Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I should move on to another subject, but I can't help putting up one more post about criminals of the early 20th Century. I warn you, it's pretty scary!

How do you like the guy on the left (above)? He strikes me as psychotic. If only real criminals were more like Barks' Beagle Boys. They were career thieves but they weren't crazy, they were just greedy.

What a contrast between the short, high-strung guy on the left and his tall, mellow friend on the right. How did these guys ever get along together? I also notice that one man creases his pants and the other doesn't. I guess this was the era when the crease was coming into popularity.

Look at this guy (above)! He just can't wait to pummel somebody. His pants might be creased, but if they are, the crease must run almost up the sides of his legs. I notice too, that his suit looks like he slept in it, and the edges around the buttons look stressed. Maybe it's made of cotton rather than wool.

Wow! A mean version of Sterling Hayden. Click to enlarge. When blown up this picture conveys a powerful sense of place.

Old-time heist movies almost always feature an expert, and he almost always looks like the guy above. He's the guy with some rare and necessary skill, and he's always greatly respected by other thugs. 

Is that the same guy (above) in all three pictures? The faces all have the same big ears, thin nose and clipped eyebrows. If it is the same guy, then the change of suit and posture is a really ingenious disguise.. 

Yikes! This criminal (above) looks like the poet, Baudelaire! His expression makes me think he possesses a shrew-like nervous intensity, and is always looking for a way to turn a situation to his advantage. I think this picture is from the late 1890s.

This guy (above) looks kinda dumb, and maybe he is, but what if he's faking that, as a kind of disguise?

Boy, one of the drawbacks of being a criminal is that you have to associate with other criminals. So many of them are either crazy or, like the guy above, chronically lazy. But maybe I'm being too hard on him. Maybe he's just tired.

Wow! If it's true that your life is written on your face, then this woman's face (above) is a whole volume! The horrible things she must have seen!

BTW, look at that dress! At the turn of the century women's fashion looked fine, but by the time WWl came along it was terrible. Look how shapeless that dress is! I'm no fan of the Flappers, but their way of dressing must have seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to what came immediately before.  

This woman (above) didn't seem to want her picture taken. My guess is that she was afraid that her mother would see it. Maybe that shame was her ticket out of the underworld.


I'm going to be offline til Sunday. See you then!



  1. Anonymous4:41 AM

    Can't wait to see your next post on Sunday! Love these mugshots. They make me wanna draw all of them!

  2. I could look at these photos all day, they're so interesting!

  3. Roberto. Taber: They're great, aren't they? Most are from the archives of the Sydney Police... Sydney Australia, that is. There may be a whole book of them.

  4. I suspect the girls aren´t exactly girls... It was a crime in those days.

  5. (Psst, Eddie, those are actually two undercover cops in drag. Don't blow their cover, okay?)

  6. Lucas, Pete: Geez, maybe you're right. I hadn't thought of that til you mentioned it.

  7. peter falk lookalike!!!