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IN History & Culture ON
Recently, Nebraska State Historical Society released a collection of more than 26,000 historic mugshots offering an insight and much delight to the historians. Mugshots, came into existence after the British slang word ’Mug’ meaning face. These were originally captured to study the facial expressions of the prisoners and to predict their future criminal behavior. This process dated as back as late 1860s. In the process; three mugshots were captured for each prisoner giving authorities a detailed description. One before their heads were shaved, and a full-faced and profile image after their hair was removed. Women only had a full-face and profile image without having their hair cut.
Bertha Liebbeke also known as 'Fainting Bertha' gained this title due to her notorious activities that followed during the late 1890s. She was one of the most clever pickpockets of her times. She would search for a very well fashioned man, and then would 'unintentionally' stumble upon him leaving the man with no option but to help the fainting woman. While helping her, the man never realized that his valuables and wallet very actually being taken.
Police record also state that she had been confined to the asylums many a times.
Meg Muphy better known as Goldie Williams was one of the most well fashioned female imprisoned. She would adorn loop earrings and a feathered hat, being the most clichéd fashion of those times. She was said to be under lock and key for prostitution and while clicking the mugshot, she refused to even smile and sat cross handed.
This mother-son duo, namely Nannie Hutchinson and Charles Hutchinson, were suspected to have killed their landlord when Eli Feasel, the landlord disappeared from his own farmhouse dated early 1900s.
Though this duo managed to escape, tricking the police for nearly one year, investigations led to their arrest having major clues left at the crime scene; their footprints corresponding sizes of their shoes.
These two women Ruby Fox and Myrtle Hetrick met for the first time at the State Reformatory for Women in York, serving time period for breaking the prison and vagrancy respectively. These two, managed their escape with the help of an unknown man, though their run was not long termed.
However, they were caught yet again and after their return they pleaded to have them imprisoned in the Nebraska Prison instead. They were granted their wish and were sentenced to 1 year at the Nebraska State Prison for their escape.
Alv Lytle was imprisoned for the crime he never even committed, that too for 15 long years.
Thankfully another man confessed of the crime and Alv was set free; approximately after 2 years.Later state paid 2500$ to compensate the false allegation.
Nora Courier, also known as Red Nora was set in the prison for stealing a horse. Though the reason for her being named the same is still unknown, this female was just twenty two and stood 5 feet 3 inches tall.
So this innocent faced woman Lola Lopez, clubbed with a man called Cicerio Estrada; stabbed and robbed Stephen Pann. There crime was discovered soon after they fled to Colorado. They were captured by the authorities and when returned back to Sidney, Lopez pleaded of her being not guilty, admitting of having the knowledge of the crime. She served a period of nearly 2 years in confinement.
Herbert Cockran was so uncooperative that an officer actually held his face up while having the mugshot clicked. As per the police description he was slightly stooped fair faced man with his eyebrows meeting at the tip of his nose and that he was a tailor who has been arrested for theft.
James Collins was one of those deceitful prisoners who managed escape and rearrested. In his mug shot, Collin's head has been bandaged. When arrested for the second time, he was sentenced for a period of five years.
Mary Shannon was imprisoned for alleged mayhem, serving a prison period of two years. Mayhem, is a criminal offense consisting of the intentional maiming of another person. In most cases, Mayhem can be turned to felony according to the seriousness of the crime. Though, the authorities never clarified the reason of her being charged with Mayhem.
Albert Johnson, was one of those handsome prisoners fashioning a grand mustache and hair. But due to prison policy of having reduced the lice, his head hair and facial hair was shaved off. Police records state that he was imprisoned for larceny.
Things were not in right when Sergent John Reid, African American members of Troop B, Tenth United States Cavalry Regiment and Crawford marshal Arthur Moss had a feud after the July 4th horse races dated back to 1905, a year before Reid and Moss indulged in confrontation, yet again. This time Moss breaking a Beer party, making Reid lose his temper and thus resulting in having him shot with a .38-caliber revolver. Reid eventually was convicted of manslaughter which resulted him a sentence period of seven years.
Jennie Lester was convicted for enticing to illicit intercourse and yet after she was imprisoned she posed very aggressively for the mugshot. She was sentenced for 3 years in the prison.
This female Minnie Bradley, again, being one of our many camera shy(read it angry) people refusing to even look at camera for the mugshot. She was said to be a prostitute arrested for larceny. Surprisingly, it was also reported that she wore a wig throughout. Such fashion consciousness in those times!
This gentleman,James Pappas, who was not so gentle was arrested for most insane crimes of all. According to records this man owned a general store, for which he carried heavy insurance. He incited his employee to burn down the store for the intention of claiming the Insurance.