5 Reasons Everyone Should Add a Stop to the Alcatraz East Crime Museum on their Trip

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Anyone who has roamed the Alcatraz East Crime Museum galleries knows how interesting and thought-provoking they can be. Each area is filled with history, interactives, and authentic artifacts on display to give people a glance into American crime history. Now, they are refreshing and adding new artifacts for guests to check out, which is just one of the many reasons people should stop at the museum on their trip to the area.

“We have something for everyone to explore,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “People never realize how much they will see strolling around the museum until they do it, and then they are always glad they stopped by.”

During the refresh, new artifacts that will be added to the museum include:

  • Damien Echols Artist Proofs – Echols was one of the individuals known as the West Memphis Three who were tried and convicted of murdering three children in 1994. The case caught national attention, with several celebrities speaking out on the trio’s behalf due to a lack of evidence. Echols has maintained his innocence since the beginning, and after spending 18 years in prison, the West Memphis Three were released when they agreed to an Alford Plea. Upon his release, Echols held an art gallery show, and the proofs were part of it.
  • Dalton Gang Colt Revolver – This revolver was used in the Dalton Gang Coffeyville Shootout on October 5,1892. The gang attempted to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas, but it ended with four of the gang members being killed when local citizens took up arms against the gang. The revolver now on display at Alcatraz East was carried by Lucius Baldwin, who was killed during the shootout by one of the Dalton brothers.
  • Pop culture. Alcatraz East Crime Museum recently reopened its permanent pop culture gallery, which includes items such as a Lance Armstrong-signed cycling jersey, the “Bad Vegan” Sarma Melngailis arrest collection, Cowboy boots that belonged to John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted, and a Derby costume from Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle.

“We always have so many fascinating things for people to read and learn about,” added Pennington. “Even if you have already visited, you should plan to come back again because there are always new things to see and do.”

Those who will be vacationing in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area and locals who will be planning staycations should put the museum on their list of stops. Here are 5 reasons to add a stop to see Alcatraz East Crime Museum:

  • History. The museum is filled with American crime-related history, which gives people a chance to learn about past cases. Not only will they learn about them, but they will also have an opportunity to see many authentic artifacts from the various cases.
  • Uniqueness. Vacations are often filled with many of the same activities, but a stop at the Crime Museum is entirely different. It offers a unique opportunity to do something different on the trip, which is excellent for getting people thinking and discussing.
  • Learning. There is a lot to learn about crime, including its history and impact, how to help prevent it, how it’s investigated, punishments for it, and more. Guests even learn about crimes they may not have realized, such as corporate crimes and counterfeiting.
  • Changing. Understanding things better is a great way to inspire change among individuals and groups. The more people learn about crime, the better prepared they are to protect themselves and help create a safer world.
  • Supporting. A society’s museums are beneficial to the country, and for those museums to stick around long-term, they need people to visit them. Supporting the museums helps keep these institutions open and active.

The museum features over 100 exhibits and interactives and four temporary exhibit spaces, with many famous items on display, including Al Capone’s rosary, Ted Bundy’s dental molds, and Charles Manson’s acoustic guitar.They also hold various programs throughout the year, including an annual highlight of 9/11 and a biennial art contest that puts graffiti in the spotlight.This top museum is open at 10 a.m. daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for an additional fee for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events. To get a discounted rate for groups of 15 or more, complete the online form and allow up to 72 hours for confirmation. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site: https://www.alcatrazeast.com.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer; James R. Knight, a crime writer; Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida; Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who worked for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years; and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided over the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.