Forget those glamour shots andfamily portraits that cause people tospend hours primping their hair andmake-up. A new school of photography has taken the top spot on the popularitypedestal: mug shots. That’s right—thoseunkempt and often embarrassing headshots are today’s entertainment…so muchso, that one entrepreneur in Florida has created a whole magazine full of them.
JAIL magazine features page after pageof unflattering mugshots with nothing elseaside from a few ads scattered in betweenthem. The idea seemed like a naturalchoice to creator Devin James, who ironically has served some jail time himselfbefore creating the magazine with a small$600 investment.
While it seems America is in the midstof a never-ending crime wave, it is also inthe midst of mug shot obsession. Thanksto the overlapping efforts of Websites likeTMZ.com and The Smoking Gun, along withthe endless array of tabloid magazinesand television shows, celebrity mug shotshave become a new form of amusement, featuring the befuddled, sloppy gazes ofwell-known celebrities like Mel Gibson andNick Nolte.
While JAIL doesn’t feature the likes ofany celebrities—major, minor or otherwise—it’s certainly upping the noticability ofresidents local to Florida’s Seminole, Orangeand Osceola counties, where the magazineis sold in almost 175 independent c-storesfor $1 each. Being able to recognize thesecriminals is a big perk that comes with purchasing the magazine…whether it’s for thesake of safety or personal amusement isanother discussion entirely.
Each issue features hundreds of mugshots—with assailants accused of everything from robbery to prostitution tomurder—that are taken from a seeminglyendless pool of arrests that take place inthe magazine’s tri-county distribution area.Thanks to the multitude of arrests in thearea, JAIL should have no problem finding source material for future issues. Thiscomes as a relief to James and the retailerswho stock his magazine, giving it a spot onthe counter in exchange for half the profits.
No BonesAbout It
As if retailers didn’t have enough toworry about when it comes to cash management, theft prevention and the safety of theiremployees due to grizzled, low-brow robbers,now they have to worry about somethingworse: walking skeletons.
No, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie arenot filming another vapid reality show in ac-store. Instead, retailers in Virginia Beachare finding themselves victim to a serial robber donning a full-body skeleton Halloweencostume.
The cadaver-clad assailant, whose trueidentity is still a mystery, has robbed fourdifferent stores at gunpoint in the pastmonth, a Lukoil store being the most recent.Despite being dressed like a skeleton, therobber still has some guts—he’s robbed thesame Shell station twice in one week.
On top of his criminal bravado, the bago’ bones has shown a particularly nastytemper recently, smacking a resistant clerkwith the butt of his gun during the mostrecent heist.
As of press time, the skeleton is stillunearthed and at large.