Tilly Devine stares out from this image taken upon her entry to gaol. She was an incredibly successful villain who, along with her nemesis Kate Leigh, ruled the inner city vice trade for almost 20 years. Tilly began her criminal career as a teenage prostitute on the streets of London. She toughened up quickly in [...]
Category Archive for 'Femme Fatale'
Recently I strapped on my walking boots and joined the Justice and Police Museum guides for Walk the razor’s edge. The walking tour begins on Oxford Street and snakes through Darlinghurst visiting the haunts associated with underworld vice and crime. Much of the terraced landscape remains unaltered from the 1920s and 30s when it served [...]
Prisoner identification photographs make up many of the earliest negatives in the collection. Photographed in various institutions across New South Wales the negatives usually record a full frontal and profile view of the prisoner. Assistant Curator Nerida Campbell’s current research centers on retelling the stories surrounding women convicted on a range of offences who served [...]
Photographed 27 November, 1919 at the State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay . FP07_0215_005 Many criminals give false personal information to police in the hope that their previous convictions will not be discovered. Jean Harris used a large number of aliases that included the names Emma Rolfe, May Mulholland and Eileen Woods. She sometimes successfully [...]
Photographed 10 January 1924 at the State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW During the early 20th century many unmarried or widowed women with children lived in circumstances of abject poverty. Unable to work during a time when there were no welfare payments, they were often driven to commit desperate acts. Whole columns of [...]