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Angela has wanted to work with dead bodies since she was nine years old.

by Angela Strassheim
01 December 2004, 12:00am
Angela has wanted to work with dead bodies since she was nine years old––she just wasn’t sure how because she wanted to be an artist too. It’s hard enough to succeed in just one of those fields, so she must be a robot or something because she ended up not only graduating from Yale’s storied photography program (la-di-da), but also being an autopsy photographer for four boroughs of New York City (not Staten Island, but they don’t count since you have to take a boat to get there). She takes pictures of autopsies for eight hours a day, every single day. That’s an average of 10 dead people chopped up in front of her daily. That’s what she does while you’re busy being a “freelance stylist” or a “creative director.” Angela also makes art, mostly based on crime scenes she witnessed while working as a forensic photographer in Dade County, Florida. She has a million awesome and disgusting stories, and we almost barfed five times while she explained her excellent photos to us. This is what they use to cut open skulls in autopsy rooms. The sound of it is really disturbing. This one still has some hair on it.

These are wall drawings by a boy who got decapitated 10 feet away from this spot. He got his head stuck in a freight elevator. It was his dad's warehouse.

This is a re-creation of a drug deal gone bad that I shot on the job in Miami. They had all been bound at the hands and feet, then gagged with duct tape and shot in the head execution-style.

This is a re-creation of how I would actually photograph a crime scene on the job. I based this on a news story about a couple walking on some railroad tracks. They were attacked by a few guys. He was knocked out, and she was gang-raped and beaten. He came to and called the cops on his cell, and I think she was actually rescued.

This doctor did illegal abortions in his basement from the 1930s until the 70s. He saved all of them in jars. When he died, his wife wanted them gone, and she called the forensics department where I work. It was a big day for us.

My friends took over this old screenprinting shop, then they discovered a hidden sex room in the back. This is exactly how they found it. Note the duct-tape ball gags and the penis pump.

This is a re-creation of a story I saw when I worked in Miami as a forensic photographer. The makeup was done meticulously from autopsy photos—I even re-created the ant activity on her breast.

I re-created a suicide I'd photographed earlier that year at the A&A building, a famous structure in New Haven. I was hoping to schedule it for when a parade was going by, but that didn't work out.

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