News & Insights

What Is The Most Famous Mugshot?

December 22, 2022 Arrest Records | Mugshot Removal

image 1


Mugshots are a unique form of criminal record document that provides information about a person who has been arrested and processed by a criminal justice agency. In recent years, mugshots have become popular media and entertainment. Many have become fascinated with the most famous mugshots of history’s most notorious criminals, celebrities, and even public figures. This article seeks to explore the most famous mugshots and discuss the circumstances surrounding each individual’s arrest.

Definition of a Mugshot

A mugshot, a “mug book” or “Police Print”, is a photographic portrait taken after a suspect has been arrested. It’s usually taken in front of a white background, and the angles used to capture the mugshot generally emphasize features important for facial identification purposes. The photo typically includes two shots: one full face and one profile photo to capture the entire face of the suspect, including head shape, hair color, length, marks, scars, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.

The intention behind taking mugshots is to identify individuals when police officers apprehend them. This identification process helps link persons involved in criminal activities with any relevant investigations into those activities or persons. Mugshots also help verify the identities of reported missing persons. Because these photographs become public records, they can be easily searched online, making them widely accessible to journalists who wish to research public records related to criminal cases or cross-reference arrest records from across different states and countries.

Most Famous Mugshots

Mugshots have been around for centuries and have been used to identify suspects of crimes, including resisting arrest and DUIs. Over the years, there have been many famous mugshots, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Downey Jr., Paris Hilton, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Several infamous celebrity mugshots, including Bill Gates and Lindsay Lohan. This article will look at some of the most famous mugshots in history, from the Tsarist secret police to the Santa Monica Police Department.

Martin Luther King Jr.

As a civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. was an icon of non-violent protests for justice and racial equality in the United States. On October 19, 1960, King and sixty other students were arrested at a sit-in at the lunch counter of an Atlanta department store. His mugshot from this protest is one of the most well-known mugshots in history.

Afterward, King wrote and spoke about his dream of a world without hatred or injustice based on race or color. He traveled across the United States and worldwide as he worked to make this dream a reality despite facing intimidation and threats due to his activism. In 1964, he became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his work advancing civil rights through peaceful protest.

The famous mugshot taken during Dr. King’s arrest stands as a reminder of his commitment to change through nonviolent efforts, no matter what opposition he faced during his lifetime. His message still resonates today with many who strive to achieve equal rights and justice in our world.

Robert Downey Jr.

The most recognizable mugshot of all time arguably belongs to Robert Downey Jr., a charismatic actor who was arrested in 2000 on multiple charges, including drug possession. Although it’s not clear what kind of drugs Downey was caught with, the mugshot remains an iconic image of hard-partying culture and celebrity scandal.

A youthful-looking Downey is pictured wearing a white T-shirt, feeling discouraged, and staring away into the distance—an image that showcases the public persona of darkness among success. The mugshot stands out against other celebrity arrests as it embodies tragedy and defeat, highlighting how quickly things can go wrong despite considerable fame and fortune.

He served time in Los Angeles County jail on drug charges, which eventually set off rehabilitation for Downey’s substance abuse issues. After his sentence was dropped and completion of his court-mandated terms for parole, he turned his life around as a successful actor with critical acclaim from audiences worldwide. Now married with three children, Downey still inspires many people facing similar struggles, thanks partly to this famous mugshot photograph taken all those years ago.

Bill Gates

The most famous mugshot belongs to Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In 1977, the then-28-year-old CEO was arrested in New Mexico for speeding. The mugshot shows a young Gates wearing a plaid button-down shirt and glasses and showing off his signature bushy mustache.

In 2020, the mugshot resurfaced and made waves online as social media users compared the arrest photo to his career successes in business and philanthropy. Gates eventually used this experience as a learning opportunity and an example of how people respond to adversity. News stories unveiled that he had been fined several thousand dollars, served with a restraining order prohibiting him from driving more than 27 miles an hour on the highway, given community service hours, and put under probation for 12 months after pleading down from “driving under the influence” charges.

