Monday, February 20, 2012

Drug dealers, backstreet abortionists and a deadly femme fatale: Fascinating mugshots of women prisoners from 1920s Australia

They were some of Australia's shadiest sheilas.

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.

Dorothy Mort, 32, shot her young lover, Dr Claude Tozer, dead on December 21, 1921, after he tried to end their romance. She was arrested after a failed suicide bid

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