"No evidence, lots of allegations, no real evidence, nothing you can follow up on," she said. Did I mention that Alcatraz is thought to be one of the most haunted locations in America? And few if any sharks would have threatened them: That was primarily a scare tactic employed by the prison to dissuade escape attempts. West wouldve certainly been privy to the prisons dilapidated state, having served a previous stretch at Alcatraz. We know the brothers escaped and lived in South America, Widner told the Herald. The daring escape was immortalized in the 1979 film Escape From Alcatraz, which starred Fred Ward as John Anglin, Jack Thibeau as Clarence Anglinand Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris. After six months of preparation and gathering of materials, their plan was complete! This is no joke. The mystery may never be solved, leaving us to only speculate as to what became of them. Someone claiming to be John Anglin wrote to San Francisco police in 2013, but it has only now been made public. Along with his brother Clarence and fellow inmate Frank Morris, John Anglin broke out of Alcatraz in June of 1962 the second to last escape attempt ever made from the prison, which shut down the following year in 1963. Marshals Service). The writer said that Morris died in 2008 and Clarence Anglin died in 2011. There is no loyalty among thieves, but it seems possible that West was getting some pretty hard questioning. In what the Anglin family would later point out as suspicious, Alfred was said to have been electrocuted during an escape attempt that came just days before he was set to be paroled. "As a law enforcement person I'd like to think that their escape attempt was not fruitful for them. "[They're] more on the natively cunning side, throwbacks to the swamp country, more given to action," he said. The writer makes a deal - "If you announce on TV that I will be promised to firstgo to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you knowexactly where I am. I have cancer. They used a concertina to inflate the raft. It was West who got the ball rolling when he came across some old saw blades that were apparently abandoned. It is believed the three inmates spent months digging a tunnel out of their cells using sharpened spoons. Unfortunately, there arent many known handwriting samples of the Anglin brothers. Theyslid down the smokestack to the ground and launched their raft - made of more than 50 raincoats. ", Today, Alcatraz is a museum and popular tourist destination. Robbery was their way of life, and this built them up quite a RAP sheet and landed them in and out of federal prison during their late adolescence and early adult lives. The marshals sent the letter to FBI lab analysts who looked at fingerprints and DNA as well as handwriting experts who examined the writing. Morris was orphaned at the age of 11 in Washington D.C., and shortly thereafter he began his life as a criminal. While Morris was decidedly the brains of the escape that would take place years later, the Anglin brothers were the brawn. Morris, who would be 95 today, would be the first to cross that threshold, followed by John and then Clarence, who were born in 1930 and 1931, respectively. It adds "I am 83 years old and in bad shape. Im 83 years old and in bad shape. They eventually made it out through the ventilator that led them to the prisonroof. Yes we all made it that night but barely! But despite its simple beginnings, the letter is extraordinary because it might shed light on the only successful escape attempt that was ever made from the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay. But the Anglins had another advantage. The Anglin brothers tried several times, unsuccessfully, to escape the grounds. He couldnt get out his cell! Marshals Service has released new, age-progressed images of Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin, the three inmates who escaped Alcatraz maximum security prison. Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin were not in their cells when guards did their routine bed check on the morning of June 12, 1962. But the plot was about to thicken when the FBI received aucasinosonline.com/nz/ something unexpected in the mail. The air vents they expanded conveniently led into a utility corridor, which would prove to be a critical part of the escape. GP appointments crisis laid bare as figures show family doctors are cramming in up to 60 patients per day. While the noise was reported as being heard by the guards, they didnt investigate because it wasnt followed by any other noises. Yes we all made it that night but Frank Lee Morris was one of those prisoners with special skills. John Anglin escaped from Alcatraz Prison in 1962 by making a plaster head of his likeness and putting it in his bed to fool the guards. San Francisco police did not make the letter public despite obtaining it five years ago,according to CBS. Learn about careers at Cox Media Group. A photo of them, supposedly snapped by a family member, exists. "When I first found out about it, I was pretty excited about it," said Widner. When that happened, West had a big problem. But brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris disappeared into the night andhave never been found. Letter possibly from famous Alcatraz escapee says they survived escape and that he lived in North Dakota for eight years.https://t.co/yFVYYmzfNn. They also fashioned wooden paddles. A man claims three Alcatraz prisoners barely survived a 1962 escape and that hes one of them. The original FBI investigation concluded the men drowned after they recovered a lone rain jacket, used as a makeshift life preserver and pieces of a wooden paddle. The men detached the ventilation screens, removed their makeshift wall, and shimmied through the holes into the adjacent corridor. The letter, sent to police in 2013 and recently obtained by local CBS affiliate KPIX, was from a man claiming to be John Anglin. The letter, which was originally sent to a San Francisco police station in 2013, also explained that Frank Morris died in 2008 and Clarence Anglin died in 2011. The convicted bank robbers were never found and their vanishing act has become the stuff of legend, but much debate has been made over whether they could have survived the freezing and rough waters of the San Francisco Bay. John Anglin Reuters Frank Lee Morris Reuters [Alcatraz officials] were not willing to . There have been no confirmed siting of the trio since. On January 17, 1958, the Anglins, along with their older brother Alfred, stormed into Alabama's Bank of Columbia. Theres no doubt in my mind they escaped from prison and lived out their lives.. Merry Christmas." They then used art kits available to prisoners to paint them. Not only was there the Christmas card, but theories abound that the Anglins ended up in Brazil. Aletterallegedlywritten by one of the escapees recentlycame to light. In reality, the four men went to extreme efforts to create dummies that were very convincing. While that decision is not based on any physical evidence, they believe the man was just looking for medical attention. The two brothers began a life of crime at an early age and followed a similar pattern to that of Morris. Inside the Chevy, witnesses claim, were three men. ALSO READ:Oakland Mayor Schaaf Calls New Sanctuary Cities Threat 'Un-American'. Eventually, John and Clarence ended up at Leavenworth, a penitentiary in Kansas, where Clarence attempted to make a break for it by trying to smuggle himself out in two enormous bread boxes; John likely assisted him. My name is John Anglin, the letter, which was provided to KPIX 5 by an unnamed source, began. Yes we all made it that night but barely! Babyak was 15 years old and livingon the island with her familywhen the men broke free. US Marshals, the FBI, and local law enforcement came to their own conclusion: The men drown and never made it to shore. Guards were posted outside and making the rounds as the men hit the ground. The writer tries to make a deal with authorities, saying: "If you announce on TV that I will be promised to just go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. The Anglins were caught and arrested just five days later in Ohio, and all three went to prison. By subscribing to this BDG newsletter, you agree to our. Yes we made it that night but barely!. Until 56 long years later, when the letter made it way to the FBI. In a newly Frustrated officials tried to profile the men involved and determine who may have been chiefly responsible. Legend has it that no one ever successfully escaped the grim, federalisland prison in San Francisco Bay, shuttered in the early 1960s after three decades of service. My name is John Anglin. The fate of three particular inmates, however, remains a mystery to this day Its one mystery wed all like to solve.". Behind bars for robbing a bank, the three prisoners proved that Alcatraz -a federal penitentiary reserved for the "worst of the worst" - was not as "escape proof" as once believed. Police were unable to locate the boat. Now, a handwritten letter is again raising questions about whether the men survived the frigid waters and deadly currents of San Francisco Bay long thought to make any escape impossible. To learn more about this research and Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, watch Secrets of the Dead: The Alcatraz Escape here: PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The agency believed that the men had drowned, according to NewsNation. They shimmied down a smokestack, climbed over a fence and made their way to the northeast shore where they launched a raft made of raincoats, the FBI said. Marshal Michael Dyke told the Today show: Obviously not. In the final moments of their escape, they climbed down a smoke stack, made it over the fence, and then launched the raft from the northeast shore of the island. My brother died in 2011. Marshal Service still keeps the case active and reacts to tips when and where warranted. Im 83 years old and in bad shape. The men grabbed their gear, climbed the bars and pipes in the corridor, and bang! Personally, as someone who swims in the bay, and we have a triathlon that goes on every year, and there's not a single person that doesn't make that swim," he added. It was inconclusive at best, fueling speculation that sparked a 56-year mystery that survives to this day. The mystery of Alcatraz escaped prisoners, How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Workplace, Trump sees 'tremendous increase' in UK-US trade. In 2020, David Widner, a nephew of the Anglin brothers, told Georgia's Albany Herald that his family had been given some photographs by a man named Fred Brizzi. Clues are littered in history, as there is plenty of surviving evidence that suggest what exactly happened on that fateful June morning in 1962 and gives us a glimpse into their ultimate fate. that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. A view of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in the 1930s when it was America's premier maximum-security prison. Relatives were interviewed to determine whether they had been given any outside assistance; a patrol of the waters turned up bits of rubber and wooden paddles, as well as a packet of letters sealed in rubber; one of the homemade life preservers washed ashore on the beach at nearby Fort Cronkhite. Its possible that Brizzi and Widners accounts, sensational as they are, could be accurate. Two prisoners, Mickey Cohen and Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson, were suspected of arranging for a boat to be waiting for the men once they reached the mainland. Additionally, National Park Service Ranger John Cantwell told KPIX 5, The Federal Bureau of Prisons say that they drowned once they got off of Alcatraz and their bodies were swept out to the Pacific Ocean end of story.. "I didn't believe that they made it, but that's wasbecause of what the officers were saying," said authorJolene Babyak. In just under two years time, the Anglins and an accomplice named Frank Morris would put that reputation to the test. Yes we all made it that night but barely!. Pipes were rusted and leaked, walls were eroded from pipes leaking salt water, and seals to vents were eaten away by salt water in the air. Because it was seen as a final destination, prisoners had a little extra motivation to try and escape, despite conditions that made it nearly impossible. So in 1960, prison officials who were wary of their determination to regain freedom decided to send the brothers to the one place in the country that had proven to be completely escape-proof: Alcatraz, a fortified island in San Francisco. Ken and David Widner, the nephews of escapee bank robber John Anglin, have slammed "inhumane" authorities for keeping secret a 2013 letter purporting to be from their uncle. He would be willing to turn himself in if authorities promised him only one year in jail and medical care. Alcatrazs final day operating as a prison was March 21,1963. This is no joke". Yes we all made it that night but barely! the letters writer stated. Instead, dummy heads made of plaster, real human hair and flesh-toned paint were in their place, the FBI said. (Alcatraz itself closed in 1963, not because its reputation as an escape-proof purgatory diminished but because its upkeep became too expensive to sustain.) "My grandmother received roses for several years after the escape.". Brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris did the unthinkable when they squeezed through the vents of the cells and disappeared from what was regarded as the most secure federal prison in the U.S. on June 11, 1962. It says they had gathered more than50 raincoats they converted into makeshift life preservers and a 6x14-footrubber raft, "the seams carefully stitched together and vulcanized by the hot steam pipes in the prison." The authenticity of the correspondence was never proven, and the FBI appeared to keep the letter private until 2018. I have cancer. One of the photos shows two men, one bearded, both wearing sunglasses. I have cancer. The letter, sent to police in 2013 and recently obtained by local CBS affiliate KPIX, was from a man claiming to be John Anglin. Labour leader condemns MPs letter but says decision on whether she will stand for party again must wait Keir Starmer has condemned comments about racism by I have cancer.". Along with Allen West, the men set in motion an escape plan right out of a movie. While serving there, he met the acquaintance of two men named John and Clarence Anglin. The doppelgngers were convincing enough to fool the guards the evening of June 11, 1962. The investigation had been put to bed almost 40 years ago. The Anglins and Morris made it as far as Seattle, he said, before the other men involved betrayed and murdered them. The pipes they climbed to get to the roof should have also provided their way out. January 26, 201800H:40GMT/UTC/ZULU TIME, John Anglin, Frank Anglin, and Frank Morris before their escape, by Kathy DiNuzzo and Biodun Iginla, BBC News, San Francisco. Once there, the easy part was over. The three