Something New to Write Home About At Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum, located in Pigeon Forge, is putting prison pen pals in the spotlight.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2, 2023) – Many prison inmates become pen pals with people on the outside. These pen pal relationships are most often started by people on the outside who answer pen pal ads from services that connect prisoners and potential pen pals, such as Alcatraz East Crime Museum is putting prison pen pals in the spotlight with a new temporary exhibit on the topic. The exhibit will run from February 10, 2023, to April 14, 2023.

“The prison pen pals exhibit is eye-opening,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “Come learn why people feel compelled to write to prisoners and how these connections can greatly benefit inmates serving lengthy prison sentences.”

Alcatraz East Crime Museum will unveil a new temporary exhibit called Dear Inmate: Prison Pen Pals this month. The exhibit will feature artifacts and information regarding why so many individuals become prison pals, how it helps keep recidivism rates down, and how these programs impact inmate mental health. Featured objects in the display will include Richard Ramirez and Charles Manson’s prison letters.

Often, the more high-profile the crime, the more mail the prisoner will receive from the public, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Scott Peterson. For example, Peterson, convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, reportedly receives a lot of fan mail and has several pen pals, including one of the jurors who helped convict him.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum is also inviting all locals to save money on admission tickets while exploring all the museum has to offer. Locals Appreciation Days are from February 26, 2023, through March 4, 2023, offering locals the chance to visit for only $12 per person, plus tax. 

Locals Appreciation Days discounted tickets are available for those who live or work in Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, and Sevier Counties. All state welcome center employees are also eligible for the discounted ticket price. Adult patrons must present their local identification or current pay stub when purchasing the tickets. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount.

“We love to give locals a chance to save money while they explore the museum,” adds Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “There’s a lot to learn at Alcatraz East, and we look forward to many locals visiting during Locals Appreciation Days.”

With over 100 temporary and permanent exhibits that are crime-related, Alcatraz East Crime Museum focuses on the history of crime, crime scene investigation, consequences of crime, crime-fighting, counterfeit crimes, pop culture, and more. There are numerous popular items on display for people to see, including the famous white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase and Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle. 

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer, James R. Knight, a crime writer, Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who was with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided in the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.

This top museum is open at 10 am daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events for an additional fee. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site:

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About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime-solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at The Island’s entrance, 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

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