I’ve had a few sweethearts in my time, but for some reason Valentine’s Day reminds me most of Al Capone, the engineer of gangland’s most notorious rub out on February 14th 1929; forever known as the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”. I think it’s the romantic in me. This was the crime that eventually put Capone in prison. These are a few Alcatraz pictures I have posted previously concerning Al Capone’s stay on “The Rock”
By far, the most notorious inmate on Alcatraz was Al Capone. Yeah, Al wasn’t a nice guy, and he had a weird perception of what a Valentine’s Day gift should be, but he was a part of San Francisco history.
The landing dock on Alcatraz Island, used when it was a penitentiary is the same landing dock used by visitor’s today. All of the buildings up by the lighthouse were gutted by fire. They still line you up and give you instructions when you get off the boats today, but they’re a little nicer, and they don’t strip search you. Notice the train at the lower right. Some prisoners were considered so dangerous, the train they arrived in was driven right on to a barge and docked on the island before the prisoners left the heavily guarded train
. Al’s report card: Well, he was trying! I like the part about his “suggestions as to when and how things ought to be done.” He, certainly, got results with his “suggestions” when he was running things in Chicago! 433 is one of the two cells Capone was held in on Alcatraz.
Capone worked in the library as an inmate, and these are some of the books he checked out. Below is the library today.
A report on a stabbing incident involving Al, and the hospital room he was treated in today. Capone spent most of his remaining years on the island in the hospital when his STD began to destroy his mind.
“The kids are doing fine, Al, all good grades in school. We’re taking care of the business for you until you get out. Your lawyer says he thinks he can get a couple of years cut off your sentence, and, oh yeah, your wife is fooling around with somebody else now.”
Actually, the vintage picture of the Visitor’s Room was taken in 1960, long after Capone had died.
Lights out on Capone’s aisle. This was the row where Capone’s second cell was. The inmates waited for the guard to throw the switch that allowed all the cell doors to open at once before going in. Capone’s 181 cell was on the left side, fourth from the back on the top row.
“Shave and a haircut, two bits!”
“Look Al, you sing that one more time and we’ll put you in solitary confinement!”
The Barber Shop at the north end of Cellblock A, near the spiral staircase: Because of the possibility of missing razors, scissors, or other sharp instruments used in cutting hair, haircuts were given right out in the open in front of inmates and guards.
Inmates loading supplies into the prison under armed guard.
“Okay kids, have a good time, and remember, stay away from Al Capone’s cell.”
Children of the guards stationed on the island lived, played, and went to school on the Alcatraz. Here, four of them ride their bikes around the Residential Family Quarters. The ruins of this area are below.