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halsten

The True Wardens of Alcatraz, perhaps inspiration of Brutus?

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For those who wish to see the video version of this post: https://bit.ly/2NAgtdC

 

However, if you wish to instead read my thread or have a transcipt, keep reading:

 

Mob of the Dead, and its reimagining, Blood of the Dead are maps based on the Alcatraz State Penitentiary. In these maps lie a villainous character known as Brutus, or Warden, or Cellbreaker. In the original version, Brutus has little to no kind of backstory, yet with Blood of the Dead, we finally get some insight on who he exactly is.

 

But with Mob/Blood of the Dead being such an interesting map, with an interesting story and such; it made me wonder how the wardens who held this person in real life were truly like.

 

Though none of these wardens are as deranged and sadistic as the Brutus we have come to know.  It still is interesting to see the real life counterparts of our characters and settings from Zombies to the real world. Join me as we take a look into the true wardens of Alcatraz.

 

True Wardens of Alcatraz:

 

James Aloysius Johnston

James_A._Johnston.jpg

James Aloysius Johnston, known as "Old Saltwater", was the first known warden under control of Alcatraz. He was born in 1874, and prior to working at the prison, he was the warden of Folsom Prison and San Quentin State Prison. Johnston was noted for being extremely helpful during the creation of the island; including the ideals to the physical pieces of it.

 

Johnston believed in strict discipline, and was a devout reformist. He also imposed rules, including one in which he would command a moment of silence, which was obviously mandatory toward the inmates. With his status, he was given another nickname "Golden Rule Warden" which came from his early days at San Quentin. He was also given "Old Saltwater" as a nickname from the inmates and guards.

 

Though with his strict ideas, he was also known for his absence of using the prison's brutal alternative tactics. These tactics include: isolation in darkness, straitjackets, and so on. When 1937 came, he was attacked by a prisoner at a Worker's Strike. He died of bronchial infection in 1954. Johnston was the warden of Alcatraz from 1934 to 1948; the longest sentence a warden has served.

 

Edwin Burnham Swope

Edwin_B._Swope.jpg

Edwin Burnham Swope, known as "Cowboy", was the second warden of Alcatraz. He was born in 1888, and prior to working at Alcatraz, he was warden in a few prisons. His nickname came from his appearance, and from his tendency to wear cowboy hats and to dress like a cowboy when he was off work. Just like Johnston, he was disciplinarian, but was not as popular with the people in Alcatraz,  as Johnston was.

 

Interestingly, when an inmate confronted him about his sentence of 199 years, Swope responded with: "My boy, we're all doing life. Every one of us is doing life." He died in 1955. His reign of Alcatraz went from 1948 to 1955.

 

Paul Joseph Madigan

Paul_J._Madigan.jpg

Paul Joseph Madigan, was the third warden of Alcatraz. He was born in 1897, and when in Alcatraz he was the last Associate Warden under Johnston's rule, prior to being a warden himself. He was known for being one of the only wardens who climbed the ranks to be one himself. He was a devout Irish Catholic, unlike his other wardens, and was known for being more softer as well. His existence as warden was by far the most well received by prison staff. He died in 1974, with his ruling of Alcatraz spanning from 1955 to 1961.

 

Olin Guy Blackwell

olin-g-blackwell-850f73b7-818d-468e-b9d6-f86743a8b03-resize-750.jpg

Olin Guy Blackwell, was the fourth and last Warden of Alcatraz. He was born in 1915. Just like Paul, he was Associate Warden to his Warden. With Paul being one under Johnston, and Olin under Paul. Blackwell was warden under Alcatraz's difficult era, at this point in time in the early sixties - Alcatraz was nothing more than just a rock in the water. A dirty, decaying rock for that matter.

 

Blackwell wasn't strict, and some believe that he wasn't due to his drinking habits. He was known for being a remarkable marksman, and was also Associate Warden of Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Blackwell passed away in 1986. Serving as Warden of Alcatraz from 1961 to 1963; a short sentence compared to the other wardens.

 

Those are the four true wardens of Alcatraz, perhaps the inspiration of Brutus himself. Let me know out of the four, in which you believe could be Brutus of some sort. Whether you believe its the one consistent with the date, or one based on a Warden's actions. Let me know what you think. One a side note, Mob of the Dead takes place in 1933; Alcatraz was not open as a prison until 1934. Whether this continuity error by Treyarch was on purpose or not, Brutus confirms in a radio that the prison was built "a year early" - implying that Alcatraz opened in 1933, instead of 1934 as it actually was in real life.

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Mob of the Dead and Blood of the Dead are that kind of maps where we haven't dived that far into it's real life history, and I thank you for making this thread.

 

Another connections to real life are the ties with Native American culture. From Blood of the Dead, we know Alcatraz is built upon a Leyline. This could explain why Native Americans mentioned evil spirits they purportedly encountered on the Rock long before it became a federal prison. Bones and artifacts (possibly even the "Hell's Retriever", the very native American Tomahawk) that were unearthed by archaeologists on the island have indicated that it might have served as a burial ground for Native Americans. A lot of burial grounds or mounds are made at a lot of leyline locations, as it is believed that these locations, and the rituals around them, are ‘Death Roads’ or ‘Spirit Paths’, places where the spirits of the deceased can move away to find peace in the other world. We also know that the symbol of Afterlife correlates with the Native American 'Eye of the Medicine Man', a very powerful symbol associated with seeing into the future and beyond our physical plane of existence. And lastly, we have the mobster's connections to real life gangs, as discovered by @RichKillerin this post.

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