LAPD '53

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LAPD '53
The book jacket for the book LAPD '53 by James Ellroy and Glyyn Martin.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorJames Ellroy and Glynn Martin
Cover artistCover design by Jacob Covey, jacket and case photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Museum
CountryUnited States
GenreNonfiction, Journalism/Short Fiction, history, photography history, crime, historical non fiction
PublisherAbrams Image
Publication date
May 19, 2015[1]
Media typePrint (hardback) and Kindle
Pages208 pp (first edition, hardcover) and Kindle
ISBN978-1-4197-1585-3 (first edition, hardcover), ISBN 1419715852
LC Class2014942741

LAPD '53 is a historical non-fiction book by James Ellroy and Glynn Martin, about the laws, crimes, and the LAPD, during the year of 1953.[2] Ellroy is a writer known mainly for crime fiction set in Los Angeles, while Martin is the executive director for the Los Angeles Police Museum.

This book's information was provided by the Los Angeles Police Museum's archives,[3] as well as more than 80 duotone photographs to illustrate the text. The dedication for LAPD '53 is "FOR Jim and Doug THE VALOROUS ARE TOO OFTEN DEAD OR UNRECOGNIZED". A Time article quoted him saying "Once Glynn and I studied the photos with our book team at the museum, we made the determination that everything we wanted fell under the calendar year of 1953. We were astounded by the diversity of the crimes. There’s a lot of murder and a disproportionate amount of suicide, but what unifies it all is the level of artistry of the photographs themselves...".[4]


The magazine Los Angeles included it on its list "6 Books You Need to Read in May", saying "LAPD ’53 makes for a coffee table book that is easy to pick up and hard to put down".[5] The New Statesman said of the book "At best, this is a beautifully designed book, on arguably the most important civic police body in the United States of America".[6] The National also included in their list of "Top Six Books This Week".[7] Esquire also included it in its "Book of the Week".[8]


  1. ^ "Destination morgue:James Ellroy spills LA's crime scene secrets – in pictures". May 18, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "LAPD '53". James Ellroy. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "LA Confidential author James Ellroy unveils grisly real-life crime scene pictures from 1950s in new book". June 11, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Charles, Nikolas (June 24, 2015). "See Los Angeles' Rough Past With Crime Author James Ellroy". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "6 Books You Need to Read in May". May 7, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Ghettoside is a bold, humane study of Los Angeles' black homicide epidemic". May 21, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Our top six books this week: inside the gritty underworld of 1950s LA with James Ellroy and much more". May 7, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "Book of the Week". May 20, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2016.