Murder, Mayhem, and Mishaps: Inside Weegee’s New York (PHOTOS)
The peripatetic freelance photographer Arthur Fellig (1899-1968), nicknamed Weegee for his seemingly paranormal ability to turn up at the scene of a crime even before the cops, was a connoiseur of murder. Nothing elicited his admiration like a good mob hit. “Each one of their murders was a classic,” he once wrote of Murder Inc., and then crossed out “classic” and wrote, “masterpiece they were perfectionists.” It takes one to know one. Using a big Speed Graphic camera with a flash, Weegee immortalized Big Apple crime and mid-century street life like no one else before or since. Exhibit A: “Anthony Esposito (left), booked on suspicion of killing a policeman, New York” in 1941. Most of the captions that follow are Weegee’s own descriptions. The photographs are from Weegee: Murder Is My Business, by Brian Wallis.