Alcatraz Inmates FBI Says Died During Their Escape Actually Survived, Family Claims

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Alcatraz PrisonAlcatraz Prison

Three Alcatraz inmates who escaped from the island prison in San Francisco more than 50 years ago were thought to have drowned — until now.

The families of the inmates claim they have proof that brothers John and Clarence Anglin and fellow inmate Frank Morris made it to shore in a makeshift raft in June 1962, reports The Daily Mail. And they may still be alive today in their 80s living in South America.

The evidence is said to be in the form of signed Christmas cards sent to the brothers’ mother and a photograph they claim was taken in the 1970s of the men.

The as-yet-unseen image will be shown in a new History Channel documentary premiering on Oct. 12 called "Alcatraz: Search For The Truth."

The inmates’ escape in 1962 was nothing short of brilliant.

They chiseled into the walls of Alcatraz prison, climbed up to the roof, and used a raft made out of stolen raincoats with makeshift paddles to make their way across the San Francisco Bay to shore.

In order to mask their escape, they created realistic-looking dummy heads made out of papier-mâché and human hair from the prison barber shop.

Alcatraz officials claim the men drowned.

Anglins’ nephews David, 48, and Ken Widner, 54, are the ones who hold the evidence that may prove the inmates made it to shore safely.

“This is absolutely the best actionable lead we’ve had,” Art Roderick, the retired U.S. Marshal who investigated the case for 20 years, told The New York Post.

After years of being spied on and harassed by the FBI, the Anglin family finally decided they wanted to see the case solved before the brothers’ sister, Marie Anglin Widner, passed away.

They also want to prove to Alcatraz officials that the prison was in fact escapable.

“[Alcatraz officials] were not willing to ... say, ‘Maybe [the escapees] did make it,’” David said. “That gave me the motive to prove them wrong.”

If the men are found to have survived, it will destroy the bragging rights Alcatraz has for its no escapees.

Sources: The Daily Mail, The New York Post / Photo credit: Marco Verch/FlickrThe Daily Mail