The black and white picture of “Madam Moll” an 1920s bankrobber with her machine-gun has been going around the internet for almost a decade and is clearly a modern fake.
Every time it is shared online there are usually a few people in the comments who point out that there’s something not quite right about the photo but if you want to deal with fake history you have find actual proof and if possible the source of an image to kill the story once and for all.
It has been one hell of a job but I managed it.
Countless people have tried and have gotten pretty far in proving the photo is not a real 1920s bank robber posing by a safe.
People pointed out that the machine gun wasn’t really available till WW2, that the safe was actually a modern gun safe not the type you’d find in a bank and who would take some time to pose for a photo in the middle of a robbery?
The photo was a fake but I needed more to actually prove this.
So I spend a lot of time researching the origin of the photo, even going through hundreds of comments placed by people every time the photo was shared on social media.
One person recognised the dress and posted a photo of the one she had online, the dresses are clearly the same and the dress is not from the 1920s.
But I wanted more, I wanted to know who the girl was, surely someone would recognize her!
And finally I got lucky, there were countless comments of “Hey this girl looks like this or that person” on social media, usually as a joke, but in this one comment hidden among hundreds, even thousands of messages saying the girl looked like someone they knew, in one post among the hundreds, there was someone who responded; “Yes that is indeed me”.
According to the response the photo was made around 2007 as a joke, surfaced on Reddit and Tumbler without her permission and has been reposted ever since.
The woman who recognized herself was a certain Miss Taylor from California.
When I found her online I soon realised she was indeed the same person as on the photo and was especially excited to find a photo of her wearing the exact same dress as in the gangster photo.
You can read more about the art Miss Taylor makes as part of the Dosshaus collaboration here;
I tried to get in touch with Zoe via Social Media but also via her website to ask her about the photo and if she was ok with me sharing the pictures I found.
I waited over a month but unfortunately did not receive a response.
I am sharing what I found here because I think that it is important that we fight fake history, we must make sure that made up stories about the past (or present) don’t start to lead their own life and people start accepting it as being true.
Nevertheless, if Miss Taylor doesn’t want me to share her colour photo or wants to add or change part of the story above, she can always get in touch with me and I’ll gladly abide.
Picture found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to this picture, I only share it here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.
If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall remove it right away.