Escaping from “The Rock?”

My first post for the semester involves a decades-long mystery surrounding “The Rock” or Alcatraz as most Americans know it. A new wrinkle has emerged in one of the most talked about escapes in US prison history. This one, as have all the other stories about these 3 escapees, is rather interesting. Watch the VIDEO and read the STORY and give me your thoughts. Think it’s real or another round of fiction?

17 responses to “Escaping from “The Rock?””

  1. Kazmarae Tyson says:

    I found the video and article interesting since I have never heard of this big escape. The letter allegedly written by one of the brothers, John Anglin, I believe could be real. I say this because he talks about being sick with cancer and needing medical treatment, he obviously could not go to a hospital to get help because he would be noticed right away. Also, with his brothers death he probably is alone and does not know what is next for him. The FBI lab examined the letter for fingerprints and DNA, and compared his handwriting to a request he made back when he was imprisoned. The results proved nothing, but that still could mean something.

  2. Bryce Minor says:

    I’ve watched a documentary on this story before, and with no bodies being found anywhere nearby I do think that they escaped. With the FBI showing no proof of the bodies, and just saying they were swept into the ocean is highly unbelievable. Those three men could have easily swam to shore, just as in the video they stated, “There wasn’t a single swimmer that hasn’t made it during the triathlon.” With that being said, if everyone else could make that swim why couldn’t three men with their lives on the line not make the swim. Also with the Marshal’s saying that these men couldn’t change from what they did is foolish. Actions that someone made after time in Alcatraz can really awaken someone into becoming a law abiding citizen especially with the threat of having to go back, or worse.

  3. Heejung Moon says:

    The great escape of three inmates is still a mystery for U.S citizens and people all around the world. In my opinion, the recently received letter from John Anglin is just another story made up by someone. I honestly think that there is a possibility that three inmates have managed to escape from Alcatraz many years ago. However, the age on the letter for John is not accurate and I believe that there is no reason for him to reach out for a law enforcement, rather than his living family. In the letter it says he will accept the one year of jail time if he gets medical treatment. Yes, he could be in a harsh condition that needs some form of help, even though he has to pay a price for it, it sounds irrational. After all these years of running away and hiding (IF they made it out), why would you do such thing now?

  4. Trish Sorenson says:

    This is a very interesting story to come into recent light. I think this letter is a complete hoax and is not from the actual John Anglin. There is no proof of this letter being sent by John Anglin. Nor is there any evidence that any of them made the escape out alive. Although, if this is the actual John Anglin all this letter suggests is a cry for help. I do not think that the FBI would allow for this escapee to get what he wants. The FBI is smarter than that. However, if it ends up being John Anglin, the press is going to have a field day with the news.

  5. Jonathan MacMartin says:

    This escape from Alcatraz is unique because they were never able to prove whether the men truly made it out alive or not. After reading about the background of these three inmates I think it is very possible that they escaped from “The Rock”. Both John and Clarence Anglin were born in Michigan and were known to have swam quite well in cold water. Frank Morris was also reported to have been incredibly smart. In a plan like this, intelligence would have been paramount. If anyone could have pulled it off it would have been these three men.
    As for the validity of the letter, I am unsure whether it is real or not. Just like everything else in this case the legitimacy of the letter is uncertain even to the authorities. It is certainly possible that John Anglin wrote that confession, but it seems like a bit of a stretch.

  6. Rachel Ellis says:

    I think that it is definitely a round of fiction or something just to stir up the community. I do not think the letter was sent by John Anglin himself and that it was forge by someone so that the it can be brought back to light. There is no evidence that even leads to be considered that it was from him. Since I have never actually heard of this story it makes me think of the show Prison Break. It seems as the guys in that show has done the same thing these 3 did to escape. I think that even though they have not found them I wonder what actually happened to them.

  7. Brittany VanBoxtel says:

    I thought that the read and video clip was interesting because I have never heard about this case. I actually found it very interesting on how they escaped. They made a drill by using broken pieces of a vacuum cleaners motor to drill through the concrete behind a vent in their cells. The inmates clearly planned this escape for awhile to make it successful. The took into account every detail in the escape. I do not think that Frank or one of the 3 wrote the letter. I think that if they made it this long without contacting anyone about their whereabouts then they would want to continue doing so for the short remaining years of their lives. Someone probably sent this letter in as a joke to get attention from the media and the public. They some how made ends meet for as long as they could so I don’t get why would they want to contact the media when they are already very old and knowing they will go back to prison if they tell them where they are

  8. Kaleigh Cleaveland says:

    I haven’t heard of this specific story before, but these “vanished” mysteries are interesting to me. This case in specific is interesting because three people got away from one of the worst prisons to be taken to – that says something both about the escapees and the prison system itself. While this did occur in 1962, I wondered how they were able to drill a hole in the ground within their cell. Referring to the letter sent recently, I don’t believe that John Anglin himself wrote it, but that he may have had someone else write it – this would add to the suspicion that someone out there knows where he is, still alive.

  9. This story is nothing short of a mystery. There is no conclusive evidence to support their death at sea or great escape. It was stated that all swimmers in the triathlon made the swim, so there is a possibility that they were able to make it across. However, if they did make it to land, they would have most likely obtained a different identity and never stayed in one place for too long.

