Smirking and creepy, with hollow eyes ablazes, Jared Loughner stared back at viewers and readers yesterday for the first time since being accused of shooting 20 people in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, says the Washington Post. The police booking photo of the man accused of killing six and wounding 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), flashed around the world, at once haunting and fascinating. Dozens of newspapers placed the photo atop their front pages.
New York’s tabloid newspapers combined the photo with shocking headlines to create a tableau of guilt and horror. “Face of Evil,” blared the New York Daily News, which ran Loughner’s image nearly life-sized on its front page. The New York Post was no more subtle, playing the photo even larger beside a headline that all but convicted him: “Mad Eyes of a Killer.” Both newspapers altered the photo taken by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, turning the original green-gray background into lurid, high-contrast black. Other papers blew the chilling image up, too. The St. Paul Pioneer Press devoted a massive chunk of its front page to it; the New York Times ran a somewhat smaller version that nonetheless dominated the page.