Lore and legend surround the prison known as Alcatraz. Movies have been made about it, nightmarish stories are told of what life was once like within the grim walls, and Al Capone even died of syphilis there. Even with all of that being true, the news today will bring even more lore to the historic criminal institution.
That is because, as Yahoo News confirms, a mysterious “letter sent to the San Francisco Police Department in 2013 by a man who claimed to have escaped from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was just obtained by” KPIX News. Prisoners John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris, three notorious legends who managed to escape from the compound in 1962, once again have their names in the paper after all of these years and with an astounding bargain to boot.
The trio made their break by scaling down venting shafts which were located behind their cells. They even managed to craft a “makeshift raft” of our raincoats after somehow getting permission to put up tarps which hid their designs. Homemade paddles were used for rowing and the rest is history.
When the sun rose after the break, guards found only fake heads “crafted out of plaster, paper mache, paint and real human hair tucked into their beds.” The inmates were long gone.
It was thought that the men had drowned while trying to make their getaway, but family members have claimed otherwise. From time to time, the men are even said to still cautiously contact loved ones!
In 2013, authorities heard from one of the gangs themselves. It is known that John Anglin sent a letter “to police officers in San Francisco, claiming that he was still alive and in need of medical treatment.” This was fifty-one years after their legendary vanishing act.
“My name is John Anglin. I escape (sic) from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris,” says the letter. “I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely.”
Anglin claims that Morris passed away in 2008 and that Clarence died only three years later.
From there, the getaway master makes an offer to police. “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,” Anglin wrote. “This is no joke.”
Fingerprints, DNA, and other tactics were used by the F.B.I. to detect if the letter was authentic, but all tests proved “inconclusive.”
Even if the letter was really from the escaped thief, there is very little likelihood that the law would ever offer such an olive branch to the man. “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,” said the U.S. Marshals Service in a statement to KPIX.
This sounds to many like the authorities not wanting to admit that a few got away more than their genuine belief. This is particularly evident in light of the fact that family members have told a vastly different story.
Just the same, if the elderly Anglin was that sick in 2013, it can not be imagined that he is still alive. Then again, many counted him down before and that seems to have been a HUGE mistake, so who knows?