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New Art Exhibit Showcases Gruesome LA Crime Scene Photos

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — An exhibition of graphic and gruesome crime scene photos opened Friday evening in Los Angeles.

“Unedited! The LAPD Photo Archives” showcases more than 80 forensic images taken from the 1920s to 1960s.

Brittney Hopper, reporting for CBS2, says many of the photos are being shown to the public for the first time.

The images are on display on the Paramount lot in Hollywood (5555 Melrose Ave.)

Diana Shaw gasped as she looked at a booking photo of Charles Manson taken in 1969. Her sister lived next door to him in the 60′s in LA.

“It’s oh so real. Like it just happened today. It’s making me feel really eerie,” Shaw said.

Eli Broad, one of the worlds top art collectors say these photos are the epitome of art, even if some are gory.

“Art is something that evokes emotion. Art isn’t something of beauty. It tells a story and emotions and this clearly does that,” says Broad.

But some would say the graphic images are over-the-top.

Images like a woman with a swollen jaw after she was assaulted. Or detectives investigating the discovery of the Black Dahlia’s body.

Merrick Morton of LA-based Fototeka, the director of the exhibit says, showing the images aren’t meant to be insensitive to the victims. Rather, he says, it’s about showing LA history.

Some photos have made international headlines and others have inspired motion pictures.

“These images, now … they don’t have that value of evidence anymore. Now it’s really art,” Morton says.

The exhibit is open throughout the weekend. Regular admission is $28.

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