Mugshots

Partial contents of the Mugshots ForensiKit by Crime Scene

The ForensiKit: Mugshots box includes
  • One height chart backdrop
  • One changeable letter board with 164 letter, number, and symbol characters
  • Ten FD-249 booking cards
  • Fifteen 1.5-inch by 5-inch ink strips
  • One activity insert (Download another copy [PDF])
  • One packing list (Download another copy [PDF])

No subscription required

Contents of the Mugshots ForensiKit by Crime Scene


💡 Pro Tip: Need information about how to roll fingerprints? See our post on Printing with Ink for instructions and a video tutorial.

Activity – Same suspect, different looks

A person’s physical appearance can change over time. It’s one reason a suspect is photographed every time they’re arrested and later, if they’re convicted, photographed throughout their incarceration.

Materials needed:

  • Assorted articles of clothing
  • Cosmetics
  • Wigs (if available)
  • Eyeglasses (if available)
  • Camera or cell phone to take photos

Steps

  1. Have your suspect dress in different outfits.
    • Use larger or smaller clothing sizes and padding to simulate weight gain or loss.
    • Use wigs or hair appliances to alter the appearance of their hairstyle and color.
    • Use cosmetics to change the way their face looks.
  2. Take mugshot photos of your suspect in each look.
    • Be sure to change the date on the letter board to reflect the passage of time.
    • Modern-day subjects are generally required to remove hats, sunglasses, or other items that might obscure their appearance.
  3. Compare the collection of photos.
    • How much were you able to change how your suspect looked? Enough to hinder identification?
    • Would someone still be able to recognize the suspect looking only at the photos?
  4. Review the mugshots from history at the links in Additional Resources below. How much did the passage of time or the alteration of a person’s physical appearance affect the recognizability of the suspects in those real-life photos?


Additional Resources

View mugshots from history. See how many of the subjects you can recognize. Take note of how a subject’s appearance changed over time or when their hair was shaved (a common practice in 19th-century prisons).


Need more ink strips?

Disposable Ink Strips

hands peeling open an ink strip with a fingerprint card in the background

Need more booking cards?

FD-249 Booking Fingerprint Cards

Front of the FD-249 booking fingerprint card
Want to add to your booking kit?

Evidence Bags Sample Pack

Array of paper and plastic evidence bags

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