Criminal. She was one of America's most notorious female criminals during the mid-to-late 19th century. As a child Sophie was trained as a pickpocket and shoplifter by Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum and was a member of Mandelbaum's "inner circle" in New York City during the 1860s. She was also involved in bank robbery, bribery and confidence schemes. Sophie and her husbands, Edward "Ned" Lyons and Billy "the kid" Burke, were on the run from police in the United States, Canada and Europe from the 1860s until the turn of the 20th century. Sophie was imprisoned multiple times and she escaped from from Sing Sing prison in 1872 with the help of Ned Lyons. Sophie had at least five children, including one son, George Lyons, who also became a criminal. She retired from the criminal life after 1900 and spent her later years investing in real estate in Detroit and in the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents, providing financial assistance and housing for reformed criminals and their families. Her autobiography, "Why Crime Does Not Pay" was published in 1913.
Bio by: Shayne Davidson