Later pictures show only a brown hand peeping out from beneath the white sheet. But there is one fuzzy photo, taken before the police covered the body, which shows the victim of New York gunman Jeffrey Johnson. The shape of the body seems more womanly than male, although it’s hard to tell from the baggy pants and big shirt s/he’s wearing. Let’s just say it’s a she. Her head and torso lie flat on the pavement. But her legs are jumbled up against the wall (the wall of a shop and office building in Manhattan), as if her feet started walking at the very moment when her top half slumped to the floor. Death came untidily, then. Not a clean, cool, smart, wind-in-your-hair death, if there ever is such a thing. Meanwhile Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at a press conference two hours later, was relieved to file this fatality neatly away under ‘not terrorism’. Ditto the fate of the gunman himself, shot dead by police a few minutes later. In the shadow of the Empire State Building, in the run up to the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, this might have been another iconic killing. If it had been a suicide shooter, the plump police chiefs and the onlooking crowd (dressed down in the late summer heat: 75 degrees at the time of the 9am slaying), would have been automatically recruited as extras in another Gotham City epic. But because Jeffrey Johnson came back to kill someone he used to work with, or for, at the women’s clothes firm which sacked him when it downsized a year ago, this whole episode was swiftly demoted to a B-movie. Of course he, and only he, was personally responsible. But in another sense both Johnson and his victim were casualties of recession; and unlike terrorism, everything to do with recession is banal, non-iconic. Even when it bleeds, it doesn’t lead.