Alcatraz Island is a small area of nine hectares, located two km from the coast of San Francisco. It was first a lighthouse, then it was an army residence, and in early 1930 it was declared the most protected prison designed for the most heinous criminals.
The prison was surrounded by dreadful and cruel water of the pacific ocean. The prison hosted nearly two dozen inspections every day. Escaping Alcatraz was an impossible task!
Nearly forty men tried escaping the prison, but every one of them was caught and put back. Even if someone tries to escape the prison, they have to face hundreds of well-trained security guards. After which, they will have to face the hungry sharks and wild raging waters of the substantial Pacific ocean.
On the morning of June 12, 1962, the legacy was broken off when the officials started inspecting a cell and found three heads made of toilet papers and paste, painted in the color of skin that too decorated perfectly with human hair. For the first time from this inescapable prison, Frank Morris, John Anglin, and his brother Clarence Anglin escaped as claimed by the US government.
Sirens roared, the entire prison was alarmed, officials flew in. Their cells were thoroughly checked. The ventilator under a washbasin was removed, and another one made of cardboard was kept instead.
Their fellow prisoner, Allen West, narrated this incredible escape, whose ventilator was also removed and redesigned similarly. Here is the most mysterious and unbelievable story of their prison break.
Four of them decided to escape the prison of Alcatraz. Even Allen was one of them. Allen was in jail because of an unending series of car thefts.
The two brothers, Clarence and John Anglin, did robberies by showing toy guns to prevent any injuries to the ones they rob money from.
The chief behind the escape was Frank Morris. Morris was a criminal since he was a teenager. He was in the Angola prison after robbing a bank. But in a week, he escaped the prison. He was caught after a year and was sent to the most highly secured Alcatraz prison.
One day, while having their lunch Frank explained the plan to get out of the prison. The detailed plan is given below.
- Remove the ventilators under their washbasins. To do this, they had made fake ventilators to replace the existing ones using plywood in the carpentry workshop in prison. They also stole spoons from the mess hall. And used the edges of the spoon to take out the ventilators. The songs covered the sounds that came out during the drilling and removal processes played during a particular time in the prison.
- Going to the doorway of the prison through it.
- Moving down through the pipes without being noticed by the guards.
- Jumping out to the seashore
- Using a boat to cross the giant Pacific. The creation of the boat required the stealing of the raincoats of the guards. Every day, they went out through the ventilators, climbed up, and started joining raincoats that they collect. As days passed, they made a 6 feet long and 14 feet wide, with properly vulcanized fifty raincoats. Details regarding vulcanization were found in a magazine that was distributed in prison.
When all the three prisoners reached their meeting point on the escape day, Allen couldn’t get them. Guards were surrounding his cell, and he found it challenging to take out the ventilator.
Since time was precious and waiting for Allen did not seem like the right thing to do at the moment, they left without him in the boat.
Leaving the island in the boat was part of the plan, but have they succeeded is the question. There are no shreds of evidence showing their mission was successful. There were strong currents and waves the night they escaped. There are chances that the roaring waves had eaten them alive. Even after all these years, there was no proof that these people were still alive.
The FBI officials have closed the case stating the three of them are dead. But the case had been handed over to Marshal service in case if they are alive.
Later in 2013, a letter reached the FBI signed by John Anglin.“My name is John Anglin. I escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I am 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes, we made it that night but barely!”
The letter also claimed this is no joke, and he will surrender for a single year jail sentence if he is given medical treatment.
The FBI laboratory examined this letter, the fingerprints and DNA were analyzed, and the results were inconclusive. “It is a yes and a no,” said the chief examiner. David Widner, the nephew of the Anglin brothers, says his grandmother received roses and letters signed by them for several years.
If you see them again, do not forget to call the FBI. But I guess they would be in their eighties or nineties, unable to move, in wheelchairs or hospital beds.