Henry Young of Alcatrez

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I am looking for information on the court case of Henry Young vs. Alcatrez prison. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- Kevin Kincaid (kkincaid@grmedical.com), February 28, 2001


I think you're referring to the famous (infamous?) 1941 case where Henri Young was tried for murder but instead managed to put Alcatraz Penitentiary on trial. (This event was fictionalized in the horrible movie "Murder in the First.") You'll find an excellent description of Young, the case, his trial and the government's response to the movie at http://www.bop.gov/first.html

-- John Martini (jamartini@earthlink.net), March 03, 2001.

Hi! I think, you should look to the site www.alcatrazhistory.com/rs4.htm There you find good informations about the trues of Henry Young. And a littel bit about the film >Murder in the First< But I think it´s a pretty good page, and perhaps you´ll find what you want to know. OK, bye Dana

-- Dana Sczendzina (dana_sczendzina@web.de), April 16, 2001.

I am also interested in learning more about "Henry Young and Alcatraz". I read the info posted on the Alcatraz History website, it is the same on bop.gov., and though it does sound somewhat legit I am not fully convinced. First of all, the information on the website was gathered by Alcatraz people defending their institute and shunning the film "Murder in the First". Therefore, I do not believe they are going to come out and admit that everything in the film was accurate. What would drive the film's writer to want to bash Alcatraz? There's got to be more to the story... Alcatraz does have dungeons and there are other stories of brutality and inhumane treatment of the inmates. If it was such an excellent and modern prison, as they claim, why was it shut down???

-- Curious, too. (mshaktah@unitedpacificmortgage.com), June 01, 2001.

You want to know about the Alcatraz vs. Henry Young case. I can only give you so much infomation. But here is a movie based on the case its Murder in the first. All I know is that Henry Young was put in Alcatraz when he was 17 for stealing five dollars from a store and it was a post office also. He tried to ecape from Alcatrz with three other prisoners. Two of them got killed when they tried to ecape. The other one, McCain, said that it was Youngs idea to ecape and Young was put in to solitary comfinment for three years and two months. But prisoners could only be put in there for nineteen days. The boss of Alcatrz had beat Young. When the head boss found out he told them to let him out. Young had only been out a hour before he killed McCain with a spoon. When he went to trial he was sentensed to ten more years in Alcatrz. As soon as Young was back at Alcatrz he was put into solitary comfinment. Weeks later he was found dead in there and under his body they found the words "VICTORY".

-- Jorja Cobb (HEARTBEAT16200@aol.com), July 30, 2001.

And another thing I dont think that a place like Alcatraz should be caring the American flag because the flag stands for freedom not harsh punishment like they gave to Henry Young. I admier Henry Young because he was ready and willing to give up but he didnt

-- Jorja Cobb (heartbeat162000@aol.com), July 30, 2001.

I was inspired to find more info by the film "murder in the first". I found the .gov site, and was surprised by the contradictions involving the film and the true facts. I am prepared to accept that the film was not indeed fact, but the information on the .gov site seems to be a little suspect, almost politically correct??

It seems by looking here http://www.notfrisco2.com/alcatraz/bios/hyoung/244cond.html he was fairly normal, and wasn't quite the almost "inhumane" character that Henry was in the beginning of the film

Plenty of good films are fictional, like Braveheart :)

To anyone looking up more info on him, google rules

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&querytime=AF- E&q=Henry+Young+Alcatraz

-- Richard Lees (biology@biology-online.org), May 10, 2002.


I too wanted to find out more about Henry Young after seeing the film 'Murder in the First'. I was surprised to see that the offical Alcatraz site claimed that the film was mostly inaccurate. After a little further reasearch, I found that there was a trial and a reform followed. But the film isn't wholly acurate; firstly Henry James was not as pure as the film stated; secondly 5 men attempted escape that day, not 3 and one of them was Dale Stamphill (the name of the lawyer in the film was Stamphill); the name of the associate warden in the film is Milton Glen but if you take a look at the conduct report as listed in the above post from Richard Lees the associate warden at the time was E.J. Miller; lastly and most importantly if you take a look at http://www.alsirat.com/alcatraz/pics/nara/index.html, you will see the photos of the conditions of Alcatraz that were submitted at the trial. Hardly the same as the ones in the film.

Don't believe everything you see in 'true story' films, as they are usually 'based' on the facts. Afterall, the Birdman of Alcatraz did not actually keep any birds in Alcatraz.

-- Tammy Haughton (tammyhaughton@hotmail.com), May 10, 2002.

The movie isn't close to reality, Henry Young lived to at least the year of 1972 where he was released and placed on probation. He was never seen again. He was never in a dungeon for over 3 years, his heal was never sliced by the associate wardon and he didn't commit the murder the day he was release from solidary. But that all made for a good movie. Check out a couple of sites for some accurate information. http://www.bop.gov/ipapg/ipafirst.html and also http://www.notfrisco2.com/alcatraz/bios/hyoung/244cond.html the last one is his conduct report while at alcatraz It was a good movie though :)

-- Dan Martin (phillysportfan@aol.com), September 21, 2002.

Whether the movie "Muder in the first" accurately portrayed the truth about the case of Henry Young vs. Alacatraz is insignificant. The fact is that cases like these happen all the time and almost nothing is done to prevent them from happening in the future. Obviously, there was something wrong with Alcatraz otherwise it wouldn't have been closed down since it was such a "successful" prison. Also, there are various reports which clearly indicate that a numerous amount of inmates have been exposed to punishment that can be described as cruel, unusual, and most importantly, inhumane. I understand that prisoners shouldn't be treated in a generous manner but it is completely unacceptable to treat them in the way Henry Young was depicted to be treated in the movie. I have read reports of inmates where they were beaten for no reason other than to satisfy the guards or give them a sense of authority and control over another human life. Eventhough the majority of inmates are guilty of a crime, we should not behave in the same manner or we will become like them and lose all respect for humanity. "Eye for an Eye"...if this was the right thing to do, we would all be blind.

-- (Skylavy@aol.com), September 30, 2002.

