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Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
"Death Scenes" is a presentation of a scrapbook kept by LAPD Homicide Detective Jack Huddleston while he was with the LAPD from 1921 until the early 1950's.
In the forward to the scrapbook he explains "The purpose of this collection of homicide pictures is to show the work of the peace officer and his problems." Then later "...crime does not pay."
This book is not made for all people. Here a brief description of some of the pictures I found most unsettling:
Pg. 58 -59 children who played with dynamite.
Pg. 102 two week old boy with head cut off by mother.
Pg. 73 fifteen year-old boy suicide with gun
Pg. 132 severely mutilated woman
Pg. 137 husband looking at 74 year-old wife who was raped and murdered.
I will never think of the idealistic "good old days" without thinking about the reality of this book.
Some of the photos in the book are graphic and some photos contain images of sexuality. However, don't think that this book is overly filled with gore. All the pictures are in black and white so the images are not as vivid as the would have been had the moments been recorded on colored film. I think this book is interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who was interested in crime and death scene photos.
Many crimes are portrayed: suicide, murder, auto accidents, etc. And there are even pictures and text of things/people that we no longer see as against the law. Such things include lesbians and hermaphrodites. My how times have changed!
An interesting note is that one may notice how different the justice system was just 40 to 60 years ago. Within the text written by the detective, he lists some dates for events such as the arrest or execution of certain individuals. I realized that in the execution cases, the criminal was killed within a year or so from being convicted! Today the minimum jail time before execution is 13 years!
I also wanted to comment on what another reviewer stated about this book...this being the inclusion of images of dead children (and the fact that she wouldn't buy it due to this). These pictures are included, in my opinion, because that is reality! It is not only adults that are killed, or that have violent crimes commited against them. It is naive to think as such. And it is a fact that we all must face. Yes, it is shocking. But it is necessary. Young people die too. We hear about it every day on the news, so why it still remains so shocking is a mystery to me.
All in all, I recommend this book highly to people who are interested in death, crime and related subjects. It's real, straight forward and death IS a part of life.
I cannot understand the negative comments by some readers concerning "Death Scenes." Surely they were not ambushed into gazing at these (horrible) pictures. They should have known by the title, by the cover, and even by the publisher (Feral House) that this was not a book of, say, children's poems. Much can be learned from "Death Scenes:" it contains great beauty and even some rhapsodic traits which can be perceived once the initial horror has been bypassed. This book should be looked at by those interested in the facts or in the literature of true crime. It is sure to bring pause to those contemplating suicide. "Death Scenes" certainly contains aspects of reality which some will prefer to avoid but which others will incorporate into their view of the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in paperback years ago, and was utterly moved by the dispassionate, yet professional manner in which Detective Huddleston arrayed these subjects. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Tough to review this--it was a book that you should take very seriously, and I made sure to treat it with respect. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karen
Amazing book! Not for the squeamish though. Well worth it if you are interested in forensics or CSI .Published 4 months ago by Katie
Totally not worth the money. More about the detective who obtained these photos, probably illegally by today's standards. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kristin
I probably shouldn't like it but I do. Pictures are very good quality and the text is well writtenPublished 7 months ago by Jennifer E. Kooper
A photo essay of crime scene shots, nice film noir feel of the crimes of the 1950s. True detective style!
For gore buffs it was pretty up front and personal.