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Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, special photograph number 234, Central Police Station Sydney, 1920.  
 
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Title: Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, special photograph number 234, Central Police Station Sydney, 1920.
 
Creator: New South Wales. Police Dept.
 
Date: 1920
 
Format: [Picture] Glass plate negative:
 
Inscription: Emulsion side:
 
Place: Central Police Station (Sydney, N.S.W.)
 
Subject: police detainees and suspects
mug shots
 
Description: Special Photograph no. 234. When 'Harry Leon Crawford', hotel cleaner of Stanmore was arrested and charged with wife murder he was revealed to be in fact Eugenia Falleni (sometimes spelt as Eugeni), a woman and mother, who had been passing as a man since 1899. In 1913, as 'Harry Crawford', Falleni had married the widow Annie Birkett. Four years later, shortly after she announced to a relative that she had found out 'something amazing about Harry', Birkett disappeared. Crawford told neighbours that she had run off with a plumber. In 1919 Birkett's young son, who had remained in Crawford's custody, told an aunt of attempts made on his life by his drunken stepfather. The aunt contacted police. A charred body which had been found in Lane Cove in 1917 was belatedly identified as Birkett's. 'Crawford's' astonished second wife, when finally convinced of Falleni's true gender remarked, "I always wondered why he was so painfully shy ..." The photograph shown here shows Falleni in male clothing, probably on the day of her arrest. The negative was found in a paper sleeve inscribed 'Falleni Man/Woman'. It is also possible that Falleni was made to dress in a man's suit for the photograph.
 
Published in: Peter Doyle with Caleb Williams City of shadows: Sydney police photographs 1912-1948 Historic Houses Trust, 2005, pp.199, 236. Mark Tedeschi Eugenia: a true story of adversity, tragedy, crime and courage Simon & Schuster Australia, 2012.
 
Exhibited in: City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
 
Source: Justice & Police Museum ; FP07_0031_005
 
Rights: Justice & Police Museum
 
Record no: 31246