Alcatraz prison was thought to be the one place that no one could ever escape from. So when three men did escape, the whole world had questions, wondering if the prisoners ever made it to land. More than 50 years later, that question may have been answered after the FBI received a letter allegedly from a man claiming to be one of the escaped prisoners.
Brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris all escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962. The trio, who were all bank robbers, dug tunnels to escape from their cells.
They made paper-mâché heads and placed them in their beds in order to buy themselves more time before anyone would realize that they were missing. The men traverse the prison via a network of pipes.
According to the Daily Mail, they used raincoats and an inflatable life vest to sail from the island to the mainland. A large-scale search soon ensued but there was no evidence that the men had survived.
The case was closed as officials determined that the three men had likely died at sea during the escape. On Tuesday, that theory was flipped on its head as a letter was sent to the San Francisco Police Department by a man claiming to be John Anglin.
The man wrote that he and his two accomplices had, indeed, survived the journey. “My name is John Anglin,” the letter reads. “I escape (sic) from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely,” he wrote.
John concluded the letter claiming, “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.”
The FBI reported that they received this letter in 2013. They tested the letter for possible fingerprints only to find the results inconclusive, according to Fox News.
In the same letter, John claimed Frank died in 2008 and his brother passed away three years later in 2011. He stated that he lived in Seattle following his escape. Even with this possible new evidence, some believe the letter to be a hoax, claiming there is no way the men could have survived and remained hidden all those years.
Jolene Babyak, daughter of the acting warden at the time, has seen the letter and argues: “No evidence, lots of allegations, no real evidence, nothing you can follow up on.” However, the investigation into the possible escape of the men is being reopened after 50 years.