Stephen Chalmers, a Professor of Photography and Digital Imaging at Youngstown University, Ohio, has recently released an intriguing body of work entitled 'Unmarked' that consists of a series of photographs of sites where serial killers dumped their victims.
These photographs of sites where serial killers dumped their victims are haunted with the final experiences of the victims that were brutally disposed of.
They also tap into our society’s fascination with what murder looks like.
Chalmers located the sites by reading the public police records and utilizing GPS coordinates and mapping software to determine the exact spot where the bodies were found.
Victims: Laurel Wason (31) and Shawn McClenahan (39)
The concept of the work deliberately omits any information about the murderers and crimes that took place as the artist wanted to "refocus respect and attention on the victim."
Victims: Kenneth Whitacre (40), Charles Fleming (67), Melford Sample (uk), Donald Smith (uk), John Haluka (uk), Warren Kelley (uk), Sigurd Beierman (uk), William Emery Kamp (uk), Clarence Hocking (uk), James Howard (uk), Jonah Smallwood (uk), Elbert T. Riley (uk), Paul Allen (60), Edward Martin Cupp (uk), Albert Hayes (uk), Raymond Muchache (uk), John Jackson (uk), Lloyd Wallace Wenzel (uk), Mark Beverly Shields (uk), Sam Bonafide (a.k.a. Joe Carriveau) and Joseph Maczak (uk), plus four John Does.
To this end, Chalmers only provides the viewer with the names and ages of the victims.
Victim: Denise Bush (23)
These images address the nature of experience, the human capacity to commit evil, and society’s fascination with death as a spectacle by delivering deliberate visual dead ends that lure the viewers’ gaze without delivering knowledge, information, or meaning.
Victim: Danny Joe Eberle (13)
As a latecomer who has visited these sites, months or years after the event and the associated media coverage, one is immediately struck by the absence of spectacle, the beauty of the sites and their silence and stillness.
Victim: Linda Slawson (19)
Victim: Eric Church (22)
Victims: Rosalind Thorpe (24) and Allison Liu (23)
Victim: Dennis Frank Fox (17)
The series of work is beautiful and incredibly thought provoking, inviting us to consider these horrible tragedies in a very different light.
To view the complete series of photographs, visit Stephen Chalmers's site here.