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Did they make it off Alcatraz?

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  • Did they make it off Alcatraz?

    A mysterious letter has come to light purportedly from one of three inmates who famously escaped Alcatraz in 1962.

    Someone claiming to be John Anglin wrote to San Francisco police in 2013, but it has only now been made public.

    "My name is John Anglin," reads the letter. "I escape from Alcatraz in June 1962. Yes we all made it that night, but barely!"
    Could be a hoax/scam but can't see what anyone would get out of it.

    We had a similar case here a long time ago James Kelly in Broadmoor for murdering his wife, escaped in 1888. In 1927, a sick man, he turned up demanding to be readmitted. Broadmoor refused to let him in and it took a court case for a judge to rule that he had to be let back in. It sounds as if this might have been a similar case.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42826582
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    ...Did they make it off Alcatraz?...
    That depends on who you want to believe. I've seen a documentary attempting to prove the brothers made it to South America. IMHO it is not entirely convincing.
    Last edited by III Corps; 26 Jan 18, 12:01.

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    • #3
      Stories like this pop up from time to time. Years ago there was a tale of an ancient man wandering around the New Mexico high desert in the late 1920's/early '30s claiming to be Billy the Kid. There are still 'Elvis sightings' here and there as well as the folks who believe that Hitler never bought it in the bunker but went on to lead a happy, carefree life in an expat German colony in Argentina.
      I'm sure that one of these days there will be 'evidence' that D.B Cooper is still alive and is living on a remote Caribbean island in a sumptuous villa attended by nubile maidens who dote upon him.
      Robert Louis Stevenson also perpetuated the "What? He's still ALIVE?" theme with his character Ben Gunn in "Treaure Island"
      As for those three guys who escaped from Alcatraz...
      ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
      IN MARE IN COELO

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      • #4
        Well they certainly looked inside the prison and they weren't there! The best odds are they died in the water.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
          Well they certainly looked inside the prison and they weren't there! The best odds are they died in the water.

          Pruitt
          ^ Agreed, I've always believed that they drowned in San Francisco Bay. Apparently the currents around Alcatraz are very rough and the water temperature so low that you can't last very long in the water. Unless they had someone in a boat waiting for them they didn't make it (and that's very unlikely as from what I understand, the Federal Bureau of Prisons strictly monitored the letters of inmates).

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          • #6
            The latest forensic analysis of that escape demonstrated that the tidal current that night would have carried them out to sea, where they would have perished. The current was so strong that night, in fact, that they could not have prevailed against it had they known where it was taking them.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #7
              I suppose it is remotely possible, but it's more likely they drowned at sea in the attempt. I'd say if they could get ahold of the body of the letter writer it might well be possible to do DNA testing to verify the story. Until then, I'll be a skeptic about it.
              I'd say more than the letter is needed. Show me a body.

              As to it being possible. There is the story of Gerog Gartner who escaped from a New Mexico POW camp in 1945 and managed to evade capture living in the US until he turned himself in in 1985.

              http://articles.latimes.com/1985-09-...mn-7392_1_camp

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              • #8
                There is an interesting, or at least I thought it was, documentary from a few years ago. They explain how they, potentially, made it to shore that night. I have to say it is fairly convincing.

                A friend of the Anglin brothers, Fred Brizzi, said in a tape recording from around 1980ish, that they tied their raft onto the back of a ferry using wire from a spool of wire that had been left on the dock that night. There was a spool of wire left on the dock that night, that disappeared that night, and has never been found or accounted for. After watching the documentary, I think there's at least a better than 50% chance that they made it off.

                Here's a link to the documentary.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wVJipyutmc

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                • #9
                  The water was cold, the current is steady and going out to sea, and they were in a raft assembled for the first time in darkness. They lacked proper clothing, had few opportunities for cardio training, and were paddling with planks.

                  My money is on hypothermia. Unless the raft fell apart, then a combination of that and drowning.

                  They searched the shore for miles: no sign of the raft.
                  Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                  • #10
                    This is so weird because recently I have been watching documentaries about the Alcatraz escape! Then I come on here and there's a thread about it!

                    (work from home, two computers on desk, put youtube stuff on while I'm working, hence me apparently having so much time to spend watching/listening to random programmes).

                    I personally think they did make it. A photo from 1975 has been given the going over by lots of experts and they reckon it's them.

                    Also the latest theory seems to be they didn't row, but hooked their raft to the back of the Ferry boat and were towed, before cutting loose and getting picked up by a waiting boat.

                    "COOMMAAAAAAANNNNDOOOO!!!!!"
                    - Mad Jack Churchill.

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                    • #11
                      If they actually had outside help, that would have vastly increased their odds of success.

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