The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Annals of Crime #78

Original Caption:

Act Out Murder

Bakersfield -- Los Angeles Police Sergeant Glenn H. Bates holds his hands in the air and takes the place of fellow officer Ian Campbell, shot to death here on March 10th, as police re-enact the murder during a visit to the scene of the crime. Sergeant Pierce Brooks takes the part of suspect Gregory Powell as Jimmy Lee Smith, another suspect in the kidnap-slaying of Officer Campbell, watches at left with overcoat draped over his shoulders. The two suspects were captured separately less than 24 hours after two policemen were kidnapped. Campbell was shot to death in this isolated field about 25 miles south of here. (1963)


rookgaroo said...

The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh is an excellent book about this crime.

swac said...

Isn't this the case that became the book/movie The Onion Field?

swac said...

And that's what happens when you comment before moderating the comments.

Tempest said...

Love the reenactment photo with the make believe victim with a cigarette in his mouth.
You can almost hear an exchange like.
"yeah that's about it"

"And then he came from over dare."


"Dumped the Colt"

"Yeah that's about it."

"Christ I could use a coffee."



"There's a diner up da road. Hey about them Dodgers?!" {lights another cigarette}

Gerard Saylor said...

The movie tells the tail well. The anguish of the surviving officer and the horrible, weasel-behavior of the two killers.

Tommy O'C said...

The movie tells the tale well. But the book paints a picture even more painful and detailed. Truly a tour de force by Wambaugh (except that the trial part does get a bit repetitive and, yes, redundant and anticlimactic).

Laveau said...


Ian James Campbell
Karl Francis Hettinger

You have been vindicated.

Thank you for protecting the citizens and for taking on the most difficult of situations.