By: Andrea Lopez
What is Alcatraz
Alcatraz was a federal penitentiary from 1934-1963 and held America's most dangerous criminals. Alcatraz is located in the middle of San Francisco bay. Alcatraz was one of the worlds biggest concrete building's and the most secured prison in the world at that time.
Why prisoners were sent there
Alcatraz was a prison for America's most dangerous criminals. The crimes that were committed for people to get sent to Alcatraz were Murder, Robbing Banks, and Kidnapping. depending on what crime they did was how long they were sentenced to prison.
- Al Capone- Sentenced 10 years for violating income tax laws
- Machine Gun Kelley- Sentenced to life for kidnapping
- Bird Man of Alcatraz- Sentenced 30 years for murder
- Creepy Karpis- Sentenced life for conspiring to kidnap and transport
What was the sercurity system and how did prisoners try to escape it
The cell doors were made with tool-proof bars , guard towers and the freezing cold water from the San Francisco bay made it really difficult too escape. The guards in the guard towers shot the inmates that attempted to escape to slow them down or they were killed when the bullet hit them. The tool-proof bars helped by the bars not getting cut by the knifes and saws that were smuggled in by the inmates.
Alcatraz Escape of 1962
On the night of June 11, 1962 inmates John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris planned an escape for some months. They used sharpened spoons to scrape the rotting concrete from a ventilater in the back of their cells. They made a fake grill out of cardboard then they put fake dummy heads in their beds made out of soap and concrete and glued hair from the barber shop to make it look like they were sleeping. When that was done they crawled through the ventalator hole, up the pipes in the walls, and out of an old air ventaltor that wasn't sealed with concrete. Once they were on the roof they jumped down and climbed over a 15 foot fence. When they got over the fence the went to the edge of the bay and used a raft they made out of stolen rain coats when they got in the water they were never seen again.
The closing of Alcatraz and what it is Today
On March 21, 1963 the government abandoned Alcatraz as a federal prison and sent the remaining inmates to other facilities. They also couldn't afford to maintain the prison and it was starting to deteriorate so they had to close it. Today Alcatraz is now a tourist attraction and people get tours around the prison and where the inmates once were and what they saw everyday.
Stephanie Watson. Unsolved Mysteries: The Escape from Alcatraz. Minnesota: ABDO, 2012.
Marilyn Tower Oliver. Alcatraz Prison In American History. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers Inc., 1998.