Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

Photographer and historian Marc Hermann has done a beautiful job pulling historic crime scene photos from the New York Daily News archive to blend them with photographs of the same locations today. For those who live in New York now, it may be easy to forget just how rough the city was in the not-too-distant past.

Grisly violence is an undeniable part of New York's DNA and the juxtaposition of the old, black and white images with the modern "Times Square" version of what most people expect today is incredibly fascinating - truly making ghosts walk amongst us.

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427 1/2 Hicks St. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Gangster Salvatore Santoro met his end in the vestibule of 427 1/2 Hicks St. on Jan. 31, 1957. Here's how the building looks then and now.

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Brooklyn, N.Y
The tree that stands in front of 923 44th St. in Brooklyn is the only living witness to gangster Frankie Yale's untimely demise on July 1, 1928. Yale's car slammed into the steps of the Brooklyn home that day as he was shot to death from a car driving by.

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Park Slope plane crash in New York City
The wreckage after the crash of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 over New York City was well documented by the Daily News back in December 1960. Over 130 people were killed aboard the planes and on the ground in Brooklyn, making it one of New York's most tragic disasters. The crash also destroyed some buildings beyond repair. The ones that still stand can be seen in this compilation.

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Porter Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Only a few scars left on the side of this building serve as a reminder of what happened here on April 4, 1959. Three-year-old Martha Cartagena was riding her tricycle when she was struck and killed on Porter Ave. in Brooklyn.

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137 Wooster St. Manhattan, N.Y.
Back in the 1950s, there were no North Face storefronts to be found on Wooster St. There was, however, a massive and fatal fire at the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Feb. 16, 1958. Six were killed by the blaze and the building was leveled, but new commercial space now stands where the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. once did.

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Downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.
Passersby of 66 Court St. probably have no idea that a massive gas explosion once blew out the windows of this building on Jan. 31, 1961. Over two dozen were injured by the flying glass and falling plaster.

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497 Dean St. Brooklyn, N.Y.
New York City's rich photo history has been well documented by the Daily News through the years. Many of the places, stories and lives lived by New Yorkers who have come before us are still alive and well, but locked in photography archives. Marc A. Hermann, historian of the New York Press Photographers Association, has juxtaposed then and now photos of New York City, bringing back to life people and stories of the Big Apple's past. Check out some of his amazing work ... March 19, 1942 is a day well captured in the Daily News' archive. Edna Egbert, who lived at 497 Dean St. in Brooklyn, climbed onto her ledge that day. The News captured the distraught woman fighting with the police as she wobbled on the edge. The building is currently painted red, but remains nearly identical to the way it looked 70 years ago.

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992 Southern Blvd. Bronx, N.Y.
A classic case of jealousy. In this stairwell of 992 Southern Blvd. on Sept. 25, 1961, James Linares lay bleeding in the arms of his girlfriend Josephine Dexidor after being shot by her husband. The same banister still scales the length of the hallway.

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Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sunday strolls are still popular in Prospect Park, but on Sunday July 30, 1950, this usually quiet neighborhood was shook by the suicide of Detective Michael Dwyer, seen here.

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Fulton Fish Market
The Fulton Fish Market in the South Street Seaport was rocked by a fire on Feb. 26, 1961. These buildings still stand, in various states of occupancy, and minus a few floors here and there.

New York City photographers
Here, Marc A. Hermann (r.) and his colleagues of 70 years prior get caught in a rare moment on the opposite side of the camera lens. Hermann began this photo project because of his love for history and it has since blossomed into a series that reminds us all that there has been bustling life in the Big Apple for decades. "New York is constantly changing and transforming, and tragedies that affected individuals' lives are forgotten. We may stand on what was once the site of a horrific murder and not even know it, simply because life goes on," says Hermann. Now you can relive these historic moments in present-day.

New York Daily News via Gizmodo
Chris Knight's picture

Residing in New York City, Chris is an internationally published photographer whose work has appeared in Vogue, People, MSNBC, ABC, Ocean Drive, GQ and others. He is an instructor of Photography and Imaging at Pratt Institute and the New York Film Academy.

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This is amazing, great research and post work.

There are a lot of these modern/ historical overlays out there, but the blending on these is far superior to 99% of the others. Good work.

Auto align layers, add mask layer, paint. Did you include MS Paint users in your percentile?

