The only two pictures people take that are bound to always be bad are driver's license photos and criminal mugshots. Thankfully, the internet is full of only one of them unless there is a hilarious website of driver's license photos that we have yet to find.
2011 had plenty of photo foul-ups in front of the lens' of the nation's prisons and county jails, thanks to public drunkenness, bad planning and good ol' fashioned American stupidity. These are our favorites.
The Blushing Bride
Tammy Lee Hinton's trip down the aisle was supposed to be a day she would never forget and thanks to police officers in Michigan, that shouldn't be a problem. She was wanted on a three-year-old warrant for identity theft and police got a tip that she would be in town for her pending nuptials. Police arrested her while she was still in her wedding gown. Even better, she kept the veil on for her mugshot. Hey, at least she saved on a wedding photographer.
The Not-So-Ultimate Robber
Normally seeing such a hideous face of brutality and bruises doesn't elicit many laughs, but when you know the story behind it, even the most sympathetic soul could utter a few chuckles. Anthony Miranda of Chicago tried to hold up a driver at gunpoint, but failed to realize his intended victim was actually a martial arts expert and ultimate fighting champion. Along with a face full of bruises courtesy of his victim, Miranda also accidentally shot himself in the foot during their struggle. Clearly crime doesn't pay…hospital bills.
The Silver Sniffer
Some criminal investigations require months of intensive procedures and an extreme attention to detail. Others just require you to show up at the scene and put two and two together. This unidentified Arizona man was arrested for “vapor-related substance abuse” and if you can't guess what he was huffing, you might want to put that police officer application back in the desk drawer.
The Brainless Beer Bandits
These three teenagers didn't have enough sense to get a fake ID and buy some beer the old-fashioned way. Instead, they tried to steal a 30-pack of Tecate. When they got caught, the 19-year-olds fled the scene first in a car and later on foot only for police to find them when one of them left their wallet at the scene of the crime. The great capper to this not-so-great caper was their mugshots, particularly the third one. We're guessing he won't look so tough after a night in the slammer.
The Shoplifter Who Looks Like She Just Saw a Ghost
Shoplifters don't normally elicit many laughs unless they are lactose intolerant and accidentally target cheese stores or something. But this half of a shoplifting duo in Ogden, Utah elicits just as many laughs if not more with her mugshot. Korin Vanhouten, along with his alleged accomplice Eldon Alexander, were caught shoplifting in a supermarket and as the store officials questioned them, some car burglars broke into their getaway car. Evidently, Vanhouten was quite surprised by the whole situation.
The Crying Criminal
While it's easy to make jokes and have fun at the expense of those affected by crime, it's hard not to notice the irony of this criminal mugshot. This unidentified Florida man was nabbed for battery and resisting arrest back in September and was physically upset by the pending criminal charges as evidenced by the tear in his eye, just a few centimeters away from the tattooed teardrops on his face.
The Long Beards of the Lawless
The crimes in this case weren't particularly egregious, just a simple traffic violation. However, anytime the Amish are involved, it's bound to go viral on the internet and not just because of the delicious irony of these simple people finding fame through something powered by electricity. This group of eight Mennonites in Kentucky were thrown in the clink for refusing to place reflective triangles on their buggies because they were too modern and colorful for their religion. They refused to pay the fines and the judge threw them in jail.
The Fallen Candidate's Crooked Smile
Comedian Phyllis Diller once said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” In the case of a politician, it's usually for throwing a curveball. None was more crooked than former Vice Presidential hopeful John Edwards who now faces some serious criminal conspiracy and campaign finance charges for allegedly giving hush money to his mistress with campaign donations. The mugshot obtained by CNN features him smiling just as hard as he did on the campaign trail.
The Man Who Smiled Too Much
When it comes to smiling, it's hard to compete with the well-practicing beaming mug of a career politician, but this one could actually be a worthy contender. This unidentified Oregon man faced charges of criminal mischief and interfering with the making of a report back in May and even with the prospect of jail time and a criminal record, he still managed to eek out a very big smile for the jail's camera.
The Mugshot on a Shirt
Vanity has often been labeled as the most deadly of the seven deadly sins, and this mugshot certainly makes a good case for it. Police in Charlotte, N.C. were able to determine the men behind a home invasion robbery since one of the suspects left behind a T-shirt that one of them had made up of themselves. The shirt featured a criminal mugshot taken of Jonathan Huntley with the phrase “Making Money is My Thang” printed around it. A Crimestoppers tip helped police identify the man on the shirt and led to his eventual arrest.
Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, reporter, humorist and mugshot makeup artist. He is also a regular contributor to GuySpeed. He can be found on the web at DannyGallagher.net and on Twitter @thisisdannyg.