men are still listed as fugitives, according to the marshals. Said CBS security analyst Jeff Harp, who worked with the FBI for 21 years but did not work on the Anglin/Morris escape, So that means yes, and it means no, so this leaves everything in limbo., Whats more, the U.S. The prison was in desperate need of repairs and renovations, but none ever came. The letter did undergo handwriting analysis. Chief Justice John Roberts has notified Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin that he won't testify at an upcoming hearing on Supreme Court With so few leads to go on, a nationwide manhunt for the Anglins produced nothing in the way of evidence they had made it. Marshals Service, where it is still active. The men were able to get out of their cells, but getting out of the cell block was a different story. And his plan didnt just include finding a way out; it was quite a bit more comprehensive than that. Thats why we consider this particular escape to be the only successful one; 12 of the others resulted in the inmates either being recaptured or killed, and while an additional attempt the one made on Dec. 16, 1937 by Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe ended up with the inmates simply missing, its highly likely that they drowned in the San Francisco Bay, according to Alcatraz History. However, one thing is certain: They initiated a daring escape from a prison deemed inescapable, and filled the pages of history with their brilliant plan and craftsmanship. I'm an astrology expert and it's obvious why Meghan Markle is skipping King Charles' coronation. This week, CBS News obtained a copy of a letter, purportedly from John Anglin, that claims the three men succeeded in their escape. I know of times that they came to America to visit the family. The FBI lab examined the letters handwriting for fingerprints and DNA, but the results were inconclusive, the U.S. Please enter valid email address to continue. Once the saw blades were acquired, it was Morris who put the other men to work. Mr Widner expressed dismay that the letter was not delivered in a timely manner to the family. He had met them in Brazil in 1975, Brizzi said, and later gave the photos to their relatives. . Yes we all made it that night, but barely!". This button displays the currently selected search type. It remained in the hands of the military until 1934 when the Federal Bureau of Prisons acquired it for civilian use. As well, their nephew claimed his father, Robert Anglin, told their sisters that they didnt have to worry about their brothers, that he had been in touch with them and they were okay. There have been many supposed sightings of the men, although many have been discounted. In it, Chief Justice John Roberts says he wont testify before the committee. The U.S. In December 1961, the men began using makeshift toolslike a drill powered by a vacuum cleaner motorto remove the air vents and a portion of the surrounding wall in their cells. Despite the new age-progressed images of the men who would be in their 90s if they are still alive, the marshals have not made any new comments about the case, according to Today.. At the time of the escape, Jolene Babyak was 15 years old living on Alcatraz. say, Maybe [the escapees] did make it, David Widner says. US Federal Government, Wikimedia Commons; Getty Images, Justin Sullivan, Staff, John Anglin. "If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. Unfortunately, cement has the pesky tendency to harden. The distance from Alcatraz to Angel Island is well over a mile, which would make for a difficult trip in the cold current of the San Francisco Bay. My name is John Anglin. The cell-house was large, and when the three men got to the roof, they had a hundred feet to walk. Instead of playing along with the instructions in the note, investigators did not make the announcement, and the notes author may already be gone. / CBS News. After returning to his cell for a good nights sleep, he was immediately seized by authorities and questioned. In it, Anglin claimed that Morris had died in 2008 and his brother in 2011. In 1979, the FBI closed the case on the Anglin brothers and Frank Morris, stating according to the Washington Post, For the 17 years we worked on the case, no credible evidence emerged to suggest the men were still alive, either in the U.S. or overseas but the possibility still remained ever since that they had, in fact, made it out of Alcatraz alive. In 1963, J. Campbell Bruce published Escape from Alcatraz, a history of the prison and those who had attempted to flee it, including Morris and the Anglins. April 25, 2023. Accordingly, he tried to strike a deal: Hed turn himself in if he could be guaranteed a lenient sentence and medical attention. Frank Morris, on the other hand, would later be transferred to Louisiana Federal Penitentiary where he successfully managed to escaped and went on the run for a year. If they did manage to make it, theyd be in need of clothes, food, and other supplies, yet no crimes or strange activity tied to