An inmate register reveals that there was 1576 prisoners in total which were held at Alcatraz during its time as a Federal Penitentiary, between 1934 to 1963, although figures reported have varied and some have stated 1557.
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- Inmate #85: Al 'Scarface' Capone. Conviction: Tax evasion. Time Served at Alcatraz: 5 years (1934–1939) Post-Term: mental illness, death from syphilis. By the time Al Capone arrived at Alcatraz on the morning of August 22, 1934, he was past his peak as a crime kingpin.
- Inmate #110: Roy Gardner. Conviction: Armed robbery. Time Served at Alcatraz: 2 years (1934–1936) Post-Term: author, suicide. Alcatraz was repurposed by the federal government from a military prison to a general federal prison in 1933 expressly to deal with criminals like Roy G. Gardner, the man who was nicknamed “King of the Escape Artists.”
- Inmate #117: George 'Machine Gun' Kelly. Conviction: Kidnapping. Time Served at Alcatraz: 17 years (1934–1951) Post-Term: died of a heart attack in jail. It couldn’t be said that many of the criminals who ended up in Alcatraz were from good families, but Machine Gun Kelly was raised in a well-off Memphis household and even attended some college.
- Inmate #325: Alvin 'Creepy' Karpis. Conviction: Kidnapping. Time Served at Alcatraz: 26 years (1936–1962) Post-Term: author, pill overdose. Like "Machine Gun" Kelly, Alvin Francis Karpowicz saw kidnapping as an easier way to make large sums of money than bank robbing.
May 21, 2020 · The number of prisoners in Fort Alcatraz climbed steadily through the Civil War and additional cells were constructed as the island facility transitioned into a long-term military prison in 1868. Men of the 13th infantry on Alcatraz Island circa 1902. - Courtesy NPS Archive
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The following is a list of shown or referenced Alcatraz inmates. Johnny McKee: 2055 "Johnny McKee" Incarcerated on November 23, 1959. Arrested for poisoning and murder.
While several well-known criminals, such as Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Alvin Karpis (the first "Public Enemy #1"), and Arthur "Doc" Barker did time on Alcatraz, most of the 1,576 prisoners incarcerated there were not well-known gangsters, but prisoners who refused to conform to the rules and regulations at other Federal institutions, who were considered violent and dangerous, or who were considered escape risks.
Alcatraz Island, also known as ‘The Rock,’ a rocky island in San Francisco Bay, off the coast of California, in the United States. From 1934 to 1963, a facility on the island served as a federal prison for some of the most dangerous civilian prisoners. Learn more about the history of Alcatraz Island here.
Welcome to Alcatraz History Alcatraz History was designed to help introduce you to the rich history of Alcatraz during the penitentiary years and many of the convicts who called “the Rock” home. From the 1934 until 1963, Alcatraz was America's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most incorrigible prisoners.
In the 1850s, Alcatraz began operating to hold military prisoners during the Civil War. Boats came far and few in between, so much so that the families of guards lived on the Alcatraz island complete with wives and their children totaling three hundred civilians on the island, excluding inmates. Alcatraz held over fifteen hundred prisoners.
In 1907, Alcatraz was re-designated as the “Pacific Branch, U.S. Military Prison” and prison guards replaced infantry soldiers. New projects soon began to accommodate the many military prisoners and during World War I, the prison housed German prisoners of war.
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