Did infamous 1962 Alcatraz escapees SURVIVE? FBI admits it reopened cold case in 2013 after receiving a letter 'from one of the three prisoners who sailed to shore on makeshift raft after crawling through pipes'


  • John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris escaped from Alcatraz in 1962
  • The three drilled around the vents in their cells and crawled through the pipes
  • They then used rain coats and inflated life vests and tried to sail for the mainland
  • In 2013, the San Francisco Police Department's Richmond station got a letter
  • The writer claimed to be John Anglin who was living in southern California
  • He made a deal that if they promised him only one year in prison, he would reveal his location
  • An FBI lab examined the letter for fingerprints and DNA, and the handwriting, but results were inconclusive 


  • For years Americans have wondered what happened to the three inmates who made a dangerous escape from the island of Alcatraz in 1962
    Brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris disappeared into the night and have never been found - leading many to believe they drowned.
    But a handwritten letter, reportedly sent to authorities in 2013 but only made public this week, suggests that at least one of the men, John Anglin, may still be alive.

    A handwritten letter, reportedly sent to authorities in 2013 but only made public this week, suggests that at least one of the men who escaped Alcatraz in 1962 is alive (above)

    A handwritten letter, reportedly sent to authorities in 2013 but only made public this week, suggests that at least one of the men who escaped Alcatraz in 1962 is alive (above)

    'My name is John Anglin. I escape[d] from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I'm 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!' the letter begins 

    'My name is John Anglin. I escape[d] from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I'm 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!' the letter begins 

    Brothers Clarence (pictured) and John Anglin and Frank Morris - all bank robbers - escaped from the prison by drilling holes around their ventsBrothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris - all bank robbers - escaped from the prison by drilling holes around their vents (Pictured, from left to right: Clarence Anglin, John William Anglin, and Frank Lee Morris)

    Brothers Clarence (left)and John (right) Anglin and Frank Morris - all bank robbers - escaped from the prison by drilling holes around their vents
    After the prison's last bed check at 9pm, they used a homemade drill made from a broken vacuum cleaner motor to widen the vents in the cells (Pictured, Frank Lee Morris)

    After the prison's last bed check at 9pm, they used a homemade drill made from a broken vacuum cleaner motor to widen the vents in the cells (Pictured, Frank Lee Morris)

    'My name is John Anglin. I escape[d] from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I'm 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!' begins the letter obtained by KPIX. 
    The FBI says this is the most recent piece of evidence that forced the agency to reopen the iconic cold case. The letter was sent to the San Francisco Police Department's Richmond station in 2013. 
    On June 11, 1962, Morris and the Anglin brothers - all bank robbers - made their cunning escape. 

     The trio squeezed through a network of pipes and plumbing and up to the roof Pictured, a prison guard kneels by a hole in Frank Morris's cell through which the men escaped)

     The trio squeezed through a network of pipes and plumbing and up to the roof Pictured, a prison guard kneels by a hole in Frank Morris's cell through which the men escaped)

    They then used an assemblage of rain coats and inflated life vests and tried to sail for the mainland  (Pictured, Alcatraz prison cell)
    They then used an assemblage of rain coats and inflated life vests and tried to sail for the mainland (Pictured, Alcatraz prison cell)

    The next morning, guards found dummy heads made of plaster, papier-mâché, paint and real human hair in their cells (pictured)

    The next morning, guards found dummy heads made of plaster, papier-mâché, paint and real human hair in their cells (pictured)

    After the prison's last bed check at 9pm, they used a homemade drill made from a broken vacuum cleaner motor to widen the vents in the cells 
    The trio squeezed through a network of pipes and plumbing and up to the roof. They used an assemblage of rain coats and inflated life vests in their attempt to sail for the mainland.

    The next morning, guards found dummy heads made of plaster, papier-mâché, paint and real human hair in their cells.
    The escape was made into a movie in 1979 film titled 'Escape from Alcatraz' starring Clint Eastwood as Frank, Jack Thibeau as Clarence and Fred Ward as John. 
    The US Marshals, which is the sole agency investigating the case today, says the FBI lab examined the letter for fingerprints and DNA, and the handwriting. Results were inconclusive.

    The writer makes a deal: '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. This is no joke…'
    The writer makes a deal: '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. This is no joke…'
    The US Marshals, which is the sole agency investigating the case today, says the FBI lab examined the letter for fingerprints and DNA, and the handwriting. Results were inconclusive (Pictured, Alcatraz seen from above in 2015)
    The US Marshals, which is the sole agency investigating the case today, says the FBI lab examined the letter for fingerprints and DNA, and the handwriting. Results were inconclusive (Pictured, Alcatraz seen from above in 2015)
    'So that means yes, and it means no, so this leaves everything in limbo,' said KPIX 5 Security Analyst Jeff Harp.
    The writer of the letter says he spent many years after his escape from Alcatraz living in Seattle. He also mentions that he lived in North Dakota for eight years, and currently lives in Southern California.
    According to the letter, Frank died in 2008 and John's brother died three years later.

    The escape was made into a movie in 1979 film titled 'Escape from Alcatraz' starring Clint Eastwood as Frank (pictured), Jack Thibeau as Clarence and Fred Ward as John
    The escape was made into a movie in 1979 film titled 'Escape from Alcatraz' starring Clint Eastwood as Frank (pictured), Jack Thibeau as Clarence and Fred Ward as John

    The film implied that the escape had been successful. Alcatraz was closed shortly after the true events on which the film was based (Pictured, Eastwood as Frank Morris)
    The film implied that the escape had been successful. Alcatraz was closed shortly after the true events on which the film was based (Pictured, Eastwood as Frank Morris)
    The writer makes a deal: '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. This is no joke…'
    In a statement to KPIX 5, the US Marshals Service wrote: 'There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and became completely law abiding citizens after this escape.'
    The Anglin brothers began robbing banks with their other brother, Alfred Ray Anglin, and found themselves on Alcatraz after failed escapes from the Atlanta Penitentiary. 
    The FBI maintained the brothers drowned in their escape, but the Anglin family insist they survived, stayed in contact with some of them, and possibly settled in Brazil.  
    'I think Alcatraz was a life change for them. I mean this prison was the last stop for any prisoner. After they left, it was a never-come-back trip,' said the Anglins' nephew, Ken Widner.

    The FBI maintained the brothers drowned in their escape, but the Anglin family insist they survived, stayed in contact with some of them, and possibly settled in Brazil (Pictured, press Photo from the Alcatraz escape, June 1962)
    The FBI maintained the brothers drowned in their escape, but the Anglin family insist they survived, stayed in contact with some of them, and possibly settled in Brazil (Pictured, press Photo from the Alcatraz escape, June 1962)
    The US Marshals Service, however, said: 'There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and became completely law abiding citizens after this escape' (Pictured, tools and other items used during the Alcatraz escape)
    The US Marshals Service, however, said: 'There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and became completely law abiding citizens after this escape' (Pictured, tools and other items used during the Alcatraz escape)
    'They knew if they were caught that it would be the end of the road for them. So, in some ways Alcatraz saved them and put them on a new road of life. 
    The family have previously produced letters and other written material they say are from the brothers over the decades, however they kept these a closely guarded secret until recent years to avoid the possibility of the brother's recapture.
    The US Marshals Service, which is responsible for hunting down escaped fugitives, maintains an active file on all three me

    No comments:

    Powered by Blogger.