the escape aside from the suspicious stolen Chevy were ever discovered by the FBI. Other supposed evidence, including a photo that allegedly showed the Anglin brothers in Brazil more than a decade after the escape also turned up over the years, adding to the mystery of what happened to the three men. And in the last 55 years, theories about their fate have multiplied as new evidence surfaces. A mysterious letter has come to light purportedly from one of three inmates who famously escaped Alcatraz in 1962. The whole operation seems typical of him.". The term Thick as Thieves certainly applies here, as the three men all shared a passion for early exodus. Eventually he did make it out of his cell, but by the time he reached the corridor and climbed to the roof, his three mates were long gone. Widner remembers a letter they sent home just before the escape. After chipping away a hole long and big enough to squeeze through, the men were able to come and go as they pleased (albeit not very far). ", More:The story of Gary Tison's fateful final escape from those who were there. It reopened as a maximum-security facility on July 1, 1934. In it, Chief Justice John Roberts says he wont testify At Alcatraz, they were reunited with Frank Morris, an inmate whom they had met at another prison and whoin addition to purportedly having a high IQalso had a penchant for escapes: He had broken out of a Louisiana facility where he had been serving time for a bank robbery, and was sent to Alcatraz after he was arrested for burglary in 1960. He, John, said he was 83 and suffering from cancer. The jurys still out on that one. It fell under use of the U.S. military beginning in the 1850s, at which point a fortress and a lighthouse were built on it; however, although it was originally meant as a defensive base, by the latter part of the decade, it had become a military prison. But they were not the only ones who tried to get off The Rock.. "They talked about the grass being greener on the other side," she said. "Handwriting samples of all three escapees, John Anglin, Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris, were compared to the anonymous letter, and the results were deemed inconclusive," O'Keefe said. " The Anglin brothers, similar to Morris, were career criminals who stuck together. Coupled with the fact that the prison was said to be surrounded by shark-infested, 50-degree water and was located 1.25 miles away from the mainland, it was easy to see why Alcatraz had a reputation for being inescapable. The Marshal Service has reviewed the letter,and a statement from Donald O'Keefe, U.S. The FBI closed the case on Dec. 31, 1979, saying there was no credible evidence that Morris and the Anglin brothers were still alive at that time, the Today show reported. The air vents that had been displaced were usually covered with items in their cells, like a suitcase or cardboard. Both subjects in the Brazil photo have short arms. Three months after that, Clarence arrived. A homemade life vest was also discovered washed up on a beach, but extensive searches did not turn up any other items in the area. Please enter valid email address to continue. Another brilliant aspect of their planning was how they masked their absence from their cells. UPDATE:Relative Of Escaped Alcatraz Inmates Speaks Out About Letter. Citing separation of powers concerns, Roberts noted how rare it is for chief justices to testify Originally a Civil War fort because of the islands strategic position in San Francisco Bay, it was converted into a military prison during and after the war. The inmates had another major factor that was on their side. If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. They quietly snuck passed the guards outside of the showers and made their way to shore. "The Federal Bureau of Prisons say that they drowned once they got off ofAlcatrazand their bodies were swept out to the Pacific Ocean -- end of story," said National Park Service Ranger John Cantwell. With West out of the picture, the three men had no choice but to carry on without him. The mastermind had his tools to perform the impossible, and he knew hed need a lot more at their disposal if his plan was going to work. We have no way of knowing but its curious all the same. There, the escapees had the privacy to work on the other major part of their plan: constructing a raft and life preservers. And as if that was not enough, they even figured out the perfect tool for inflating the raft: Morriss own accordion. Curiosity over the fate of the three men has never really abated. The FBI officially closed the case in 1979, saying "no credible evidence emerged to suggest the men were still alive, either in the U.S. or overseas." He was so compelling in fact, that he was later portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the Hollywood classic, Escape from Alcatraz. The men shaved everyday, collected the shaving cream mixed with hair, and then blended it together with toilet paper and soap.
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