At 7 p.m. on Monday, February 12, Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain will air an edition of its Drew Goodman-hostedSpotlight
series focusing on Denver photographer Rich Clarkson. The program will concentrate on Clarkson's accomplishments in the field of sports, and there have been loads of them. For instance, he's covered fifty NCAA men's basketball Final Fours, including the landmark victory by the 1966 Texas Western squad, which became the first to win the championship with an all African-American starting five. The DVD of the 2006 filmGlory Road
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, based on Texas Western's unlikely triumph, features a portfolio of Clarkson's images.
However, Clarkson has made snapshot history outside the sports world, too, as was noted in a November 2005 Message column. Turns out that when Clarkson was head of photography for a couple of Topeka, Kansas, newspapers circa 1960, he was the only shutterbug allowed to capture shots at the trial of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, the men whose 1959 slaying of a farm family inspired Truman Capote's 1966 book In Cold Blood, as well as the 1967 movie of the same name. The story has been retold twice since then -- in the 2005 flick Capote, which earned Philip Seymour Hoffman a Best Actor Oscar, and 2006's Infamous.
The Clarkson photo seen above shows Smith, center, and Hickock, behind him, entering the courthouse where they were found guilty of murder. For more on the story behind the shot, click here. -- Michael Roberts