The photo was in a yearly update volume to the Encyclopedia Britannica. It was in an article talking about the increasing crime rate. It showed a man emptying a garbage can on a curb in New York City. Less than five feet away, a mugging was occurring. The man emptying the garbage can was paying absolutely no attention to the mugging.
The article presented the photo as authentic, and I didn’t have any doubt at the time (I was around ten years old). But I’ve wondered over the years whether it was staged. I’d think one’s instinct would be to drop what you were doing if a mugging was happening that close. If you’re brave, do something; if not, run for your life. And then, there’s the long odds that a photog would have been right there to capture it all.
- remember this specific photo? or
- shed light on whether such a thing could have happened during the ‘golden age’ of rampant NYC street crime?