This site showcases a medical officer's experiences on Alcatraz Island - now woven into an engaging book. It takes you back to 1937 - when America's most notorious criminals inhabited the Rock. Its behind-the-bars perspective makes the book perfect for correctional healthcare personnel, criminal justice professionals, or anyone interested in Alcatraz Island lore.
Milton Daniel Beacher, M.D. arrived on Alcatraz Island a naïve and compassionate young doctor. It was April 26, 1937. One year later, he left with a journal. It chronicled the suicides, discipline problems, force feedings, and details of a long strike and successful escape. He also penned conversations with famous prisoners like Al Capone, Alvin Karpis, and "Machine Gun" Kelly.
Beacher later wove his journal into a vivid account of life on the Rock. Befriended by some prisoners, he included their first-person narratives and original prisoner poetry.
I re-read the yellowing, unpublished pages of my father's manuscript in the mid-1980s. Questions arose about his obvious compassion towards the prisoners. Did this change through the years? And if so, why? His eloquent reflections command attention.
Shortly before his death in 1993, my father blessed me and his manuscript. He hoped I would resurrect some interest in the stories that still draw crowds. I am proud to share his stories with you - which has taken over 60 years to publish.
Dianne Beacher Perfit, Pelican Island Publishing
Alcatraz Island: Memoirs of a Rock Doc was published in 2001 by Pelican Island Publishing. The fourth printing - in 2015 - contains 258 pages, 18 original photographs, and 3 prisoner poems. It is available through bookstores, the Alcatraz Island Visitor Center, online sellers, and local libraries. eBooks are readily available online.
A discounted book is available through this website - just click Buy a Book.
Commercial accounts are encouraged to contact ingramspark.com to order print-on-demand books.
Alcatraz Island: Memoirs of A Rock Doc
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