50+ Mug Shots
These mug shots from the 1920s and ’30s document the dawning of a new era in Australian criminology—razor gangs, which sprang up as the country was illegalizing the previously rampant drugs, prostitution, gambling and guns. Thugs began using razors as their weapon of choice in the hopes of evading heightened sentences. The photos are from a collection of about 2,500 “special photographs” taken by New South Wales Police Department—special in that we’re sure you’ll agree these are a far cry from today’s definition of jailhouse portraits.
PHOTO CREDITS: Images from NSW Police Forensic Archive, Justice & Police Museum, Historic Houses Trust of NSW. The images also appear in the books Crooks Like Us and City of Shadows, by Peter Doyle