Crime History: 'Father of motion picture' shoots, kills wife's lover

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Oct. 17, in 1874, Eadweard J. Muybridge, the pioneer of motion photography, shot and killed his wife's paramour.

The slaying came four years before Muybridge stunned the world the first film ever -- a galloping horse that proved that all four hoofs came off the ground during a full run.

Muybridge had discovered love notes between his wife and Major Harry Larkyns, the drama critic for the San Francisco Post. One letter included a photo of Muybridge's son with the caption "Little Harry."

Muybridge walked up to Larkyns' house and introduced himself, saying, "Good evening, Major, my name is Muybridge, and here's the answer to the letter you sent my wife." He then shot Larkyns in the heart.

Muybridge pleaded insanity, but he was acquitted anyway for "justifiable homicide."

- Scott McCabe

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Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner