Nearly every day, stories of shocking violence and crime are featured in the back pages of the newspaper.  A terrible event relegated to a less important section;  anonymous crimes that deserve mention but are not front-page worthy.  Some tragedies, like the Baseline Killer murders and the assassination of reporter Don Bolles, become the focus of the community, gain the spotlight, and remain in our memories.  But what about the less covered crimes and deaths in the city that go unnoticed or are quickly forgotten?

Ordinary Tragedy surveys places within the Phoenix metropolitan area where infamous, well-known, or little reported violence and crime has occurred.  The information about these sites comes from newspaper articles, city websites, and online articles.  Objects and items included in the images were found on site and photographed unaltered.  Tragedy can happen anywhere and how time reflects those tragedies is varied and complex.  Knowing the context of a place often changes how we view it.


Travis Samuelson

About Travis Samuelson

Travis Samuelson was born in San Diego, California, raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, and lived for a short time in Melbourne, Australia (where he would very much like to return). He has lived in the Phoenix area since 2008 and is currently a BFA Photography student at Arizona State University. His interests in photography relate to the economic diversities within large populations and the human interface with urban landscapes. He currently lives in Tempe, Arizona with his family.