Murder Has a Public Face by Larry Millett
Crime and Punishment in the Speed Graphic Era

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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.

Larry Millett is the author of numerous books, including Strange Days, Dangerous Nights and the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities (MHS Press). William Swanson is the author of Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson (MHS Press).

About Larry Millett

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Larry Millett is a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Published October 15, 2008 by Borealis Books. 128 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography.

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Star Tribune

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Gory photos and detailed newspaper stories made Twin Cities murders a hearty main course back in the old days.

Oct 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Murder Has a Public Face: Cri...

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