Down On His Luck

From a New Book on LA Crime Scene Photos from 1953

From a New Book on LA Crime Scene Photos from 1953

Crime writer James Ellroy has come out with a new book of crime scene photos from 1953. The book is called, simply, LAPD ’53. The victim is one Jésus Fernández Muñoz, who, according to Ellroy’s description, was “a good guy down on his luck. The coroner’s register one-sheet is perfunctory. It’s an accidental death. He was walking on or sleeping on a concrete beam below the Aliso Street bridge.” He suddenly dropped 50 feet to the hard surface of the L.A. River, which in that area is a concrete flood channel.

I always loved Ellroy’s L.A. detective novels, especially the so-called L.A. Quartet, consisting of:

  • The Black Dahlia (1987)
  • The Big Nowhere (1988)
  • L.A. Confidential (1990)
  • White Jazz (1992)

I’ve read a few others, but need to read more, as I think he is one of the best working today. And his picture of Southern California is right on the money. I understand he is working on a new series set in L.A.