I finally watched Murder in the First with my fiancee, after telling her so much about it. Then I found out that Hollywood basically made up the majority of the film. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I am bothered by our country's corrections policy ("BUILD MORE PRISONS!") and I have sought solace in this film.

But now I am even more perplexed with why the jury did what it did. I am a Public Defender, and I know that juries can't be bamboozled completely. There has to be some huge nugget of truth backing what Henri Young argued. Why else would a jury acquit him of an obvious murder, then recommend reform of Alcatraz? Clearly they were more than suspicious. Remember the recent murders (yes, they were murders) at Corcoran State Prison in California - 7 men dead in as many years? Even when prosecutors brought charges against the guards they could not obtain convictions because the guards would not cooperate with the investigation.

Hasn't anyone who is vaguely neutral written a book on this subject? What would convince Hollywood to distort the truth so very much on such an important matter?

-- Dennis Wilkins (denniswilk@earthlink.net), December 22, 2002.

You misspelled "Alcatraz".

-- The Spelling Freak (spellingfreak@pianoproject.net), December 23, 2002.

I watched "Murder In The First" last night and checked the internet for more information today...I didn't realize it wasn't completely true. But previously someone had mentioned, "if all of what happened to Henry DIDN'T happen, then why was the prison shut down?" My understanding was the amount of escape attempts. The prison was built to show that no one could escape...many people did. It was too old and too run down.

Of course there is brutality in the prison system and it's disgusting. I'm sure the damage that was done to Henry Young was correct but Hollywood pulled at our heart strings by changing Henry's past.

-- Selena Sherwood (selenasherwood@yahoo.com), January 08, 2003.

Hello to all posting and interested in Henry. He is related to my husband. In 1965 he came to Independence Mo. to visit relatives, from Wala Wala Washington prison. The family would also like information on the court trial of Alcatraz and Henri Young. Henry was the son of David Erastus Young. The Aunt mentioned in the articles at the Alcatraz sites was a nun and actually moved to Springfield MO. to be close to Henry when he was there. Movies are fictional to some degree even when based on true facts. Some things have to be hidden or changed to protect the innocent, and or living. He was supposed to have been released from Wala Wala Washington and dissappeared somewhere and now known where. By the way Kevin Kincaid, why are you looking for information on Henri Young?

-- Judy Young (Jaywhle@AOL.com), January 12, 2003.

Was this site already given out? I know some of the addresses above don't work or don't link back to the homepage: http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/hyoung.htm

-- Kristi Winters (kwinters1972@yahoo.com), January 29, 2003.

Well I just hope I don't get caught out by the 'spelling freak'!!! I just viewed 'Murder in the first' and enjoyed the performances of the actors and the quality of the movie in general. So Hollywood didn't get it 100% accurate and most likely for dramatic effect made the characters larger than life. Well its been done like that before and since and I'm sure there will be many 'Based on a true story' films to come, but don't let that cloud the meaning of films like 'Murder in the first', and that is tyranny no matter how powerful it may seem can be defeated. You have to stay in the ring no matter how tough it gets and fight for the human spirit. Don't give in to tyranny in all its forms>

-- Simon Winn (scoobydoo101@hotmail.com), February 01, 2003.

Alcatraz was closed because of cost, there were no successful escape attempts (none that can be verified).

Simply put, the prison was a collection of poorly constructed broken down and outdated buildings located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. If you ever have the opportunity to tour the prison you will quickly see that the cold foggy windy weather results in a year round battering by ocean waves and a daily drenching by salt laden fog that makes this location an extremely hostile environment for concrete and steel structures.

In addition to a much-needed renovation was the considerable cost of simply supplying all of the most basic supplies by boat. The fact is that island does not even have a natural supply of water, imagine the cost of supplying enough water every day by boat for hundreds of people to eat, drink, and engage in proper sanitation.

-- Bill Boyette (yettie_@hotmail.com), May 19, 2003.

Hey, everybody!

I've seen the film "murder in the first" a few month ago and it faszinated me so much. The story about Henry Young makes me very sad and i can't get him out of my head. So, i want to know more about him. Can anyone of you help me? Does a photo exist of him? I'm very excited!


-- Katharina Kentrup (Baby-Doo-Doo@gmx.de), July 23, 2003.

Kitty: Go to http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/hyoung.htm for a portrait of Henri and a lengthy discussion of him, the movie, and all its gross inaccuracies. In short, the movie is near-total work of fiction.


-- John Martini (JAMartini@slip.net), July 23, 2003.

The man was an admitted murderer. He was sent to jail originally for stealing a flashlight. The sentence was 15 months. During this time he made the choice of a life of real crime. He was arrested for a bank robbery and kidnapping after the getaway car broke down due to a flat. He later admitted to killing a baker during a hold up. This was his secret for many years until he found god in 43 on the rock and purged his soul. He was givin life for the murder in 43. He was sent to Spingfield for mental disorders and spent most of his time there. They never could find if he was faking illness. He went to walla walla Washington to finish his time in 57 and was released in 1972. He was never seen again and is wanted for jumping parole to this day. He may very well still be alive. You may have passed him on the street. He may have been the crazy homeless guy asking for change. He was not however inoccent or helpless. Each case has its own truth and no system is perfect. We still have a death penalty even though it appears over 50 innocent men have been put to death in the last 30 years. It was a good movie. It was fictional. Each case has its own story and the rape and violence in any one of the hundreds of prisons in our nation are indeed cruel and inhumane beyond what we see in this story. Alacatraz did maintain protection to a certain degree to prisoners from other prisoners. Today to go to prison you will be raped and beat day in and day out. Torture is common. The system fails to protect non violent people from violent. A one year sentance can have a lifetime impact as we have seen in Youngs case. We have a long way yet to go.

-- Henry (bodasactra@aol.com), July 28, 2003.

Thank you guys for your information. There's a book written by Dan Gorden, the scriptwriter of the movie "Murder in the first". He uses the name William Moore instead of Henry Young. Could William Moore have been the treu "Henry Young" ? I mean that he was the man who was innocent and had stolen 5$ for saving his sister's life? Might that be? I'm very disappointed about Warner Brothers film company that they've pushed it all up only to make money. I still hope that it's not true.


