Crime in the records


Gaol photographs

Some of the most popular and informative records in our collection are the gaol photographs. Photographing prisoners (for inclusion in the description books) commenced late in the nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth century. In addition to an image of each prisoner these records generally provide information on the person’s native place; year of birth; details of arrival in the colony; trade or occupation, religion, degree of education and a physical description.

Robbery Under Arms

The Eveleigh Payroll Heist, 1914

Go to GalleryThe Eveleigh payroll robbery took place on the 10 June 1914. What makes this crime unique is not only the fact that it was committed in the middle of the day in a busy area but it has been reported to be the first robbery in Australia where a get away car was used.

Underworld figures

Tilly Devine and the Razor Gang Wars, 1927-31

Go to GalleryThe suburbs of Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross in Sydney in the late 1920s and early 1930s was a world in turmoil with vicious ‘razor’ gangs battling for control of the criminal underworld. They were called razor gangs because of the cut throat razor that was the weapon of choice. The razor gangs at the heart of these wars were led by Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh.