By the Decade: 1920's Mugshots


Mugshots of criminals were taken as early as the 1870’s. Its purpose is for the authorities to have a record of the offender so that victims can easily identify them. Typically, mugshots have two parts — one front-view and one side-view of the person. For this series, we’ll take a look at some of the mugshots from each decade starting from the 1920’s.

Mugshots taken in the 1920’s are far from the mugshots that we are used to seeing today. They are still taken in two parts, but instead of having a front-view and side-view of the offender, we see a half-body shot and a full-body shot. In some cases, the criminals are photographed in a group shot. Here are some photos from the 1920’s.

image via Twisted Sifter

Gaffney the Gunman (second from left), 1928
This photo was taken after a house raid. There were a total of 15 men and women who were arrested, and shown above are four of them. Arrests were made since the house was allegedly a place that was frequented by notorious thieves.

image via Twisted Sifter

Eugenia Falleni AKA Harry Crawford, 1920
The photo above shows someone who appears to be a man. This is the mugshot of Eugeni Falleni, a woman who has been disguising herself as a man named Harry Crawford since 1899. As Harry Crawford, he married Annie Birkett in 1914. After a few years, Annie Birkett disappeared and was never found after saying that she found out something about Harry. Harry Crawfrod was charged with murder.

image via Twisted Sifter

Sydney Skukerman, 1924
Sydney Skukerman’s mugshot was taken after his arrest for false representation. He got good from different warehouses by stating that he is in business with the owners.

image via Twisted Sifter

George Whitehall, 1922
George Whitehall was a carpenter who hacked his wife to death. This mugshot was taken shortly after he handed himself in to the police.

image via Twisted Sifter

Walter Keogh, 1922
Walter Keogh was an offender who had plenty of crimes under his name. He was a pickpocket and a faux salesman. Aside from that, he was also a con-man who took advantage of plenty of people. He sold building blocks at extremely high prices and led those who bought to believe that the buildings can be sold for a high profit.

image via Twisted Sifter

Sidney Kelly, 1924
The circumstances around this particular mugshot of Sidney Kelly are unknown. However, he was charged with a lot of crimes spanning from the 1920’s to the 1940’s including illegal gaming, assault and drug trading. On his criminal record, he was described as someone who dresses well and mingles with other criminals as well as prostitutes.

image via Twisted Sifter

Herbert Ellis, 1920
Herbert Ellis was a thief who broke into homes and shops. He was also listed as someone who threw a missile.

Despite the circumstances behind these mugshots, we can see that each photo is beautiful in its own right. Tell us what you think about these photos by leaving a comment below!

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written by jeanmendoza on 2011-11-04 #lifestyle #vintage #1920-s #mugshots #by-the-decade #by-the-decade-mugshots


  1. czar
    czar ·

    Tis I gotta try! Cool. :)

  2. odax
    odax ·

    They're all have great suits.

  3. renenob
    renenob ·

    I wanna try this with my Diana Mini

  4. gabysalas
    gabysalas ·

    It's interesting how these pictures, without the context of being mug shots, could all easily be some cool portraits from the era. Meanwhile, some of the people depicted in them are murderers, but seem completely harmless, this in great contrast with the pictures of murderers and how they are depicted in modern day media.

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