Talk:Robert Stroud

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Good article Robert Stroud has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
September 4, 2013 Good article nominee Listed

Opening heading[edit]

After viewing the movie Birdman of Alcatraz for the first time. I have been able to do nothing else but research Robert F. Stroud. My most curious questions are... where are the manuscripts he wrote on the prison systems ? What happened to the handwritten manuscripts from the two books written on birds ? Being that they are still in publication , where do the proceeds go now ? Just where is he laid to rest ? What really happened to Della May Jones-Stroud ? Did she ever actually take on the last name of Stroud ?

The facts as I have found them are not really always factual . Many of the questions have no answers to be found . Any help one may be able to give please do .


The phrase "took advantage of ... Kitty" is a unnecessarily ambiguous. Was it a sexual assault and/or rape? If it was, I think it would be better to make it explicit. --Malcohol 12:59, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I made a few minor fixes and tried to make it flow a bit better, but this page definitely needs work from someone who knows the story better that me. The sources on the web tend to contradict each other. In particular: what were the circumstances of Stroud's first murder? Did his bird cures actually work? How old was Della Jones? What were the circumstances of his eventual transfer to Alcatraz? --Misterwindupbird 17:52, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Characterizations Based on Fictional Writings[edit]

In the penultimate section "Truth versus Fiction" is the quote "...Stroud was also known to write pornographic fiction, much of it perversely involving children. These surviving documents point to the fact that Stroud was at least a latent pedophile...." I'm not comfortable characterizing someone based on their fictional writings. I doubt that horror writers, for example, are especially violent or morbid. Moreover, in the previous sentence is "...much of it perversely involving children." The term "perversely" seems too opinionated, or maybe I'm thinking too journalistically.

To whomever maintains this article, I'd recommend excising the entire sentence containing the first quote and the word "perversely" from the second.


Does anyone have a source for the claim Stroud was bootlegging from his cell? I'm somewhat skeptical. Was he really supposed to be secretly importing all the raw ingredients, operating a still operation in a cell, bribing everyone involved, and smuggling the booze out via his mail-order business? Even if it was possible, was it really so hard to get booze during the time that people would purchase it in this way? --Misterwindupbird 05:03, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Since there's no source, and nobody has spoken up, I removed the paragraph. --Misterwindupbird 04:00, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe if you go to you will find information which does indicate that Robert Stroud was bootlegging from his cell. 21:12, 11 March 2007 (UTC)stldiamond

Some more on Robert Stroud[edit]

I saw a television documentary on Alcatraz, and it said something worth noting about Robert Stroud. When some other inmates made a escape attempt, (that eventually failed), and gunfire was exchanged between the guards and the inmates attempting to escape, Mr. Stroud, risked his life to help some people who were in danger of being shot. That was probably one of the only times in his life he put himself on the line for his fellow humans, but, it deserves mention. 14:33, 26 April 2006 (UTC)Bennett Turk

Disputed: President Wilson Involvement[edit]

The current wording of President and Mrs. Wilson's involvement in the case -- "secretly running the country" -- is not a neutral point-of-view, and does not factually agree with the Woodrow Wilson article. Propose to change to a more neutral tone. Generally, there are insufficient footnotes and references in this article. hadley 03:45, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

The bird "cures"[edit]

This article states that the bird concoctions devised by Stroud were a real advance in bird medicine. However, I have read a book that says otherwise. I will see if I can find it and quote from it.--Mantanmoreland 22:40, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I havent a clue what this means[edit]

Robert Franklin Stroud (January 28 1890November 21 1963), known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, was a prisoner in Alcatraz who supposedly found solace from segregation in raising and selling birds. Despite his nickname, he never kept birds in Alcatraz, running his business until transferred to Alcatraz from Leavenworth.

I shouldn't have to read the story to understand the opening paragraph. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 02:37, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

What part is confusing to you? It makes sense to me. Vivaldi (talk) 18:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

possible stroud-vulture connection?[edit]

just wondering...any chance Stan Lee based the Spider-Man villain the Vulture (comics) off of Stroud? They look somewhat identical and both are "birdmen" in a sense. just a thought...

Now that you metion it, they do look very much alike, just like Doctor Octopus looks like Roy Orbison. P.S. In the future, please sign name with 4~s. 17:59, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Bennett Turk

I'd fix this but...[edit]

...I can't even figure out what it means.

Lead sentence of the "Birdman" section:

"While at hays, Stroud found three injured sparrows..."

