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Photos: On this day – June 11, 1962 – escape from Alcatraz

Posted Jun 11, 2013

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On this day – June 11, 1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.

In September 1961 Morris, Allen West, and the Anglin brothers were planning an escape attempt, which they carried out on the night of June 11, 1962. They fabricated dummy heads from a mixture of soap, toilet paper and real hair, and left them in their beds to fool prison officers making night-time inspections. They escaped from their cells by crawling through holes in the cell walls which they had dug with spoons over a year’s time. This put them into an unused service corridor. West could not make it out of his cell and was left behind.

From the service corridor they climbed a ventilation shaft to reach the roof. The trio then climbed down from the rooftop, scaled the prison’s fence and assembled a raft from the prison’s standard-issue raincoats and contact cement. They pumped up the raft on the northeastern coast of the island. At around 10 p.m. they climbed aboard, shoved off, and started paddling.

West was the only one of the four conspirators who did not participate in the actual escape, as he had not gone through his hole before and only had left a little piece that he could simply punch through only to find out that there was a metal bar there. The others decided to leave him and took the life raft with them. With no means of leaving the island, West had no choice but to remain in his cell until the escape was discovered the next morning. After the escape was discovered he gave several interviews to the FBI and prison authorities, during which he provided full details of the escape plan, possibly as part of a plea bargaining strategy. West was never charged for trying to escape from Alcatraz. (AP, Wikipedia)

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