Margaret Rowan, the Deadly Prophetess of Los Angeles

It’s the last day of Mugshot March! This calls for something spectacular, so this evening, I bring you the tale of Mrs. Margaret Rowan, founder of a cult, attempted murderer, and eventual prisoner at San Quentin penitentiary. Wade and Rowan formerly belonged to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, but Mrs. Rowan soon created a problem.…

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The Convicts of McNeil Island Penitentiary Part 2

This is part 2 of the very unusual McNeil Island mugshots from the 1890s-1906. As you’ve seen, McNeil Island Penitentiary tended to photograph men in pairs, wearing their striped prisoner clothing, and with their name and prison number scribbled on the back. But there were a few mugshots that did not fit this profile. Or…

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The Convicts of McNeil Island Penitentiary

Mugshot March continues with a special double-header! Most people who follow this blog know of my great interest in mug shots, but these are special. Near Steilacoom, Washington, on McNeil Island in the Puget Sound, a prison was opened in 1875. This was the McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary, with space for 853 prisoners.   McNeil was…

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