1. The Mystery Continues
The letter mailed to the Richmond police in 2013 read, “I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. This is no joke.” The investigators declined to announce on television, possibly because they didn’t want to play any games with an Alcatraz escapee. To this day, we do not know who wrote the letter. However, there are clues that Morris and the Anglin brothers were successful in their escape.
In December of 1962, John and Clarence Anglin‘s received a Christmas card that said, To Mother, from John. Merry Christmas.” There was no indication as to his whereabouts. However, his brother Robert claimed to be in contact with both John and Clarence, until they eventually lost touch with each other. There are plenty of theories as to what happened to the Anglin brothers, one of which suggests that they went to Brazil. Even though the FBI officially closed the case, the US Marshals are still actively looking for credible evidence as to what happened to them. They will continue searching until the men turn 99 years old, at which point they will be presumeddead.
The mysterious letter to the Richmond police claimed that Frank Morris had died in Argentina in 2008, and he had used an alias for all the years since his escape. It also claimed that Clarence had passed away in 2011. Perhaps, having lost his two brothers in arms, John Anglin had decided that he had nothing left to lose and was ready to come clean. Alternatively, perhaps an amateur was looking to get attention from the FBI and national media. We may not ever know for sure what happened to them once they left the rocky shores of Alcatraz.
Today, there are many clues that theorists point to that indicate that, contrary to the FBI’s statement, the men actually did escape. Though the FBI issued a statement saying that the waters of San Francisco Bay were particularly bad that night, independent Dutch programmers claimed that the bay would have been conducive to an escape. Even if the men did die that night, they have certainly lived on in the imaginations of plenty of armchair historians and conspiracy theorists, as well as the active investigations of the US Marshals.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:
“New letter reopens the case of the Alcatraz escapees” by Matthew Black. History 101. June 19, 2018.
“Alcatraz Island.” – Wikipedia.
“June 1962 Alcatraz escape attempt.” – Wikipedia.