Alcatraz: Do the Crime; Pay the Time

Alcatraz: Do the Crime; Pay the Time

- in Home Improvement

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Established in 1934 in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was home to some of the most notorious and dangerous criminals around at the time: Al Capone, jailed for tax evasion; George “Machine Gun” Kelly, locked up for kidnapping; and Robert Stroud, “The Bird Man of Alcatraz,” jailed for murder. And those are just a few!

Escape attempts from Alcatraz rarely happened, because there wasn’t much of anywhere to go. If you tried to escape the prison, the choppy, cold waters of the San Francisco bay surround you. It was several miles to the shore. Without a proper raft, that wouldn’t take you very far. In total, there were 14 known escape attempts from Alcatraz, involving 36 prisoners. (One famous escape attempt was even depicted in Clint Eastwood’s movie, Escape from Alcatraz). Most of the inmates who attempted to escape were captured; some were shot and killed, two drowned, and the rest went missing—but were presumed to have drowned.

The Rock was certainly a difficult place, but it finally closed its doors in 1963 after 29 years of it being a Federal prison. The remaining inmates there were sent to other prisons throughout the country. Later in 1972, the island became a National park. Now, over one million visitors come to Alcatraz. Check out this infographic to learn more about The Rock!

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