Photography: Dames! Stiffs! Mugs!

Weegee, king of the tabloids, could always give the rough picture

Some photographers are the poets of purple mountains' majesty. Some are the poets of the placid suburbs. Weegee is the poet of small-timers who died facedown on a city pavement at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own blood. And petty mobsters. He was great at petty mobsters--half the guys in his pictures look as if their nickname was Mugsy. As one of the most unabashed tabloid-news photographers, Weegee was also supremely good at car crashes, dazed escapees from tenement fires, transvestites being hustled out of paddy wagons, and Peeping Tom shots of lovers wrestling in twos (and threes!) on...

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