- Joe Mcgasko
- 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.
- Early Years as a Military Prison. In 1775, Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala (1745-97) mapped and named rugged Alcatraz Island, christening it La Isla de los Alcatraces, or Island of the Pelicans, due to its large population of sea birds.
- Doing Time as a Federal Prison: 1934-63. In 1933, the Army relinquished Alcatraz to the U.S. Justice Department, which wanted a federal prison that could house a criminal population too difficult or dangerous to be handled by other U.S. penitentiaries.
- Famous Inmates. Among those who did time at The Rock was the notorious Prohibition-era gangster Al “Scarface” Capone, who spent four-and-a-half years there during the 1930s.
- Escape Attempts from Alcatraz. Over the years, there were 14 known attempts to escape from Alcatraz, involving 36 inmates. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that of these would-be escapees, 23 were captured, six were shot and killed during their attempted getaways, two drowned and five went missing and were presumed drowned.
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Most of the prisoners were notorious bank robbers, counterfeiters, or murderers. Among the first inmates were also 14 men from McNeil Island, Washington. On 22 August 1934, 43 prisoners arrived from Atlanta Penitentiary and 10 from North Eastern Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Extreme Punishment. At the best of times, conditions in Alcatraz were not exactly a barrel of laughs, but there was a particularly harsh punishment for prisoners who refused to follow the rules of the prison.
- Battle of Alcatraz. The Battle of Alcatraz, or the “Alcatraz Blastout” as it was also known, took place between May 2nd and 4th, 1946. Six prisoners managed to get hold of weapons and cellhouse keys, but there was a minor hitch in their plans.
- Mysterious Death. There were many stories of paranormal activity in Alcatraz, and one particular incident occurred in Cell 14D. Sometime in the 1940s, a prisoner who was locked in the cell screamed all night that something with glowing eyes was trying to kill him.
- You’ve Gotta Have a Hobby. Stroud was sent to prison for killing a bartender who attacked one of his prostitutes when he was a pimp, and he quickly became known as a violent and dangerous inmate.
This is a list of notable inmates of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.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.
The largest contingent of Indian prisoners at Alcatraz did not arrive there until January 1895, when 19 Hopi Indians from Arizona were placed in the cells. The Indian agent at the Navajo Agency had requested that the U. S. Army arrest these "unfriendly" Indians and hold them at Fort Wingate, New Mexico.
- Alcatraz Island, just 2 kilometres off the coast of San Francisco, is an infamous sight in the bay. This military prison, turned federal penitentiary, housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals.
- Alvin Karpis. An official public enemy number one and part of a formidable 1930s crime gang of robbers, hijackers and kidnappers, Karpis was the group’s leader with a photographic memory.
- Al Capone. Capone was involved in crime from a young age and later became an infamous gangster and criminal mastermind. At the same time he had political connections and was known for helping the poor and needy.
- George 'Machine Gun' Kelly. A prohibition gangster, Kelly became a bootlegger in an effort to avoid financial hardship. He then met and fell in love with another outlaw, Kathryn Thorne, and under her influence he became increasingly notorious and earned his 'Machine Gun' moniker.
Three convicts, Bernard Coy, a bank robber from Kentucky; Joseph Paul Cretzer, a bank robber from Los Angeles; and Marvin Hobbard, a kidnapper from Tennessee, were killed.
- Al Capone played banjo in the inmate band. The notorious gangster and mob boss was among the first prisoners to occupy the new Alcatraz federal prison in August 1934.
- There were no confirmed prisoner escapes from Alcatraz. A total of 36 inmates put the supposedly “escape-proof” Alcatraz to the test. Of those convicts, 23 were captured, six were shot to death and two drowned.
- Alcatraz is named for sea birds. Before criminals became its denizens, the windswept island was home to large colonies of brown pelicans. When Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first known European to sail through the Golden Gate in 1775, he christened the rocky outcrop “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” meaning “Island of the Pelicans.”
- In spite of his nickname, the “Birdman of Alcatraz” had no birds in the prison. While Robert Stroud was serving a manslaughter sentence for killing a bartender in a brawl, he fatally stabbed a guard at Leavenworth Prison in 1916.
Alcatraz was to be operated on the principle of very limited privileges to inmates. The privilege of having visitors was to be earned; no visitors were to be allowed during convict's first three months, and then only one visit per month. Regular meetings of a parole board were not to be scheduled, and no parole officer was to be appointed.