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Alvin Karpis
Original name: Albin Karpowicz
Birth: Aug. 10, 1908
Quebec, Canada
Death: Aug. 26, 1979
Provincia de Málaga
Andalucia, Spain

Criminal. Public Enemy No. 1 and "brains" of the Karpis-Barker Gang, 1931-1935. Born Albin Francis Karpowicz, he immigrated at the age of two from Montreal, Canada to Topeka, Kansas with his Lithuanian-born parents. A schoolteacher dubbed him Alvin Karpis for pronunciation purposes. As a youth he was sickly and was diagnosed with a "leaking heart". He began committing burglaries by the age of ten. At 18, he was convicted of attempted burglary and sent to a Kansas reformatory to serve a sentence of 5 to 10 years. He escaped after three years and eluded recapture for a year, living for a time with his parents in Missouri. Police found him in a stolen car and he was sent back to the reformatory, but was quickly reassigned to the Kansas State Penitentiary where he formed a friendship with Fred Barker. Released in 1931, the two men joined forces and committed a series of well-planned shop burglaries. When Arthur "Doc" Barker was released from prison in 1932, the trio, along with various other acquired gang members, turned their attention to robbing banks, trains, and payroll shipments. Karpis, who possessed both a superior intellect and a photographic memory, later described 11 bank robberies in 1932 alone. He masterminded the gang's crimes so cleverly that some of their crimes were blamed on other gangs that proliferated during the Depression era. It is uncertain how many deaths Karpis was personally responsible for, but he and other gang members were wanted for the killing of at least one lawman. In 1933, he participated in two separate kidnappings-for-ransom of wealthy Minnesota businessmen. The Karpis-Barker crime spree spanned the American Midwest. He was finally apprehended by a swarm of FBI agents in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 1, 1936. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover came in to make the official arrest. Karpis received a life sentence for his role in the 1933 kidnapping of William A. Hamm, Jr., president of the Hamm Brewing Company. Though eligible for parole after 15 years, Karpis served more than 33 years in federal penitentiaries. He was on Alcatraz longer than any other convict – from August 1936 to April 1962, except for six months at Leavenworth in 1958. On Alcatraz, he was assigned for many years to the culinary department where he worked as a baker and a cook. A skilled and conscientious worker, he earned the respect of inmates and prison guards alike. When Alcatraz was closed down, he was transferred to McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington State, where he became a model prisoner. He worked as an office assistant, lived outside the prison walls, and occasionally led visitors on prison tours. In 1969, supported by recommendations from former prison guards and officials, he was finally paroled and deported to Canada. Back in Montreal, he proceeded to lead the life of an infamous but reformed man. He granted interviews, gave lectures, appeared on television programs, wrote an autobiography, and even appeared in beer commercials. In 1973, he relocated to Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol in Spain. Initial reports that his 1979 death was a suicide were prompted by the discovery of sleeping pills at the scene, however, the Spanish coroner's report stated that the cause of death was heart failure. Al Karpis is buried in Malaga, Spain. (bio by: Susan VS) 
Cementerio de San Miguel
Provincia de Málaga
Andalucia, Spain
Plot: 2300
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Tom Cummings
Record added: Oct 02, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6817219
Alvin Karpis
Added by: Jay Lance
Alvin Karpis
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Added by: BobBoston
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 Added: Mar. 15, 2016

- Bunny
 Added: Aug. 26, 2015

- elaine bailey
 Added: Aug. 26, 2015
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