New York circa 1911. “Grant’s Tomb. Rubber-neck auto on Riverside Drive.” Via Shorpy.
Via The Atlantic:
New York Police Department Evidence photo. Homicide victim - overhead view, ca. 1916-1920. At the corners, note the legs of the tripod supporting the camera above the body. (Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives)
Via The Atlantic:
New York Police Department evidence photo, homicide scene. Jos Kellner, 404 East 54th Street, murdered in hallway, on January 7, 1916. (Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives)
FBI and NYPD investigators are excavating the basement at 127 Prince Street in SoHo for the remains of six-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared while walking to his bus stop in 1979—the first time he was allowed to walk alone.
Etan was the first missing child to be pictured on a milk carton, and the day of his disappearance, May 25, became National Missing Children’s Day.
This article in the Times looks at the science behind the new search and includes some quotes from Dr. Michael Baden, medical examiner for the City at the time of Etan’s disappearance:
What may have survived after all these years and the effects of the moisture of the soil and the bacteria from decomposition?
“There probably would still be bone,” Dr. [Michael] Baden said. “The permanent teeth that we have, more so than baby teeth, last for decades. Longer than that. It’s easy to get DNA from teeth and long bones.”
There could still be hair. “That definitely would provide DNA,” Dr. Baden said. Any blood spilled would have long decomposed, he said, but investigators will surely be looking for signs of insect activity.
“Maggots can have the DNA of an individual,” from feeding on a body, Dr. Baden said. The pupae cases left behind from hatching flies could contain the body’s DNA, he said.
Image: Etan Patz in 1978. Photograph by his father, Stanley K. Patz. Via Wikipedia.
Another bird’s-eye view of Eleventh Avenue, a.k.a “Death Avenue,” on New York’s West Side as captured by the Bain News Service circa 1911.
Around 1850, the City of New York began building street-level railroad tracks on Manhattan’s west side. One of the avenues saw so many fatal accidents between the trains and pedestrians, horses, and cars that it became known as Death Avenue. In an effort to reduce the mayhem, men on horses (known as West Side Cowboys) were hired by the rail companies to ride in front of the trains waving red flags.
In 1929, the West Side Improvement Project began, which (among other things) resulted in the construction of elevated rail in place of the dangerous street-level trains. The park-ified remnants of these elevated structures can be enjoyed today as the High Line, a totally awesome place to sit down and eat a sandwich next time you’re in the City.
Pat Mulligan, “Fall Victim,” 1955. Source: Photographic Morgue of the New York Journal-American, Harry Ransom Center:
Police surround the body of an unidentified man who fell to his death in a courtyard of a six-story apartment building at 218 W. 69th Street.
UPI Photo, “Looking for the Jumper,” 1962. Source: Photographic Morgue of the New York Journal-American, Harry Ransom Center:
Lunchtime crowds look up at the Chrysler Building where rumors of a possible jumper in the window had arisen.
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