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Visiting the BirdmanFacebooktwitterlinkedinmail

I guess I’m honored. I’ve read Burt Lancaster’s a fine actor and here he is, preparing to play me in Birdman of Alcatraz.

“Why the hell’s Alcatraz in the title,” I tell him.

“I suppose that sounds better than Birdman of Leavenworth.”

“I hope you’re making a fair movie.”

“We’re doing our best, Mr. Stroud.”

Pointing through the wall, I say, “I only killed that first man because he mauled my girlfriend. Is that so bad?”

“I’m not sure, Mr. Stroud.”

“Call me Bob.”

“All right, if you’ll call me Burt.”

“And the guard I killed, that was self-defense. He was a big fellow about to brain me with a club.”

“Why’d you have a knife, Bob?”

Extending hands wide and palms up, I say, “For the reason I just told you.”

“I’m sure you understand that no prison can tolerate inmates walking around with concealed weapons.”

“You ever done any time, Burt?”

“No, Bob, I haven’t.”

“The guards are armed, the other inmates are armed. I was within my rights.”

“They almost executed you, Bob. Most inmates don’t have to kill to survive.”

“At least it got me into solitary where I could study birds and their diseases and how to cure them and write books about all this.”

Lancaster smiles. “It’s amazing they let you bring in all those birds and equipment and even gave you another cell at Leavenworth.”

“They took all that away in minutes without even warning me I was headed for Alcatraz.”

“In fairness, Bob, you used some of the equipment to make alcohol.”

“That going to be in the movie?”

“Only briefly.”

Sternly, I ask, “What about the fact I’m a homosexual?”

“We’re not going to deal with that at all.”

“Maybe you should. I think that’s why I’m still in prison after more than fifty years.”

Lancaster laces his hands together and squeezes them on the table between us. “Bob, you not only killed two people, you often fought guards and other inmates, and you were very aggressive about your sexual desires.”

“I never raped anybody. Besides, I’m seventy-three now, way too old to be a dangerous wolf. My health has continued to go down here at this pen in Missouri.”

“If it were up to me, you’d get your parole.”

“Too bad I couldn’t have been a bird and just flown away.”

This entry was posted in Alcatraz, Birds, Burt Lancaster, Homosexuals, Karl Malden, Murder, Prisons, Sex.