-- Katharina Kentrup (Baby-Doo-Doo@gmx.de), July 29, 2003.

Thank you guys for your information. There's a book written by Dan Gorden, the scriptwriter of the movie "Murder in the first". He uses the name William Moore instead of Henry Young. Could William Moore have been the true "Henry Young" ? I mean that he was the man who was innocent and had stolen 5$ for saving his sister's life? Might that be? I'm very disappointed about Warner Brothers film company that they've pushed it all up only to make money. I still hope that it's not true.


-- Katharina Kentrup (Baby-Doo-Doo@gmx.de), July 29, 2003.

Sorry Kitty. There was no William Moore; the name was probably just a device used in working drafts for the movie script.

What you've encountered is the Hollywood-izing of history: highlight the sensational parts, ignore the facts that don't support your concept, and invent totally fictitious events and characters that do. Witness the movie "Birdman of Alcatraz". It glosses over Robert Stroud's homicidal and psychotic tendencies, and totally ignores his pedophilia, while instead overplaying the research he did on canaries while in Leavenworth.

Ah, Hollywood!


-- John Martini (jamartini@slip.net), July 30, 2003.

How could Stroud have been a pedophile he spent his entire adult life in prison? He was pimp and murdered some guy who refused to pay his bill for services rendered. A pimp and a pedohpile are not the same thing. Stroud had girl friend whom I belive married him.

You will need to provide some evidence to support this cliam.

Funny how the government types ingnoree the facts and gloss over their own crimes.

-- Duncan Philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), September 04, 2003.

Stroud wrote long, longingly and explicity about his desires for young boys. The manuscripts are in the National Archives. Admittedly, he was in solitary confinement and couldn't act on his urges. (Thank god. This was the guy who told a parole board that he wanted to get out because he still had a few people he needed to kill.)

As far as Stroud's getting married, that was to a woman he met while corresponding in prison, not to a real girl friend from his life on the outside. In other words, Stroud's marriage was just as unconsummated in prison as were his pedophiliac urges.

-- John Martini (jamartini@slip.net), September 05, 2003.

So show us these letters.

The guy can't be a pedophile if he never committed the act.

-- Duncan Philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), April 24, 2004.

Are you kidding me, Duncan? Would you be willing to put YOUR child in a room with him and find out for sure? He expressed very clearly his wants and urges. The only reason he was not able to act upon them was because he was locked up and he admitted that.

-- Patti (sesdk@optonline.net), June 06, 2004.

Dumb question.

You ever spent any great length of time in prison?

I haven't, but I have read several books on that prison.

Karpis wasn't a queer until he landed in prison and after he left a free man he ended up in Spain and married a local woman.

How can the guy be a pedophile if he never even molested any children? He had no access to children while he was in prison and when he did get out he molested no children. Stroud was a free man for last few years of his life and there is no report that he molested any children.

I think there is hidden reason for this clowns post about Stroud. I can just imagine a guy who spent as many years as he did in prison and the hell it must have been for him to never see or touch a woman. He probably wrote all kinds of crap in regards to sex and thought about sex much of time due his inability to have any sex with women.

Prison is just a big fat waste of time. It only serves to keep tax consuming workers employed. Prisons creates criminals it doesn't rehabilitate them.

If he was molestor then guess what created the problem? He wasn't a child molester before he went to prison and he wasn't one when he left. It only makes sense that if you isolate a human being and deny them any kind of human sensuality or physical warmth and touch they will often seek it in other ways.

Pick up a few books and read about Alcatraz and guess what? Nothing has changed since they shut it down.

-- Duncan (zapata105@yahoo.com), June 07, 2004.

Stroud was never released from prison. He spent the last years of his life at U.S. Penitentiary Springfield Medical Facility where he died on November 21, 1963.

-- The Clown (jamartini@slip.net), June 08, 2004.

yes he was

the last few years of his life were spent as a free man

can anyone show me where he ever molested children?

This is all cop crap done to demonize another and justify a need for the pathetec exsitence on cops, prisons, courts, judges and other government workers.

The fact is you scum tortured people at Alcatraz.

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), June 09, 2004.

Do you really think the prison web site is going to tell the truth? Are they going to say "sure we abused, beat, mistreated this prisoner and put him in the hole for 3 years." Believe what you chose.

Things like this happen in our prisons all over the United States every day. People don't want to believe this story or any others. After all they are just prisoners so who really cares? I will tell you who care-the family and friends of these prisoners. Many have no one who cares so they can be treated any way the prison choses.

There are good correctional officers but there are many bad ones who don't care. Those are the ones who abuse. The people in charge make polices that don't make sense most of the time and try to discourage visitors.

The media seldom wants to get involved. Prisons are money making industries. Crime is down yet more prisons are being built in our states. Why? One in every 75 males are locked up. There are millions in our prisons today, many will someday be released. They will be neighbors and fellow workers and they won't be rehabilitated because most prisons don't have time for that. Then the public wonders why there is a revolving door to the prisons.

We have longer sentences, more life sentences and more on death row. These are men and women - some who did their crime when they were teenagers.

Go ahead and believe this movie is fiction. I don't. Maybe not all is true but many spend their days in a cell 23-24 hours no larger than a regular bathroom. They live in solitary confinement for years. We have supermax prisons that cost horrible prices to operate and they aren't full but they exist. Some never see the light of day ever.

This prison was investigated and shut down. Could it be because the things that were done were true? Think about it.

-- Ann Atkinson (Anntnwv@aol.com), June 20, 2004.

This is more a platform in response A) to the anarchist neanderthal who apparently thinks police, courts and jails are not needed. As well as B) to those soft hearted fools that think in black and white, that victims of torture are only victims and not perpetrators as well.

A) If we weren't so squeemish(B) about what constitutes cruel and unusual, no, we wouldn't need many prisons at all. As it stands, there is no real deterrent to crime. And as long as you have people you have violence and crime. Personally I feel better knowing there is a system that is supposed to protect me. If I am not happy with the way it is doing so, I need to get active, not bitch.

