I love seeing shit like this. These set of photographs were taken at New South Wales police department from 1910 to 1930 and are not your typical mugshots. They somehow were encouraged to act candidly and were able to capture truly amazing portraits. What is even more impressive is that the NSWPD have some pretty detailed descriptions as to why these suspects were detained. Might just have to make a series of painting from these portraits…
Brazen: William Stanley Moore is pictured on May 1, 1925, with a cigarette in hand. He was described as an opium dealer who operated with large quantities of fake opium and cocaine. He also had associations with waterfront thieves and drug traders
Sidney Keller was arrested several times and featured in Australian newspapers in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He was charged with shooting, assault and running an illegal baccarat game in Sydney in the 1940s
Leading a double life: Harry Crawford – real name Eugenia Falleni – originally of Stanmore, was arrested and charged with murdering ‘his’ wife after passing herself off as a man since 1899. Falleni had married Annie Birkett in 1914, but three years later, after announcing she had found out ‘something amazing about Harry’, she disappeared
Sydney Skukerman, alias Cecil Landan, ‘obtained goods from warehousemen by falsely representing he was in business’
Joseph Messenger was arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats, valued at 29 pounds and three shillings. When this photograph was taken, he was charged with Valerie Lowe (not pictured) with stealing a saddle and bridle from Roseberry Racecourse. As an adult, Messenger was active in the inner-Sydney underworld through the 1920s, and he appears in the NSW Criminal Register as a seasoned criminal and gang affiliate
You can find more here, although kind of awkward to find and navigate.