‘Mug Shot Mania’ Getting Noticed
By David Highfield
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you get arrested in western Pennsylvania, your mug shot could now wind up in a paper called “Mug Shot Mania.”
It started earlier this year, and its creator, Shawn Kirkwood, says sales have been better than expected.
The publication prints mug shots its publisher says are recent arrests in the area – everything from aggravated assault to parole violations.
There’s a section called “Sticky Fingers” that includes photos of people charged with crimes such as retail theft.
Another section, titled “Cruizin’ & Boozin’” showcases people who have been charged with DUI.
Kristin Christopher of Carrick says she spent the dollar to buy a copy to see if she there was anybody she knew inside.
People had mixed reactions to the paper. Some thought it would be a deterrent to crime while others thought it was unfair to publish photos of people before they are convicted.
But “Mug Shot Mania” makes it clear at the top of each page that, “All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.”
Criminologist and CMU professor Alfred Blumstein says he doubts the publication will be an added deterrent to crime. He says, “I think it’s inappropriate and exploitative.”
The paper, however, also publishes pictures of missing children, people wanted by the police and phone numbers for people with alcohol and drug problems to get help.
The creator declined to do an interview with KDKA for this story.