Escape from Alcatraz?


A San Francisco television station has reported it’s obtained a letter that may have been written by one of the inmates who escaped from Alcatraz more than a half-century ago in one of the most notorious jailbreaks in U.S. history. (UPI)

How did inmates escape from Alcatraz? Let our fun little article tell you. (Spoiler: Arts and Home Ec.)

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

John Anglin was one of three bank robbers who successfully escaped from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, “The Rock” in San Francisco Bay. Whether or not Anglin escaped the bay itself—much less wrote a letter asking for financial assistance for medical aid—remains a mystery.
Photograph courtesy the FBI

Discussion Ideas

  • A television station in San Francisco has a letter claiming to be from John Anglin, one of three men to have escaped Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1962. Why is this notable? Read through our fun little article for some help.
    • John Anglin, his brother Clarence, and Frank Morris broke out of their cells on the night of June 11, 1962, and were never seen again. The men were the only prisoners ever to have escaped from Alcatraz.


Follow possible trajectories of the raft launched from Alcatraz in 1962. Angel Island lies to the north of Alcatraz, while the Golden Gate lies to the west.
Image courtesy Secrets of the Dead, PBS




Some of the most coveted real-estate in America?
Photograph by David Corby, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0



UPI: Letter may indicate 1962 Alcatraz escapees survived: report

Nat Geo: Escape from Alcatraz

Secrets of the Dead: The Alcatraz Escape—Flow models of San Francisco Bay

Secrets of the Dead: The Alcatraz Escape

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