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Alcatraz Inmates

This project is a collection 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, although figures reported have varied and some have stated 1557.

About Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. The small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

he United States Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz was acquired by the United States Department of Justice on October 12, 1933, and the island became a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison in August 1934. Alcatraz was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. At 9:40 am in the morning of August 11, 1934, the first batch of 137 prisoners arrived at Alcatraz, arriving by railroad from the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas at Santa Venetia, California, before being escorted to Alcatraz, handcuffed in high security coaches and guarded by some 60 special FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and railway security officials. Most of the prisoners were notorious bank robbers and murderers. The prison initially had a staff of 155, including the first warden James A. Johnston and associate warden J. E. Shuttleworth, both considered to be "iron men". The staff were highly trained in security, but not rehabilitation.

During the 29 years it was in use, the jail held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda (a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who attacked the United States Capitol building in 1954), Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. "Doc" Barker, James "Whitey" Bulger, and Alvin "Creepy" Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). It also provided housing for the Bureau of Prisons staff and their families.

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught alive, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as "missing and presumed drowned". The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946, when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the Battle of Alcatraz.



This list is only a tool to get the project started, there were of course a lot more inmates as mentioned above over 1550, please add profiles that are not listed yet, to this project only and/or to the list below.


*Clarence Anglin Escaped in the June 1962 Alcatraz escape

*Harvey Bailey ("The Dean of American Bank Robbers")

  • Basil Banghart ("The Owl")
  • George Celino Barnes ("Machine Gun Kelly")
  • Arthur Barker ("Doc")
  • Albert L. Bates
  • Edward Bentz
  • James Boarman
  • Joseph Bowers ("Dutch")
  • Harold Brest
  • Alexander Brickhaus ("Loose Noose")
  • James "Whitey" Bulger

* Al Capone ("Scarface")

  • Clarence Carnes
  • Meyer Cohen ("Mickey")
  • Theodore Cole ("Ted")
  • Bernard Coy
  • Joseph Cretzer

* A. W. Davis

  • Volney Davis ("Curley")

* Elmer Farmer

  • Herbert Farmer ("Deafy")
  • Harry Fleisher
  • Sam Fleisher
  • Rufus Franklin

* John Giles

  • Richard Galatas

* Floyd Hamilton

  • Maurice Herring

* Ellsworth Raymond Johnson ("Bumpy")

  • Alvin Francis Karpavicz ("Creepy Karpis")

*Alvin Francis Karpavicz ("Creepy Karpis")

  • Arnold Kyle

* Henry Larry

  • Thomas Limerick
  • James Lucas ("Texas Bank Robber")

* Rafael Cancel Miranda

  • Rufus McCain
  • Frank Morris Escaped in (June 1962 Alcatraz escape)
  • Frank Mulloy

* Rufe Persful

  • Burton Phillips
  • Donald Phoenix

* Pet Reed

  • Ralph Roe

*Harry Sawyer

  • Jack Selbin
  • Sam Shockley
  • Cecil Snow
  • Morton Sobell
  • Walton Spark
  • Dale Stamphill
  • Robert Stroud ("Birdman of Alcatraz")

*Leon "Whitey" Thompson (1923–2005)

* Henri Young

* Harmon Waley

  • Huron Walters
  • Irving Wexler ("Waxey Gordon")
  • Allen West