20 Old-Timey St. Louis Mug Shots and the Stories Behind Them

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Author Shayne Davidson had no idea where her journey would take her when she stumbled on the unhappy portrait of a Belleville woman taken in 1861. But she soon learned it was a mug shot -- and that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department had been the first department in the nation to use photo galleries to identify suspects. Davidson's new e-book, Captured and Exposed: The First Police Rogues' Gallery in America, contains dozens of shots taken by the SLMPD from 1857 to 1867, which she found tucked within the archives of the Missouri History Museum. For more on Davidson's work, read Evie Hemphill's story, or click through for some of the rogues' gallery of crooks who lived in St. Louis more than 150 years ago.

Text adapted from Captured and Exposed: The First Police Rogues’ Gallery in America by Shayne Davidson. Photos courtesy of the Missouri History Museum.