New evidence suggests that two brothers successfully escaped from Alcatraz in 1962 and did not drown as the FBI initially believed.
A History Channel documentary presented new evidence that John and Clarence Anglin not only successfully escaped from one of the most famous super-max prisons in the United States, but could also still be alive today, the Daily Mail reported.
John and Clarence, who would be 84 and 85 years old if alive today, were believed to have drowned in the San Francisco Bay during their infamous escape attempt. According to legend, they used paper mache masks to trick guards into thinking they were asleep, dug their way out of their cells with spoons and were picked up by an associate who took them to freedom.
For 53 years, the U.S. Marshal Service believed the Anglin brothers never made it to shore. But DNA tests and a photograph are being viewed as game changers in the investigation.
Ken and David Widner, the nephews of the Anglins, showed filmmakers a photograph of two men in sunglasses who strongly resembled the Anglin brothers. The photograph was allegedly taken by family friend Fred Brizzi, who said he bumped into the brothers in Brazil. The Widners believe their uncles asked Brizzi to take pictures so the rest of the family would know they are alive and well.
The picture was examined by Michael Street and Art Roderick. Roderick told the Anglin family that it was “very likely” the two men in the photograph were John and Clarence Anglin.
The Widners also handed the evidence to the Marshal’s office. In return, they helped exhume their uncle, Alfred, who was with John and Clarence when they were robbing banks.
Alfred’s corpse was reexamined during the documentary. His DNA was compared with a sample taken from a bone recovered from San Francisco Bay six months after the infamous escape attempt by the Anglins. The FBI believed that bone belonged to one of the Anglin brothers and was considered proof that they did not make it out of the water alive.
Results confirmed that the bone found did not belong to either Anglin brother.
Ken Widner told the History Channel that the quest for truth was not just for a TV show.
“We are doing this to prove they actually got off that island and did make that crossing,” he said.
“We want to bury them with their family," he added.
Roderick, who was in charge of the case early on, is now examining the new evidence in hopes to finally close the case of the Anglin brothers.
A third man -- Frank Morris -- escaped the prison with the Anglin brothers, but it is unclear what became of him afterwards. A DNA sample also showed that the bones found in the San Francisco Bay were not Morris' either.