I agree there are a lot of poorly aligned or poorly executed pieces of work. I think a lot of them are just due to the fact the two images dot align exactly properly. The two photographs are taken at different angles... so 'auto align' doesn't help much.

You have to sometimes skew a bit or slice the image. But to get as close to original as possible it's to bring a good size print to the place and a fine tripod then set the camera on live view and compare everything until you get it right.

One of the main things I see people miss is a similar lens, or one that creates the same type of spacial distortion. This stuff is easy to do, but hard to do right.

Cover image has wrong shadows. I can see half of car in one image. And the one with Frankie Yale’s car is taken from the wrong angle. It's a good job, but it's NOT "far superior to 99% of the others". We are the others and I bet most of us here are able to do a similar or better job.


Why do you assume you are part of the 99%? If you think yours is better, you would be in the 1%, wouldn't you?

And, BTW, putting down other people's work to show how good yours is..... not a classy move.

I don't show my work, because I don't have work to be shown. My primary job is web development. So yes I'm in the 99%, or not even in the same graph. If I feel that I can do this (or similar), that means at least 90% of you (that commented at least once on this website, and probably work as photographers) should be able to do this.

The work IS great because it's original, and took some guts to do this, but I can't agree with the percentile for the blending. It's a gross exaggeration.

Unless this ( ) counts as 99%, then yes, I can agree with the entire comment.

So... your problem is that someone on the internet used hyperbole?

Personally, I would let this one go. It was used in a positive way. No one was hurt. It is harmless.

To your question the answer is YES. And I didn't claim that I can do a better job, I claimed that you (all users here except you personally), can do a better job then me and probably better then the images here, when it comes to blending.

Sorry for thinking you are not in the 99 percent.

Frankly, Adrien S, I think you are just an arsehole!
I'm about 100% sure of that!
: )

What a D@CK

You're all acting like jealous dicks.

Well why didn't you?

19 comments and only 33 upvotes.

Seems you talk a lot without any substance

And your point on the subject is?

Oh, and then there's taking the new picture so that it matches the original position and angle taken decades ago. And the artistic decisions on where to mask. Don't be so nasty.

Yeah I've been doing a series of similar photographs about 6 months ago. You can check them and read about them here:

I was sorting the archives and I scanned the old images from 20 years ago with my 7D camera then went out and shot from the same position. That's why they have black edges around them cause that's the frame of the original photograph made by the photographer.

You can check the gallery here:

A very compelling juxtaposition of then and now. This is a bookworthy collection.

Clever concept!

this is really cool, would love to see something like this with London

I believe I recently saw pics of London just like these...only it was war scenes imposed over modern-day scenes.. here is the link to those pics, in fact!

Cool! but is on the daily mail...

i truly love these works!! they are so artistic and historical; they make me want more!! :) and i would love to see similar photos from other cities.

((on a side note, i think there may be a need to proofread Prospect Park again. Unless i am mistaken, it should read "this usually quiet neighborhood was SHAKEN by..." and not "Shook By," as written. :) ))


I am in awe - much respect to all photographers involved - across the ages.

Loved them all....

This is just great, thank you!!

Awesome and scary, especially since I can figure out where some of these things happened in the present....

Brilliant! I don't know when I will visit NY again (sometime in the future) I will have these pictures in my case and do some 'ghost hunting'

I hope he does this with other cities too. There's a lot of history out there.

great concept, but i wish it was executed better.
Seems pretty quick and dirty photoshop wise

Got some of yours to post?

the fuzzy edges are killin' me, I've got to say it. But nice concept!


I would love to see these and other, non-crime, images integrated into a historical version of google streetview. I've been promoting the idea since streetview first came online, and now here is evidence that it can really happen!


Great story! Great photos. Although one of the captions should have said "shaken" not "shook".

Wow to think this up is just amazing but to do all the background and footwork for this is even more so, thanks for showing a bit of the past and present.

Incredible idea and work. I want more.

Decent work, some better than others of course. However even on my phone I can zoom in on easily missed edge detail which would've accentuated both quality and realism.

Brilliant idea so wonderfully executed ;-)

Amazingly done!


Is there a location for the last photo of the photographers? It looks to be identical to the New York Criminal Court Building at 100 Centre Street!

Amazing!! Love this project. Brilliant work my friend!

»» this usually quiet neighborhood was shook by the suicide of Detective Michael Dwyer««

"Shaken," not "shook." Otherwise, nice work.

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