Murderers, bigamists, cocaine dealers and back street abortionists, all manner of vampish villain and fallen floozy scooped off the streets and photographed for police files. Their blank expressions hiding a catalogue of appalling crimes.
The incredible pictures - part of a collection of 2500 mugshots taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930 - give a fascinating glimpse into the role of women in the seedy underbelly of early 20th century Australian life.
There is 32-year-old Dorothy Mort. She may look harmless but behind that innocent-looking face lurks a terrifying femme fatale who turned to murder when her toyboy lover starred into her dark eyes and said their affair was over.
User: Fay Watson is listed in the New South Wales Police Gazette from 1928. She was arrested in a house in Crown Street, Darlinghurst, and subsequently convicted for being in possession of cocaine for which she was fined ten pounds.
Killer: 34-year-old Alma Smith was jailed for five years for performing an illegal abortion on a young woman who later died
Vera Crichton, 23 (left) conspired with two other women to 'procure a miscarriage on a third woman'. She was 'bound over to appear for sentence if called upon within three years'. While nothing is known of E. Walker who was believed to be a vagrant from her scruffy appearance
Jean Wilson, 23, had numerous convictions for housebreaking and theft. She preferred stealing jewellery as it could be easily pawned for money. She also robbed her employer and served a 12-month sentence.
Similarly Clara Randall reported to police that her Bondi flat had been broken into and a quantity of jewellery stolen. It was later discovered she had pawned the jewellery for cash and she was sentenced to 18 months with light labour.
Illegal abortions also put a few of the women in these photos behind bars such as Janet Wright, 68, who nearly killed a teenage patient during the procedure.
Edith Ashton 37, was a backyard abortionist who also dabbled in theft and fencing stolen goods. Described in the media as a 'social somebody' she was suspected of contributing to the deaths of at least two women during abortions.
And Alma Smith worked as an illegal abortionist in the northern NSW town of Tamworth. A young woman died as the result of a botched abortion, and identified Smith as the abortionist. Although she denied it, Smith was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail.
On the game: Elizabeth Singleton had multiple convictions for soliciting and was described in police records as a common prostitute. She was imprisoned at Long Bay but the details of her sentence have been lost
Bigamist: By the age of 24 Alice Adeline Cooke had amassed a number of aliases and at least two husbands
World weary: Little is known of this older criminal Annie Matthews - criminal record number 634LB arrested on 3 July 1924
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