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 Alcatraz Escape FBI Files

ALCATRAZ ESCAPE FBI FILES

1757 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., covering the June 12, 1962 escape from Alcatraz.

Thirty-six prisoners were involved in various attempts to escape Alcatraz: 7 shot and killed, 2 drowned, 5 unaccounted for, the rest recaptured. 2 prisoners made it off the island but were returned, one, in 1945 (Giles) and one in 1962 (Scott).

Made famous by Clint Eastwood in the movie "Escape from Alcatraz," On the morning of June 12, 1962, guards at Alcatraz Prison discovered dummy faces in the bunks of Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin. A fourth man, Allen West, believed by some people to have been the mastermind, was also involved; however, he was still in his cell the next morning when the escape was discovered.

An investigation revealed an intricate escape plot that involved homemade drills to enlarge vent holes, false wall segments, and realistic dummy heads (complete with human hair) placed in the beds so the inmates would not be missed during nighttime counts. The three men exited through vent holes located in the rear wall of their cell, they had enlarged the vent holes and made false vent/wall segments to conceal their work. Behind the rear wall of the cells is a utility corridor that had locked steel doors at either end. The three men climbed the utility pipes to the top of the cellblock, and gained access to the roof through an air vent (the men had previously bent the iron bars that blocked the air vent). They then climbed down a drainpipe on the northern end of the cellhouse and made their way to the water. It is believed they left from the northeast side of the island near the powerhouse/quartermaster building.

They used prison-issued raincoats to make crude life vests and a pontoon-type raft to assist in their swim. A cellhouse search turned up the drills, heads, wall segments, and other tools, while the water search found two life vests (one in the bay, the other outside the Golden Gate), oars, and letters and photographs belonging to the Anglins that had been carefully wrapped to be watertight. But no sign of the men was found. Several weeks later a man's body dressed in blue clothing similar to the prison uniform was found a short distance up the coast from San Francisco, but the body was too badly deteriorated to be identified.

Files show FBI investigation until 1980. Morris and the Anglins are  officially listed as missing and presumed drowned
.

alcatraz