Crime History: 'Birdman of Alcatraz' released from solitary

Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Nov. 23, in 1959, the "Birdman of Alcatraz" was released from solitary confinement for the first time in more than 40 years.
Robert Stroud was sent to prison in 1909 for killing a bartender. He had nearly completed his sentence when he fatally stabbed a guard in 1916.

Stroud had cared for injured sparrows in the prison yard.

The warden was impressed by Stroud's knowledge and furnished him with cages.

Visitors brought him birds, and he wound up raising more than 300 canaries and writing two books about birds.

Stroud's story was turned into a 1962 movie starring Burt Lancaster.

Stroud was never allowed to see it. He died in prison in 1963 at age 73.

- Scott McCabe

View article comments Leave a comment