Gates’s photo is just one of many famous mugshots taken over time by celebrities and criminals alike. Other notable mugshots include notorious gangsters Al Capone and “Lucky” Luciano; actresses Winona Ryder and Lindsay Lohan; politician Jim Traficant; cult leader Charles Manson; professional baseball players Barry Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Jose Canseco; musician John Lennon; starlet Marilyn Monroe; hedge fund fraudster Bernie Madoff; the actor Robert Downey Jr.; studio mogul Louis B. Mayer; President Richard Nixon’s advisor H.R Haldeman when he was arrested during Watergate proceedings among many other high-profile personalities throughout American history. While some of these arrests have ended up in conviction or investigations over time, others have been dismissed or resulted in no or deferred sentences, all of which remain powerful reminders of the decisions we must make regardless of whether we hold any public office.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald is one of the most famous mugshots of all time. He was arrested on November 24, 1963, within two hours of being accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Although he denied guilt, his mugshot in the Dallas City Jail was a crucial piece of evidence when Jack Ruby shot and killed him two days later.

The late Commissioner Jesse Curry initially released two versions of the Oswald mugshot—one with his shirt unbuttoned and one dressed more formally. It has since been utilized for books, television programs, art projects, and numerous other media types throughout the decades.

Despite his express lack of involvement in the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald remains historically significant as a symbol of political unrest in both American and international contexts. His mugshot lives on as a poignant reminder of both innocence and guilt surrounding his short life and its tragic end.

Rosa Parks

One of the most famous mugshots of all time is that of Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights activist from Montgomery, Alabama. Her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus led to her arrest on December 1, 1955, for alleged violation of segregation laws. She later went on to become an icon of the civil rights movement, and her image has been widely used in both protest and celebration of the cause.

Her mugshot, taken at the Montgomery police station just after her arrest, shows a determined and proud woman wearing large glasses and her hair pulled back tightly from her face. The story behind this photograph has become a historically significant symbol of strength in the face of injustice. It has been used to further progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter.

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton is perhaps best known for her shocking personal narcissism and style but is also renowned for her most famous mug shot. The heiress was arrested in 2006 on charges of DUI, and her mug shot became a popular item in the public realm.

The image was taken by the Los Angeles Police Department, with Paris’ most recognizable features: full lips and short blonde hair on full display. Notably, she was decked out in designer clothing instead of the iconic law enforcement-issued outfits essential to the mugshot portraiture genre. Otherwise, she seemed contrite while looking directly into the police camera lens.

Most mugshots exist to shame or intimidate their subjects and typically serve as cautionary media fodder. In return, Paris Hilton monetized her misconduct by turning it into one of fashion’s biggest looks in 2006 – The Mugshot Glamour Look, complete with diamond necklaces and dark glasses.

Though perhaps not emulated (or encouraged) as much today due to the prevalence of criminal justice reform discourse surrounding those existing inside America’s vast prison system, Paris Hilton remains a classic example of how a single photo can cause widespread shock value but still shift culture positively when leveraged enough by its subject – an indomitable performance from an otherwise untouchable celebrity mother figure like Ms. Hilton herself could make all the difference in understanding both sides realities when faced with formidable charges such as DUI convictions.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards’ mugshot comes from the legendary guitarist and songwriter’s April 1973 drug charges in Vancouver, Canada. He was charged with the possession of heroin and hashish. The mugshot quickly earned its iconic status because it encapsulates the rock-and-roll rebellion for which Richards was renowned. It has been described as “[one] of the most famous looks in Rock and Roll” due to its “iconic facial expression.”

Unlike most other celebrity mugshots, Keith Richards’ photo doesn’t show any remorse or regret on his face, indicating that he shows no fear or shame of being arrested. Instead, his expression reflects defiance and a cool calmness. The image has been compared to a “late-night lounge lizard, grinning beneath a shock of unruly hair.” It is also said to capture perfectly his characteristic rebellious nature as one of “rock’s great outlaws”.

