Behind the Scenes of the Forgotten Prison

KNKX reporters Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel—the hosts, writers and producers of the podcast series—will present “Forgotten Prison: Behind the Scenes” in the auditorium at Washington State History Museum. Through photos and audio recordings of people who lived both inside and outside of the McNeil Island prison walls, Alicea and Wissel will pull back the curtain on Forgotten Prison and touch on stories they weren’t able to include in the podcasts.

Alicea and Wissel will talk about why they wanted to tell the story of McNeil Island and how their visit to the abandoned prison was a transformative experience. Photos will give attendees a real look at the island that couldn’t be conveyed through the podcasts. Audio will include the voices of some of the guards and people who were incarcerated at the prison. Alicea and Wissel will highlight some of the myths surrounding McNeil.

Another topic is the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators who have completed their prison sentences, which did not fit entirely into the podcast series.

The museum will open for this free evening event at 5:30 PM, Thursday, April 11. Guests can also see the exhibition Unlocking McNeil’s Past: The Prison, The Place, The People.

Doors to the auditorium open at 6:30

“Behind the Scenes” talk is 7:00-8:00 PM

The exhibition gallery is open 5:30-7:00, and 8:00-9:00 PM

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited; RSVP at