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Why the family believes that Alcatraz escapees survived their trip

The fate of the three inmates who successfully escaped from Alcatraz prison in San Francisco in 1962 is one of America's greatest unsolved mysteries.

Their bodies were never found and the persecution continues 54 years later. But could a trio of common criminals really have survived paddling through the cold, shark-infested waters that surround The Rock on a makeshift raincoat-paved raft?

A recently renewed letter has rekindled the hope that madness – the real work scheme – made legendary by Clint Eastwood's film "Escape from Alcatraz" – was not only a success, but one of the Men can still be alive today.

"My name is John Anglin, I escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris, I am 83 years old and I am in poor condition, I have cancer," says the letter sent to the San Francisco Police Department. 2013 and broadcast for the first time by a local CBS affiliate.

"Yes, we all did it that night, but barely!"

The letter says John, who would now be 86 years old, lived a fugitive for years in Seattle, North Dakota and now in Southern California. Morris died in 2008 and Clarence died in 2011, he says.

"John" says he is getting closer to the feds because he needs a doctor to treat his cancer.

"If you announce on TV that I'm promised First go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I'll write you so you know exactly where I am, this is not a joke."

The US Marshals UU – who have kept the case open for decades – say that the FBI conducted a forensic writing analysis in the letter, but the results were "inconclusive."

Relatives say The Post does not look like their lyrics, but they do believe that the three men survived the breakdown and that John is still out there.

"The lyrics do not look like anything like that, but that does not mean John did not have someone else to write the letter, they're smart enough, they know how to deal with fingerprints," says John's nephew. David Widner, 51.

The Marshals say the letter gave no clues, but the case remains open, even if the agency does not seem excited about the possibility that three thieves have escaped their claws for more than five decades.

"There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and they became law-abiding citizens after this escape," the agency snorted. a statement to CBS.

And experts say new credible evidence continues to emerge suggesting that the men survived.

"I definitely think, with a lot of new evidence that has come to light, that it's possible," said Michael Esslinger, a historical researcher who has written several books about the leak and has been studying it for decades.

John Anglin Reuters

"For the first 20 years I was investigating, I was very adamant they had died … In the last seven or eight years, I really changed my opinion."

It's remarkable enough that the trio of small-time bank robbers managed to get out of the famous and inescapable island at all, let alone survived the treacherous swim to the shore. 19659002] Morris was a professional DC offender who spent his childhood in and out of foster care and had already accumulated a long list of criminal records as a teenager.

The Anglin brothers were poor farmers in Florida who had turned to banks with toy guns.

Morris was a natural brain, according to Esslinger, while the Anglins had learned to be very skilled.

"They grew up with 14 brothers and sisters, they did not have much, so they had to cope with what they had," says Widner.

"My mother said they were like MacGyvers."

In addition, the three were experienced escape artists, and they had everything finished at Alcatraz precisely because they left other unions.

"Escape from Alcatraz" represents Eastwood's Morris as the brains behind the scheme, but Esslinger says it was more of a team effort between the three plus a fourth car the thief Allen West, who ultimately failed to escape.

The plan was repeated more or less the same as in the 1979 movie; however, for six months, the men quietly recorded the ventilation ducts in their cells using spoons and a drill made from a vacuum motor until they could access a utility corridor behind the walls.

There, they created a workshop and built a raft and lifejackets with stolen rain vests – using steam pipes to seal the seams – and made scrap wood pallets. [19659002] They also made models of their own heads with soap, toilet paper and real hair taken from the prison barbershop, to be used as decoys in their beds on the night of the great rest.

Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris in & # 39; Escape from Alcatraz & # 39; Courtesy of Everett Coll

Finally, on June 11, 1962, the three escaped – West could not get through his conduit and stayed behind – and climbed to the roof of the prison, He slid down a chimney, climbed a fence, inflated his raft with a concertina and sailed to nearby Angel Island.

Thanks to the false and realistic heads, the guards did not realize what had happened until the next morning.

"If they succeeded" to the continent and stole a car, they could have been in Mexico when the first bell rang, "says Esslinger.

A massive chase was mounted but failed to find many traces of the fugitives, alive or dead – apart from a paddle and some remains of a lifejacket.

Alcatraz de los ficials believed that they could not have survived the cold and choppy waters, but Widner says that the family has always been sure of it, and the new tracks from the last decade have only made them safer.

"Our family always believed they did it," he said, noting that the brothers grew up swimming in the icy waters of Tampa Bay in the winter.

much within the family that we have not shared. "

In 2010, another brother of Anglin, Robert, made a confession on the deathbed to his relative: he had been in contact with John and Clarence several times during the first 25 years they were fleeing, the family says.

Four years later, Dutch scientists took the cause and used the three-dimensional modeling of the tides at that time to show that it was possible for them to survive, as long as they started paddling between 11 p.m. M. and midnight.

"In the worst case, the rowing of the fugitives is useless … the escapees are swept in the Pacific if they enter the water before [11 p.m.] or are pushed to the depth of the bay and discovered if they enter the water after midnight, "researcher Rolf Hut wrote.

"In the best of cases, the escaped sail north with a speed of almost 1 km per hour, an almost Olympic effort, in that scenario, it is very likely that they survive and reach the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge "

In 2015, History Channel filmed a documentary about the case, with the participation of the family, Esslinger and the Marshal. service – which resulted in several important clues.

The family allowed the investigators to unearth the remains of another brother, Alfred, to compare them with some bones that arrived at the coast in 1983 and the authorities believed that he could be one of the escapees. [19659002] The DNA test proved that he was not an Anglin, breaking what many thought they knew about the case, says Esslinger, including him.

"I always thought it was powerful evidence," he said.

The Anglins also revealed during the show that in the 1990s, a drug dealer and family friend told them that he had met John and Clarence at a bar in Brazil in the 1970s, and they were given a photo who apparently showed them as middle-aged men, on a farm they had bought there.

The Marshals do not think it's legitimate, but a forensic expert in the documentary found it "very likely" that they were the same men.

"When you work in this type of case, there is a feeling that occurs when things start to fit in," said Art Roderick, the retired US Marshal who was the principal investigator of the case for 20 years and who worked on the documentary, in the Post at that time.

"I'm having this feeling now."

But looking back on the program, Widner is furious that the researchers he worked with never told the family the 2013 letter, and if his uncle was really dying of cancer, he waits for it. it's not too late.

"It is inhumane not to let the family know that they received a letter, whether it is he or not," he said.

"At least we would have known it could be John reaching out." That bothered my mother a lot … we'd love to tell him that if he communicated with us, maybe we could help him. "

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