When criminals are arrested and charged with a crime, their mugshot reveals more than a police report can. And when a person is smiling in their photo, it can be a little scary. Although celebrities are notorious for grinning in their mugshots in an attempt to make light of their charges or to look innocent, other people who"ve been booked on more severe charges grin in their pics for ulterior motives. In fact, smiling in mugshots has become so common, some police even fine people when they do it. "As long as it"s not — like some people will really cheese up and these kinds of things and we just can"t have that," Capt. Mark McLaughlin of Mecklenburg County, N.C. said in 2012. Although there"s no rule that says you can"t smile in a photo, some deputies see it as a sign of antagonization, especially if you"re booked for protesting.
But what about those arrested on attempted murder charges? What motivation do they have to grin creepily at the camera? "Some of them may actually be proud of what they"ve done," said Milo Colton, an associate professor of criminal justice at St. Mary"s University. Considering the grisly crimes smiling perps are typically charged with, it wouldn"t be a far-fetched theory. Below, seven people who eerily smiled in their scary mugshots.
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Sheila Keen Warren
In 1990, a woman dressed as a clown rang the doorbell of Marlene Warren"s house while carrying roses and balloons. When Marlene answered the door and attempted to reach for the roses, the clown fatally shot her. The case went cold for 27 years, however, in 2017, police finally arrested Sheila in connection with the murder. According to police, Sheila and Marlene"s husband, Michael, were having an affair, which was the alleged motive for the shooting. Sheila eventually went on to marry Michael in the years after Marlene"s death before she was arrested and charged with the crime. "Any murder"s horrific. It doesn"t matter whether you"re wearing a clown costume or not," Palm Beach County sheriff"s Sgt. Richard McAfee said.
Back in 2012, the New Jersey teen was arrested for luring her ex-boyfriend to a park where he was eventually beaten with a baseball bat and a pipe by her current boyfriend and two other accomplices. Once she was booked and charged, her creepy, smiling mugshot went viral. She pled guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail.
This Illinois woman was arrested back in 2017 for running over a cyclist with her Jeep and driving off. According to police, the 45-year-old rammed the cyclist with her car, knocking him from his bike before driving over him. She then drove off with the bike still stuck under her car. Fortunately, the victim survived, but Jacqueline was arrested and charged with attempted murder. However, that didn"t stop her from gleefully smiling in her mugshot. After a few weeks, the courts found she wasn"t fit for trial and she was moved to a treatment facility.
Back in 2011, he was arrested for allegedly trying to order a hit on his daughter after she reported to police that he had been sexually assaulting her since she was 16. According to police, Robert called his brother and told him he wanted his daughter and her boyfriend both killed. After Robert was arrested and charged, he couldn"t help but grin while he sat on attempted murder charges.
In 2011, he opened fire at a Safeway, intentionally targeting US Representative Gabrielle Giffords because he didn"t believe women should hold positions of power. He injured her and killed six others during the rampage. After he was subdued, he was arrested and charged, smiling eerily in his mugshot photo. While people shocked by his actions tried to make sense of the smile, all they could come up with was that he was a troubled individual who made people "uncomfortable." He pled guilty and is currently serving a life sentence.
This quasi-celebrity was a famous record producer who Rolling Stone named as one of the "the greatest artists in history." However, that all changed in 2003 when model Lana Clarkson was found dead in his mansion from a gunshot wound. Phil told Esquire at the time that it was an "accidental suicide" and that she "kissed the gun." Phil was arrested but remained free on bail until his trial in 2007 where he was found guilty. He"s currently serving a 19-year sentence and looks pretty happy about it.
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He"s one part of the infamous Menendez brothers, whose trial became a media sensation back in the "90s when they were both convicted of murdering their wealthy parents with a shotgun. In his mugshot, Lyle for some strange reason thought it was appropriate to smile. Considering how many admirers the brothers have (one of whom he married while in prison), maybe the grin was meant for the ladies. Although both brothers are serving life sentences, they maintain that their parents were abusive and the killing was in self-defense.