Newspapers don't serve up murder like this anymore.

Several decades ago, the starting course was a bloody crime scene, followed by a cool confession, pre-DNA investigative work and an entree of courtroom drama. Finish it off with a choice of conviction or acquittal, and you had the sensational tale of someone's demise.

Larry Millett, author of "Strange Days, Dangerous Nights" and a former Pioneer Press reporter, dives back into noir for his latest book, "Murder Has a Public Face: Crime and Punishment in the Speed Graphic Era."

Using old clips and pictures, Millett weaves through four sensational murders in the 1940s and 1950s, smoothly retelling the twists and turns as dutifully covered by reporters and photographers at the time.

The Speed Graphic cameras were cumbersome to use, but their results were vivid and chilling.

Back then, photographers captured the whole story, from crime scene to confession to conviction. No detail was too small, as evidenced by a picture of jurors eating lunch, and newspapers had no qualms about running story after story after story.

Apparently, newspaper readers had no problem digesting a full helping of gore -- and all the gory details.

Where is that appetite today?