All posts tagged: LAPD police museum

James Ellroy finds real crime-scene photographs from LAPD in 1953

Shortly before I’m due to conduct a long-distance telephone interview from Manchester to the Los Angeles Police Museum, with the self-proclaimed Demon Dog of crime fiction James Ellroy and his temporary collaborator Glynn Martin (executive director of the museum), I open an email from a mate with an attachment to Werner Herzog’s 5 Favourite Films. Above the list there is a quote from Herzog himself that stands out like a bruise on a child: “I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility and murder.” I make an instant note of it, but my 30 minutes are up before I can ask Ellroy if this is how he sees the universe. I’m guessing it is: his body – or his cadaver – of work is the written equivalent of a dumping ground. Murder – including the unsolved murder of his own mother in 1958 – corruption, tortured cops, bent authorities, flawed femme fatales: these are his obsessions (he is a chronic obsessive on and off the page). But then Ellroy …


BJP Staff