now showing at Liverpool’s international photography festival—is an absolutely captivating array of vintage 90’s queer aethetics. While his subjects explode with life (and are ostensibly color people), the drag queens featured in his work have been captured in black and white, in front of nothing but a simple back-drop. This stark, austere composition has become his trademark, an artistic strategy to reveal the both the humanity of the queens alongside of their glamour. He’s been recording drag for 30 years, and his work stands out as a subtle look at a sensational art form.

O’Brien’s work was also featured in Girlfriend: Men, Women, and Drag a 1999 book by former New York Times Magazine style editor Holly Brubach. O’Brien actually took pictures of drag all over the world for the project, and though some are street photography and/or in color, the stark staging of the pictures obviously bear his sensibilities.
 

Butch Queens in Chanel
 

Ming Vauze
 

Billy Beyond and Sister Dimension
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Beautiful portraiture of the very first brain surgery patients
05.20.2015
05:52 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
photography
Dr. Harvey Cushing
surgery


 
Dubbed the “father of modern neurosurgery,” Dr. Harvey Cushing had a brilliant medical career. In 1901 he discovered what was later called the Cushing reflex—basically, what happens to your body when the brain is squeezed (That sounds way less science-y than it actually is, I swear). From there he continued to pioneer new ways of diagnosing brain tumors through X-rays, which produced new surgical techniques that drastically improved patients’ chances at survival from previously deadly conditions. Cushing also left a collection of about 500 preserved brains and nearly 10,000 patient photographs for posterity. In 2010—after sitting in a Yale dorm basement for more than 30 years—the brains were transferred to a museum, but it’s only recently that the pictures have been made available to the public.

The full series, titled “Cushing Tumor Registry,” covers Cushing’s patients from 1900 to 1933, and honestly if you had told me these were taken by Richard Avedon or Irving Penn, I wouldn’t have questioned it. The saturated, intense portraiture is stunning, whether focused on a pretty face or a brutal scar. Despite the medical nature of the photography, nothing in this cross-section elicits a shudder. Even the photo of the disembodied brain just looks like a still life.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘This is not Jacquie anymore’: Son documents mother’s heartbreaking descent into dementia

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These moving photographs document one woman’s gradual deterioration into early onset dementia. They were taken by Jake Heath from Sydney, Australia, who photographed his mother Jacquie during the course of her illness.

The first photograph (above) was “taken in 2005 or so. At this point, Jacquie had Pick’s Disease, but it had been misdiagnosed as menopause. She would be about 48 here.”

Pick’s Disease is a type of Frontotemporal Dementia that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain. It is a rare disease and its symptoms include dementia and loss of language. Sufferers usually die within two to ten years.

Jake and his sister Zoe were living in Australia when they first heard the news about their mother. Their parents were living in Toronto, Canada, when his father Tim told Jake and Zoe the heartbreaking news that their mother Jacquie was going to die—as Jake told the Daily Mirror:

“At the time I didn’t believe it. Zoe cried, but mum reassured her that it was ok and ‘all part of God’s plan’. Since then it’s been entirely surreal.

“The thing with Pick’s disease is that it has some very obvious stages. It’s always the stages that get to me the hardest, whether it’s paranoia, or forgetting names, forgetting how to eat, etc. Her condition is now the worst it’s ever been. Six weeks ago she stopped walking, whereas previously she would spend all day hobbling around the living room. She also stopped being able to eat solid foods and is now on pureed. It’s like she has aged backwards.

“Life for the family now is surprisingly not that bad. Dad is a 24/7 carer for her, but he also has a lot of help from the government.

“I go down to Batemans Bay (where my parents live) to visit every six weeks or so. I think Zoe finds it harder, being a new mother and not having her own to guide her. Dad is a very strong and resilient man. His day-to-day is looking after her, but he has mentioned a few times to me that as long as he keeps his attitude in check he’s OK. And that attitude is one of doing what’s best, being easy on yourself, and just getting on with it.”

Jake’s father Tim explained what it has been like looking after his wife:

“The journey I’m on at the moment, it’s the long goodbye. It’s been happening since 2007, so for seven years she’s been slowly losing function and capability. I haven’t had a conversation with her in years where she’s actually said anything that’s made sense.

“When you’ve been doing it for this long you’d sort of rather it would have been something quick, like a car accident or something. At least it’s quick and you can move on.”

According to the World Health Organization, 47.7 million people globally are affected by dementia—there are 7.7 million new cases every year with just over half (58%) living in low to middle income households.  Around 10% of people develop the disease at some point in their lives. The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between five to eight per 100 people.

The total number of people with dementia is projected to be 75.6 million in 2030. It is believed this figure will almost triple by 2050 to 135.5 million.

My father, who died last month, suffered Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is believed he had suffered from the disease for several years before diagnosis. During his last year—from February 2013 onwards—his deterioration became very rapid and his behavior and mood swings increasingly erratic, unpredictable and violent. During his last months, he was admitted to a care home as we were no longer able to give him the attention he required. Most of the time he slept at the care home, when awake he was often irate and confused. He eventually fell into a coma and died from pneumonia.

Jake posted his photographs on Imgur under the heading “This is what Early Onset Dementia looks like.” This is what dementia looks like—the slow, horrendous eating away of a loved one until just the husk is left.

Though heartbreaking, Jake believes there is one good thing to have come out of this terrible disease:

“The silver-lining of this illness is that it has brought us closer together as a family, and it has given us a chance to love Jacquie the way she loved us.”

 
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On the beach, around 2010. Lots of Jacquie around. She can’t remember too much though.

 
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2010 again. Riding on the back of dad’s motorbike was one of her favourite things to do. She got quite terrified when the helmets were on, but once moving had a blast. This had to stop in 2011, when an on-bike paranoia attack nearly caused an accident.

 
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Beach-time walks. Weight is falling off. Conversation is non-existent.

 
More of Jake’s photos and his film ‘This is not Jacquie anymore,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Radical queer photographer documents S & M culture in ‘family photos’
04.30.2015
01:28 pm

Topics:
Queer

Tags:
photography
sadomasochism


 
Photographer Kevin Warth does queer family photography… sort of. His work is actually a re-imagining of the family within the BDSM scene. I sense a tongue-in-cheek diss to the bourgeois gay politics of the day—if you’re not looking to adopt or get married, does the mainstream LGBTQ movement really offer you anything?

From his artist’s statement:

In the series “Boy and his SIR: BDSM and the Queer Family”, I photograph constructed realities in which BDSM practices coexist with domestic and familial rituals. This body of work stems from my disidentification with moderate gay politics, which primarily concerns itself with the legalization of gay marriage and adoption. In response, I question if this normative family structure is a desirable goal for queer relations, or if other modes of kinship are more suitable.

Okay, so that’s pretty thick with post-structural academic influence for a series with ball-gags, Saran wrap and a K-Mart photo studio tableaux, but I think there’s a sense of humor here I really like! Plus, in this era of 50 shades of fan fiction, it’s really refreshing to see some average faces and bodies being kinky in a domestic setting.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hoarders: Photographer recreates grim scenes from his childhood
04.24.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
photography
hoarders


 
The hoarders I’ve seen on reality TV tend to be isolated and lonely. Often the shame of hoarding fosters seclusion, and/or the environment their disorder has produced alienates and repels friends and loved ones. I’ve never seen a hoarder living with children, presumably because a lucid parent (most hoarders appear to have some level of self-awareness about what they’re doing), would know that a filthy home is a health hazard. Hoarder parents would have to be more secretive for fear of losing their children, though tragically this would leave them less likely to reach out for help, preserving the conditions of an afflicted family. Photographer Geoff Johnson and his sister grew up in hoarder’s house, and his series, “Behind the Door” tells the story eloquently:

Behind the Door explores the daily life of living with a parent who is a hoarder from a child’s perspective. This work is a personal reflection from Geoff and his sister’s life growing up.

Geoff recreated images displaying how stuff not only consumed his childhood home, but deteriorated conditions for daily living, ultimately shaping who he would become.

Johnson actually went back to his childhood home to stage the scenes—the first time he’d been in the house since he moved out in 1995. The photos are immediately tragic, but there is an anxiety too, as you try to imagine little feet navigating such irregular and unstable terrain.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The gorgeous vintage S&M of trailblazing pornographer Jacques Biederer
04.13.2015
07:09 am

Topics:
Sex

Tags:
photography
sadomasochism
Jacques Biederer


 
Jacques Biederer’s erotica is unique for a few reasons. The Czech photographer began his Parisian career in 1913 doing G-rated portraits, but then moved to more prurient subject matter—though still fairly “conventional” sexy materials for the day—ladies in their underwear, really. Then Biederer moved more toward full-on classical nudes, sometimes with couples, sometimes shot “on location” outdoors or on a carefully arranged set. Then he got into fetish photography—whips, domination, corseting, pony play—pretty scandalous stuff, but it was always shot with an artistic eye. Biederer was a forerunner of someone like Irving Klaw in the US.

