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Historic Nebraska Mug Shots
Bertha Liebbeke

Grand larceny
Nebraska State Penitentiary

Bertha Liebbeke earned the reputation of being one of the Midwest's most notorious pickpockets. She would search out a well-dressed man, ideally with a diamond-studded lapel pin. Bertha would then "accidently" stumble into the helpless victim, pretending to faint into his arms. While he attempted to help her, Bertha would relieve the gentleman of his valuables or wallet. This trick earned her the nickname "Fainting Bertha."

Authorities from Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska knew Bertha and her tricks. Her aliases included Bertha Liebke, Jennie Jennings, Bertha Nixon, J. Armstrong, Carrie Jones, Bessie Milles and Menni Swilson, and Bertha Siegel, the name on her Omaha Police Court mug shot.




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Last updated 30 August 2012

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