The photograph has become so popular over time that Ian Francis recreated it as part of his original work titled “Criminal,” which juxtaposes prominent figures with their mugshots while surrounded by a halo of flies. Through it, Francis can bring attention to the way society views criminal history. The image featuring Keith Richards has shaped how we perceive celebrity culture – for better or worse – since becoming an iconic figure in pop culture.

Other Infamous Mugshots

Mugshots are often seen as a symbol of a person’s criminality. Still, sometimes even the most famous people have been captured on a mugshot, like Martin Luther King Jr, who was arrested for resisting arrest, or Robert Downey Jr, who was charged with drug crimes and disorderly conduct. But those are just the most famous mugshots. In this section, let’s look at other infamous celebrity mugshots. From President John F. Kennedy to Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, these mugshots will give you a rare glimpse of some of the world’s most celebrities in less-than-flattering positions.

Santa Monica Police Department

In 1962, actor and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe was charged with a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) and arrested when she failed a sobriety test. The Santa Monica Police Department, better known as SMPD, took her picture — one of the most iconic mugshots ever. The photo shows her looking beautiful yet sad in a loose-fitting white shirt that is slightly unbuttoned at the collar. Her long dark hair is neatly combed back, and her eyes appear tired yet composed. This photograph quickly became an enduring symbol of Monroe’s short life and legacy as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. The notoriety of this famous mugshot has been surpassed only by those of notorious criminals such as Charles Manson and OJ Simpson.

Clayton County Police Department

The Clayton County Police Department is home to one of the most infamous mugshots – that of rapper T.I. The mugshot was taken in April 2007 following T.I.’s arrest on felony weapons charges. On the night of his arrest, police found T.I.’s pistols, rifles, and shotguns, as well as explosive materials like fireworks and smoke bombs, in an SUV he was riding in. He was eventually found guilty of three counts of possession of firearms by a convicted felon and one count of possession with intent to distribute cannabis, which he pled guilty to in October 2007.

Following his release from jail in September 2010, T.I. ‘s mugshot has been referenced numerous times in the media and by fans alike—becoming one of the most recognizable mugshots worldwide amongst those taken by the Clayton County Police Department. Therefore, it could be argued that this could be considered one of the most famous mugshots ever taken, although there will always be debates about who made it onto that list!

County Sheriff’s Office

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office of O.J. Simpson probably took the most famous mugshot of the past century in 1994. This was shortly after he became the prime suspect in the murder of his former wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. The black and white photo shows a tired-looking O.J. looking directly at the camera with a serious expression.

This iconic mugshot came to represent an idol crashing from grace. O.J. had been revered nationally for his stellar football playing accomplishments in college and professional career, as well as for his various acting and commercial advertising gigs he later did after retiring from sports in 1979.

Other iconic mugshots include actress Winona Ryder taken for shoplifting charges in 2001; actor Robert Downey Jr’s multiple arrests between 1996-2001; Mob boss John Gotti after his 1988 indictment on racketeering charges; controversial radio personality Howard Stern’s 1993 DUI arrest; pop music star Justin Bieber’s 2014 arrest for drag racing while intoxicated ; rapper Snoop Dogg’s 2006 arrest on weapons charges; Muhammed Ali first arrested in Florida in 1960 refusing to enter the military due to personal religious convictions; notorious bank robber John Dillinger arrested with his face marked “Public Enemy No 1” following a 34-state manhunt which lasted over a year beginning 1933; Michelle Obama’s prominent artist mother Marian Robinson posing for her 1975 mugshot following two stolen checks charges ; convicted murderer Scott Peterson posing for booking photo after 2004 court conviction on two counts of murder of wife Laci Peterson and unborn son Conner Peterson among other famous inmates bookings around worldwide over centuries .

