Vintage mugshots from Australia, 1920s

Dressed in their finest suits and ties with their top hats facing the camera, these men and women are posing for expensive pictures. But behind his neat appearance lie guilty eyes that hide some of the most horrific crimes the police dealt with in those days.

These are mugshots of Australian convicts who were dealt with by police in the 1920s and 1930s for murders, burglaries, thefts and other crimes.

The Justice and Police Museum of Australia has released 2,500 photographs of female criminals from the 1920s. Portraits of murderers, fanatics, traffickers and prostitutes provide a fascinating glimpse into life in Australia in the early 20th century.

These "special photographs" were mostly taken in chambers at the Central Police Station, Sydney and, as curator Peter Doyle explains, "the men and women who had recently been driven off the street were often animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension. Were".

Doyle suggests that, compared to the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of particular photographs have been allowed – perhaps invited – for the camera to position themselves and like themselves.

His photographic identity thus seems to be constructed from a powerful alchemy of innate temperament, personal history, learned habits and characteristics, chosen personal style (haircuts, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics. The images themselves are of excellent quality, beautifully made and, in many cases, quite artistic.

Albert Stewart Warnkin is listed in the NSW Police Gazette of 10 November 1920 as having been charged with attempting to physically get to know an eight-year-old girl. No entry has been found for Beutler, whose image reads 'Deliberate and obscene performance'.

This photo was apparently taken after a raid led by Chief Bill McKay - later became Commissioner of Police - at a house at 74 Riley Street, 'Lower Darlinghurst'. Multiple charges were heard against the 15 men and women who were arrested. It was the home of 'distinguished thieves'.

Crime: Murder. Eugenia Folney spent most of her life as a male. In 1913 Faulney married a widow, Annie Birkett, whom he later murdered. The case drove the public into frenzy as they were scrambling for details of the 'male-female' killer. Age around 35.

Joseph Messenger and Valerie Lowe were arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing 29 pounds 3 shillings of shoes and overcoats.

The following year, when this photo was taken, he was charged with breaking into and breaking into a house. Those charges were eventually dropped but he was arrested again later that year for stealing a saddle and bridle from Roseberry Racecourse.

He was active in the inner-Sydney underworld during the 1920s as an adult messenger, and appears in the NSW Criminal Register (16 July 1930 entry number 171) as a veteran criminal and gang ally. Descriptions of their modus operandi include, 'violently [resisting] arrests ... frequented wine salons, billiard rooms, and racecourses ... consorts with prostitutes'. This photo shows Messenger at the age of 18.

A cropped print of this photo appears in a 1920s police photo book, annotated in pencil "Magman", with no further information provided.

In March 1929, Harry Williams was sentenced to 12 months of hard labor for breaking into, breaking into, and stealing. Murray/Williams' entry in the NSW Criminal Register, April 30 1930 describes him as a housebreaker and burglar, whose MO includes 'lighting doors or windows or [forced] the houses during the tenants' absence'.

He 'claims to have stolen property to the custodians of hotel bars or to persons in the street...] is an old dealer'. Although he 'has cohabitation with prostitutes' and frequents 'hotels and wine bars around Haymarket', he is described as having a 'calm nature'.

Gilbert Burley on the left is identified as 'Hotel Barber', and Delaney's photo is labeled 'false pretense and conspiracy'. A companion photo makes it clear that Delaney was, in fact, the hotel barber - meaning he booked into a hotel, boarding house or residential and usually robs (or 'snips') fellow patrons in the dead of night. .

In this instance, Delaney was accused of stealing a case of cigarettes, a hairbrush, a watch, and a quantity of clothing from a residence. A month later, he was charged with 'avoiding bail'. He has been described as 'a fireman and a returned soldier'.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.