New PDF release: Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook

By Katherine Dunn, Sean Tejaratchi Review
Warning: this unhappy, strong, ugly choice of black-and-white photographs of quite often useless, frequently bare, humans isn't really for the simply disturbed. The introductory textual content by way of Katherine Dunn (author of Geek Love) is helping provide a context to the macabre scrapbook, and the handwritten captions show irony and infrequently humor; yet this is often no antiquarian's sentimental portrait of the prior. This ebook files butchery and brutality, terrible affliction and psychological disorder, suicide and homicide. And as Dunn observes, the attention of the beholder isn't really blameless: "The previous cop, just like the previous con, attempts to trick us into forgiveness and complicity. by means of witnessing he has participated, via figuring out he's culpable. And his actual function is to hide the truth--that he began terrified and ended up liking it, involved, an aficionado."

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Extra info for Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook

Example text

When they are, reporters are expected to tweet details from the court, constantly under pressure to update, whereas in the past there was time to talk to the detectives, lawyers, witnesses, defendants. Deadlines come by the minute rather than by the day. Much of the writing on crime comes now from a commentariat, selectively picking second-hand details of cases to reinforce an argument or fuel a panic. Some traces have lingered through the centuries. In 1728, John Gay based his character Macheath, in The Beggar’s Opera, on Jack Sheppard, the most written-about criminal of his day.

In 1845, he attended a beheading in Rome – ‘ugly, filthy, careless, sickening’ – where the severed head ended up on a pole. In his book Dickens and Crime, Philip Collins traces his subject’s fascination with criminals and police: ‘he always had a journalistic flair for seeing and interviewing, instead of reading, speculating or cogitating’. He was, in today’s terms, an old-school reporter rather than a commentator, basing his observations on direct experience whether of the jails, the courts or the gallows.

Human and inhuman nature. I have met a woman who spent six years trying to confront in prison the man who murdered her daughter and who found a kind of peace as a result, and I have met a man who, at the time, was only staying alive so that he could kill his daughter’s killer once he finally emerged from jail. I have seen a murderer acquitted, leaving the court sniggering at the jury’s gullibility and heard later that he now wanted to confess because he had been unable to sleep properly ever since.

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Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook by Katherine Dunn, Sean Tejaratchi

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