Biederer’s work—whether a smiling ingenue or a dominatrix always valued composition, the emotions of his subjects, and sexuality—rather than simple sex mechanics. Even if it ain’t your bag, the photos are lovely and weird—they have a sense of humor about them and aren’t misogynist or pretentious. His dames were often the doms, whipping their male slaves, but sometimes it was the other way around.These are some of the more “safe for work” pictures, but you can see (slightly) more explicit stuff here, though he never did anything “hardcore.” He also made some giggly stag films, but again, we’re talking a lot of cutesy, sapphic slap and tickle (literally, dude was apparently way into spanking).

When France was occupied by the Nazis, Biederer who was Jewish was sent to Auschwitz where he died.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hell awaits, but a decade’s worth of Slayer fans are surprisingly beautiful
04.10.2015
06:30 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
photography
Slayer


 
Photographer Sanna Charles has been capturing the wild joy of Slayer fans since 2003, and her new book, God Listens to Slayer, has such an enthusiastic, youthful feel about it—which is not as as counterintuitive as it may seem. For any other band of nearly 35 years, this would be a late start. For Slayer however, there is always a fresh crop of teens reconstituting their fanbase with fresh, pubescent faces. Sanna describes her first time watching the fans explode at a show:

The show had been put back by three hours, it was baking hot, and they were now playing in a smaller tent instead of an outdoor stage. The tent was rammed and people were in there waiting for pretty much three hours solid. That buildup, and then watching them play, was amazing. The other photographers left the pit after three songs but I just stayed because I was so mesmerized by the crowd.

The pure release of anger and aggression by the fans felt so free. Everyone was packed into the tent, kind of like kittens in a pet shop trying to get out. Afterward I got about three portraits of people leaving, just as an afterthought, but when I got them back I really fell in love with one of the photos.

Sanna’s photos are more than sympathetic to her subjects; they’re celebratory, with an eye for the evergreen, joyous revelry that is a Slayer show. At the same time, describing them as “kittens” feels about right—no amount of pentagrams can hide those cherub cheeks.
 

 

 
More Slayer fans after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
See where 30,000 bombs fell during the London Blitz, 1940-41

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In September 1940, the German Luftwaffe unleashed a strategic bombing campaign that targeted all of the major cities across the UK. Over 30,000 tons of high explosives were dropped on sixteen cities during a relentless over 267-day campaign, or “Blitzkrieg” (German for “lightening war”), that claimed over 40,000 civilian lives—half them in London alone—wounded over 100,000 and destroyed more than a million homes. It was an event that changed the nature of the war, and brought repercussions for Germany.

My mother was a child during the Second World War, living with her parents and sister in a tenement in the north-west of Glasgow. She can still clearly recall the regular sound of the siren warning of another German bombing raid. People decamped to the bomb shelters situated in the back gardens, where my mother listened to the whistle and blast of the bombs, land mines and other incendiaries raining down from the planes above.

In March 1941, she was briefly evacuated to a cottage in Milport on the isle of Great Cumbrae, off the west coast of Scotland. During this time, the Luftwaffe carried out two bombing raids on Clydebank—that have been described as “the most cataclysmic event” in war-time Scotland. My mother recalled how the German planes seemed to fly so low she felt she could touch them, while the flames from the raid lit up the sky like it was day.
 
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Clydebank, near Glasgow, after the ‘blitz’ of March 1941.
 
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Devastation in the south of London—a bus lies in the rubble of a bomb crater.
 
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Central Coventry after a bombing raid November 1940.
 
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Sleeping in the shelter of London’s Underground station at Elephant and Castle, November 1940.
 
