it happened here page

It happened Here

Temporary Exhibit
May 2018- May 2019


From its earliest days, Tennessee has had a rich history of justice, in a place where the law was sometimes a gray area for moonshiners, vigilantes, and even the state’s highest officials. In the temporary exhibit “It Happened Here,” Alcatraz East brings together objects from the museum’s collection to tell Tennessee stories.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum is already known for displaying “Old Smokey,” Tennessee’s electric chair, as well as celebrating the work of local forensics pioneers Dr. William M. Bass of the Body Farm, and Arthur M. Bohanan and his work with fingerprinting.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, and the exhibit will include items that belonged to assassin James Earl Ray and related to the nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary where he was held.

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Legendary lawman Buford Pusser will be featured, along with crime stories local to Sevier County, such as the Perry Camp Murders, and the little-known Knoxville native and inmate at Alcatraz Penitentiary, Kenneth Jones. He was one of only two inmates released directly from Alcatraz Island. “It Happened Here” will also include notables such as labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, and President Andrew Jackson.

Press Release: It Happened Here! Alcatraz East Crime Museum Exhibit Highlights Tennessee

Learn about other temporary exhibits.