Morgue, man with floral tattoo, 1945
Back in 2001, photographer Merrick Morton—who also happens to be a reserve LAPD officer—came upon a massive archive of Los Angeles Police Department crime scene and evidence photos which had been hidden for decades in a huge storage facility in downtown LA. The photos were buried among 150 years of police records in cardboard boxes.
When it was discovered that some of the boxes contained decomposing cellulose nitrate negatives, a serious fire hazard, the Fire Department recommended that all the negatives be destroyed. The team lobbied for the archive to be only selectively destroyed and their efforts paid off; some boxes of images were determined to be unsalvageable and destroyed, while the remaining images were sent to a cold storage facility where they reside today.
Detail of two bullet holes in car window, 1942
Shoes, arm, and knife, 1950
Victim’s feet hanging off bed, 1934
Detail of bullet holes in screen, 1930
Onion field reenactment, 1963
Bank robbery note, 1965
Via Feature Shoot