Chicago Police Department

The Chicago Police Department has some of the most recognizable and infamous mugshots in criminal history. From Al Capone to John Dillinger, these mugshots have been ingrained in our nation’s collective memory since their capture in the 1920s and 1930s.

Al Capone’s 1925 mugshot is one of law enforcement’s most widely known mugshots. It portrays a sullen gangster sporting a tan suit and slick hair—quite the contrast to his fresh-faced, youthful appearance years before.

John Dillinger’s 1934 mugshot reveals a man quite different from his public persona. It portrays a much older, worn individual than what was admitted at his trial. Years spent on the run and numerous engagements with law enforcement officers had taken a physical toll on him.

Baby Face Nelson’s 1934 picture is also well known, as is George “Bugs” Moran’s 1924 picture. These two were two of the most notorious names within organized crime at the time, and their respective captures directly impacted their organization’s structure.

Besides these four men, there are many more who have become famous for their crimes and more specifically for their memorable mugshots—including Lester Joseph Gillis (“Baby Face Nelson”), Herman Lamm (1928), John Budd (“Capone Killer”), Homer Van Meter (1935), Harry Pierpont (1934), Charles Makley (1933) and Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd (1935 ). Each has served their respective sentences but will always be remembered through their notoriety via these photographs that remain reminders of Chicago’s darkest days in American criminal history.

Glendale Police Department

The infamous mugshot of actress and model Amber Heard, arrested in 2009 by the Glendale Police Department for misdemeanor domestic violence, is one of the most famous mugshots worldwide. The photo shows a distressed and upset Heard staring directly at the camera, resulting in multiple bookings and interest from women’s rights groups.

The incident occurred when Amber visited her then-partner Tasya Van Ree, who was attending an art show in Glendale, California. While there, a physical altercation ensued, leading to Heard’s arrest for assault in public. She was booked at the Glendale Police Department and put on defensive probation until her court hearing. Though she pleaded not guilty, Heard accepted a plea deal that included supervised probation, community service, and mandatory attendance to counseling sessions.

Since then, more recent and controversial mugshots have been widely shared online, including those of fellow Hollywood stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber, and Chris Brown. Although it sparked international attention at the time of its release due to Heard’s celebrity status and victim advocacy involvement, it remains one of the most notorious mugshots ever taken by any police department worldwide today.

York State Department

The most infamous mugshot of all time hails from the New York State Department of Correctional Services. It first came to fame in late 1991 when it was taken and published in the book Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder by British Professor Donald W. Black and coauthor Dr. Howard J. Barbaree.

The photograph has since been reproduced countless times on television shows and websites, making it one of the most famous mugshots in history. It features a young man with piercing eyes staring directly toward the camera, with his dark hair shaved close to his head. The image is simply titled “York State Department,” but many believe that this is the notorious bank robber John Dillinger – one of America’s most notorious criminals and public enemy number one back in 1934, who federal agents famously killed as he escaped Lake Michigan in July 1934, never had been captured or arrested before that time.

Dillinger may remain alive, but unfortunately, no one can confirm it. However, there are rumors out there that at least three imposters have appeared over time claiming to be him, according to an FBI release back in 2005 issued by Special Agent Jason Pack. Another possibility suggests the photo may belong to accomplice Lester Joseph Gillis (aka Baby Face Nelson) instead — a ruthless killer whose long criminal history dates back almost 30 years before Dillinger’s alleged escape death. However, no conclusive evidence has been found to confirm this either way.

Regardless of whose picture this belongs to, it will continue its legacy as one of the most infamous mugshots in history for many more years— perhaps forever!

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach has produced several famous mugshots over the years. In February of 1964, famed boxing champion Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) became one of the most famous mugshots when he was arrested there for refusing to enroll in the U.S. military due to his religious beliefs. His arrest prompted an arrest warrant in Alabama, where he had last been charged with a crime against a merchant earlier that month. Clay spent five days in jail before being released on bail and was eventually found guilty at his court-martial trial and fined $10,000.

