True crime fans can take heart, and sometimes other grisly memorabilia. The most arresting crime museum in the United States is displaying some killer Americana. Americans love their criminals, gunslingers, pirates, and serial killers from Jesse James to the subjects on Netflix’s Making a Murderer. The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is uncaging a rare glimpse at artifacts once owned by infamous killers. The museum’s original artifacts tell the stories of Jesse James, the FBI, the Kennedy Assassination, Al Capone and the Unabomber. O.J. Simpson’s chase Bronco, Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle and other famous Getaway Cars are parked there.
“We have many artifacts on display that are connected to infamous killers in the country,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “Like any piece of history, we hope that the stories throughout this museum create conversations. We want the victims to never be forgotten, we want law enforcement to be honored- while bringing awareness to the crime itself, which might prevent other crimes from occurring.”
Alcatraz East Museum looks like a prison on the outside, but inside features an in-depth look at American crime history with hundreds of crime related and law enforcement artifacts from throughout history.
“We live in a society where there is a strong fascination of crime, this is apparent by its prevalence in pop-culture,” reads the museum’s press statement. “The subject of crime and serial killers is often the topic of books, TV shows and movies.” Zac Efron is slated to play Ted Bundy in the upcoming feature Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Ross Lynch, who grew up on the Disney Channel, will play Jeffrey Dahmer in My Friend Dahmer. A strange curiosity propels us to learn “more about who these people are and how they can do such horrible things.”
Here are 5 infamous killers’ artifacts that are on display at the museum:
1. Charles Manson Guitar & Beach Boys single “Never Learn Not to Love” – This guitar was recently added to the museum’s collect. It was taken into custody in Inyo County California, during a raid on the Barker Ranch when Charles Manson was also arrested. In 1969, the song “Never Learn Not to Love” appeared as a Beach Boys single, and later on an album, credited to Dennis Wilson, although Manson had originated the song under the name “Cease to Exist.”
2. Ted Bundy’s 1968 Volkswagen Beetle – The Beetle that was integral in both of his murders and conviction, containing important DNA evidence, is on display for visitors to view.
3. John Wayne Gacy’s clown suits- “Pogo” and “Patches” – The serial killer was arrested in 1978. He had confessed to killing 30 people. Despite him being a serial killer, he would dress up in clown suits to entertain children.
4. Judy Buenoano’s last photograph and prison blanket – Convicted of murdering her husband and son, she was also suspected in several other deaths. Her last known photograph and prison blanket are both on display at the museum.
5. Jeffrey Dahmer handcuffs– An American serial killer, he was convicted of the murder of 17 males, which included rape, dismemberment, and cannibalism. His handcuffs are on display at the museum for visitors to view.
The museum continues to add to their collection monthly recently added new interactive exhibits give people the ability to test their pirate skills at tying knots, gives people the ability to share their own 9/11 experiences, and gives them the chance to offer a thank you message to law enforcement departments around the nation.
The Alcatraz East Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.
You can get more information on Alcatraz East Museum at www.alcatrazeast.com.