Life and Death in L.A.: November 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Smile For the Camera: A Mugs Gallery From the 1920s

There are mug shots, and then there are mug shots. They've become a standard feature on gossip websites, such as TMZ, where actors, pop singers and other Star Trailer trash get their dirty linens aired.
But mug shots from the olden days tell a different, more engrossing story. Here are some tough characters in the 1920s who got their pictures saved for posterity. It may be just the primitive photographic technology of the day that brings out each subject's most sinister characteristics, but these hombres look like they'd kill you for a Hershey's Candy Bar. Speaking of primitive, the police photographers of that era seemed to take a casual approach to their jobs. There are just a couple of standard poses -- standing and sitting; hat on and hat off.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any information about these perps. Just use your imagination and assume the worst. Chances are you'll be pretty close to the mark.