In the spirit of Halloween, we felt it necessary to give a glimpse of a local monument that is not only our neighborhood's backdrop, but also a place that has fear etched into it's history – Alcatraz.
Founded in 1775 by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, the island was initially set up as a military reservation to protect the San Francisco Bay. With the waters proving to hard to invade – damn straight -- the base began its transition from military stronghold, to one of the most infamous prisons in history.
From criminals like Al Capone, Alvin Karpis (first ever “Public Enemy #1”), and the infamous Birdman, Alcatraz housed some of the baddest men of the gangster era. Yet, even with the likes of these thugs, the island prison proved to be an inescapable fortress (of the 14 attempts, none were confirmed successful).
While the prison proved to be too expensive to run, the iconic bars still remain as one of the leading tourist destinations to this day. With millions of people each year coming to see what this small island offers in the way of historic imagery, its easy to see that what happened on Alcatraz will always offer an element of fear.