Rufus McCain

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Rufus Roy McCain (July 7, 1903 – December 3, 1940) was a prisoner at Alcatraz who attempted escape with Henri Young and Arthur Barker in 1939.


On the night of January 13, 1939, McCain, with Young and Barker, attempted escape from the Rock. The guards started to fire shots at Arthur Barker. Barker eventually died and McCain and Young were recaptured. McCain and Young were sentenced to almost 22 months each in solitary confinement.

After Young and McCain returned to the normal prison population, McCain was assigned to the tailoring shop and Young to the furniture shop located directly upstairs. On December 3, 1940, Young waited until just after the 10 a.m. count to run downstairs and stab McCain with a sharpened spoon.


McCain fell quickly into shock and died five hours later. Young refused to disclose his motive for the murder.

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