0219 2017TRENDING:

Strange criminals from the past – and maybe a time traveller

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Joseph Messenger and Valerie Lowe were arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats to the value of 29 pounds 3 shillings. The following year, when this photograph was taken, they were charged with breaking and entering a dwelling. Those charges were eventually dropped but they were arrested again later that year for stealing a saddle and bridle from Rosebery Racecourse. As an adult Messenger was active in inner-Sydney underworld through the 1920s, and he appears in the NSW Criminal Register (16 July 1930 entry no 171) as a seasoned criminal and gang affiliate.

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Emily Gertrude Hemsworth, 14 May 1925. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

Emily Hemsworth killed her three-week-old son but could not remember any details of the murder. She was found not guilty due to insanity. Hemsworth was to be detained in custody until judged fit to return to society – it is unknown if she was ever released. Aged 24.

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Harry Williams was sentenced to 12 months hard labour on March 1929 for breaking, entering and stealing. Although he ‘consorts with prostitutes’ and ‘frequents hotels and wine bars in the vicinity of the Haymarket’, he is described as being of ‘quiet disposition’.

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When ‘Harry Leon Crawford’, hotel cleaner of Stanmore was arrested and charged with wife murder he was revealed to be in fact Eugeni Falleni, a woman and mother, who had been passing as a man since 1899. In 1914, as ‘Harry Crawford’, Falleni had married the widow Annie Birkett. Three years later, shortly after she announced to a relative that she had found out ‘something amazing about Harry’, Birkett disappeared.

Many claim he was a time traveller, and reports of him reappearing in 1950 looking the same age circulated around Sydney.

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