The Story of Al Capone TV - Mobsters: Mickey Cohen TV - Mysteryquest: Devil’s Island TV - Unsolved Mysteries TV - Unexplained Mysteries TV - Great Crimes & Trials TV - Escape From Alcatraz: True Story TV - Alcatraz Breakout: New Evidence TV - Codes and Conspiracies: Alcatraz TV - Alcatraz: Defying the Rock TV - Secrets of the Underground TV - America’s Greatest Prison Breaks TV - Mysteries of the Missing TV - Alcatraz Escape: The Lost Evidence TV - Conspiracies Decoded TV - Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman TV -
In 1934 he [Capone] was transferred to the dreaded escape-proof Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. This spelled the end of the line for the king of the crooks. The Story of Al Capone
The Feds sent him away again: for tax evasion. This time he was sent to Alcatraz. Mobsters: Mickey Cohen, Biography 2008
But one prisoner can’t move. He’s dead with unexplained marks around his neck. Something killed this man inside America’s most secure prison: Alcatraz. This barren windswept island in San Francisco Bay was home to America’s first maximum security prison. And its reputation lives on. Mysteryquest: Devil’s Island, History 2009
Sixty-four men are said to have died either behind these bars or trying to escape them. ibid.
In 1962 three inmates, Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin decided to test its reputation. Suddenly the largest manhunt in thirty years was underway. ibid.
Of the thirty-six prisoners who risked their lives to get off the island, twenty-three were quickly recaptured, six were gunned down by guards before they reached the water, two were drowned and their bodies were recovered, while two others are listed as missing and presumed drowned. ibid.
On 11th June 1962 Morris and the Anglins slipped through their cell walls and began climbing up a utility shaft. They crossed the roof and shimmied down a drainpipe to reach the ground. ibid.
The dummies were made from soap, concrete powder and stolen paint. One of the Anglins worked in the barber shop and he swiped some hair to paste on the dummies’ heads for an extra touch of realism. For the next eight months Morris and the Anglin bothers left their cells at night to drill out the ventilation shaft and to collect the items they needed for their escape. Unsolved Mysteries
Now the escapees had to figure out how to quietly inflate their huge raft. Frank Morris came up with an ingenious idea. He had received a small accordion or concertina for use during the daily music hour. ibid.
Then remnants of the escapees’ raft began to surface. And so too did a controversy on whether or not the men survived. ibid.
In 1963 the prison was shut down, but some say the spirits of the men who enduring the brutality of the Rock are still here. Unexplained Mysteries
Alcatraz held a total of 1,576 prisoners from 1934 to 1963. ibid.
He [Al Capone] was put to work cleaning up the bathhouse, and became known as the Wop with the Mop. He was disliked by the other prisoners, and in June 1935 bank robber Jim Lucas crept up behind him and stabbed him with scissors. He spent a week in hospital. Great Crimes & Trials: Alcatraz
But nobody ever saw either Ralph Roe or Ted Cole again. They were written off as drowning in the turbulent freezing current-twisted waters in the Bay. ibid.
In 1946 came the celebrated Battle of the Rock. ibid.
Perhaps the only escape attempt to succeed came in June 1962. Three bank robbers gauged out their cell ventilators to make holes large enough to climb through. The authorities said they used spoons stolen from the mess hall as tools. Frank Morris and the bothers John and Clarence Anglin had prepared thoroughly. Morris was the mastermind. ibid.
On a clear, cool night in the summer of 1962 three prisoners did make it off the island. And then vanished without trace. The escape had taken months of detailed planning and preparation. Escape From Alcatraz: True Story
West cast himself as the brains behind the plot. ibid.
They opened up a workshop on top of the cell-block where they began to make fake heads. ibid.
The prisoners had collected over fifty raincoats. ibid.
Almost three kilometres away and directly in their line of sight on a clear, moonlit evening was the deserted shoreline of Angel Island. ibid.
These winds might have been strong enough to counteract the tidal effects. ibid.
Six months later during a stormy night in December 1962 two inmates broke out of the cell-house. ibid.
In all likelihood Morris and the Anglin brothers succumbed to hypothermia. ibid.
It was a perfect plan. On the night of 11th June 1962 three prisoners broke out of Alcatraz. They made it to the shore of San Francisco Bay and into a cold and treacherous sea. Almost every detail of the epic escape was uncovered, but half a century on one intriguing question remains: did they drown in the notorious dark waters of San Francisco Bay or did they make it out alive? Alcatraz Breakout: New Evidence, National Geographic 2012
At the allotted time the dummy heads were put in place and the three escapees said goodnight to Alcatraz. ibid.
More than fifty rubber raincoats to make the inflatable raft. ibid.
They were never seen again. ibid.
West couldn’t break through his cell in time to join the others. ibid.
The makeshift inflatable raft was never found. No cars were reported stolen. ibid.
Could they have kept clean after breaking the Rock? ibid.
The fugitives may have beaten the odds after all. ibid.
Officials claimed a raft was never found; just a day after the escape an FBI record indicated clearly that a raft was recovered from Angel Island. ibid.
Footprints were spotted leading away from the raft. ibid.
The day after the escape police departments in the Bay area were on the lookout for a stolen car. According to the government memo a driver was forced off the road by three men in a blue Chevy. ibid.
The Anglin brothers – they reportedly went to a family funeral dressed as women. ibid.
The three escapees survived the journey across the Bay. ibid.
Alcatraz, the world’s most notorious prison. Built to incarcerate America’s most dangerous men. An inescapable fortress, or so they thought. Now, inmates and guards reveal the secrets behind the Rock’s most infamous escape. Codes and Conspiracies: Alcatraz, Discovery 2014
The prison suffered from 14 attempted escapes involving 36 inmates. And of these attempts one may have been successful. ibid.
June 11th 1962: three inmates break out slipping into the Bay on a makeshift raft. They are never seen again. ibid.
The Hole – one of six dark cells on the lower level. ibid.
Worse than the hole – wrongdoers were sent to the dungeon. ibid.
America’s toughest prison and the nation’s most dangerous criminals. The prisoners and the prison pitted against each other. Alcatraz: Defying the Rock, PBS 2014
Over time salt rusted the pipes releasing water into the concrete. ibid.
36 men tried to escape in 14 documented attempts. Did any of them reach freedom? 23 were caught, 6 were shot and killed, 2 drowned, but 5 are still listed as missing, presumed dead. ibid.
In 1969 nearly one hundred Native American activists seize Alcatraz ... They hold the island for nearly two years. ibid.
Deep beneath America’s most notorious prison a recent discovery is revealing old rumours of secret tunnel systems. Secrets of the Underground s1e1, Discovery 2017
Over the decades there were at least fourteen separate escape attempts by at least 36 different inmates. ibid.
Alcatraz Prison 11th June 1962: at 9.37 pm prisoners Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin slip through holes in the 6 x 9 inch vents they’ve been chiselling out and widening for months. America’s Greatest Prison Breaks, History 2017
It’s one of America’s greatest mysteries. What happened to the men who escaped from Alcatraz? Mysteries of the Missing s1e7: The Men Who Beat Alcatraz, Discovery 2018
Against the odds, three men escape from the most secure prison in America: Alcatraz … Did the world’s most wanted men escape to a new life? ibid.
80 coconuts and GPS floats were launched off Alcatraz Island; over 90% were carried into the safety of the shore. ibid.