australian mugshots: City of Shadows

Convicted of bigamy and theft.  By the age of 24 Alice Cooke had amassed an impressive number of aliases and at least two husbands. 
Described by police as 'rather good looking', Cooke was a habitual thief.

Convicted of murder. Mrs Dorothy Mort was having an affair with dashing young doctor. 
The Dr. visited her home with the intention of breaking off the relationship. She shot him dead before attempting to commit suicide. Aged 32.

Janet Wright was a former nurse who performed illegal abortions from her house.

A. Matthews was a backyard abortionist who also dabbled in theft and fencing stolen goods.
She was suspected of contributing to the deaths of at least two women. Aged 37.

A. Gunderson had multiple convictions for soliciting and was described in police records as a 'common prostitute'

Emily Hemsworth killed her three-week-old son but could not remember any details of the murder.
She was found not guilty due to insanity.

In the late 1980's tons of negatives were rescued from a flooded Australian warehouse. 100,000's of crime photos were discovered and had been shot between 1912 and 1960 by the Sydney Police. In the mugshots we find thieves, false pretenders, 'hotel barbers', dope users, prostitutes, makers of false oaths and the occasional murderer. We can view, sometimes in amazing detail, their physical settings and the distinctive clothing worn at the time.

"We have been able to piece together many of the stories behind the photographs, but in most cases we have no name and no date – no information other than what is suggested by the image itself. Each photograph offers an intimate, raw and often hauntingly beautiful record of the mysterious people and dark places. This is a most extraordinary and intimate record of the more troubled sides of everyday life in early 20th century Australia. City of Shadows explores police forensic photography of the early 20th century."