The Brutal Crime Scenes of Australia in Photos Captured by Sydney Police as Early as 1930s

The Historic Houses Trust in Australia has a forensic photography archive at the Justice & Police Museum that contains around 130,000 images that had been accumulated by the New South Wales Police between 1910 and 1960.

The images uncovered in the Museum’s Forensic Photography Archive capture the crime scenes and the everyday fragments of life in these hard-bitten slices of Sydney.

A dead body in a vacant lot (1933)

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Domestic interior, showing kitchen, sink, mugs and utensils, inscribed “Hurlstone Park Murder 1074″.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Car crash, night time, early 1940s. Details unknown, but possibly Liverpool street, Sydney.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Street scene, Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, near corner of Riley Street, looking east, around 1938

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Crime scene with blood spatters and signs of struggle

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Scene of fatal accident involving taxi and pedestrian, Broadway (near the corner of City Road) Sydney, 18 November, 1948.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Body on track

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Street scene. Late 1940s, details unknown.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Detective and damaged taxi cab (1946)

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Bedroom with female murder victim on bed, Sydney (1942)

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Scene of the shooting murder of Dr. Claude Tozer, at the home of Dorothy Mort, Lindfield, NSW, 21 December 1920. NSW Police

On the morning of Tuesday, 21 December 1920 Claude Tozer, well-known North Shore GP and recently selected test cricketer paid a house call on Mrs. Dorothy Mort of Lindfield, to announce the end their adulterous love affair – Tozer was a bachelor, Mort was married with children. ‘Lady?s companion’ Florence Fizzelle, elsewhere in the house at the time, later testified that 10 minutes into the consultation she heard gunshots from the drawing room. Mrs. Mort assured her through the locked drawing room doors that all was well, and asked for a glass of iced water. After 10 minutes more shots were heard. Sometime during the day Mort retired to her bedroom, leaving the drawing room locked behind her. Eventually Fizzelle forced her way into the bedroom, where she found Mort covered in blood, with a gunshot wound to her breast, and apparently under the influence of a narcotic. A doctor and policeman were summoned. They found Tozer dead, in the drawing room, shot in the back of the head, in the temple and in the chest. His vest had been rebuttoned over the chest wound. A Colt pistol, a bloodstained kimono and a bottle of laudanum were also found in the room. Dorothy Mort recovered and was charged with murder, and subsequently convicted. Years later a recently released Long Bay inmate told Truth that she had found Mrs. Mort, who looked after the prison library, to be ‘a very private person. She held herself very aloof from the others. She was spoken of by the others as a very educated person. I heard that she is very delicate. The photo seen here (which also displays Mrs. Mort’s fashionable Arts and Crafts styled drawing room to good advantage) appeared, unmodified, in a detailed report of the murder in Truth of March 20, 1921, and also in the Daily Telegraph.

Streetscape, scene of motor accident, early 1920s, location and details unknown. Possibly somewhere in the Eastern Suburbs, Sydney. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Streetscape, scene of accident involving two trucks, corner Balfour and Meagher Streets, Chippendale, early 1940s. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Interior with piano, suitcase and chairs, early 1950s. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Commercial interior showing damaged safes. Details unknown, late 1930s. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice and Police Museum, Sydney Living Museums.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Street scene, showing collision between tram and coal truck, Botany Road Mascot, early 1940s.

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Corpse, late 1930s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Masked detectives and civilians, 1933

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Collapsed Awning Fatality, c1926

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Illegal Abortion Room, late 1930s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Car Crash, early 1940s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Identifying Illegal Ticket Sellers, 1948

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Unknown Crime Scene, mid-1940s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Aftermath of shopfront fire in the Sydney Arcade – c1937

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Accident by Sydney Harbour Bridge – June 11, 1947

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Crime Scene, late 1930s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Tram and Coal Truck Collision, early 1940s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Car Accident, early 1940s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

Four men in Connection with Motor Accident, early 1940s

Photo credit: The Historic Houses Trust in Australia

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