It is one of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries. For now at least.
In 1962, brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris vanished from their cells on the prison island Alcatraz, never to be seen again. They widened the vents in their cell using a broken vacuum, and traversed the dangerous waters of the San Francisco Bay on a raft crafted from 50 rain coats. Their bodies were never found, and authorities have long believed they drowned trying to make their escape.
However, a letter has recently surfaced allegedly written by John Anglin, who was serving time at Alcatraz for bank robbery. The letter, which was obtained by a San Francisco news station, states that the three men escaped the choppy waters of the Bay, and went on to live freely for the next five decades.
The letter claims that Morris died in 2005, and his brother Clarence followed three years later. John also a message for all authority figures looking for him writing, “If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. This is no joke…”
Still, authorities believe the three men still perished in the waters back in 1962, and there is nothing in the letter itself that proves its validity. National Park Service Ranger John Cantwell told KPIX 5, “The Federal Bureau of Prisons say that they drowned once they got off of Alcatraz and their bodies were swept out to the Pacific Ocean — end of story.”