Photographing Crime


It’s a paradox that many of the show’s images are strangely striking even if the crimes they represent are horrifying. Joseph Stalin had at least 750,000 executed between 1937 and 1938. A photographer made a portrait before each execution, shooting the condemned from the front and the side—something the Khmer Rouge did, too. The images are a chilling catalog of a dictator’s brutality, and are still powerful photographs all these years later.

Laura Mallonee writes an engaging and grisly history of crime photography for WIRED.

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →