Saturday, June 16, 2012

50th Anniversary of fabled escape of Alcatraz

My first time going to Alcatraz was in 1998, as a chaperone for my son’s class field trip. We boarded a bus headed for San Francisco and caught a ferry to Alcatraz Island. I remember how excited the kids were, this was the biggest field trip of the year.
Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco is commemorating 50 years of the fable escape of three prisoners in 1962. The three men who escaped from Alcatraz were, two brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris. All three men were serving time for bank robbery. It was supposed to be a fourth man, but he had technical problems and had to pull out. That is how authorities found out about how they escaped. The men hatched a plan to dig their way out. Using spoons and forks to dig holes in the crumbling brick walls, surrounding the air vents in their cells. Creating a crawl space, they pierced the six-and-a-half-inch thick walls until they reached a utility corner. They created mannequin heads out of paper, paint and hair they stole from the prison barber shop. They made rafts out of raincoats they stole. The night of the getaway they left the heads in the beds. They were able to shimmy out through a roof vent, to get an 8 hour head start before the authorities knew of the escape.

Authorities still have arrest warrants out for the three men, believing their still alive. No bodies were found in the ice cold water. These three men showed real ingenuity to come up with such an elaborate plan. If their still alive they would be in their late 70s or early 80s. These three men were the only ones to successfully escape from Alcatraz. I don’t think they are still alive if they are they should be arrested.

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