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Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook
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Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  746 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
The strange and gruesome crime-scene snapshot collection of LAPD detective Jack Huddleston spans Southern California in its noir heyday. Death Scenes is the noted forerunner of several copycat titles.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Feral House (first published April 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,991)
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Eva Leger
Nov 04, 2010 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing
I have absolutely no idea how to rate this. And that's a first for me. I had no idea there was any collection like this out there. Finding it on a shelf in Borders I was shocked speechless while thumbing through.
I used to read a lot of true crime books, and still read them on occasion so my curiosity has been there for a long time, years at least. So I knew I wanted to go through this and I know I'll go through a few other books I've found since this.
But this is a shocker. I don't know a singl
Nanci Svensson
Dec 18, 2012 Nanci Svensson rated it really liked it
It's borderline autopsy porn, but as a historical documentation of many issues (forensics, racism and sexism in general and in the police force in particular, the "losers" of Hollywood (ah, that beloved theme!), medical examinations etc) I enjoyed this coffee table book, that should be kept away from all coffee tables.

As a former researcher in forensic medicine I am desensitized, and therefor just now realized that "enjoyed" might not be the right word but whatever.
May 10, 2008 Sloan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This is a scrapbook from a LAPD detective from the 20's. It has gory crime scene photos with the original notes. Some really disturbing pics and sometimes more disturbing notes. Remember, it was the 20's and they weren't very tolerant of what they did not understand. And they got the wrong impression about a lot. I would not recommend this book to anyone with a weak stomach. But I loved it. It's on my coffee table.
Mar 21, 2008 autolytic rated it it was amazing
A good children's book. It shows true love.
Sharon Roy
Apr 10, 2011 Sharon Roy rated it it was amazing
If you dont like gore DO NOT even open this book. It is a Los Angeles detectives scrapbook of homicide, suicide and just bizarre photos of men women children hemaphrodites and animals, he is not prejudiced, its all inclusive. The pictures (especially babies n children) burn your retinas, but its like a car crash, you cant not look...
Nov 24, 2010 Love rated it it was amazing
This is not a book for the weak stomached kind. It's no worse then some true crimes with pictures. I really felt for the detective who compiled all these pictures for his scrapbook. In the book I got the impression some people might have found this sick on his part. I go along with Katherine Dunn on that Detective Jack Huddleston wanted people to see what he saw, feel his pain. Pictures leave out so much the officers see on a daily basis. The smells, the 3D real life image of these people who ha ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Trey added it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book lives up to its title. The pics are crime scene photos, dating from the 20s to the 50s, taken with the stark, staring, unrepentant eye of a police photographer. Most are murders, some are suicides, some are physical oddities. It's a pretty harsh book.

The introduction does a fair job of analyzing what this book can do for its reader. Help him/her sympathize with what homicide detectives do on a daily basis, discard the rose-colored-glasses effect of nostalgia, and understand the part o
Nicola Mansfield
Katherine Dunn's introductory essay is very opinionated giving various motives as to why Huddleston would have kept this scrapbook. These are not based on fact and are merely her obnoxious opinions. She also lays down her judgments on many other topics such as how could parents watch a child suffer without lovingly suffocating it with a pillow, the benefits of euthanasia and the horrible crime of presenting a good public image of the police. This almost ruined the whole book for me as it was so ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Genaphur rated it liked it
This book is reality at its worst. I know that this was just a scrap book kept by a police officer many years ago but the one thing I really wanted out of this book was a little more story to the people in the photos. I realize that he more then likely didn't have much back story but without it the book just makes me feel like some kind of creepy peeping tom looking that the end game without knowing what happened to end it.
Dec 22, 2011 Jeannie rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
All I can say is this is as close to death as I care to be!! Stomach churning photos taken from a scrapbook compiled by a homicide detective, the scrapbook was found in books bought at an estate sale and digitally remastered to create this book. Really opened my eyes to what police officers, EMT's and the like have to cope with just doing their jobs. Great introduction by Katherine Dunn!
Mark Desrosiers
Apr 28, 2008 Mark Desrosiers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Highly combustible nightmare fuel: a vivid parade of crime-scene corpse photos from a long-dead homicide detective's secret "necro-porn" stash. I love it. Not for the faint of heart. Or even the relatively sturdy of heart.
Kimberly King
Apr 29, 2015 Kimberly King rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting book. But some of the pictures, ugh! It just shows human depravity is timeless.
Nicole Garcia
Oct 27, 2014 Nicole Garcia rated it really liked it
This book is definitely not for those who can't handle real life crime scene footage because that is what this whole book is all about! If your stomach turns even at the site of blood I would not recommend this book. But those of us who can stomach it and have interest in true crime and want to know what a homicide detective really has to deal with on a daily basis this book is for you. The back of the book says it all and that is there were no "good ole days". I liked this book not because it w ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Loren rated it it was ok
Shelves: morbid-books
Hard to believe these grisly relics record the violence of the 1930s and 40s, before television became a "bad influence."