B)Non-violent criminals have no place in jail/prison. Restitution and community service should be used instead. But violent offenders are a different breed. All you softies out there should volunteer to tutor in a prison or do some other thing that will get you a good eyefull of those "poor souls" in there. Nobody tells them to form gangs and have power struggles and knife each other, or rape and kill each other either. The truth is there is no simple solution: yes there was abuse and torture on the part of prisons, yes there was reform that was to make the prisons more like a community, yes this then allowed the prisoners better access to one another to form gangs, and work with corrupt gaurds. Ah, humanity.

Hollywood is as black and white and unrealistic as the majority of Americans. The sooner we wake up and smell the coffee the better.

Oh and to the doofus with the pedophilia hang up, you don't have to do to be. Look it up in the dictionary. Plus, now matter how horny and deprived you may be, I seriously doubt you'll start thinking of first graders while you diddle yourself. Grow up. That is not the result of incarceration or sexual deprivation. And even if we were to step back to the dark ages and assume that was the case, I guess he should have thought of that before he did what he did to end up in prison.

-- Marion Groth (mtgroth@earthlink.net), June 29, 2004.

Where theres smoke, typically theres fire. DUH. Yea, right, like all these hundreds of people make up these claims about Alcatraz. Im sure there are some exaggerations like any other story, but mostly its true Im sure. I have been in the Penitintury myself and even the things that took place there were unbeleivable to me.This was no "highly rumored" Prison like Alcatraz either, just a Penitintury so if it happened there, Im certain it happens in most. Whats the chances of me witnessing the things I did, and being treated the way I did if this is a "rare" " occurance? No cuttings of the tendons, but there are beatdowns,sleep deprevation,hygeine deprevation,meals sometimes with held. One circumstance of hygeine deprevation is when an inmate vomited standing in line next to other inmates,and the vomit spilled onto the inmate in front, they were forced to wear that uniform and when inmate declined to "wear it" they were locked down.If you "try" to complain to outside services such as Health Dept or even the GOV etc, your incoming and outgoing mail is intercepted.How do I know, because upon my release I was given my "milk crates" filled with the items I had before I got to the prison (items from the "jail"- you go from the jail to dianostics and then from there, where your housed (penitintury). When you go to the jail, your street clothes are removed and you are given "blues" or whatever color that city or county issues. Then while you wait on court appearances, you accumulate mail and other items that follows you to the penitintury. Once there, some items you are allowed to have but some others stay in your personal property. If you write a letter thats addressed to any "agency" and they feel that its a threat, this mail will be intercepted. Period. When I was being released and was handed my crates with personal items, there were over twenty incoming and twenty outgoing letters that never made it outside and inside to me however, I did manage to get my commissary monies that was mailed because they like it when you spend with them.Your mail is already opened before you get it. Not a problem for them to view the contents. Simple.Are you guys thinking "why didnt you call someone"? Well, when I was locked down for refusing to wear this stained uniform with someone elses vomit on it, they locked me down. This means no phone privledges. When yuor on lock down, the only commissary you will get is hygeine, and sometimes they will deprive you of that. Like I said, I have seen male guards have oral sex relations with the other women and these women prove it by spitting their DNA in a cup. Well, Im going to rap this up. I only mentioned this that if this or "these" kinds of things occur today in the prison I was in, then I can only about imagine what really did happen at ALCATRAZ back some 50-60 years ago.

P.S. Keep an open mind, not every single person locked up is #1."guilty" and no#2. not every single person in there if guilty deserves to either be incarerated & never should be treated that way. Ever.Well, phedophiles and child killers, ok. But then again,not every person "convicted" of a crime is guilty. In my case, I was.But I know equally just as many who are not. Its truly unreal, until you live it you would think it just isnt possible for the things I have seen to occur.I know Im gonna catch alot of opinated people who have nothing better to do than to make smarmy comments which is fine because opinions are just that, opinions.Trust me, Ive dealt with way worse than you.lol.Besides,other peoples opinions are not backed up with "fact" such as mine. My facts and truths are all I need. Take care.

-- Sydney G. (WickedLullabyzz@aol.com), July 02, 2004.

And what I mean above about child killers and child molesters is I wouldnt give a dayum how they are treated to be honest, as long as they are guilty based on facts and even sometimes "facts' are fabricated but mostly is a case like that, kids are honest. Note, I said "mostly". So if that reads wrong because of they way I typed it above, thats what I meant. Sorry about the confusion if any.And as far as me being guilty, I have been accused,convicted and aquitted on several cases. Some I deserved it because I was guilty, sometimes I was convicted when I didnt commit a crime and sometimes, I got away with something....all depends. This is when I was younger and choices I made 5 years ago would hardly be the same ones I would make today let alone 10 or more years. Sorry that I turned this into a "me" thing...how that happen? lol. I just get to rambling but somehow I found my situation and what I have seen strangly related to Henry Youngs. Forgive me if I have bored you. Again, take care.

-- Sydney G. (WickedLullabyzz@aol.com), July 02, 2004.

lmaoooooooo......Ok, Im back one last time. How can I edit something? I DO NOT like the way my first response reads. Some people dont pay attention to commas n things of that nature, someone could really read my comments ALL WRONG if they dont pay attention. I want to correct something I wrote above here and it reads:

""P.S. Keep an open mind, not every single person locked up is #1."guilty" and no#2. not every single person in there if guilty deserves to either be incarerated & never should be treated that way. Ever.Well, phedophiles and child killers, ok. But then again,not every person "convicted" of a crime is guilty. In my case, I was. How I should have wrote that was "Anyone convicted of a crime that has to do with children, ok, do away with them as long as they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Then I should have wrote, some people are wrongfully convicted of crimes but in the case where I was in prison, I was guilty of "that" crime at that time.""""

I just wanted to clean that up because when I read that, I didnt like how it "looked" to me and if it looked funny to me, someone else might think so to. No, I have never been involved in a case against a child EVER if thats how it kind of reads above. Jees, speech with tones of voices are SO much better than text! Ok, Im done now.

-- Sydney G. (WickedLullabyzz@aol.com), July 02, 2004.

why of course we need more jails, more prisons, more copsters, more prison guards, more laws, more state, more more more more

these right wing nazi are never happy they want more, more, more, more

take Bush and shove him up yer ass Adolph

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), July 05, 2004.

So 'zapata' - why not check your politics on who wants more laws and regulations. Nazi and right wing don't go together either. So instead of flaunting your ignorance and griping about the system (which IS in dire need of help), why not come up with constructive ideas?

-- Marion Groth (mtgroth@earthlink.net), July 21, 2004.

Hi my name is Fernando i ´m 29 years old, and i´m a Lawyer from Tucuman - Argentina where i work in my oun studio.-

Too often or better most of the time our passions or ideological position do not let us analize a topic in an objetive or precise way.-

The problem of prisions is the same everywhere in the world. For example it is very common in my country to criticize our penitenciary system and look at yours as if it where " the panacea ".-

The truth is that no penitenciary system can be perfectIF IT RUN BY MEN.-

Now, until somenthing better is invented or thought, we shoued go on using the one we have ( because it is necesary )... Prisions, judges, attorneys, lawyers and the police are essentials as we cannot leave criminals in the street.-


-- fernando colombres (fernandocolombres@hotmail.com), July 22, 2004.

"Nazi and right wing don't go together either."


Why of course Bush never invented the new Homeland Gestapo which does nothing to protect anyone for muslim terrorists.

"Prisions, judges, attorneys, lawyers and the police are essentials as we cannot leave criminals in the street."

No they ain't and we need to run the criminal police and judges into their own stinking prisons. This guys commnets could be a quote from Peron.

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), July 26, 2004.

I was glancing through this site, and i didnt see anything on what Im going to ask, and Im sorry if I sound dumb,or repetitive but I have seen Murder in the First, and I have read many different websites on Henri Young. They stated in the movie that he stole 5 bucks.. they state on many websites that he was in fact a bank robber and shot a hostage. i read that he wasnt the "pitiful victim" that he was in fact very a dangerous convict. But it did state that he was in fact badly abused within alcatraz..also, stated in the movie he died in "the hole" or solitary, but what ive read in different articles that there is no record of him dying, but that he was paroled or somthing, and never seen again, and could still be alive to this day (interesting!) My question is, has anyone else heard this kind of "version" that he escaped and is considered alive to this day?? Thanks

-- Kelly (tiami08@yahoo.ca), July 28, 2004.

Please ignore my last question. I need glasses or something.. duh! the answer was in like, the 4 or 5th message from the top. sorry! blonde moment! :D

-- Kelly (tiamit08@yahoo.ca), July 28, 2004.

BACK AGAIN!' QUESTION: if law enforcement (police, judges blah blah) "aint" essential, and should be put into their "own prisons" then what the heck do you suggest we do with the crimminals that roam the streets? Just curious as to if you have any ideas on that one. :)

-- Kelly (tiamit08@yahoo.ca), July 28, 2004.

"... what the heck do you suggest we do with the crimminals that roam the streets?"

are they roaming the streets?

If so get a gun and then get off the streets.

Did Peron protect your people from his thugs when they roamed the streets?

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), August 03, 2004.

It is my experience that police, judges, prisons, etc are very essential. Yes our system is faulty but it is the best that we have at the moment. There is a great room for improvement but we have come a long way over the past 200+ years.

When I was 14 I volunteered to work at the local juvinile hall. I was part of the expolores group with the local probation department. During my 2 months there, I was attacked on 3 seperate occasions. The only good is that I received no injuries from any of the attacks.

The first attack happened because I was simply walking down the hall. The inmate just felt like fighting. The second occured because I asked an inmate what he was reading. Apparently I was "Getting all up in his business" as he put it. The Third attack happened because I didn't respond to an inmate's insult. He called me a "Wanna be fagot pig" When he received no response he proseeded to run toward me and attempted to fight me.

Verbal assualt aside, these inmate that I came in contact with were violent. If they were on the street they would cause great turmoil. Keep in mind that there are juviniles. I have worked in the adult justice system and trust me, the adults were much worse.

-- Rocky (thetimberwolf@aol.com), August 04, 2004.

On the second to the last line I wrote "Keep in mind there are juviniles" Instead of there, I meant to write They

-- Rocky (thetimberwolf@aol.com), August 04, 2004.

After reading this (& some other sites), I'm confused. I've always been under the impression that the 1962 Morris/Anglin escape and the subsequent Scott escape (where he actually swam to the Golden Gate Bridge before being picked up)were what led to the closing of the prison in 1963. Supposedly, the escape attempts were indications that the structure was crumbling, making it too costly to repair. Now, I am reading that the case of Henri Young represented the actual reason for closing The Rock. The timeline of the escapes (1962) made more sense than the case of Henri Young (I thought 1941) as the reason. Am I missing something? Do I have the date of the Young case wrong?

-- Richard Martin (rmartin@copper.net), August 08, 2004.

You're right, the Henri Young case took place 22 years before Alcatraz closed, and it was NOT the reason for shutting the penitentirary. The nonsense about it being 'the case that closed Alcatraz' is Hollywood mumbo jumbo.

The fact is, the Bureau of Prisons has been considering closing Alcatraz for several years when the 1962 Anglin-Morris escape took place. The BOP knew the island was expensive to operate and that its infrastucture was decaying, but there were strong Washington forces that wanted to keep the island going. The Anglin-Morris escape, and the subsequent Scott escape, simply forced the issue and led to a final decision to close the Rock.

-- P.S. Perris (psperris@slip.net), August 08, 2004.

Prisons create violent prisoners.

If I was reading a book in peace and you came up to me in the middle of a book reading I wouldn't be very happy either. Did you know this guy before he went to prison? Look outside the box and at the bigger picture. People are not born violent.

Cops are very violent people we have not come a long way we have regressed into a police state over a period of two hundred years.

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), August 10, 2004.

Zapata - please stop airing your stupidity and do some real research into the issues you apparently love to spout off about...it is very painful.

Unfortunately for the us, there is a small percentage of society that likes to wreck things for the rest of us. These people lack impulse control, the ability to handle their liquor and/or drugs, or are unable to attempt to come by things in an honest manner.

These people use the system for freebies, steal, rob, get drunk, high, or some other nonsense. It is the rest of us that have to pay. Honest people can hardly get a hand up because the dishonest ones use up resources. All costs go up because loss to theft/fraud is built into the price. The rest of us can't have some wine with dinner because some are so stupid as to drink too much and have accidents. Don't get me started on insurance!

Many laws are made because some people can't control themselves, or want stuff the easy way etc.. Laws like this don't reflect a police state. They reflect a state in which too many stupid and/or lazy people are allowed to muck up society; since god forbid we should hurt their feelings in their formitive years with discipline or respect for others in their community.

-- Marion Groth (mtgroth@earthlink.net), August 11, 2004.

Ahhhhh¡¡¡¡¡¡ Zapata, poor little ignorant... you are only a ocious guy who write about things you don`t know. And fou your information PERON SUCKS

-- Fernando Colombres (fernandocolombres@hotmail.com), August 13, 2004.

Not only does Peron suck so does your government.

They live under the illusion that the state protects them. Yes people commit crimes and AFTER the fact the state thugs show up, when it is all to late, to arrest some poor slob.

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), August 14, 2004.

I was born in 1921, I am old now, and no one wil ever know the truth.

-- Henri Young (hyoung@somewhere.com), August 14, 2004.

Henri, you want us to believe you robbed a bank and killed a person by age twelve? What a jokester. Now, pipe down and go eat your canned corn quietly in the corner.

I was born in 1921, I am old now, and no one wil ever know the truth.

-- Henri Young (hyoung@somewhere.com), August 14, 2004.

-- Henri Young (hyoung@somewhere.com), August 15, 2004.

How do we know you are Henry Young? And yes, someday all will know the truth - because someday we all have to meet our maker. To those who don't believe in that, oh well....... How many children are abused every year - they seek help and are never believed.....I should know, my own father didnt believe it.....or me. How frightening is it to have a nightmare happen to you, and people not believe you? I know that all too well. Are their bad cops? Sure there are.......I reported, and so did 3 other women a man as a sex offender......the main reporting officer "lost" the file and the evidence therin.....this "officer" was just last year sent to jail for molesting his own grandchildren (yes, he was guilty).... being a judge, cop, working in a jail etc.... does not make someone trustworthy or a good person......

-- Kimmie M. (TheDunedian@hotmail.com), October 10, 2004.

To All,

Yes, the movie exagerates regarding Henri's background but believe me the tortures he encountered are not made up, maybe even worse. And he was not the only one. You will never find anything supporting this, it has all been kept quite very well. They only tell you what you want to hear.

-- Anonimous (alcainma@hotmail.com), October 11, 2004.

Wouldn't it be cool if he really was Henri Young ?

If anyone of the Alcatraz victims who did time on the "Rock" could come here and post their tales of horror for all to read.

-- Duncan Philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), October 15, 2004.

There are so many things that I do not understand, I don't even know where to begin. I as everyone else, saw "Murder in the First" If you look at prison pictures of Henry Young as a young man, he is well groomed and without scars. Later the is another much older picture of Henry Young and still well groomed and no scars, he was definately not 28 years old, so the question is how could he have died in his cell 6 months after the trial and why was he not deformed in the face as depicted in the movie. Another part of the whole story that bothers me is no one is sent to Alcatraz for stealing $5.00, being a federal post office or not. Something else happend but What?

-- L.M. (pazurconst@aol.com), October 25, 2004.

I too was taken in by the film, I am have been in public safety for years as was appauled that this occured, sure the system is not perfect but it is basically decent. In my research, he had a history of being in and out of prison or jail if you will. He robbed a bank and beat a hostage, so his past was iffy. As far as being put in jail for stealing $5 from the post office, I could see that. I know of a man that was sent to Lompoc federal prison for robbing a streetside mail box because he thought there might be mail in it. This movie is really a farce, I have an old neighbor who's grandfather worked there during that time and an uncle that worked there when it closed. The issues were fairly mild for the most part and the reason that it closed (almost 20 yrs later) was the condition of the prison and the cost of repairs and upkeep, just like why places close today (BUDGET)!! GREAT MOVIE THOUGH!! IT SUCKED ME IN.. I LOVED IT

-- Ken Reese (citejudg@aol.com), October 30, 2004.

".... but it is basically decent."

Compared to what? Nazi Germany?

I think you are a farce.

-- Duncan Philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), October 30, 2004.

For those of you who might have missed it, there's a URL posted earlier in this thread that leads to the Bureau of Prison's response to "Murder in the First": http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/hyoung.htm

Read it and see if Young's actual record doesn't contradict the film's portrayal of him. (I especially like the part about how Young was realeased and may still be alive, despite the movie's showing him dying on the Rock.)

-- Walt Howe (whowe@slip.net), October 30, 2004.

Why of course the government would never lie to the amerikan people now would they?

can you site a credible source?

-- duncan philp (zapata105@yahoo.com), January 21, 2005.

Hello people on this earth,

I watched movie today, and I think it is sad that this prisoneer was treated that way. But what suprised a bit, that on the history site of Alacatraz they claiming everything or many thingsin the movie are not right. So I have:

2 Sides claiming opposite things.

I think that is sad, as I think there are surely parts about this treatment that might be true. And I think after 30 years after Alcatraz closed and is now an important Museum for historical reasons, they should show courage and tell the truth seriously.

Finally, I am sure that torture what is sad and everybody has to fight against it as much as everyone can happened on earth, probably each day, and also today. This is sad. For the Future Generations, I think it is important for the involved persons to get over their shadows and tell the truth objectively.

Finally, I am telling my opinion but I have no right to judge about one side btw. as, one reasons might be I wasn`t born before 1983. So, ÄI mightn ot imagine all the facts. But I know also from history, that all this tihngs are sad facts.

Finally, what is true as well, as far as both sides are telling different stories, only both sides (involved) persons would know what really happened. I think for our history all people should know what happened.


David. (Nuremberg, Europe)

-- David Nierzwicki (david.nierzwicki@web.de), January 25, 2005.

