The punctured crust of the naked city.

This is the sort of content I used to dump out freely on Twitter. On a blog I should probably be more sensitive to copyright. For today I won’t be; we’ll see how it goes.

Found this during today’s research trip to the Boston Public Library. (I sagged off from work.)

This is quite possibly the finest piece of crime-scene photography ever run in an American daily newspaper, and it deserves to be exhumed and seen.

From July 1970, the Boston Herald-Traveler shows you the city’s gritty underbelly — or maybe its gritty top crust:


PIE, its crust ripped by gunman’s bullet“! Has there ever been a more vivid combination of the bloody and the absurd? The violent and the trivial?

It reminds me a little of Zappa’s Weasels Ripped My Flesh: Gunmen ripped my pie crust.

And that’s not all: Note dent in pan where slug went awry! Or was it the precise composition of lard and flour in the crust that rearranged the best-laid plans of the burglar?  (“It was a short crust, but it made a big difference,” police Sgt. Melton Mowbray said.)

Once you get past the absurdity of the pie-as-Exhibit-One, the rest of the package delivers a complementary dose of bracing crime-scene content.

This isn’t just any rank-and-file dogsbody in the picture, it’s a police ballistician. (WordPress is trying to tell me that’s not a word, but readers of the Herald-Traveler know better.)

And any time you see the back of somebody’s head in a professionally shot photo, you know subconsciously and immediately that something’s gone sideways, like getting a phone call from your kid in the middle of the day. Everyone knows news photos aren’t supposed to look like that.

There’s only one missing piece of evidence here, one which apparently didn’t occur to either the photog or the reporter:

What sort of pie?

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