More photos plus link to the interactive Blitz site, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Queer, boho or just plain gorgeous: Photographer captures the beauty of counterculture youth
04.02.2015
05:47 am

Topics:
Art
Queer

Tags:
photography
youth
millennials
counter-culture


 
Like every generation before them, millennials endure the scorn of their amnestic elders with obliviousness and eyerolls. I’ll concede that bitterly railing about “kids these days” is the prerogative of anyone over 45 forced to listen to Miley Cyrus, but I truly think intergenerational amity is a worthy and plausible goal—and I’d advise all those baffled by millennial bullshit to start by looking at the margins of youth culture, rather than their commercial representatives, who are obviously appointed by old millionaires anyway. 

Photographer Poem Baker‘s captivating series,Hymns from the Bedroom, shows a gorgeous array of young people—some bending gender, some subverting conventions, some simply looking beautiful. Her subjects are her friends, and she captures them with a vulnerability that reveals the intimacy of the shoot—an informal affair where she might snap only a few unpretentious candids before putting away the camera. From her site:

Hymns from the Bedroom is a personal journal of friends and people I’ve encountered whilst wandering around London. Most of whom are creative twenty-something’s on the threshold of their dreams and ambitions, ranging from performance artists, musicians, actors and fashion designers to strippers, transvestites and those who live on the fringes of society.

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Man meticulously documents affair with his secretary 1969-1970: Here are his records
03.31.2015
01:26 pm

Topics:
Sex

Tags:
photography


 
The story would be dull—clichéd even—without the voyeuristic thrill that comes with the intimate details: a married German businessman and his married secretary, Margret, have a brief affair from 1969 to 1970. Everything you see here came from a suitcase purchased at an estate auction 30 years after the affair, and it’s an utterly engrossing collection of artifacts.

Not only did the unnamed businessman photograph the intimate moments before and after sex (including shots of dresses he bought for her—on the hanger, then on her, then on the bed), he kept keepsakes, including a lock of hair and an empty birth control blister-pack. The strangest part though is his “journal,” a series of typed, dated, wholly factual and completely emotionless entries—more of an impassive record of events than a log of romantic musings. Germans!

On their own, the photos seem to hint at a tender, maybe even loving time together, but the details reveal a much darker, volatile side of the tryst. At one point, the man’s wife confronts Margret, accusing her of disrupting a happy marriage. Margret is furious, and so the businessman then forces his wife to apologize to her. As delusional as she appears to be, it is this unseen wife who feels the most human, and one wonders if any guilt was felt on the part of the businessman or mistress Margret.

The collection is now being curated in its entirety as Gallery Margret: Chronicle of an Affair – May 1969 to December 1970, at the White Columns gallery in New York’s Meatpacking District, through April 18th.
 

 

 

 
More intriguing intimacies after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Fan photos of John Lennon in London and New York

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Being one of The Beatles meant being mobbed, followed and even stalked everywhere you went. They quit Liverpool for London for its mix of anonymity and excitement—and because everything happened there. Eventually, John, George and Ringo moved on to the stockbroker belt to find peace, quiet and happy isolation. But even there, Lennon had unwelcome visitors who wanted a photo or to say that they understood what his songs were about, and touch the hem of his clothes.

Eventually, Lennon moved again, this time to New York where he said he could walk the streets without anyone bothering him. Going by these fan photographs of Lennon in London and New York, it’s obvious he was just as mobbed by devoted fans in the Big Apple as he had been back in the Big Smoke.

These fan snaps capture Lennon from the late 1960s, through his relationship with Yoko Ono, to just before his untimely death in 1980.
 
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John Lennon signing an autograph outside the Abbey Road Studios, 1968.

More fan snaps of John Lennon, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Inside the Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941

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Since 1596 Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. In Polish Warsaw (“Warszawa”) literally means “belonging to Warsz”—a 12th-13th-century nobleman who owned land in the Mariensztat district. Warsaw was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population—around 337,000 in 1939, and 445,000 by 1941.

When Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, the Nazis quickly surrounded the capital city and launched a deadly blitzkreig that claimed many lives and destroyed buildings. The Germans were now in control of the country and in November 1939, an edict issued by Hans Frank, the Governor General, decreed all Jewish men, women and children over the age of ten had to wear a Star of David armband to identify themselves. All Jewish shops had to be similarly marked with a Star of David, and severe restrictions were placed on the Jewish population. Further laws limited the amount of money Jews were able to withdraw, with strict rules on buying produce, letting and owning property and travel.

