LAPD archives from the last 100 years reveal photos of grisly crime scenes, amusing field sobriety tests and an actress posing in a cell
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- These images show real-life crime scenes as taken by Los Angeles Police Department in the twentieth century
- The police force’s archives is thought to be made up of a whopping one million historical photographs
- Collection includes everything from forensic shots of bank robbery notes to crime scene images
These intriguing photographs have captured real-life crime scenes as taken by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the early to mid twentieth century.
The collection of images showcase both the amusing times had by the police force since 1925, as well as the more disturbing instances that have had to be dealt with.
One chilling image shows two men slain over their spaghetti at an Italian restaurant in an alleged mafia hit, while another captures a murder victim who had his throat slashed in his car in 1929.
Meanwhile, a 1955 photo shows Hollywood actress Maila Nurmi comically posing in a jail cell – after surviving a murder attempt when a man broke into her apartment.
Another humorous photo from the police force’s archives, estimated to hold one million photographs, shows an LAPD officer administrating a field sobriety test to a woman in 1958.
The fascinating series also includes a later photograph from 1970 – which shows a member of the Manson Family arriving for their arraignment. As members of Charles Manson’s cult, several of the so-called Family committed murders at his request.
Working it! A 1955 photo shows Hollywood actress Maila Nurmi comically posing in a Los Angeles prison cell in her iconic Vampira ensemble – the character she was made famous for. The actress was at the police station following a break in at her apartment where she was terrorized by a man for up to close to four hours. Thankfully, the beloved star managed to escape and rushed to call officers with help from a neighboring shop owner. Maila made her name as Vampira in Plan 9 From Outer Space and had fame as a horror TV host. She was living modestly when she died from a heart attack aged 85 in 2008
Girl power! This image taken in 1968 is thought to show a group of women being trained with revolver guns, as on the far left wall reads a sign saying: ‘Night Combat’. The selection of females appear well dressed as they point their weapons towards the ground, seemingly waiting for an instruction from their superior. Los Angeles Police Department was the first to swear in a female officer, hiring Alice Wells in 1910. In the late 60s and earlier 70s, when this photo was taken, women were much more involved with the police as they were needed to serve undercover when dealing with prostitution and illegal drug sales. The public accepting the female presence was evident in the popularity of TV shows such as Policewoman and Get Christie Love
On her merry way! An LAPD officer can be seen in this photograph administrating a Standardized Field Sobriety Test to an seemingly tipsy woman on July 6, 1958. However it appears to not end well for the woman as she begins to stumble after being asked to walk in a straight line. Field sobriety tests, commonly referred to by officers as FSTs, are a series of exercises designed to test balance, coordination and the ability to do two things at once. They aim, in theory, to discover whether a person is sober enough to continue driving. Such tests can involve a one-leg-stand, a walk-and-turn, and alphabet recitation.
Dark times: Not all the photographs within the police department’s collection are amusing as some hint at the more chilling times throughout history. One grisly image, above, showcases a lifeless body seemingly thrown across the water and found lying underneath an eerie-looking bridge over the Los Angeles River on February 17 in 1955. Numerous police officers can be spotted standing next to the body as they assess the horrific crime scene
The end: One chilling image shows two men slain over their spaghetti at an Italian restaurant in an alleged mafia hit in August 1933
Horrific: This photograph captures the scene after a man had his throat slashed in his car March 11, 1929, in Los Angeles
Robbery? At the time of this picture being taken, police reported this as a jewelry store heist gone wrong on July 23, 1932
Somber: There are also crime scene photographs from the Hollywood Hills home of legendary comedian Lenny Bruce following his overdose in 1966
The fascinating series also includes a later photograph from 1970 – which shows a member of the Manson Family arriving for their arraignment. As members of Charles Manson’s cult, several of the so-called Family committed murders at his request
A truck full: In this photograph, a vehicle is captured carrying a huge load of seized marijuana on October 11th, 1935
This victim lying dead in a yard, discovered on July 13, 1930, was recorded as John Doe as their real name was unknown
A chilling photograph of a dead body taken on January 11, 1932. There are an estimated one million photographs within the LAPD archives. Many of these images come from Special Investigations Division
The collection includes everything from forensic shots of bank robbery notes through to morgue portraits, crime scene images and crime re-enactment stills – although police are unaware what this shot from 1947 depicts