Grisly Crime Scene Photography of 1940s New York

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Weegee’s lurid photographs of New York City crime scenes would be considered tabloid journalism today. Yet, between 1935 and 1946, the photojournalist carved out a niche for himself — a bloody, grizzly niche. Freelancing for several papers and agencies, Weegee stalked night courts and appeared “on the spot” of New York’s many murders. From violent hold-ups to tragic accidents on 5th Avenue to violence-hungry crowds of gawkers — Weegee shot them all and organized his own photo exhibits. Not even his temporary displacement in Los Angeles as a paparazzi could keep him away from his New York, his business.

Culled from the International Center of Photography‘s extensive archives, the exhibition Weegee: Murder is My Business (organized by ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis) opens tomorrow and runs through September 2nd. Click through to preview a selection of the fascinating photographs on display courtesy of ICP, but you’ve got to head there in person for the environmental recreations of Weegee’s apartment and exhibitions.

Weegee, [Anthony Esposito, booked on suspicion of killing a policeman, New York], January 16, 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Body of Dominick Didato, Elizabeth Street, New York], August 7, 1936. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, Line-Up for Night Court, ca. 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Unidentified Photographer, On the Spot, December 9, 1939. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, At an East Side Murder, 1943. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Police officer and assistant removing body of Reception Hospital ambulance driver Morris Linker from East River, New York], August 24, 1943. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, Murder, ca. 1940. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Police officer and lodge member looking at blanket-covered body of woman trampled to death in excursion-ship stampede, New York], August 18, 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, The dead man’s wife arrived…and then she collapsed, ca. 1940. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, Girl jumped out of car, and was killed, on Park Ave., ca. 1938. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, Hold up man killed, November 24, 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Hats in a pool room, Mulberry Street, New York], ca. 1943. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Installation view of “Weegee: Murder Is My Business” at the Photo League, New York], 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [“Ruth Snyder Murder” wax display, Eden Musée, Coney Island, New York], ca. 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Installation view of “Weegee: Murder Is My Business” at the Photo League, New York], 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

Weegee, [Installation view of “Weegee: Murder Is My Business II” at the Photo League, New York], 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography