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Kim Sulik at the National Park Archives suffered through my never-ending requests for material and was always a kind spirit. Susan Ewing Haley was also instrumental in offering advice and direction regarding materials in the early stages of my research. Sam Daniel at the Library of Congress helped me to locate some hard-to-find photographs from a variety of sources. Bill Kooiman and Irene Stuchura at the San Francisco Maritime Museum were extremely obliging in allowing me to repeatedly set up camp in their offices and explore materials. Chuck Stucker, another skilled historian and former resident of Alcatraz, proved to be one of my most exceptional resources. Chuck’s passion to preserve the history and perspectives of those who called Alcatraz home will undoubtedly be celebrated by future historians who are tasked to chronicle this chapter of America’s history. Pat Akre and Susan Goldstein, Archivists at the San Francisco Library, were also very gracious in helping me with my photograph inquires. Thanks also go to my friends at the Monterey and Carmel Library for helping me in my early California research and likewise to my good friends at the National Steinbeck Center for their support and sound advice. I must also mention Loretta Thompson and Yolanda Talamonte of Hartnell College, who helped transcribe numerous documents included in this reference.

Herbert Hart was one of the pioneers in collecting information on the military years, and he allowed me to use quotations and photographs from his 1969 Report to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office. Tom Pavia was kind enough to let me use his wonderful portrait of Phil Bergen for the dedication. Vernel Crittendon and Lieutenant Pat Blanson at San Quentin State Prison both proved to be excellent resources in helping me to locate materials and information on Warden Johnston. Another unique source was Frank Keaton at Keaton’s Mortuary. Keaton’s handled the body of Sam Shockley following his execution and Frank directed me to a variety of repositories to help verify burial records for various inmates. Unfortunately, much of this information was left on the cutting room floor and didn’t make it into the final reference. Frank was also helpful in providing unique insight into many of the subjects covered in this reference.

The late Jim Quillen was another wonderful source to whom I owe very special thanks. He recounted for me his numerous experiences while incarcerated at Alcatraz, and offered me his first hand memories of the 1946 events, which he witnessed while being incarcerated in D Block. I came to admire his honesty and his willingness to revive some very unpleasant memories. Willie Radkay and the late Dale Stamphill also provided valuable assistance in understanding the challenges of confinement at Alcatraz. Former inmates Darwin Coon and Glenn "Nate" Williams are likewise two people whom I greatly admire, and I am grateful for their contributions. Former President Ronald Reagan awarded Williams the President’s Action Award and Glenn is without question one of nicest and most inspirational people I have ever met. A true Christian and a great storyteller in his own right, Darwin Coon has dedicated himself to openly sharing his experiences and giving back to society. He has offered the public a rare gift by capturing the interest of youths who are intrigued by Alcatraz and educating them about the consequences of crime.

It would be difficult to adequately thank former Alcatraz Correctional Officers Clifford Fish and the late Philip Bergen for the extensive time they spent painstakingly reviewing my manuscript, giving direction and making appropriate corrections. Both provided extensive commentary on various aspects of the prison and its history, and they made this project an extraordinarily special experience. I would also especially like to thank Shelly Roby of Michael Hoff Productions and the Discovery Channel for inviting me to tag along during the filming of Cliff’s first visit back to Alcatraz since he left in 1962. This was a very special privilege and I feel extremely honored to have been included.

I also wish to thank Ronald Paolini and Don Graffe of the Marin County Department of Parks and Open Space, who both were very helpful in the search for and identification of Miran Thompson's unmarked burial site. Don deserves special mention since he helped personally in the tedious search and even when the rains hit, he didn’t mind getting a little soiled while excavating mud. Anne Diestel of the Bureau of Prisons provided me with some excellent photographs and other materials. Anne G. Sevinga offered expertise and knowledge, corresponding from Holland. He offered numerous suggestions on the manuscript, and was always a prodigious source of guidance.

A special thank you goes to Alcatraz Ranger John Cantwell and to the volunteers and staff members at Alcatraz. These men and women always took time to accommodate my requests and answer my questions and always approached the island’s historical past in a balanced and dignified fashion. Namely but not limited to National Park Rangers: Benny Batom, Lori Brosnan, Jayeson Vance, Dan Unger, Al Blank, George Durgerian, Craig Glassner, Wendy Swee and Tim Brazil. They are the key conservators of this important history.

I would also like to thank the various officers who risked their employment by covertly snapping photos of the prison, notably George DeVincenzi and many others. Without them, much of the history would have been lost. There were many others I met at Alcatraz who suffered through my endless questions and requests for clarification – I thank them for their contribution. Jolene Babyak, who wrote an excellent biography on Robert Stroud and the Morris-Anglin escape, offered some early advice on locating a few specific photos. Ernest Lageson, who wrote two exceptional books on the 1946 events helped me to locate a few key photographs that remained elusive until our meeting at Alcatraz. Brad Sears, the owner of the launch Warden Johnston, shared his photos and information on the history of this San Francisco seafaring icon. I applaud his relentless efforts to save this important historical treasure. Mario Gomes was also a wonderful help in locating unpublished photos of Al Capone. Stan Hamilton of the National Press Club was supportive and offered some early tips on researching Machine Gun Kelly.

Kathryn Marusak, Bruce Hagen and Jamie Schoonover all provided guidance on the manuscript through its various stages of development. The first drafts were so large that we joked about naming the book The Brick. Thanks to their careful surgical guidance, the book will now fit on a bookshelf. Lucy Boling, the true wizard behind the curtain, was a master in the final editing stages and was always honest yet gentle in her advice on changes in structure and content. John Reinhardt, the extraordinary book designer, has contributed with infinite patience. He engaged in the process years before the design concepts ever started and a decade later remains a good friend. Phil Hall and Mira Kamada are the skillful creators of this book’s wonderful illustrations and I feel lucky to have collaborated with them.

Lastly, I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to say publicly to the special people in my life how much they mean to me. Words can’t express my gratitude to my mother and father, who have always shown full support in all of my interests. This in itself could be the subject of another book. From my youngest years they encouraged my small adventures and allowed me to explore a variety of places on my own – something that is sadly no longer possible in today’s world. Whether it was by dropping me a off at a movie studio in Hollywood, or by letting me explore Alcatraz, they always encouraged me, and their love and trust have blessed me with a most gifted life. My beautiful wife Julie deserves the greatest thanks. I love you... To Forrest, Ross and Brandon, the little men who make my world, may you all do great things. Love also to my late dog and companion Luck (and Spark too). I deeply miss my writing partner...