The Great Escape

March 26, 2010
By mseabo BRONZE, Sewell, New Jersey
mseabo BRONZE, Sewell, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Old rusted chains, cold haunted jail cells, and some of the most notorious criminals in the world. There is only one place in the world where horror meets reality and its name is Alcatraz. For as long as the myth has existed, the constant on going debate on whether the Alcatraz escape in 1962 was successful or not continues(Mc Shan, Marilyn D, Frank R Williams III). There were three men involved in the Alcatraz escape on June 11, 1962, brothers Clarence and John Anglin along with Frank Morris. These three men were said to either live to tell their tale of how they escaped, or be claimed by the sea on the night of their escape.

What is my opinion? I think that the Anglin brothers and Frank Morris were claimed by the frigid cold sea the night of their escape. If they had reached Marin, eventually they would have been identified at burial.
In their attempt to escape the three men were said to have built a homemade raft. The homemade raft was made out of old worn rain jackets. Given the fact that the raft was homemade, there is a larger opportunity for there to be something wrong with the life raft such as a hole, leak or rip.
Only one tattered body was ever found which was not identified as one of the prisoners. A fisherman reported seeing a floating body which I think belonged to one of the escapees(Mc Shan, Marilyn D, Frank R Williams III). Personal belongings of John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris were found floating in the river the following day.

The water that the men were swimming in was fifty to fifty-four degrees(Inskeep Steve). With water of that cold temperature hypothermia would have set in within twenty minutes of them getting into the water(The Great Escape from Alcatraz). A fellow prisoner said that the men were going to swim from Angel Island to Marin, which is four times the distance a man could swim. Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris were wearing the regular Alcatraz jail uniform which consisted of a thin pair of full length denim trousers and a thin short sleeve shirt. On the night of the escape, the wind was barreling though the bay at six knots(Inskeep Steve), which was an adding factor to how cold the water was that night.

A life vest was found in the bay with deep teeth marks all around the homemade air valve which had probably failed. A battered life vest with a failed air valve most likely belonged to the dead man found. The other two life jackets that belonged to the other two men were never found. The clip holding the air into the vest, better known as the air valve, was not made by a factory. Instead it was made by the prisoners of Alcatraz leaving the obvious possibility that the valves could fail.

On July 17, 1962 approximately 15 days after the escape, a body was found wearing the same short sleeve shirt and full length denim trousers which is what the Alcatraz prisoners wore(The Great Escape from Alcatraz). This man could also be the same man that lost his life jacket the night after the escape.

There were never any reports of any stolen cars or department store robberies immediately after the escape. The three men planned on stealing a car for a source of transportation. The three men also said that they were going to rob a department store so that they could get rid of their jail uniforms, so that no one would identify them as the escapees.

The Anglin’s families never heard from the brothers after the escape. The escape had been a topic of gossip in the Anglin house for many years(The Great Escape from Alcatraz). Jail escapes also ran in the Anglin family blood line, Clarence and John’s third brother Alfred got electrocuted while trying to escape from Kilby prison in 1964(The Great Escape from Alcatraz). The Anglin brothers never contacted their families again because they were dead.

Horror, terror, pain, and suffering are the only things that come from the cold, haunted Alcatraz. The men were so desperate to escape the horror of Alcatraz they were willing to risk their lives.

The author's comments:
I wrote this piece in school, the topic that was assigned was unsolved mysteries of the past. Such as crop circles, big foot, The Hindenburg, Easter Island, and other topics. The topic I chose to write about was the 1962 Alcatraz escape and whether or not the three men that escaped survived their daring getaway.

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