NZ’s hottest andhippest criminals
They were colonial New Zealand’s good-looking bad boys – and a century later they’re being given the chance to steal hearts all over again.
NZ Police Museum director Rowan Carroll has been picking stylish historical mugshots from the museum’s collection, and asking the public via social media to guess their crimes, under the hashtag #hipstercrims.
The lineup includes criminal heart-throb Daniel Tohill, who began trending online in 2012 after a Stuff article about a previous exhibition.
Commenters described him as ‘‘ridiculously photogenic’’ and compared him to David Beckham.
Others in the Facebook lineup include William Frederick Jones, of whom commenter Jan Morley said: ‘‘Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, by the look of him.’’
In fact, Jones was a forger. He was jailed for 12 months in Wellington in 1912 for forgery and ‘‘uttering’’, which was putting fake money into circulation.
Also in the lineup is Richard Waring, compared by some to for- mer Australian cricketer David Boon. He was convicted of stealing from a ship in 1912. One of the more interesting felons in the exhibition – though not in the Facebook rogues’ gallery – is Amy Bock, an Australianborn fraudster who masqueraded as a man, successfully enough to persuade the daughter of a wealthy Otago family to marry her.
Needless to say, the ruse did not survive long after the wed- ding.
Carroll said the mugshots were a valuable part of the early history of the New Zealand Police Force, which was officially established on September 1, 1886.
‘‘It’s very much a window into that era, so we can understand what was happening in New Zealand society at that time.
‘‘If you have a relative who has been a convicted criminal in the past, these are so valuable.’’
Details with the mugshots included everything from height and weight to education and occupation.
They also included details of where friends lived, because many of the country’s early arrivals had no family in New Zealand.
The free exhibition is at the NZ Police Museum in Porirua. It is open almost every day of the year.