the tombs


The Tombs, or main city city jail, had men’s and women’s wings. Hangings were conducted in the courtyard, and though they were not officially visible to the public, spectators frequently gathered on the roofs of nearby buildings to gawk.

Piker Ryan was a real-life Whyo. The intelligent expression in this mugshot from the Municipal Archives (reproduced below from Herbert Asbury's Gangs of New York) inspired his character in Metropolis. Googy Corcoran was the leader of the Whyos before Dandy Johnny Dolan.

Piker Ryan mugshot Googy Corcoran mugshot