Are you interested in forensic science, crime scenes and the solving of crimes? Find out next time you visit White Oak Lodge and Resort. A new crime museum, Alcatraz East, has just opened in Pigeon Forge.
The museum is located at the entrance to The Island at Pigeon Forge. Fun fact: it’s not far from Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and the celebrity chef herself is a big fan of the Alcatraz museum.
Alcatraz East is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the history of crime in America (not just Alcatraz).
The museum is 25,000 square feet on two floors and includes more than 100 interactive activities. Five galleries define the museum, exploring criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victims, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and the Judiciary Branch of government.
Crime and those that commit it have been around since the beginning of time. This gallery explores the historical aspects, from medieval knights to white collar “silent criminals” who steal from behind computer screens. Interactive activities include a Wild West shooting gallery, safe cracking and computer hacking.
In this full-scale police station, guests learn just how much crime doesn’t pay. See the ultimate tools for punishment over the ages, including guillotine, gas chamber, and electric chair. Interactive activities include getting “booked”; the police lineup and a lie detector test.
From police to FBI, the forces behind making our world safe are staggering. See uniforms, firearms, and restraining equipment, along with bomb squad and night vision technologies. Interactive activities include high speed chase simulators, field sobriety checkpoint and thermal imaging technology.
Investigate a fully intact crime scene, where you’ll learn to solve crime through the use of forensic science technology like ballistics, fingerprinting and facial reconstruction. This gallery has many interactive activities, including a crime scene investigation lab, autopsy at the morgue and famous cold cases like the Black Dahlia and Anthrax attacks.
The world of counterfeit crimes (illegal traffic and sale of counterfeit goods) is a trillion dollar industry to which most of us have fallen victim at some point. Did you know some of the most pervasive counterfeit items include Coach purses and accessories, Martin guitars, Rolex Watches, PlayStation consoles, Ugg boots and Otterbox cell phones? Learn how to analyze and distinguish counterfeit items from the real deal.
OJ’s Ford Bronco
Ok, it’s not a gallery, but Alcatraz East is home to this popular artifact – the original Ford Bronco driven by a frantic OJ Simpson in 1994.
Alcatraz East has fun exhibits for kids, too, like The Pirate Life, Legends of the Old West, computer interactivity, and how to become a top detective (or jewel thief!). They also provide educational content about crime and staying safe.
And all of this was carefully put together with the help of an impressive advisory board full of experts in all aspects of crime and crime investigation.
Are you dying to visit Alcatraz East yet? Put it on your list for your next White Oak Lodge and Resort vacation.
COMMENT: Which gallery at Alcatraz East do you think would be the most interesting?
Photos courtesy of Alcatraz East