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 in this new volume with a focus on the "dangerous" murder cases from the forties and fifties, memorialised in intimate and telling photographs. There is Arthur DeZeler, accused of bludgeoning his wife, Grace, and sinking her body in a northern lake. Laura Miller, single and pregnant, ran for help after gunshots killed her married lover. Arnold Axilrod, a mild-mannered dentist with a penchant for over-sedating his female patients, was arrested when the lifeless body of one of those patients was discovered in a Minneapolis alley. And, finally, there is 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 -- there are two of each.
All are copiously illustrated with shots from the bulky Speed Graphic camera, which yielded rich, textured views in an era when photographers enjoyed unrestricted access to police matters ranging from found bodies to jail cells. The images dramatically evoke these crimes of passion now more than a half-century old, offering a thrilling immersion into Minnesota noir.
Buy Murder Has a Public Face book by Larry Millett from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(260mm x 285mm x 17mm)
Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.
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Author Biography - Larry Millett
Larry Millett worked for three decades as a reporter, editor, and architectural critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press before retiring in 2002. His books include Lost Twin Cities (awarded an AIA International Architecture Book Award), Twin Cities Then and Now, and five mysteries including The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes. He is currently at work on a comprehensive guide to the architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul, to be published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.