Prostitutes And Madams: Mugshots From When Montreal Was Vice Central
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.
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.
Maison de prostitution at 424 rue Guy, 1940.
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.
Maison de prostitution at 1153-1155 rue Clark, 1940.
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.
Maison de prostitution au 1444-1446 de la Montagne, 1940
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.
Maison de prostitution at 1225-1227-1229 de Bullion, 1940.
Germaine Giraud, 19 février 1941- arrested in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.
Maison de jeu rue St-Dominique, 1940.
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.
Intérieur d’une maison de jeu, 1940.
Gisèle Roy, alias Marie-Jeanne Lambert, 27 janvier 1941. Gisèle Roy, aka Marie-Jeanne Lambert, arrested for prostitution on January 27, 1941.
James Masters, alias Gaetano Mastracchio, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.
Intérieur d’une maison de jeu, années 1940.
Madeleine Gagnon, 7 August 1942 – arrested at 1223 Bullion on February 16, 1943 in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.
Eugène Caviola, 15 décembre 1945 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.
Ruby Taylor, années 1940 – arrested at 1225 Bullion on 1 May 1942 in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.
Jeanine Lebrun, 1940 – arrested on April 11, 1940 for having run a house of prostitution.
Irène Lavallée, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to prostitution.
Jack Diamond, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.
Mary Shepperd, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation into prostitution.
Blanche Martin, 1940. Blanche Martin, a maid arrested on May 8, 1940 for running a brothel
Henry Druik, 1940 – arrested 8 times between 1938 and 1942 for holding a gaming house at 463 McGill.
Fleurette Dubois, 28 octobre 1942 – arrested for running a brothel at 1225 Bullion.
Armand Pépin, 1940 – arrested in connection with an investigation related to the game.
Annie Parker, 6 janvier 1941 – arrested in connection with an investigation into prostitution.
Via Archives de la Ville de Montréal