[L.A. Noir]

Crime Scene Photos from the LAPD

I was fully into covering newly released photo art books in Reviewer Magazine when in 2004 I was sent a review copy of Scene Of The Crime.

Here is L.A. Noir novelist James Ellroy at left and then-L.A. Police Chief William Bratton, center, in 2004 signing copies of Scene Of The Crime, a book of black-and-white photos from the LAPD archives dating back to the mid-to-early twentieth century. I shot this photo shortly after arriving at the Booksoup signing with my first edition review copy from the Harry Abrams publishing company. I had called the bookstore ahead of time and wanted to find out how late the night’s event would go, and arrived in time to get my copy signed but just barely. A woman greeted me inside as attendance was thinning out and directed me to Chief Bratton, saying “Talk to him.” I stood in front of his table and our gaze met. I asked if he’d please sign my copy. He scanned my face impassively, showing zero emotion like a professional poker player, then affixed his signature to a page inside my book. He then turned to Ellroy without looking directly at him and asked for me, “Would you sign this man’s book?,” something to that effect. I saw no uniforms in the room but there looked to be lots of police brass and large detectives in plainclothes intermingled with the crowd. I covered the book that year in the following issue of Reviewer Magazine and recently sold the book online to a lucky buyer for just under $100. #sceneofthecrime #harryabrams #firstedition #jamesellroy #williambratton #rarebooks

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