Author: Jim Quillen
Publisher: Random House
Each day we saw the outside world in all its splendour, and each day that view served as a reminder that we had wasted and ruined our lives. Jim Quillen, AZ586 - a runaway, problem child and petty thief - was jailed several times before his twentieth birthday. In August 1942, after escaping from San Quentin, he was arrested on the run and sentenced to forty-five years in prison, and later transferred to Alcatraz. This is the true story of life inside America's most notorious prison - from terrifying times in solitary confinement to daily encounters with 'the Birdman', and what really happened during the desperate and deadly 1946 escape attempt.
Author: Michael Esslinger
ALCATRAZ: the name alone said it all... It was meant to send a shudder down the spines of the nation's most incorrigible criminals. It stripped Al Capone of his power. It tamed "Machine Gun" Kelly into a model of decorum. It took the birds away from the Birdman of Alcatraz.This mammoth reference navigates the island's history through rarely seen documents, interviews and hundreds of pages of historic photographs. Author interviews range from men such as legendary FBI fugitive James Whitey Bulger; Dale Stamphill, a principle in the 1938 escape with Doc Barker and Henry Young; to Atom Spy Morton Sobell, the co-defendant of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Michael Esslinger thoroughly details the prominent events, inmates, and life inside the most infamous prison in American History. His research included hundreds of hours examining actual Alcatraz inmate case files (including rare original documents from Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and over a hundred others) exploring the prison grounds from the rooftop to the waterfront to help retrace events, escape routes, in addition to conducting various interviews with former inmates and guards. His study has resulted in detailed accounts of all the recorded escape attempts including the Battle of Alcatraz. A detailed account of the 1962 escape of Frank Morris and the Anglin Brothers provides rare insight extracted through photos, and over 1,700 pages of FBI and Bureau of Prisons investigative notes. Detailed narratives of Alcatraz's most notable inmates who include Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz), Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Frank Morris, the Anglin Brothers, Doc Barker, Joe Cretzer, Bernard Coy, Miran Thompson, Sam Shockley, and many-many others. Alcatraz: A History of the Penitentiary Years, is a comprehensive reference on the history of Alcatraz and contains one of the most comprehensive archives of inmate and prison life photographs (over 1,000).
Alcatraz from Inside
Author: Jim Quillen
Publisher: Golden Gate National Park Assn
In this fascinating autobiographical account, Jim Quillen tells the amazing story of his decade incarcerated in America's most infamous prison -- how he got there, how he stayed alive inside, and, most important, how he found the inspiration and courage to get out.
Escape from Alcatraz
Author: Eric Mark Braun
What's more exciting than a prison break? Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin escaped from Alcatraz in 1962 and have never been caught. Many authorities are certain they died crossing San Francisco Bay. Relatives claim they made it to Brazil. The theories of what happened to them are endless. Find out the facts from people who dealt with the men and the case first-hand. This is one mystery you'll definitely want to solve.
Author: George H. Gregory
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Alcatraz Screw is a firsthand account from a prison guard’s perspective of some of the most storied years at the infamous U.S. Penitentiary at Alcatraz. George Gregory began his career as a guard for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1940. Following his training, he was sent to the federal prison at Sandstone, Minnesota. A few years later he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Badly wounded at Iwo Jima, he returned to Sandstone after a long rehabilitation. When the Bureau of Prisons closed Sandstone in 1947, Gregory was transferred to Alcatraz, which had been a federal penitentiary since 1934. For the next fifteen years, Gregory worked on “The Rock.” He takes the reader along on a correctional officer’s tour of duty, showing what it was like to pull a lonely, tedious night of sentry duty in the Road Tower, or witness illicit transactions in the clothing room, or forcibly quell a riot in the cell blocks. Gregory provides an insider’s account of the tenures of all four of Alcatraz’s wardens and their sometimes contradictory approaches to administering the institution. He knew and regularly interacted with such legendary inmates as Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz) and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Without glamorizing or demonizing either the staff or the convicts, Alcatraz Screw provides a candid portrayal of corruption, drug abuse, and sexual practices, as well as efforts at reform and unrecorded acts of kindness. Various incidents in the memoir convey the fear, hatred, frustration, boredom, and unavoidable tension of being incarcerated. With the inclusion of maps and diagrams of Alcatraz Island, as well as photographs of inmates, officers, and the prison itself, this book offers insight into life at the notorious Alcatraz from an unprecedented perspective.
Escape from Alcatraz
Author: J. Campbell Bruce
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
In 1963, just weeks before the original publication of this book, the last prisoner was escorted off Devil’s Island and Alcatraz ceased to be a prison. Author J. Campbell Bruce chronicles in spellbinding detail the Rock’s transition from a Spanish fort to the maximum-security penitentiary that housed such infamous inmates as Robert Stroud, aka the Birdman of Alcatraz, and mobster Al “Scarface” Capone. The chapters describing the daring escape attempts by Frank Morris and two accomplices from this “inescapable” prison became the basis for the 1979 Clint Eastwood movie. Discover the intriguing and absorbing saga of Alcatraz, whose name is still synonymous with punitive isolation and deprivation, where America’s most violent and notorious prisoners resided in tortuous proximity to one of the world’s favorite cities. The true-crime classic first published in 1963 is reissued in this special edition. Includes archival photos of the prison and prison life. This story will appeal to Bay Area locals and tourists alike. Alcatraz hosts more than a million visitors each year. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Last Guard Out
Author: Jim Albright
Publisher: Author House
The Last Guard Out is the fascinating true story of one man's life as a guard behind the merciless concrete walls of Alcatraz. I was newly assigned to the infamous island penitentiary of Alcatraz. Reporting to Alcatraz required me to uproot my wife Cathy and young son Kenny from Colorado to California. As we approached San Francisco via of the Oakland Bay Bridge we got our first foreboding glance of Alcatraz Island with a dense circle of fog surrounding it. A strange sense of dread came over me. I looked at our young son asleep in the back seat, then turned to my wife next to me and I whispered "What The Hell Did We Do". After moving on to Alcatraz our thought on Island life quickly changed and we decided not to apply for a transfer out, which consequently left us there until the Island closed in March of 1963. Because of our newly born daughters foot problem they left us there until June of 1963 making me The Last Guard Out.
Author: Milton Daniel Beacher
Author: Leon W. Thompson
The former inmate of Alcatraz, the infamous escape-proof island prison closed down as inhumane, provides a shocking look inside the hellish and violent world of stone and steel. Reprint.
Entombed in Alcatraz
Author: Robert Victor Luke
Travel with one man on his journey through imprisonment in Alcatraz, and other prisons. He also discusses his early life and the 51 years since his release. 126 pp.
A Newbery Honor Book Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to. "Choldenko's pacing is exquisite. . . . [A] great read."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the Rock
Author: Alvin Karpis, Robert Livesey
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Beaufort Books
Investigates the 1962 escape of three prisoners from Alcatraz, paying special attention to the role played by prisoner Allen West, and speculates about whether the men survived their escape attempt.
Author: William G. Baker
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
"A true account of life at Alcatraz written by a former prisoner." --back cover.
Murders on Alcatraz
Author: George Devincenzi
Murders on Alcatraz written by George DeVincenzi, Correctional Officer, paints a vivid picture of what it was like to work in the most notorious prison in America. Included in his stories are factual accountings of working with famous inmates like Robert Stroud, Birdman, Waxey Gordon and Machine Gun Kelly. There are many historical photos of Alcatraz, the prisoners, and daily routines of the guards and inmates. George is one of the few remaining guards who is able to recount vividly what life was like on the Rock in the 1950's.