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Mug shot of Thomas Craig, Raymond Neil (aka "Gaffney the Gunman"), William  Thompson and FW Wilson, 25 January 1928, Central Police Station, Sydney.
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Title:
Mug shot of Thomas Craig, Raymond Neil (aka "Gaffney the Gunman"), William Thompson and FW Wilson, 25 January 1928, Central Police Station, Sydney.
Creator:
New South Wales. Police Dept.
Date:
January 1928
Format:
Glass plate negative:
Inscription:
Emulsion side:
Subject:
Description:
Special Photograph no. 1606. This photograph was apparently taken in the aftermath of a raid led by CIB Chief Bill Mackay - later to be Commissioner of Police - on a house at 74 Riley Street, 'lower Darlinghurst'. Numerous charges were heard against the 15 men and women arrested. Lessee Joe Bezzina was charged with 'being the keeper of a house frequented by reputed thieves', and some of the others were charged with assault, and with 'being found in a house frequented by reputed thieves'. The prosecution cast the raid in heroic terms - the Chief of the CIB, desperately outnumbered, had struggled hand to hand in 'a sweltering melee in one of the most notorious thieves' kitchens in Sydney'. The defence, on the other hand, described 'a quiet party, a few drinks, some singing ... violently interrupted by a squad of hostile, brawling police' (Truth, 29 January 1928). The gallery was packed with friends of the accused, who loudly jeered the prosecution and police witnesses.
This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension". Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."
Published in:
Peter Doyle with Caleb Williams City of shadows: Sydney police photographs 1912-1948 Historic Houses Trust, 2005, pp.190-1, 235.
Exhibited in:
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
Source:
Justice & Police Museum ; 046
Rights:
You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purposes, you must contact Sydney Living Museums to request permission.
Material Type:
Picture
Record number:
31205