Mug Shots: Then and Now

Elvis Presley Mug Shot

Watch well-groomed, suave criminals schmooze their way across the big screen long enough (cue mental images of the George Clooney-Brad Pitt-Matt Damon re-make of Oceans 11, or of the more recent Bradley Cooper & [rather chubbier] Christian Bale Oscar-nominated American Hustle), and you almost forget their committed felonies.

It’s okay to rob world-class casinos or to conduct a long-term insurance scams as long as you look debonair while doing it, right?

White-collar scum-bags, the Bernie Madoffs of our day, are not even in the same stratosphere as our big-screen anti-heroes, no matter how well-tailored they are. And as for the general hygiene of the regular-ole blue-collar deviants that end up on the 10 o’clock news… well, no one is charging them with crimes of pre-meditated sexiness. Just see the first crop of images below for evidence.

There does seem to be some substance behind our romanticized notion of a dapper Don Juan to whom the laws of society just don’t apply; which is why we’ve decided to give you a glimpse into the cologne-spritzed world of conceited gangsters, narcissistic thugs, and pretty boy petty thieves that seem to have had their suits steamed in anticipation of having their mug shot snapped.

But first, to illustrate the comical dichotomy between embezzlers, burglars, and outlaws past and present, have a laugh with some of today’s most outrageous mug shots:

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And now for some cleanlier troublemakers from the bygone past:

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Vintage photographs courtesy of The Justice & Police Museum/Historic Households Trust

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