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Adelaide’s thieves and murderers

Friday, 8th June, 2018

NO LOVE LOST – The mugshot of Albert Bonfield, who murdered his sweetheart in a jealous rage.

MUGSHOTS taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s, authentic confession letters and execution notices are among the attractions at a fascinating new exhibition at Adelaide Gaol.

The Adelaide Gaol Mugshot exhibition was launched to celebrate History Day on May 6 and proved so popular it has been extended indefinitely.

Environment spokesman Gary Joyce said the nine mugshots featured were recently rediscovered on old floppy disks.

“There were people who were jailed for crimes including murder and theft and some of them were executed at the gaol,” he said.

The mugshots are supported by fascinating documentation,  including letters of confession, execution notices and newspaper articles.

The exhibition features the mugshots of six inmates who were hanged, including Mah Poo, who shot his boss on Hindley Street because he felt he was treated unfairly.

Another former inmate, Albert Bonfield, was executed in 1905 at the age of 23 for murdering his sweetheart in a jealous rage.

It is hoped to add more photos to the collection in time.

Adelaide Gaol was built in 1841 and is the second oldest building in the state. It operated for 147 years before finally closing in 1988.

It is open 10am-4pm daily.


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