I wanted to post a response after reading through all of them too. Tonight I watched Murder in the First and several things come to mind. First, the government lies to us all the time, history supports that. Second, there is no question in MY MIND that these abuses take place in the penal system, regardless of which one we are talking about, and history supports that. Third, I can absolutely believe that Henri Young was transferred from the original correctional facility as a part of the integration of non typical violent offenders because they had so much room and it was his bad luck to be one of the test cases to wind up there over a 5 dollar bill, and since the store also acted as a US Mail office it became a federal crime. Fourth, when actors assume roles that depict history, especially history that criticizes the government most make sure they have their facts straight. When you put all the big name actors portrayed in this film together, Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, William H.Macey and the many more stars that took a stand to appear in this film says a lot to me. I wanted to post this entirely different angle and viewpoint that I found elsewhere for all to contemplate. And while it is a substantial amount of text, please read it, so that you will better understand the reason for the making of this movie. Thanks,

Set within Alcatraz in the 1930’s, “Murder in the First” demonstrates the perplexing truth that evil can reside not only behind the bars of a federal prison, but in the community beyond those bars as well. From Auschwitz to Alcatraz evil has been shown to flourish not in isolation, but as it weaves itself into the whole fabric of a community.

Through the genius of screen writer Dan Gordon’s work, we experience evil residing in the terrifying sadism of a prison warden. It resides in the factual manipulation of the legal process. It resides in the political opportunism of government officials. Evil even resides in the polite indifference of a nearby population.

“Evil” in spelling as well as in spiritual reality is the reversal of “l-i-v-e.” Evil is possible wherever there are life-taking activities, whether by the physical murder of victims or whether by the emotional murder of a prisoner’s security and dignity.

Henry Young, played dramatically by Kevin Bacon, experiences evil when as a boy his parents die and he is left to care for his sister. Unable to provide for her due to the community not allowing him to work, he resorts to stealing five dollars from a country store. The community sentences him to prison for his crime and, due to the political and financial needs of Alcatraz explained in the film, he is sent there.

This beginning occasion for evil to destroy a young man’s life grows (not in kind but in the measure of its destruction) when Henri attempts an escape from Alcatraz and is punished by having to spend three years in the dark debilitating dungeon of solitary confinement. His torment is graphically portrayed with images unsuitable for viewing by children and sensitive viewers. Since he had been betrayed in the escape attempt, Henri comes up from the dungeon in a state of confusion and is egged on to seek revenge, and so he violently kills the inmate who betrayed him. It is this “Murder in the First” degree which then becomes the court case on which the entire community of Alcatraz is tried as a co- conspirator to the murder. In reality, it is the entire society which is on trial.

But it is not a simple case. In a calculated juxtaposition, director Marc Rocco continually places evil and innocence together visually. The guards are gathered for prayer while the prisoners are being beaten in the cells below. The children sing Christmas carols while Henri Young is being tormented in solitary confinement. The flowers of spring are the foreground to the stark prison beyond. Even the camera’s panning of the beauty of the San Francisco Bay is interrupted by the imposing and foreboding prison of Alcatraz.

This truth that evil and innocence, horror and beauty often reside together is perhaps the most disturbing point of “Murder in the First.” Although described as a victor, Henri is nevertheless in reality a continued victim of the evil. Though held accountable for his actions professionally, the sadistic warden is never criminally charged. Though shown to be responsible for crimes against humanity, Alcatraz nevertheless continues to exist for decades.

It is this reality which we found most disturbing. Since the film was based on a true incident, perhaps the opportunity for the evil to be stopped and the deeper emotional and spiritual needs of the people to be identified and met were limited by the real Henri Young’s life. But as a film exploring evil, we are left with both an emptiness and a disappointment. Although Henri and his lawyer Jim Stamphill, played convincingly by Christian Slater, did become friends, their mutual isolation and need for family and significant relationships is only the beginning of their needs. Except as a comparison of good and evil, spiritual needs are never explored. Baseball takes on an almost religious context as they both seek for a larger conversation than their present dilemma.

For evil to be truly confronted takes more than the courage of two men taking on the system. It takes the spiritual commitment and action of the entire community to stop evil from flourishing in any of its many forms. It takes the power of God present and at work in the lives of every person in the community.

Although we were disappointed by the minimal exploration of the value of family life in both Henri and Jim’s lives, we were most disappointed in the absence of any real faith or spirituality in any person in the film. The main value expressed is in the message to our community as a whole. But that message is powerful and is one that we must not forget: Evil is present and can flourish wherever there is life, and we individually and corporately must fight to protect innocent victims from its destruction.

Hal Conklin and Denny Wayman

-- Lauri Gibbens (Pritzie@aol.com), February 07, 2005.

I was not on Alcatraz when Henry Young was there but I did live there as a kid a long time ago. My family lived on the island for almost three years and my dad worked there during the latter days of the prison. Most of the inmates who I now know never were treated in the manner depicted in the movie and while it was a terrible place to be an inmate it was nothing like this movie. The book that was published on this film is in the fictional section in a book store. He stole $2.50 and a flashlight, the movie couldn't even get that right. Movies are produced purely for entertainment and PROFIT. All the historical documents tell a different story of Henry Young. He was released in 1972 from the prison system and never was heard from again that is the facts and he was a troulbe maker you would not want to cross paths with. The wardens of Alcatraz lived in the big fancy home on top of the hill and they never managed other prisons as shown in the movie - Fact. If Hollywood would be historically correct PROFITs would drop. And by the way the birdman (nice guy based in his movie) who was on Alcatraz while I was there had a fondness for young men and when he took a bath he shaved his entire body of all hair to look more attractive for the younger inmates. He had killed two people before the movie was made and was a dangerous person to be around. Burt Lancaster when he meet Robert Stroud in Springfield stayed less than ten minutes with him because he was disgusted by his behavior. If the truth was shown in the movie the PROFITs would be far less. Hollywood exist to make as much money as they can. I am not an eye witness on the Henry Young case but ask an inmate next time you visit Alcatraz if one is out there during your visit (I have talked to them about this issue) and get the real story. Why would they lie about it? The movie said this is the reason Alcatraz closed, he went to trial in 1942 and the island closed in 1963 (21 years later). There were several reasons the island closed but this was not one of them. It is admirable to question issues and I am only presenting what I personally know so please accept this in a positive manner. I do not work for John Paget and I will not receive anything for this advice but check out his new DVD called "Alcatraz Reunion" when it is released in March, 05 for a different perspective of the island without a huge PROFIT being the only objective of the film. www.alcatrazreunion.com. Historically correct!