Jack Huddleston served as a homicide detective in Los Angeles in the first half of the last century. He collected these photos into a scrapbook, to which he wrote a preface that implies he intended the work for the edification of the general public. One wonders if he ever had the nerve to approach a publisher. After an estate sale in the mid-1980s, the scrapbook came to a used
Efrén Reyna
Jun 08, 2015 Efrén Reyna rated it it was amazing
Un libro de riguroso CULTO
Jan 23, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
This is simply the annotated reproduction of -- as the title says -- a homicide detective's scrapbook. I thought the annotations, by Katherine Dunn, went on far too long and explained too much, as if she thought the readers were stupid. But some of the insights in there -- like, humans are no worse now than they were in the 1930s -- are strikingly shallow and shortsighted. The photos -- super-grody crime-scene and autopsy candid snaps -- more than spoke for themselves.
Stephanie Borders
Jul 05, 2012 Stephanie Borders rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
First off, be aware that this book is incredibly gory and graphic.

I liked the scrapbook idea but the prologue, written by Katherine Dunne, frustrated me to no end. It took up half the book and most of what she wrote was conjecture. It seemed like she just needed fillers. It also got confusing and repetitive when she would include pictures for some of her tidbits and not others, only to have the same pictures shown again later on.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Apr 04, 2012 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•* rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Real pictures that are not for people who don't like to see dead bodies. This has a little of every possible way to die, murder, gunshot suicide, burn victims, leopracy patients, hanging, prostitutes, bandits..... Very interesting scrapbook collection of pictures this detective collected over the years in Los Angeles. Some of the pictures have the addresses so spooky to find out where murders have taken place.
Lisa Delaine Youngblood
This reproduction of mostly crime scene photos of a LAPD detective provide a visceral look at the inhumanity of man. Sadly the commentary regarding the photos themselves is lacking. Extrememly gorey and brutal, the photographs do invoke strong feelings of disgust, anger, and even weariness. Without appropriate context, however, the gore and nudity seem more gratuitous than emotive.
Feb 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
More than it is gruesome, this book is unrelievedly sad, a compendium brutality, pettiness, broken lives, desperation, and mania. The books coda--photographs of the mess hall at San Quentin, filled by the endless hundreds by hardened criminals--suggestions that the crimes photographed in the book make up only a slim minority of those who live and die in a Hobbesian world.
Jul 07, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Definitely not for the weak of heart or stomach. A fascinating look at vintage police photography of crime scenes and victims. The details are what get me - the shoes, the hand placement, the lamp in the corner...things that hinted at the lives of these unfortunate souls. Warning - there are deceased children in here, which is hard to view.
Matt Barr
Jul 20, 2014 Matt Barr rated it liked it
Putting a rating on this is hard. In the context of it's intended purpose, it's a solid 4. Zoom out a little bit, and it's extremely hard to look at. I think it is an important book because it shows (in pictures) the reality of homicide.
Jan 20, 2014 Kayla rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Very graphic, but if you have a urge to feed your morbid curiosity then this will do it. Only wish there were more of a background about the pictures but because it is sort of set as a scrap book you only get quick blurbs.
Mar 18, 2008 Karrie rated it liked it
be prepared not to sleep- but it does forfill the morbid curiosities.. very interesting and captures the stark reality of 1940's LA- how gritty is really was- NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. I can't even open this book anymore.
Feb 12, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
Gruesome, brutal and real look at real photos documenting a horrible side of humanity. I have a morbid curiosity and found this book to be very interesting albeit a little disturbing, to say the least.
Mar 08, 2010 Haruna rated it really liked it
great collection of the scenes of death. what I love this book is, this is a personally scrapbook by one detective. it was not made for art. that is very pointed the origin of the "photography".
Nov 01, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
A look at the brutal reality of death and murder. I love this creepy book. It's not for everyone though. It is very graphic. I find myself compelled to pull it out and look at it from time to time.
Jessi MotherFucking Ross
Jun 09, 2008 Jessi MotherFucking Ross rated it it was amazing
an incredibly heavy book that i took from the library of an old art school. i had to take my time with this book, but i am glad i took the time to face some of these images.
Michael X
Jun 21, 2008 Michael X rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites, it is an expose on a homicide detective's photos from the 40s and 50s. In black and white, so the shock value is diminished, but very interesting.
Aug 23, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
I bought this because Katherine Dunn wrote the text. This book was graphic and horrifying, but also impossible to put down until I'd reached the bitter end.
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“Nudity and explicit sex are far more easily available now than are clear images of death. The quasi-violence of movies and television dwells on the lively acts of killing – flying kicks, roaring weapons, crashing cars, flaming explosions. These are the moral equivalents of old-time cinematic sex. The fictional spurting of gun muzzles after flirtation and seduction but stop a titillating instant short of actual copulation. The results of such aggressive vivacity remain a mystery. The corpse itself, riddled and gaping, swelling or dismembered, the action of heat and bacteria, of mummification or decay are the most illicit pornography.

The images we seldom see are the aftermath of violent deaths. Your family newspaper will not print photos of the puddled suicide who jumped from the fourteenth floor. No car wrecks with the body parts unevenly distributed, no murder victim sprawled in his own juices. Despite the endless preaching against violent crime, despite the enormous and avid audience for mayhem, these images are taboo.”
“Fear is neither a disease nor a perversion. Fear is our most essential survival mechanism. It has many forms and functions. The mouse staring into the snake’s face doesn’t apologize for its interest.” 0 likes
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