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Butch Cassidy Bank robber and train robber. Leader of the "Wild Bunch" gang of Old West outlaws. Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie, Wyoming 1894 Wikimedia Commons
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Frank Murray a.k.a. Harry Williams Sentenced to 12 months of hard labor for breaking, entering, and stealing. Sydney, Australia 1929Sydney Living Museums
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Unidentified woman Sydney, Australia 1929 Sydney Living Museums
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Al Capone Arrested as he was trying to enter Miami, Florida by city police who were trying to keep the notorious gangster out. Miami, Florida 1930Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
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Amy Lee Described in court as a "good looking girl until she fell victim to the foul practice" of snorting cocaine. New South Wales, Australia 1930Sydney Living Museums
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From left: Leonetti, Guiffaut, and Galendemi (first names unspecified) Arrested for bank robbery and murder Marseilles, France Circa 1930FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Carl Panzram American serial killer, rapist, arsonist, robber, and burglar. Claimed to have killed 21 people. Date unspecifiedCreative Commons
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Charles Ormston Newcastle upon Tyne, England Circa 1930sTyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr
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Clara Randall Reported to police that her apartment had been broken into and her jewelry stolen. It was later discovered that she had pawned the jewelry for cash. New South Wales, Australia 1923Sydney Living Museums
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David Bowie Arrested for marijuana possession after a performance in Rochester, New York along with three other people — including fellow musician Iggy Pop. The charges were dropped, but Bowie never performed in Rochester again. 1976Public Domain
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Augustin Dupuis Blacksmith and anarchist Paris 1894Alphonse Bertillon/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Guillaume Joseph Robillard Anarchist Paris 1894Alphonse Bertillon/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Henri Marc Julien Birilay Day laborer and anarchist Paris 1894Alphonse Bertillon/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Dutch Schultz New York City mobster Circa 1931Wikimedia Commons
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Eugenia Falleni aka Harry Crawford Spent most of her life passing as a man. In 1913, Falleni married a widow, Annie Birkett, who she later murdered. The case whipped the public into a frenzy as they clamored for details of the "man-woman" murderer. New South Wales, Australia 1920Sydney Living Museums
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Francis Flood Theft Sydney, Australia 1920Sydney Living Museums
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Herbert Ellis Sydney, Australia Circa 1920Sydney Living Museums
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George Ray Served 10 years for manslaughter. Nebraska State Penitentiary Circa 1890sHistory Nebraska
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Goldie Williams The five-foot tall, 110-pound Williams was defiant upon her arrest for vagrancy. Williams reported her hometown as Chicago and her occupation as a prostitute. Omaha, Nebraska 1898History Nebraska
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Herbert Cockran A tailor from Fairmont, Nebraska. Arrested for burglary. Omaha, Nebraska 1899History Nebraska
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James Collins 23-year-old tailor. Escaped after being arrested for burglary. This photograph was taken after his re-arrest. Omaha, Nebraska 1897History Nebraska
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James Dawson Indecent exposure North Shields, England 1902Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr
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John Wayne Gacy Arrested in his hometown, where he killed at least 33 people between 1972 and 1978. He was ultimately executed on May 10, 1994. Norwood Park, Illinois 1978Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
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Laura Belle Devlin Murdered and dismembered her 75-year-old husband with a hacksaw, throwing some of him in the wood stove and the rest in their backyard. Newark, Ohio 1947Bettmann/Getty Images
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Lewis Powell a.k.a. Payne Abraham Lincoln assassination conspirator Aboard the U.S.S. Saugus 1865Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images
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Arson Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas 1906Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
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Mabel Smith Arrested for larceny. North Shields, England 1903Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr
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Nellie Cameron Was one of Sydney's best-known — and most desired — prostitutes. 1930Sydney Living Museums
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Pablo Escobar Infamous drug lord responsible for most of the world's cocaine supply. Medellín, Colombia 1977Wikimedia Commons
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William Stanley Moore Opium dealing Sydney, Australia 1925Sydney Living Museums
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Susan Joice Stole money from a gas meter.
North Shields, England 1903Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr
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Valerie Lowe Arrested for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats. New South Wales, Australia 1922Sydney Living Museums
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Walter Smith Breaking and entering Sydney, Australia 1924Sydney Living Museums
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Benito Mussolini Fascist dictator Italy from 1922 to 1943. Arrested for lack of identification papers. Switzerland 1903Mads Madsen
From Celebrities To Serial Killers: 34 Vintage Mugshots Brought To Life In Vivid Color
Mugshots have been a powerful police tool — and a source of public fascination — for more than a century. In fact, they trace their origins to 19th-century Paris.
Louis Daguerre invented the first publicly available photographic process in 1839. And it was another Frenchman, Alphonse Bertillon, who invented the mugshot some 40 years later — creating a system that would be adopted by the rest of the world.
Expelled from the Imperial Lycée of Versailles, Bertillon spent four years in the French Army before securing a low-level position in the Parisian police. In 1879, as a police clerk, the 26-year-old grew frustrated with the department's ad-hoc methods of identifying and documenting criminals and suspects.
Paris was in the middle of a crime surge, and in Bertillon's view, the police's deductive skills weren't up to snuff. So he developed what came to be known as the Bertillon System of documenting and organizing criminal suspects.
According to the system, the police would measure a suspect's head length, head width, length of the middle finger, the length of the left foot, and the length of the "cubit," or the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. The idea was that each person's combination of measurements would be more or less unique. It served as a sort of fingerprint in an era before fingerprinting was common police practice.
The mugshot — one shot facing the camera and one in profile — was the crucial final piece of the Bertillon System.
In 1882, the Paris police became the world's first police department to systematically photograph suspects, arrestees, and convicts. Two years later, it used Bertillon's method to identify 241 repeat offenders. Soon after, the rest of the world began to adopt the system.
By the 20th century, the mugshot became standard procedure for police departments worldwide. But it wasn't until the 1970s and '80s that they started being printed in color.
Now, thanks to the magic of modern technology, we get to see some late 19th and early-to-mid 20th-century arrestees in living color. Enjoy.