The tale of Mrs Dorothy Mort

March 12, 2014 at 10:33 am
Mug shot of convicted murderer Dorothy Mort, 16 OCTOBER 1929

DOROTHY MORT, CRIMINAL RECORD NUMBER 773LB, 16 OCTOBER 1929.

Mrs Dorothy Mort was having an affair with dashing young doctor Claude Tozer.

On 21 December 1920 Tozer visited her home with the intention of breaking off the relationship. Mort shot him dead before attempting to commit suicide. Aged 32. She was released from gaol shortly after this photograph was taken and disappeared from the public eye.

Part of an archive of forensic photography created by the NSW Police between 1912 and 1964. Visit more images online.

Disorderly Persons

March 5, 2014 at 10:27 am
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Guest Curator and author Peter Doyle, talks through some of the stories behind faces in the City of Shadows.  In this interview we look at how a couple of cross dressing criminals took advantage of visit servicemen in Sydney.

Visit more of the characters from the NSW Police Forensic Archive on our new website today. 

 

Detectives at Work

February 26, 2014 at 10:00 am
Detective at Work late 1930s. B&W

Detective at Work

Detective squatting on road and pointing between tram tracks. Late 1930s, details unknown.

Restoration and research of the Forensic Archive Gallery

February 24, 2014 at 10:04 am
Glass plate negatives in kodak boxes

Original glass plate negatives

Holly Schulte, Curator Digital Assets at Sydney Living Museums takes a look into the City of Shadows.

Explaining, in this clip,  how Sydney Living Museums came about the archive and how we are able to process and print the glass plate negatives found at Justice and Police Museum.

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E. Walker, Criminal Record Number 605LB

February 19, 2014 at 10:00 am
Mug Shot of e. Walker circa 1923

E. WALKER, CRIMINAL RECORD NUMBER 605LB, 12 NOVEMBER 1923. STATE REFORMATORY FOR WOMEN

E. WALKER, CRIMINAL RECORD NUMBER 605LB, 12 NOVEMBER 1923. STATE REFORMATORY FOR WOMEN, LONG BAY, NSW

No information about E. Walker has been found. She may have been a vagrant: her clothes are dirty, she wears what appear to be army boots and her head has been shaved to eradicate head lice. Part of an archive of forensic photography created by the NSW Police between 1912 and 1964.

New South Wales. Dept. of Prisons | Glass plate negative: b& w; 4.75 x 6.5

See more mugshots form the NSW Police Forensic Archive

Henry Pierce, special photograph number D95

January 30, 2014 at 10:00 am
Mug Shot of Henry Pierce, special photograph number D95, 12 August 1929, Central Police Station, Sydney

Henry Pierce, special photograph number D95, 12 August 1929, Central Police Station, Sydney

 

Henry Pierce was arrested in the same raid as Patsy Neill. Police said that Pierce acted as offsider and bodyguard to cocaine seller Marie Elliott. Pierce, from Balmain in Sydney, had prior form for safe breaking and wife desertion. His occupation was listed as masseur, and police records noted that he sometimes worked with theatrical companies. Pierce claimed that the arresting police had hit him in the face and broken his nose.

The International Workers of the World

January 27, 2014 at 10:00 am
Bucket, turpentine bottle and funnel; presumably a Crown exhibit in the trial of the 'IWW Twelve', Sydney, 1919.

Bucket, turpentine bottle and funnel; presumably a Crown exhibit in the trial of the ‘IWW Twelve’, Sydney, 1919.

From a negative found in a box marked ‘IWW Dope’. The International Workers of the World, or ‘Wobblies’, carried out a program of direct action (which included sabotage and incendiarism) in Sydney in 1916, agitating for the release of their leader, Tom Barker. Barker had been jailed for sedition after making an anti-war speech in the Sydney Domain. ‘Dope’ refers to incendiary materials, such as cotton waste, turpentine, phosphorous and kerosene, allededly found during police raids on IWW headquarters in Sussex Street and in the rooms of various IWW members.

Although the police evidence was considered slim, the ‘IWW Twelve’, were convicted of conspiracy and sedition, and all received long jail sentences. A royal commission in 1920 overturned the convictions. Detective Arthur Surridge, whose name can be read on the label here, led the police action.

This series of photographs is among the earliest forensic object/exhibit photographs yet found in the NSW Police photograph archive. See also ‘Playing cards, two of diamonds, two of spades and two of clubs laid out on dark background, presumably a police exhibit presented in the trial of the ‘IWW Twelve’, Sydney, 1919.’ in this collection.

See this image in the pictures catalogue

Albert Stewart Warnkin and Adolf Gustave Beutler, 18 October 1920

January 22, 2014 at 10:00 am
Mug shot of Albert Stewart Warnkin and Adolf Gustave Beutler, 18 October 1920, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Mug shot of Albert Stewart Warnkin and Adolf Gustave Beutler, 18 October 1920, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. 218. Albert Stewart Warnkin is listed in the NSW Police Gazette of 10 November 1920, as charged with attempting to carnally know a girl eight years old. No entry is found for Beutler, whose picture is inscribed ‘wilful and obscene exposure’.

This picture is one of a series of around 2500 “special photographs” taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These “special photographs” were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station

Peter Doyle explains “Their photographic identity seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics.”

See this image in the pictures catalogue.

The sombre ambience of a homicide scene.

January 20, 2014 at 10:00 am
Street scene, Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, near corner of Riley Street, looking east, around 1938.

Street scene, Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, near corner of Riley Street, looking east, around 1938. Details unknown.

 

Street scene, Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, near corner of Riley Street, looking east, around 1938. Details unknown.

Detectives can be seen outside one of the terrace houses on the left of the picture in the Riley to Crown Street block. Details unknown but the entire series of which this photo is a part has the pronounced sombre ambience of a homicide scene.

See this image in the Pictures catalogue.

Skukerman

January 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Mug shot of Sydney Skukerman, or Skukarman, 25 September 1924, Central Police Station, Sydney

Mug shot of Sydney Skukerman, or Skukarman, 25 September 1924, Central Police Station, Sydney

Special Photograph no. 17A. An entry in the Supplement to the NSW Police Gazette Sydney for Skukerman, (alias Kukarman, alias Cecil Landan) is captioned ‘obtains goods from warehousemen by falsely representing that he is in business’.