Murder Has A Public Face, Crime and Punishment in the Speed Graphic Era; Larry Millett
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In his popular Strange Days, Dangerous Nights, Larry Millett delivered Weegee-style images of midwestern noir from the photo files of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He returns with a focus on the "dangerous"-murder cases from the forties and fifties, memorialized in telling photographs. There is Arthur DeZeler, accused of sinking his wife's body in a northern lake. Laura Miller, who ran for help after gunshots killed her married lover. Dentist Arnold Axilrod, who was arrested when the lifeless body of one of his patients was discovered in a Minneapolis alley. And, finally, Arnold Larson, the personable salesman with a winning smile and a bad temper. Millett traces these four sensational crimes from the moment the victim was found, through the search for the killer, to the court trial and resulting imprisonment or acquittal. All are copiously illustrated with shots from the bulky Speed Graphic camera, views from an era when photographers enjoyed unrestricted access to police matters ranging from found bodies to jail cells. The images dramatically evoke crimes of passion now more than a half-century old, a thrilling immersion into Minnesota noir.