SF remembers famed Alcatraz escape

June 11, 2012 8:59:36 PM PDT
Fifty years ago Monday, three men escaped from Alcatraz -- it continues to be one of San Francisco's great mysteries.

Inmates Clarence and John Anglin and Frank Morris broke out of the prison on Alcatraz Island and floated away to freedom.

The brothers had been convicted of a bank robbery. But after they broke out of a couple of other prisons, they wound up in Alcatraz.

It was an elaborate plan more than a year in the making. They used spoons to enlarge the ventilation holes in their cell walls and created lifelike dummy heads to make it look like they were in bed. They climbed to the roof and slipped into the cold bay waters on a makeshift raft of raincoats and life preserves.

It is the kind of stuff of almost mythical lore which was the basis for Clint Eastwood's movie "Escape From Alcatraz."

Did they survive? A single U.S. Marshal still looks for them. If they are still alive, they would be in their 80s. The marshal says he would congratulate them on their success and then arrest them.


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