Weegee parked his maroon 1938 Chevy coupe near the 76 Club, one of several mob-run clubs in lower Manhattan. Its red and green neon sign grinned in the chilly 2:30 a.m. darkness. He jammed a fresh stogie in his mouth, pulled a 4x5 Speed Graphic from the trunk, slung his camera bag over his overcoat, and hoofed three-quarters of a block to the murder scene.
He waltzed past a knot of drunken gawkers held back by two uniformed patrolmen. No press pass for him stuffed in the band of his fedora. Every cop in town recognized Weegee the Famous.
Ahead sat a shiny black 1939 Packard touring sedan, as big as a beer truck. The driver’s window shot out. Two bodies slumped in the front seat.
Weegee’s breath caught in his throat.
Two photographers were already there, hovering around the vehicle—a big guy picking his nose and a short guy changing film holders. Both carried standard 4x5 press cameras and press passes stuffed in the bands of their fedoras. He didn’t recognize either one. Nobodies.
Yet nobodies who inexplicably beat him to the scene.
“Hey, Weegee,” said the patrolman watching over the victims’ vehicle.
“Hiya, Jack,” he replied to the big mick, the local beat cop.
“You lose your Ouija board?” needled the cop as a flashgun lit up the driver’s side of the Packard. “You’re always the first photographer on the scene.”