Mugshots of Australian women criminals

Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford Picture: Justice & Police Museum / New South Wales. Dept. of Prisons

Mugshots of Australian women criminals from the 1920s. The passage of time has enhanced the power of these photographic images. Simple poses always seem to work, looking directly into the eyes has an intimacy and hypnotic effect.

Australia's Justice & Police Museum has released 2,500 photographs of female criminals from the 1920s. The pictures of murderers, bigamists, bootleggers and prostitutes provide a fascinating glimpse into life in Australia in the early 20th Century.

The Justice & Police Museum's photography space, The Archive Gallery, will present a display of selected images from the Museum’s archive of forensic negatives. The archive was originally created by the New South Wales Police between 1912 and 1964 and contains an estimated 130,000 negatives. It may be the biggest police photography archive of its type in the southern hemisphere, and offers the standard fare of police investigation: mug shots, accident scenes, crashes, murders, fires, forgeries, fingerprints – images stemming from every imaginable variety of law breaking, and spanning six decades of the 20th century. Offering a new exhibition every six months, the space is dedicated to sharing our exploration of this museum’s almost inexhaustible photography archive.

Source: The Daily Telegraph:

Visit the museum's website.

Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, criminal record number 499LB, 21 October 1920. Crime: murder. Eugenia Falleni spent most of her life masquerading as a man. In 1913 Falleni married a widow, Annie Birkett, whom she later murdered. The case whipped the public into a frenzy as they clamoured for details of the 'man-woman' murderer. Aged approximately 35.



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