-- Don Bowden (alcatraz58@adelphia.net), February 18, 2005.

Duncan, I thought you sounded like a mouth-breathing, bed-wetting liberal. Thank you for confirming it. You obviously don't know this (or much else) but the NAZIs were socialists, you know, LIBERALS, like you.

-- Tom (torker67@yahoo.com), February 23, 2005.

I can't say anything regarding Henry(Henri)Young. However, I can speak of cops, judges, prisons and the like. Cops, Judges, and even lawyers are all human. That means you get good and bad in all cases. After a severely upsetting encounter with an ex, I BUMPED a pickup truck with a '96 Ford Mustang, while distracted by the emotional upset of the encounter. There was no damage even to the plastic and fiberglass of the Mustang. The ex had appeared at every job I'd tried to hold, in stores when I'd try to shop, behind me in traffic. The ex had previously tried to kill me. They went to jail. I went to the hospital. The Magistrate released them almost immediently because the cops refused to arrest both of us when the ex tried to kill me and did viciously beat me. I had to go to court on the ticket for the accident. The one that caused no damage. The traffic judge was the one that had handled the divorce for the ex. I was out of work. Living on welfare, fear and hope. I would get my next relief check in 3 days. However, as I could not pay a fine of 67.00 immediently, I had my license suspended and put on probation. I was 5 miles from home, not a penny in my pocket, no one to call to help me, no way home. I was told that I could NOT use the telephone there to call for a cab, help or anything, that I must use a payphone. Taxi companies will not accept collect calls, even though they can be made from a payphone. So I waited, trying desperately to figure something to do. I was also told that if I left and left my car in the station's lot (where the court was held) that it would be towed and the minimum to get it back, was 125.00, even if all they did was hook it to the tow-truck. Even if it never left the lot with them. So I waited a bit longer. In desperation I finally tried to make it home carefully. I could call my attorney for help then. (It was now after 8pm. Traffic court had started at 6pm) One block away I had 6 police cars behind me. They had waited as well. They had known they'd given me so few options to work with that I was left with desperation. I was dragged from my car, when I pulled over. I'm a 5 foot tall, 100 pound female. My hair was pulled ruthlessly as the burly 6 foot male ground my forehead into the pavement, hyperextending my neck and ripping muscles in it. My legs were pulled and jerked as another male sat on my back. I felt something tear in my right knee. The knee that had already had 3 surgeries. My arms were finally twisted behind me and bound so tightly that the circulation in my hands was deminished, leaving them cold, swollen and bluish. The rotator cuff in my right shoulder was torn. These injuries were then dumped into a ceramic tiled room with the air conditioning on high. The only seats were the hard plastic and metal molded chairs or ceramic tiled "benches" extending from the wall. A toilet sat in the middle of the room, exposed to all views through the security glassed wall, as well as everyone in the same room. We were all female. Outside the glass were all male 'officers'. Some 8 hours later, I was finally allowed to make that 'one phone call'. My purse had been rifled, destroying numourous items. The car had been devestated, carpet pulled up, everthing dumped from the glove compartment... I had been brutalized, injured, tramatized, humiliated. I developed a severe case of Post Tramautic Stress disorder that 3 years later, is still being treated. And the why to all of this is because I was completely broke, after a horrible divorce from a man that kept making terroristic threats, and was deliberately stranded. Unable to get home, unable to stay where I was... So while cops, judges and even lawyers may be human, the police departments attract people (not always men, but usually) that enjoy the violence, enjoy the sense of control. People with severe anger issues who are put into positions of authority over the rest of us. While the movie "Murder In The First" may have taken literary license and even flights of fancy... The events cited in it occur in varying degrees even today in our so-called 'enlightened society'. Never fool yourself for an instant that you are safe in the hands of the law, even when you are a good person.

-- Sole Person (SolePerson90210@hotmail.com), March 03, 2005.

I am wondering about some statements made in earlier threads in this dialogue....the question was raised, can an adult be a pedophile if he/she never committed an act of pedophilia against a child?

I'm no scientist of the mind or spirit, but I think a person can be a pedophile "in spirit," if not by action. (I also believe a person can be a necrophile without abusing a corpse.) I base my opinion on the word form for "phile," which is Greek for "loving, liking, (or) favorably disposed to" something (Webster's.) This definition does not imply action--merely a desire or longing.

One must remember that a pedophile, once released into the community, can refrain from acting on his/her desires. Along those lines, it should also be noted that an alcoholic can be a person who is completely abstinent. In other words, actions (or a lack of them) don't always sufficiently describe a person or what is in his/her soul. Just because a person hasn't committed an act doesn't mean they are not capable of it. Many, many tortured souls are wondering around on this planet not acting on their impulses. This takes a Herculean effort of will, faith in a higher power, and the wisdom to know right from wrong. However, I believe pedophilia is a serious disease of the mind, body and spirit, and for that reason, there is no cure. So, if a man is incarcerated, thus not being able to act on his impulses, that doesn't mean he is free of potentially deviant or destructive behaviors.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the conversation at hand; I just felt the need to comment on it.

As for the movie...well, if the powers that be in Hollywood have taken creative license with the story, so be it. Taking liberties in the Fruit and Nut State has served its cinematic-laboring populace well. I loved the movie, despite its melodrama. That's why the public buys into these stories, even if they're made up of lies: we enjoy the escape, the fantasy that things can be bigger than they really are, that the underdog can win, and that other people have it worse than we do.

What is clear to me is that Henry Young, Man or Hollywood Myth, was a troubled human being, and that really is the crux of all this talk: that we all suffer in our own way. Henry Young gives a face to human suffering--and that's what intrigues us.

-- Ann Narveson (alamay@new.rr.com), March 04, 2005.

I just saw the movie and I'd like to add that in the final comments they said that Alcatraz's dungeon's were closed forever (not the prison itself) after Henry Young's trial, and then went on to say the year when the prison was closed for good.

-- judy (imjudyk@hotmail.com), March 13, 2005.

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