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.

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

Ah Num and Ah Tom

September 9, 2013 at 9:09 am
Mug shot of criminals ca 1930, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Mug shot of ‘Ah Num’ and ‘Ah Tom’, ca 1930, Central Police Station, Sydney. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Special Photograph no. D158/D159. The ‘D’ prefix on the serial number indicates that the photograph was taken on behalf of the Drug Bureau, which in the late 1920s consisted of two men, Detectives Wickham and Thompson. ‘Ah Num’ and ‘Ah Tom’, which may be approximate renderings of these men’s names, do not turn up in the records of the time, and the expectation that they were to be released may account for their obviously elevated mood.

This picture is one of a series of around 2500 “special photographs” taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1960. These “special photographs” were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of “men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension”.

Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, “the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed – perhaps invited – to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus 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.”

William Cyril Moxley

August 29, 2013 at 9:05 am
William Cyril Moxley, Special Photograph number 1152, 12 February 1923, Central Police Station, Sydney

William Cyril Moxley, Special Photograph number 1152, 12 February 1923, Central Police Station, Sydney. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Eugenia Falleni

July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am
Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, Special Photograph number 234, probably 1920 in Central Police Station, Sydney.

Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, Special Photograph number 234, probably 1920 in Central Police Station, Sydney. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

When ‘Harry Leon Crawford’, hotel cleaner of Stanmore was arrested and charged with wife murder he was revealed to be in fact Eugenia Falleni, a woman and mother, who had been passing as a man since 1899. In 1914, as ‘Harry Crawford’, Falleni had married the widow Annie Birkett. Three years later, shortly after she announced to a relative that she had found out ‘something amazing about Harry’, Birkett disappeared. Continue reading →

The ‘special photographs’

July 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

This collection of portraits on around 2500 glass plate negatives (plus some cellulose negatives) documenting police suspects, offenders and detainees was created by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and the early 1930s. Designated ‘special photographs’, to distinguish them from the genre of prison mug shots, they were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of ‘men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension’. Continue reading →