Robert Stroud was a mean son-of-a-bitch who spent seventeen years as a prisoner in Alcatraz, twelve of which were in isolation. Most people hold a romantic notion of the Bird Man of Alcatraz, as he is more famously known, thanks to the Hollywood movie starring Burt Lancaster. The reality is that Stroud was an egotistic sociopath who was better off behind bars. However, one cannot help but admire him. Here was a guy who, against all odds, persevered under the most hopeless circumstances. He spent his entire adulthood behind bars yet managed to educate himself and become an acclaimed author as well as a Hollywood legend. Robert Stroud’s life is that of a man who refused to conform to the dictates of society. He frequently flaunted the rules and despite being behind bars, he enjoyed a lot more freedom than most of us.