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Prostitutes And Madams: Mugshots From When Montreal Was Vice Central

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Montreal, Canada, 1949. Le Devoir publishes a series of articles decrying lax policing and the spread of organized crime in the city. Written by campaigning lawyer Pacifique ‘Pax’ Plante (1907 – 1976) and journalist Gérard Filion, the polemics vow to expose and root out corrupt officials.

With Jean Drapeau, Plante takes part in the Caron Inquiry, which leads to the arrest of several police officers. Caron JA’s Commission of Inquiry into Public Morality began on September 11, 1950, and ended on April 2, 1953, after holding 335 meetings and hearing from 373 witnesses. Several police officers are sent to prison.

During the sessions, hundreds of documents are filed as evidence, including a large amount of photos of places and people related to vice. Below are photos of brothels, gambling dens and mugshots of people who ran them, often in cahoots with the cops – prostitutes, madams, pimps, racketeers and gamblers.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Anna Labelle, alias Mme Émile Beauchamp, 1939 .Anna Labelle, aka Ms. Émile Beauchamp, was the most powerful brothel keeper in Montreal during the Second World War. Arrested for the last time in 1939, she went regularly to the courthouse in her Cadillac, wrapped in a mink, to free her managers. The story tells that she receives police officers every week from her rich home in 219 Sherbrooke West.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Maison de prostitution at 424 rue Guy, 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Liliane Brown, alias Ida Katz, tenancière, 1930 or 1940. Liliane Brown, aka Ida Katz, was one of the three principal tenants in Montreal during the Second World War. She kept several low-end houses on Clark Street, south of Ste-Catherine, near the Gayety cabaret, and on the streets of Bullion and Desmarais.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Maison de prostitution at 1153-1155 rue Clark, 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Lucie Delicato Bizante, 6 mai 1944. Lucie Delicato Bizante, was one of the three principal tenants in Montreal during the Second World War. She was an important witness of the Caron Commission.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Maison de prostitution au 1444-1446 de la Montagne, 1940

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Lina Tony 1940 – arrested on 1 December 1941 for running a brothel at 1244 Berger, and at 1242 on the same street, on 26 August 1941.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Maison de prostitution at 1225-1227-1229 de Bullion, 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Germaine Giraud, 19 février 1941- arrested in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Maison de jeu rue St-Dominique, 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Marguerite Smith, 1940 – arrested several times between 1941 and 1943 for having run a brothel at 1225 de Bullion and having worked as a prostitute.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Intérieur d’une maison de jeu, 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Gisèle Roy, alias Marie-Jeanne Lambert, 27 janvier 1941. Gisèle Roy, aka Marie-Jeanne Lambert, arrested for prostitution on January 27, 1941.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

James Masters, alias Gaetano Mastracchio, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Intérieur d’une maison de jeu, années 1940.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Madeleine Gagnon, 7 August 1942 – arrested at 1223 Bullion on February 16, 1943 in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Eugène Caviola, 15 décembre 1945 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Ruby Taylor, années 1940 – arrested at 1225 Bullion on 1 May 1942 in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Jeanine Lebrun, 1940 – arrested on April 11, 1940 for having run a house of prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Irène Lavallée, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Jack Diamond, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Mary Shepperd, 1940 –  arrested in connection with an investigation into prostitution.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Blanche Martin, 1940. Blanche Martin, a maid arrested on May 8, 1940 for running a brothel

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Henry Druik, 1940 – arrested 8 times between 1938 and 1942 for holding a gaming house at 463 McGill.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Fleurette Dubois, 28 octobre 1942 – arrested for running a brothel at 1225 Bullion.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Armand Pépin, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.

 

Montreal police 1940 crime prostitutes sex

Annie Parker, 6 janvier 1941 – arrested in connection with an investigation into prostitution.

 

Via Archives de la Ville de Montréal

  • njguy54

    Some of these ladies must have been in the prostitution equivalent of the discount rack.

  • Tim

    I feel very sad after looking at those photos.

  • Terruck Sygundess

    I hope the profession has gotten better looking people. I have never been to a brothel and these pics sure do not encourage me to go.