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    Alvin Karpis, Public Enemy No 1, personally autographed one hundred copies of this book about his crime career.

Thief, bootlegger, kidnapper, bank and train robber, killer, this was Alvin Karpis who in this book, gives an account of his life as America's Public Enemy Number One during the gangster-ridden days of the Depression. "Old Creepy", as he was known, was born in Montreal and was extradited to Canada after serving 33 years in U.S. federal prisons, 26 in the infamous Alcatraz. It is for the very reason that he was a Canadian that Karpis was able to give this vivid, violent account of the underworld because parole regulations in the U.S. precluded publication of personal memoirs.

Karpis was the lone survivor of the Public Enemies of the 1930's. He describes his duel of nerve and wits with J. Edgar Hoover who revived his failing reputation by claiming that he personally captured Karpis in 1936. Held on $400,000 bail, the largest in history at that time, Karpis escaped the electric chair but went on to serve more time in Alcatraz than any other convict. He was released from prison in December 1968.

Autobiography (non-fiction)
American Crime History

ISBN : 0-7710S4469S0
Library of Congress Card number : 78S136446


When I wrote the book, On the Rock, with Alvin Karpis, he made two trips from Spain to Canada in 1978 and 1979 to review the manuscript. At that time, I purchased the remaining stock, about 100 copies, of Public Enemy #1 which he had written with Bill Trent in 1971. Alvin Karpis personally autographed the copies for me while he was a guest in my home. Unfortunately, Al passed away in Spain on August 26, 1979 so he never had the opportunity to autograph any published versions of On The Rock which came out in the spring of 1980.

I have only 4 of the autographed copies remaining; they are not for sale at this time. In 2005 an autographed copy was available from a Florida autograph collector for $600 US.


Professor Robert Livesey,

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Last Updated March, 2005.