DAY 129: Peering at crime scenes

7 Jan

HEDY Lamarr’s The Conspirators (“they shared a love too exciting to last”) is showing at the Esquire Theatre on Bourke Street, but there are no clues in this crime scene photo as to what else is going down.

The exhibition at North Melbourne’s Victorian Archives Centre of photos for police and juries, dating between the 1920s and 1930s, is presented with no explanations, and often, no visible corpses. It’s up to the beholder to note the direction of the detectives’ eyes and try to fathom a mystery with few clues.

The Eastern Arcade, for instance, was one of the last locations at which 12-year-old murder victim Alma Tirtschke was spotted in 1921, while an unrecognisable Flinders Street might equally be party to a crime of passion or a gangland shooting. In a close-up of a rumpled bedroom, a dressing-gown hangs on the door; photos are framed messily on a stand; booze clutters the dresser; and each bullet hole on the wall is marked with a red ‘x’.

Eastern Arcade

Keeper? Done this one.

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