Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Escape From Alcatraz

Alcatraz.  The island prison located in San Francisco Bay, that was deemed escape proof.  The Rock was a mile away from land and it would be thought of as reachable by swimming.   Until you saw the very strong and treacherous currents that could tire out any swimmer and drag them under.  Could a powerful swimmer overcome these currents?  There were in total, fourteen escape attempts by thirty six convicts.  Guards had shot six of them, two had drowned, five were listed as missing, and were pronounced drowned, and the rest were captured.  But of the five "missing" three were Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin.  A film was made about this incident starring a certain Mr Eastwood, and Patrick McGoohan as the Warden.

    The plan was put into operation in June 1962, with them climbing through holes they had made in their cells over a period of months, using old sharpened spoons, blades and anything else that chipped away the stone.  They had placed paper-mache heads that had real hair on them, courtesy of the barber shop, on their bunks, and put towels under the blankets to replicate their bodies.  The trio had made a makeshift raft out of dozens of stolen raincoats.  But after they escaped, there was no sign of them ever again.  Until recently.  There is the claim that the brothers managed to escape and made it to Brazil, and a photograph has emerged allegedly depicting them.  The man responsible for the photo was criminal Fred Brizzi, who claimed he met the brothers in Brazil and snapped the picture in 1975.  He said that they had managed to reach a ferry in mid-bay and attached a very long piece of stolen cord they had with them, to the ferry rudder and were pulled along until they met up with a boat waiting for them.

    Is it the brothers?  Family members presented postcards with their writing on, postmarked after the escape.  Cynics would point out that the two men in the photo were wearing sunglasses, and cannot be clearly identified.  The story by Brizzi is that he was asked to give the photo to their family, but was strangely, unable to, for seventeen years.  It could also be made that a criminal would say anything to "stick it to the feds" and is any villain a reliable witness?  There was no mention of Frank Morris, or what became of him.  But it is possible that a successful break was made from The Rock in 1962.  The prison ran from 1934 until 1963.  The most famous inmate was Big Al - Capone, that is.  Anybody out there with their theories?