The Face Of An Opium Dealer


I am often struck by old mugshots in their stark elements.  I came across this mugshot recently of opium and cocaine dealer William Stanley Moore from 1926.  The standing shot is a particularly gritty shot of a hardened criminal.

Moore was arrested in Australia on May 1, 1925 and described as being in possession of a large quantity of faked opium and cocaine.  He also worked the wharf and was associated with drug dealers and thieves working the docks.

43 thoughts on “The Face Of An Opium Dealer”

      1. Well, I don’t know how much worse it can get in Detroit. There are many houses selling for under $1,000 now. You can buy a home for as little as $50. Downtown is as quiet as a ghost town.

        You know, the people of Detroit have amazing faith in the Democratic Party. You would think that long before homes started sitting on the market, unsold at $50, and there were no jobs to be had, they would think, you know, Democrats keep promising to solve all of our problems if we vote for them, but we’re worse off. Perhaps we should try a different approach. After all, how much worse can it get? They’ve already hit bottom years ago. Chicago is not far behind with street warfare, and San Francisco is now considered less hygienic than third world countries. Liberal politics brought droves of homeless to their homeless-friendly state, and now their proposed solution is to tax businesses even higher.

        It is frustrating, to watch this long slide. It would be nice to put someone into Detroit who was a fiscal conservative leaning right, but not beholden to any big donors like so many on both sides of the aisle are. Someone needs to represent the people of Detroit for once.

        1. The Right is going to represent the people of Detroit? What have you been imbibing?

        2. Often a good business strategy is in the case of a newly acquired but dysfunctional corporation the new owners sack upper management and start anew. The same should be applied to municipal corporations in such straits.

  1. CV Brown – I did spell it Silly Bus for a college class one time and the college went nuts. 😉 No sense of humor.

  2. CV Brown – I am not here for anyone’s respect. I am here for my own enjoyment. 😉

  3. CV Brown – I came from a small town and no money. I had to polish mine. There was only one place to get your shoes shined and I couldn’t afford it. 🙁

  4. We should feature photos of other prominent drug dealers…like, oh Warren Delano, Jr., the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man how made the Delano fortune, sitting on a Junk offshore Canton, dealing dope after the Chinese emperor declared opium sales forbidden in China.

  5. I see a stark resemblance with William to one of the head of the NY crime families, Barzini.

  6. JT says he believes a president can be indicted, but he doesn’t see a case for it (now) regarding Trump.

    “To my supporters that think Trump should be indicted, I agree with you, and to those who don’t believe he should be indicted, I agree with you too.”

  7. Most of the comments focus on the dress for success of these gangsters. Today, most of the thugs dress with hoodys, blue jeans & sneakers. Boy have times have changed.

  8. What’s the deal with the cigarette and the hat? Kind of defeats the purpose of a mugshot to have a hat obscure part of the face. And what’s in the cigarette? Hey, buddy, this is a no smoking zone.

  9. What is there not to like about a well shined pair of dress shoes, especially wingtips.

  10. Mug Shots: What we do here at the marina is post on the outhouse wall the mugshots of tho owners of the local newspaper. The owners. Not the mugshots of the people who the newspaper shows. We put their photos up and just say: Mugshots. When people come in to pee or poop then they can see the photos of the local dickheads.

  11. At least the criminals had class and style in those days. No neck tattoos and capped teeth!

  12. He looks like an extra from Guys and Dolls. Gotta love the full shot, snapped of him and taken, from a distance, caturing him–head to toe–wearing a suit and tie–not to mention, a hat–showing him looking down, legs–spread apart–and a cigarette, precariously held in one hand. Quite artistic, if you ask me. Very “Vanity Fair-ish” and not so much of a mugshot. Were criminals, normally, photographed, from head to toe, in the 1920’s, and posed in such stylized shots? Who knew?

  13. Do you mean adulterated opium and cocaine (cut with another substance)? Interesting to see how nicely even drug dealers dressed back then. I love old photos.

    1. Shorpy posts about five old photos every day during the week. I think most are from the National Archive. It’s always best to click on the “View full size” link to enlarge the photo to see the detail. Here’s a recent one:

      Notice the main street is still a dirt road in 1940. The signage is always interesting. The sign advertising Levi’s “waist overalls” – what we now call blue jeans – says, “A NEW PAIR FREE if they RIP”. The guarantee is long gone. But I wonder why some words are capitalized and others are not?

      The cafe is trying to lure people in by advertising half a fried spring chicken, soup, salad, vegetable, dessert, and drink for $0.60.

      There’s a search function if you want to search for pics of specific cities, time frames, etc.

      1. Doubt he would have any repeat customers and some of the first ones might come calling with their Smith & Wesson in hand…

        1. David Benson – I remember in the early 60s a certain amount of people were selling oregano as marijuana because none of us really knew what it looked or smelled like yet. 😉

          1. David Benson – as I used to tell my students, the key to good drugs is knowing your dealer. 🙂

              1. David Benson – honesty is the key to working with at-risk students. 90% of my students were doing illegal drugs. To ignore that would be criminal on my part. I cannot teach them if they are in the hospital ODing.

                1. PCS

                  Another good reason why drugs should be legalized. Like alcohol, their content could then be regulated.
                  Plus, U.S. military could begin earning funds legally for black operations, and they could simply buy the finished product from wholesalers in Afghanistan. Plus, the troops there now whose mission is guarding the Poppy fields could be brought home in the upright position.

  14. Sounds like crime by association. Hmmm. He has fake product, so they cannot get him for possession. Sad day in police town.

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