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May 5, 2022

The Mug Shot of Daniel Tohill, New Zealand’s Most Photogenic Criminal

Introducing the ridiculously photogenic 19th century criminal Daniel Tohill. He was arrested for stealing ferrets but we suspect a few hearts were also stolen too.

Daniel Tohill (incorrectly labelled as Daniel Lohill), born in 1881 in New Zealand. Charged with theft and sentenced to 4 months hard labor on March 2, 1908 in Napier. Photograph taken on June 11, 1908 by the New Zealand Police. (via the New Zealand Police Museum)

The photograph was actually mislabeled as Daniel ‘Lohill’ at the time it was taken in 1908; the real name of this handsome rogue is Daniel Tohill, and he was convicted of theft in Napier, New Zealand and sentenced to 4 months hard labor on March 2, 1908.

According to the Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things, Daniel Tohill was charged with stealing a fur necklet and a bicycle, but was only convicted for the theft of the fur. His mug shot was taken because he had previous theft convictions: he was given a six month sentence for stealing from a railway shed while he was working as a railway porter in Waipawa in 1907, and was fined for stealing two ferrets in Christchurch in 1906.

Colorized version of the mug shot.

Daniel Joseph Tohill was born to John & Sarah Ann Tohill in 1881 (and not 1883, as it states on his criminal record) in Ravensbourne, Dunedin. In 1903, at the age of 22, he married 20 year old Frances Anna O’Kane in her hometown of Waitahuna. They had three children: a daughter named Frances Mary Veronica in 1904, another daughter named Iris in 1906, and a son Daniel Cyril in 1908.

The couple apparently weathered the storm though, eventually moving to Auckland by the end of the 1920s, and buying a house together on Tennessee Drive in Mangere in 1944. Daniel and Frances (Sr) both died in 1950, at the ages of 68 and 67, respectively.


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