Shots in the Dark by Gail Buckland
True Crime Pictures

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When shots ring out, photographers shoot back. Their images can startle, inform and serve as witness. Mundane and profound, gruesome and compelling, crime photographs are, for better or worse, part of our world. Featuring many rarely or never-before-seen images, this book aims to shed new light on the role of crime photography in our history and in our culture. They are pictures which are often seen once and then never forgotten: an autopsy photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald; the bodies of Lizzie Borden's parents, photographed in the room where they were slain; pictures of balistic equipment used to determine Sacco and Vanzetti's guilt and of O.J. Simpson wearing shoes that match the footprints at the murder scene. Photographic historian Gail Buckland has sought out the most provocative and informative images and provides illuminating commentary throughout the book.

About Gail Buckland

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Gail Buckland has written and collaborated on eleven books of photographic history, including Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography, The Magic Image (with Cecil Beaton), and The American Century (by Harold Evans). She is former curator of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, professor of the history of photography at the Cooper Union, and guest curator at many American museums. She lives in Warwick, New York, and New York City.
Published October 1, 2001 by Bulfinch. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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As this book owes a measure of its flavor and some specific images to earlier anthologies of crime photography, notably Luc Sante's Evidence (1992), it arguably represents an incursion of once-marginal "crime culture" into the mainstream.

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Court TV's "Shots in the Dark" provides an informative history lesson, a working primer on the challenges faced by crime photographers and a visual essay on the aesthetics of an unusual genre.

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