One of the most notorious prison escapes in history unfolded on Alcatraz Island on the night of June 11, 1962. Frank Morris, and brothers John and Clarence Anglin, allegedly became the only prisoners to escape from what was then considered the country’s most secure prison.
Alcatraz, located in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay, was famously known for its stringent security and isolation, housing some of America’s most dangerous criminals. However, this reputation was challenged when Morris, a criminal mastermind with a high IQ, and the Anglin brothers, seasoned bank robbers, conceived a daring plan to escape.
Over several months, using crude tools fashioned from stolen spoons and a drill made from a vacuum cleaner motor, they painstakingly excavated ventilation duct openings in their cells, leading to an unguarded utility corridor. They concealed their progress with cardboard and paint.
On the night of the escape, they left papier-mâché dummies with real hair in their beds to fool the guards and climbed through the vents. They then scaled a ventilation shaft to the roof, descended a drainpipe, climbed over a barbed-wire fence, and were thought to have fled on a makeshift raft made of raincoats.
Their escape was not noticed until the next morning due to their deceptive tactics. Despite an extensive manhunt and ongoing investigations by the FBI, the escapees were never conclusively found. In 1979, the men were officially declared dead, drowned in the cold waters of the bay, though some believe they may have survived.
Recently, compelling evidence has surfaced that suggested that the escapees actually tied themselves to a ferry with an electrical cable, bodysurfed to a boat waiting for them, and later fled to Brazil. In addition to a witness who saw a boat that night near Alcatraz, a former associate of the escapees claims to have met them in the South American country, and provided an alleged photograph of two escapees to back up his claim. Criminal forensics and artificial intelligence facial recognition established a high likelihood that the two men in the photo are actually the escapees.
The audacious escape has inspired books, documentaries, and the classic film “Escape from Alcatraz,” becoming a lasting symbol of cunning and determination against overwhelming odds.