Ganster’s Paradise? 1920’s LA Crime Photography

slide_346464_3647019_freeWords by Billie Jenkins Images LA City Records Centre

This weekend saw hundreds of photographers descending on LA for the Paris Photo LA Art Fair, with a brilliant and bold cross-section of artists showing their work. Amidst the colourful landscapes and artful compositions of rocks there was something a bit more macabre to be found. The Los Angeles record house has long been the home of over a million crime scene photographs taken over the last hundred years. After collecting dust some of the more interesting (and less grizzly) images have been revived for exhibition. Never seen before by the general public, they capture an era of cheap guns and well dressed detectives. It is hard to view the pieces as real moments in history, rather they bring forth ideas of film noir and Bugsy Malone. Gory but compelling, we’re not sure how we feel about digging up the grief of man however far in the past, but we just can’t look away.

More of the LAPD archives can be found at:





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