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Grim vintage crime scene photos from the LAPD archive
11.14.2017
09:14 am
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An image of Maila Nurmi as Vampira taken in 1955. It is a part of a huge collection of vintage LAPD crime scene pictures unearthed by photographer Merrick Morton in 2014.
 
Fototeka is a large photo digitation service that works in conjunction with the National Film Archive to enhance historically relevant vintage photographs. Started in 2009, the photographic archive has digitized photos that were taken as early as the 1920s. In 2014 LA photographer Merrick Morton (who also spent time as an LAPD reserve officer) was hipped to the existence of a massive collection of crime scene photos taken for the LAPD that had been long forgotten. The photos were in such bad shape that their decay posed a fire threat thanks to the instability of the cellulose nitrate-based film and negatives. Cellulose nitrate was used widely in the film industry up until the late 1940s or early 1950s when it was “retired” from use due to the dangers associated with the decomposing film.

Morton and his group of film archivists spent hundreds of hours toiling to rescue the photos that had been slated for the trash pile owing to their condition. The grim collection includes pictures that chronicle crimes such as mob hits and bank robberies, as well as other curious images such as one of Maila Nurmi dressed as Vampira posing in what appears to be a dingy-looking storage facility (pictured at the top of this post). Some of the more infamous photos that were salvaged by Morton include the aftermath of comedian Lenny Bruce’s overdose in March of 1966 and a shot of members of the Manson Family arriving at their arrangement in 1970. Many of the images that follow are NSFW.
 

A lifeless body lying underneath a bridge over the Los Angeles River in 1955.
 

February 4th, 1949.
 

A truck carrying a huge load of seized marijuana photographed on October 11th, 1935.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.14.2017
09:14 am
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LA Confidential: Vintage crime photographs from the LAPD archives
04.22.2014
02:56 pm
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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.

Around one million photos have been unearthed so far and choice selections, presented by Fototeka, will be exhibited at Paramount Pictures Studios from April 25-27 in Los Angeles.


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

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.22.2014
02:56 pm
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Incredible recordings of Roman Polanski’s interview with the LAPD, 1969

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Backporch Tapes have just uploaded these two incredible recordings purported to be of Roman Polanski’s lie detector interview with the LAPD August 16 1969, just one week after the murder of his wife, after Sharon Tate.

The overall sound quality is poor, and Polanski sounds confused and upset, but certain questions and answers can be heard clearly - Polanski’s psychological state, his medication, his knowledge of the Polish army, and on the second clip, Polanski’s thoughts about the killer’s motives, and his suggestion of looking for something much more “far out.”
 

Lie Detector Test: LAPD interview Roman Polanski August 16 1969
 

Lie Detector Test: LAPD interview Roman Polanski August 16 1969, in which he discusses possible motive.
 
Previously on DM

Uncanny resemblance to Charles Manson appears in Sharon Tate’s last film


 
With thanks to Simon Wells
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.02.2011
06:24 pm
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Art crime: ‘Tagger’ REVOK arrested during appearance at graffiti gallery
11.23.2009
06:14 pm
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When a noted graffiti artist known as “REVOK” accepted an invitation to appear at an art gallery/graffiti supply store this weekend, being taken away in handcuffs was probably not what he was anticipating:

Jason Williams, 32, who was on probation and goes by the name REVOK, was appearing Sunday as the guest of honor at the 33rd Graffiti Art Store, said Sgt. Augie Pando of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The store was exhibiting Montana spray paint, a brand used by taggers, Pando said.

During a later search of Williams’ home, deputies found several hundred paint cans, a police badge and a fire extinguisher, Pando said. They also found a stolen detour sign and digital photos of his graffiti work on his phone.

“He’s being treated as a celebrity artist when in fact he’s breaking the law,” said Steve Whitmore, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Looks like the LAPD got their man without resorting to any CSI type moves here—perhaps Google works just as well as DNA testing in certain select cases.

Cross posting from Brand X

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.23.2009
06:14 pm
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