    This letter could be John Anglin finally reaching out, but it is highly unlikely. There have been many cases of false confessions and they are usually made either voluntary or as a result of coercion. For example, how many people “confessed” to the Black Dahlia or Zodiac murders? Often times people become so immersed in these high-profile cases that they began to think that they had committed them or simply give a false confession for the “fame”.

    In this case, I believe that this individual is seeking the fame and medical attention for his cancer. If the writer of this letter could provide specific details about this time at Alcatraz that could be matched to information in his file, then it might be more believable that it is John Anglin.

  10. Hali Nichols says:

    I found this article really interesting because it shed light on one of the most famous prison escapes in our country. I think it is possible that the three men survived their escape. It was just easier, at least at the time period, for the bureau to claim that the men died and their bodies were lost in the ocean. They had a raft and could have made it the shore and lived a life in hiding. As for the letter, I do not believe it was actually written by John. Anyone could have wrote the letter for attention and made up the life details. It would be really cool if John had written the letter and would be willing to release information on how they survived the escape.

  11. Gracie Blechl says:

    I think the letter was forged by someone other than John. Someone who was fascinated by the case and wanted the resolve of knowing what happened to the three brothers or where they are now. This person probably knew the case very well in order to match the handwriting of the real John Anglin and details of their ages now. The reason I don’t think it’s the real John that escaped Alcatraz prison was because he might’ve expressed remorse when he wrote it, and the “this is no joke” implies that he would be seeking attention. If it was the real John he would want people to think he’s telling the truth, it just seems forced too much. Just like Jolene Babyak said, there’s no real evidence in the letter. The person who made this will probably let themselves known to the U.S. in order to get television time and attention, but if it is the real John Anglin I’m interested to hear what he has to say to the authorities.

  12. Gina Gorman says:

    I caught bits and pieces of another documentary on BBC a few months ago except it was about the families of the brothers and if I remember correctly they also had some letters and pictures that were sent to their grandmother. This is all very interesting and I don’t believe it is fiction. I think anyone with enough intelligence to develop such an elaborate escape plan also possesses enough determination to make it to shore and live undetected in the U.S. for 56 years. The article states that they wouldn’t be capable of being law-abiding citizens and I disagree with that. I feel that there are many ways people can reform and maybe for these three men all it took was being incarcerated in a federal prison that housed the worst of the worst criminals , surviving such a great escape, and the fear of going back. When your running for your life, nearly everything is possible.

  13. Zachary Jahnke says:

    I enjoyed watching the short news story of the three men who broke out. I found it very interesting and really intriguing. I lean towards the belief that the three men did escape, it would be possible that the wave current was possibly pushing them towards land. I also believe that the police would lie and say that the criminals did die and hand no chance of survival. The reason behind this would to give the people in San Francisco peace of mind and not have to worry about three convicts running around in their city.

  14. Cherish Haynes says:

    This was my very first time hearing about the Alcatraz prison and about the three brothers who escapes. Its very interesting how they created a whole escape plan to break out jail and their bodies actually fitted through those vents. I honestly don’t believe any of this is fiction and that the letters that has been sent to the U.S. Marshals is real. The article stated that there is “absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and became completely law abiding citizen.”Anybody who escapes prison and is successful will live in the U.S. with a different identity and continue on with their lives. I think thats a mystery that will never unfold, if it hasn’t unfolded after all of these years. I agree with the article that someone in their family or their significant other knew about their escape plan. The piece of evidence that John Anglin wrote about their night of the escape and how they barely made, is a real piece of evidence to me. Im pretty sure they barely made it escaping prison and trying to cross the San Franciscan river with strong current, without drowning. I believe that Karma has played a role in John life and also the other two brothers life because they committed a crime and didn’t do the time basically. They probably didn’t live that life they were expecting to live after prison. I think the case should just remain close.

  15. Brandon Shayhorn says:

    I found this very very intresting seeing as I have recently read an article that tells about the one brother sending a letter to the US Marshall’s stating he is still alive and made it out of Alcatraz and is still living I do believe that he made it out and is alive and that is so intresting to me. Also I have looked into this story and knew how they escaped but it is still very intresting to see it again.

  16. Maddie Vavrik says:

    The first thing I thought of when I both read the article and watched the video was the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Although there are a couple of differences, the biggest being one was a movie and one was not, it’s so hard to believe that such a well thought out escape route was planned and successful. An interesting part of this whole story is that the officers said that they found the bodies of the prisoners who had escaped washed up on shore even when that was not the case. Did they do this because they didn’t want people to realize that they had escaped and had not done their jobs right? Another thing that came to mind was that this could be a sole reason as to why prisons are so tough on what the prisoners have access to. In this escape plan, plain everyday objects were used to aid in their great escape, objects that one would’ve never thought possible to escape with. It’s amazing how they figured to use everything, but I feel like this contributes to why prisoners cannot have access to certain items.

  17. Justin Hansen says:

    This is one of the first articles and videos i’ve researched on the Alcatraz topic so I personally don’t know much about it. This article however did spark my curiosity on the topic and I plan on diving deeper in sometime in the near future. My thoughts on the leader though? I don’t believe it was written by John Anglin. I think if they lived in the U.S. after their daring escape they’d potentially run into a lot of trouble with authorities by background checks and being recognized. I think they had to of fled the country, at least for several years after such a high risk situation. Then again not to contradict myself, I’m not sure what technology we had in the 60s to do background checks and such. All and all I still believe the letter at hand is a phony, but we won’t know for sure unless we give into the demands of “John” which quite honestly at this point are minimal given the time he has left.

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