In March 1940, groups of Polish gangs launched a series of violent attacks on the Jewish population—stealing money, gold, food, clothes and anything they could find of any value. These attacks lasted for eight days until the Germans intervened.

In February 1940, the Germans proposed plans to create a Jewish quarter or ghetto, where all Jews would be contained. On the Day of Atonement, October 1940, a decree was issued establishing a Jewish ghetto. All Jews had to relocate to this ghetto, which meant 30% of the population of Warsaw was packed into only 2.4% of the city’s area—some 400,00 people living in 1.3 square miles, an average of 7.2 people per room.

By mid-November, a wall surrounding the ghetto was built. The wall was over eleven feet high with broken glass and barbed wire on top and was constructed by the German company Schmidt & Munstermann, who were responsible for building the Treblinka concentration. The wall was paid for by the same Jewish community it was built to imprison. Access to and from the ghetto was limited to mainly food and supplies. The Jewish population inside the ghetto were allocated daily rations of 181 calories. The Germans intended to starve the imprisoned population. During 1941 Jewish deaths rose from 898 in January, to 5,560 in August. The average monthly mortality rates for the seventeen months from January 1941 to May 1942 was 3882. But death was not quick enough for the Germans, and in May 1942, 254,000 Jewish ghetto inhabitants were transported to Treblinka for extermination.

Willy Georg was an old German soldier who made money taking photographs of young German soldiers. During the summer of 1941, Georg was given permission to enter the Jewish ghetto and take photographs of the inhabitants. Georg shot four rolls of film, but as he was shooting a fifth roll, a German military policeman stopped him and confiscated his camera, he was then escorted out of the area. However, the policeman had not searched Georg and he was therefore able to sneak out the four rolls of shot film. He developed these films and carefully stored them along with the prints for the next fifty years until the late 1980s when he met Rafael Scharf, a researcher of Polish-Jewish studies, to whom he gave his pictures. These photographs were then published in the book Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941 in 1993.
 
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More of Willy Georg’s powerful photographs of the Jewish ghetto, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Can you spot the weird ninja guy lurking under the bridge?
03.24.2015
08:07 am

Topics:
Amusing
Unorthodox

Tags:
photography
creepy

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I’m not usually a fan of these “you’ll holler when you see it” pictures, but this one is kinda creepy and reminded me of the Richard Laymon book Night in Lonesome October that had a bunch of weird flesh-eating trolls who lurked under a bridge.

This guy is probably no cannibal (I hope), but the figure he does cut is definitely rather eerie.

reddit user youeatMYboogers was taking photographs of underneath the 4th Street Bridge, Los Angeles, unaware he was being spied on. It wasn’t until he got home did he notice his secret observer.
 
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Do you see him now?

The photographer had no idea that he and his friend were being watched by this guy for over twenty minutes.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Crime Wave: Vintage photos of when Chicago was a gangster’s paradise

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Stick ‘em up!: A cop with a gun.

Watching too many Jimmy Cagney movies as child made me think being a gangster might be a possible occupation. It was easy to imagine myself in charge of some numbers racket, or selling moonshine, riding the running board while blasting the competition with a machine-gun. Even the names sounded exotic: Al Capone, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger, Tony Accardo. Then I turned six—discovered soccer and the fancy footwork skills of players like Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone and Harry Hood who made me think playing for Celtic would be better.

Gangsters and Grifters is a book of photographs compiled from the extensive crime archive of the Chicago Tribune. The book contains a collection of rarely seen photos of infamous gangsters, murderers, thieves, pickpockets, bandits, molls as well as the cops who brought them to justice from 1900-1950. These vintage glass-plate and acetate negatives captured many legendary moments in criminal history—from which this small selection has been culled.
 
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Al Capone making an appearance in court, date unknown. Capone had a seven year reign of terror on the streets of Chicago during the 1920s. He was believed to have been responsible for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was eventually busted for tax evasion and sentenced to gaol. He suffered from tertiary syphilis and died of cardiac arrest in 1947.
 
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Cops examine guns suspected of being used in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when six mobsters where shot dead—you’d have thought the cops might have been grateful. One of the shooters was thought to be mob enforcer Tony Accardo.
 
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Prohibition helped the rise of gangsters like Al Capone, who ran hooch and illegal drinking dens. Here cops inspect some of the alcohol Capone and his associates were running.
 
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Capone on another visit to court.
 
 
More vintage crime shots, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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