DOCUMENT: Crime

The Birdman Of Alcatraz

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The Birdman Of Alcatraz

When we're in San Francisco, The Smoking Gun always visits two local landmarks: Mitchell Brothers and Alcatraz Island. You know why we like the former. And as for "The Rock," who could resist a place that Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly once (albeit reluctantly) called home? But those two mooks don't compare to our favorite Alcatraz alum, Robert Stroud, a/k/a the "Birdman of Alcatraz." This twice-convicted murderer spent his years in the stir raising birds and writing two books on ornithology. Stroud was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942, in part because officials at the Leavenworth penitentiary--where he had been jailed--were concerned about the "insanitary condition" brought about by his prodigious flock. Here's the Alcatraz report prepared upon The Birdman's arrival. Stroud died in his cage in 1963. (2 pages)

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