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New letter suggests trio in infamous 1962 Alcatraz escape survived

A letter allegedly written by one of three inmates who escaped Alcatraz in 1962 claims the trio survived.


What happened to three men after they pulled off a daring prison break at Alcatraz in 1962? Only the worst criminals were sent to Alcatraz. And for 29 years, it was the most secure federal prison in the country – surrounded by the cold, rough waters of the Pacific. But brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris disappeared into the night and have never been found.

U.S. Marshal Michael Dyke, who inherited the unsolved case in 2003, told The Associated Press in 2012 that he didn’t know whether any members of the trio were still alive. But he had seen enough evidence to make him wonder.

That evidence included credible reports that the Anglins’ mother, for several years, received flowers delivered without a card, and that the brothers attended her 1973 funeral disguised in women’s clothes despite a heavy FBI presence.

If they are still alive today, Morris would be 90 and John and Clarence, the brothers, would be 86 and 87.

The men have become folklore – fueled by Hollywood and popular shows. And in the last 55 years, theories about their fate have multiplied as new evidence surfaces.

A letter allegedly written by one of the escapees recently came to light. CBS San Francisco exclusively obtained it from a source.

"My name is John Anglin. I escape 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!"

The FBI says this is the most recent piece of evidence that forced the agency to reopen the iconic cold case. The letter was sent to the San Francisco Police Department's Richmond station in 2013.

The running theory about the inmates' fate is that they died shortly after stepping foot into the cold waters that separated the prison and San Francisco. But their bodies were never found and their story remains a mystery.

Prison officials and federal agents insisted at the time of the escape that the inmates perished.

The federal government closed Alcatraz as a prison in 1963, just a year after the men's escape.

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