The Average Criminal

by Liz

The Special South Wales Mugshots of Criminals, 1910-1930

I found these during a researching binge.
They are extraordinary.
There are dapper gentlemen, murderers, ruffians, thieves, partiers, and ladies seeking “miscarriages.”
The humanity of them is astonishing as these were snapped soon after the arrest and not in the traditional measuring room, but in the cells, yards, and holding rooms where the accused waited for their trials. The photographs provide a rare glimpse into the faces behind the crimes, and the stories in their eyes are haunting.

Eugenia Falleni (alias Harry Crawford), murder, 1920

B. Moody, (crime unknown), 1919

Mrs. Osbourne, (crime unknown), 1919

Alfred Fitch, repeat offender, 1924

 Nancy Cowman, aiding abortion, 1924

Alfred Ladewig, con artist, 1920s

Barbara Turner, forgery, 1924

Frank Murray, burglary and sale of stolen goods, 1929

B. Smith, Gertrude Thompson and Vera McDonald, harboring thieves, 1928

Emma Rolfe, theft, 1920

Valerie Lowe, burglary, 1922

These people all seem very real. Some are frightening, like Eugenia Falleni who impersonated a man and murdered her wife, while others look deep in despair. Others look at the camera with a glint in their eye: the devil may care!

All of them are fascinating.