More recently, West Palm Beach made headlines with the 2017 mugshot of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft following an undercover investigation into alleged prostitution at a local massage parlor. Kraft pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts related to soliciting prostitution in April of 2019 and was sentenced by a judge overseeing the case to 100 hours of community service and complete an education course on human trafficking awareness as part of a pretrial agreement requiring him to pay court fees and fines while admitting no guilt or wrongdoing under the judicial diversion program.

Dakota Access Pipeline

The Dakota Access pipeline is one of the most infamous mugshots of late due to a highly controversial series of protests related to it. The $3.8 billion pipeline, intended to carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale fields to a hub in Illinois, has been embroiled in legal fights since late 2016 when protesters began occupying a camp near the project’s path. The protesters are primarily members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who argue that the pipeline’s crossing of their ancestral lands would threaten their way of life.

What had been a local struggle quickly became a heavily publicized international movement as protests drew people from all over the globe. Riot police used pepper spray and concussion grenades on demonstrators several times during clashes in February 2017 and October 2017, resulting in dozens of arrests and many injuries. Footage showing Native water protectors being teargassed while holding their hands up was deemed particularly shocking and went viral, amplifying activists’ calls for action against what they see as systemic discrimination against indigenous peoples around the world.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan’s 2005 booking photo is arguably one of the most famous mugshots. The photo was taken when Lohan, then 19, was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of drugs. Her recent causes have made her an even bigger public figure, and this mugshot has become an iconic image in pop culture history.

The photo reminds us that celebrities are not immune to losing control and paying the consequences. It also proves that good behavior can turn our lives around; since 2013, Lohan has been out of trouble with the law and is now focused on transforming her career by producing movies and launching clothing lines.

Despite a few slip-ups here and there, such as her infamously controversial Vanity Fair cover shoot in 2008, where she didn’t look very presentable, Lohan has proven she’s definitely come a long way from her wild partying days in 2005. Her recent outings show that she’s significantly improved her reputation over the past decade.

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s mugshot is one of the most celebrity mugshots ever taken. It was snapped in 1938 when Sinatra was arrested on charges of adultery and seduction after he was found in the company of a married woman. The photo — later turned into an iconic black-and-white poster — shows a heavily smoldering young Sinatra with slicked-back hair, looking intense, suave, and guilty all at once. This unique portrait became so famous that it ended up on the cover of Life magazine in 1948. After that, countless prints, posters, and merchandise spawned from this infamous image for decades afterward. The image remains one of the most recognized images of the singer to this day.


The most famous mugshot of all time is arguably the booking photo taken of rock and roll star Elvis Presley in 1970. The image captures Presley in mid-profile, sporting his iconic hairstyle, with just a hint of a smirk on his face. Elvis was arrested that day on suspicion of public drunkenness and was subsequently charged with a series of offenses related to his arrest, including battery, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. Although all charges were soon dropped and the case dismissed, the arresting officers could not have guessed the popularity this unique mugshot would achieve over the years, becoming an iconic symbol of Presley’s legacy. The mugshot has been widely reproduced on posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise. It has even been featured in films such as Forrest Gump (1994), prominently displayed throughout one scene. To this day, Elvis’s mugshot remains one of the most recognizable images, popularizing mugshots worldwide!

Recent Articles

May 27, 2024 North Carolina: How to Access Arrest Records

May 1, 2024

How Much is Bond for Violation of Protective Order?

April 22, 2024

Is PeopleWhiz Accurate for Background Checks?

April 11, 2024

Mugshot Lookup: 5 Essential Tips for Accurate Results

March 28, 2024 South Carolina: 3 Steps to Take If Your Mugshot Appears Online

March 22, 2024

Are MyLife Emails Legitimate or Spam?

Request Free Mugshot Removal Analysis

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get a Mugshot Removal Analysis

Remove Your Mugshot