Monday, June 11, 1962: Escape from Alcatraz

From a June 13 story by United Press International:

Air, sea and ground patrols searched the San Francisco bay area today for three escape artists bidding for the first successful break from Alcatraz prison.
The missing convicts were John William Anglin, 32, and his brother, Clarence, 31, both of Montgomery, Ala., and Frank Lee Morris, 35, New Orleans.
All three are convicted bank robbers who were sent to the island prison for escape attempts from other penal institutions. The yellowed "rock" in San Francisco Bay, considered on the world's most nearly escape-proof institutions, became a federal prison in 1934 for the nation's toughest convicts.
The Anglin brothers and Morris were last seen at 9:30 Monday night and were missed at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday when prisoners were lined up outside their cells to go to breakfast. The brothers had adjoining cells, and Morris was four cells away.
The men left dummies in their beds with plaster-like faces which had been painted and topped with hair. The "bodies," under blankets, were of blankets and pillows.
Warden Olin D. Blackwell, called back to the prison from a vacation fishing trip, said the men removed the metal mesh from the eight by 12-inch ventilation openings and used sharpened kitchen spoons to enlarge the holes in the concrete wall.
They squeezed through the holes into a vertical utility pipe tunnel, climbed 30 feet to the top of the building, pried apart bars to escape through an exhaust duct, crossed the top of the building and climbed 40 feet down a kitchen vent pipe to the ground. They also had to climba a 12-foot wire fence to reach the bay.
Photo from history.com.

* Newsreel: @
* From www.alcatrazhistory.com: @
* FBI summary (2007): @
* Documents from www.fbi.gov: @
* NPR report (2009): @ and @
* Alcatraz entry from Federal Bureau of Prisons: @

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