What or where is "hays"? Does the article mean the prison at Leavenworth? Hays is of no help. Huw Powell (talk) 19:32, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

It's old vandalism which got overlooked. Reverted. Vilĉjo (talk) 15:32, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

What happened to the birds???[edit]

Jesus, this article is incoherent! There's hardly a word said about the man's birds at all - yet the reason he's notable is for being the "Birdman of" (well, Leavenworth, if not Alcatraz.) The "prison life" section is just a litany of his misadventures in courtrooms; it's not about his life (particularly with the birds) in prison at all. And who is this "Gaddis" who is mentioned once, with no explanation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I, too, wonder what happened to the birds, his business, his book income, his incomplete book manuscript, what, if anything, he accomplished of value in Alcatraz and Springfield, and this Gaddis. Don't have time to do the research. David Spector (talk) 01:04, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

'Aggressive Homosexual'[edit]

I'm not sure what the claim that he was an "aggressive homosexual" is supposed to mean. I understand that a man can be aggressive, and that a man can be homosexual, but I'm not sure what it means to put them together like that. Is it supposed to suggest that he was prone to sexually assaulting other men? If so, that should be said openly (and backed with evidence). As it stands I worry that it could be taken as a homophobic slur while not providing any real meaning. Iglew (talk) 03:02, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Those phrases were taken directly from Hurley's book, as indicated. Phrases in [] are my clarifications but the "'wolf' (aggressive homosexual)" is exactly as it appears in the book. The book was purchased at the Alcatraz Island gift shop and Hurley was a resident on Alcatraz while his father was a guard there. Hurley was himself a federal prison guard. My interpretation is that Stroud attempted to sexually assault other men (prisoners) thus posing a danger to himself and others. The wording was probably candy coated a bit by Hurley so as not to offend casual readers, even though Hurley was well aware of what happens in maximum security prisons. Brookfield53045 (talk) 04:28, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I wonder if those claims can be taken seriously. I mean, the guy's dead, anyone he may have allegedly tried to rape is most likely dead as well, all we have is the word of a guy whose dad was a prison guard who probably wasn't a big fan of Stroud. I'm not trying to defend Stroud, I'm not trying to uphold the saintly image of his character in the film because I know if he indeed was gay and/or did have the tendencies of a rapist, then those are not things that would be openly portrayed in an American film made in 1962. But Hurley's claims must be taken with a grain of salt. That's all I'm saying. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Vague sentence[edit]

Reading this bit, it seemed a little vague:

While there, Stroud was reprimanded by a guard in the cafeteria for a minor rule violation. Although the infraction was not a serious one, it could have annulled Stroud's visitation privilege to meet his younger brother, whom he had not seen in eight years.

What does "could have" mean here - did it annul his visitation privilege, or not? Is this speculation, or just a lack of further information, or what? David (talk) 22:05, 16 June 2010 (UTC)


The tone of the "Personal relationships" section is not exactly neutral. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 18:10, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Robert Stroud[edit]

Given that most of his coverage is under "Robert Stroud", and no other article by the same name seems to exist, would anyone object to a move to that name?--Yaksar (let's chat) 02:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved to Robert Stroud. Favonian (talk) 08:55, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Robert Franklin StroudRobert Stroud – Per WP:COMMONNAME and what seems, at least from the discussion above, to be a lack of opposition. Yaksar (let's chat) 05:50, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. The overwhelming common name. Jenks24 (talk) 21:16, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Nonsense removed[edit]

I removed the following nonsense from the end of the article, following the categories:

(( Birdman-robert franklin stroud manslaughter-12 years silenced assault 6 months murder-life sentenced. Born-january 28 1890 seattle washington u.s america Died-died november 21 1963 springfield missouri u.s america. - BRANDON SWOPE 5/23/13))

David Spector (talk) 01:00, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Location of first killing[edit]

While the improvement to the article since last I noticed is rather impressive, one gaping hole exists. Reading the text, one may gather that Stroud's first killing occurred in Cordova. He didn't stay very long in Cordova. He was actually living at the time in Juneau, where the crime occurred on Gastineau Avenue. This is reflected in far too many sources to mention, which makes it strange that something so important would escape the notice of a GA review. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 20:58, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I still have a lot I need to add to this having now got hold of the biography. I'm not feeling like wikipedia at the moment, you're welcome to make additions. The GA reviewer doesn't know anything about Stroud, why would you expect them to know?♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:32, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Destiny of O'Brien[edit]

Does the literature on Stroud contain any information on what happened to Kitty O'Brien after his arrest? When did she die?

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