27 Facts About Alvin Karpis


Alvin Karpis spent the longest time as a federal prisoner at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, serving twenty-six years.


Alvin Karpis was born to Lithuanian immigrants John and Anna Karpavicius in Montreal, Quebec, and was raised in Topeka, Kansas.


Alvin Karpis started in crime at about age 10, running around with gamblers, bootleggers, and pimps.


Alvin Karpis escaped with another inmate, Lawrence De Vol, and went on a year-long crime spree, interrupted briefly, while he lived with his parents after De Vol was arrested.


The Barker-Alvin Karpis Gang became one of the most formidable criminal gangs of the 1930s.


On December 19,1931, Karpis and Fred Barker killed Sheriff C Roy Kelley, who was investigating their robbery of a store in West Plains, Missouri.


Alvin Karpis has been described as the leader or "brains" of the gang.


Gang member Fred Hunter said Alvin Karpis was "super smart" and he was reported to have a photographic memory.


Alvin Karpis was somebody we looked after and took with us when we moved city to city, hideout to hideout.


Harvey Bailey, another well-known bank robber of the era, knew the Barker gang well, and in his autobiography published in the 1970s, he agreed with Alvin Karpis, observing that Ma Barker "couldn't plan breakfast," and was certainly no mastermind behind any gang activity.


Just after Ma and Fred's death in a shootout with the FBI on January 16,1935, Alvin Karpis nearly met his own violent end when the FBI located him in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


Alvin Karpis did manage to pull off a crime that echoed the times of the "Old West," a train robbery in Garrettsville, Ohio, which netted $27,000.


Alvin Karpis' version, told in his memoirs, was that Hoover came out only after all the other agents had seized him.


The capture of Alvin Karpis catapulted Hoover into the public eye and made his name synonymous with law enforcement until he died in 1972 at the age of 77.


The capture of Alvin Karpis essentially ended the age of the big-name Depression Era criminal.


Alvin Karpis was brought to trial at the St Paul Federal Courts Building.


Alvin Karpis was far from a model prisoner, frequently fighting with other inmates.


Alvin Karpis served the longest sentence of any prisoner at Alcatraz: 26 years.


Alvin Karpis wrote about Manson in his autobiography with Robert Livesey :.


Alvin Karpis wants to learn guitar and become a music star.


Alvin Karpis has a pleasant voice and a pleasing personality, although he's unusually meek and mild for a convict.


Alvin Karpis never has a harsh word to say and is never involved in even an argument.


Manson told him he would be bigger than The Beatles, but Alvin Karpis decided to leave Manson on his own regarding his music career.


Alvin Karpis was released on parole in 1969 and deported to Canada, although he initially had difficulty obtaining Canadian passport credentials, having had his fingerprints removed by underworld physician Joseph Moran in 1934.


Alvin Karpis wrote his first memoirs in 1971, while another memoir book was published in 1980, one year after his death.


Livesey said Alvin Karpis was a survivor, having served 33 years in prison, and stated Alvin Karpis was anticipating the publication of the book.


Livesey believed Alvin Karpis had been introduced to pills and alcohol by his last girlfriend Nancy, to give a relaxing high, and perhaps Alvin Karpis accidentally over-indulged on one occasion, with fatal consequences.