Arguably the most famous crime photographer, Arthur Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), a native of what was then Austria, made his bones photographing criminals and crime scenes in Lower Manhattan of the 1930s and 1940s. To get exclusive photos, Fellig competed with both press and police to be the first person at a crime scene. He was so good at it that they called him Weegee (from Ouija board) for his preternatural ability to regularly beat even police to the scene of a crime.
His stark, chilling style set the tone for what many even today associate with a crime scene photo. His first solo exhibit was in 1941, and was titled, “Weegee: Murder is My Business.”
Arthur Fellig, portrait, 1937