Any true crime buff worth their salt knows all there is to know about Alctaraz but what you may not know is some of those prisoners are still alive to this day. Over the 29 years it was operating, more than 36 people tried to escape but the only ones who ever had any success with this were 3 men by the names of Frank Morris and brothers Clarence & John Anglin. They spent months carving out the details of how they were going to make the great escape & soon began to escape via some air ducts. They had a lot of old tools that they used to escape such as sharpened spoons, blades & they even managed to build their own vacuum cleaner somehow. To drown out the noise of their escape, Morris was the one who was charged with playing the accordion as loudly & as often as he could. Before long, they had gotten out but still had to sail to the mainland which is why they made a makeshift raft out of old wood & a bunch of jackets.
On the night they had planned to escape, they used real hair & paper mache to create an old dummy of themselves while they broke out of their cells & got over the fence. Now here is where the story gets a bit murky. Once they found out they had escaped, the feds began to search far & wide but all they could find was the remains of the raft. They were not able to find any other evidence, that is until 2013. This is when a man who claimed to be John Anglin sent a letter. In it, he said that while the other two had passed away, he was still alive & he sent them a picture of the trio to prove he really is who he said he is. In the letter, he claims to have contracted cancer & was willing to go back to prison for about a year in exchange for medical treatment to help cure his cancer. When they got the letter, they tried to test the letter for DNA to see if it was really John.
But the results came back as inconclusive which means, while it could be him, they could not prove it. In 2018, the FBI confirmed they had received the letter & even reopened the investigation into Anglin but they had not heard back from him since then. Many think this is due to the fact that he has since passed away from his illness. It is not clear whether they would make that kind of deal with Anglin or if they even have the authority to but it’s possible they may have gone with it if only just to save face. In any case, the FBI has no reason to believe anyone would pose as Anglin so it does seem likely that it is really him. They have said they do plan to release more intel on this in the near future as they seek to get to the bottom of this mystery. He didn’t leave a return address so it’s not clear how he wanted them to respond but, in any case, we hope the mystery will be solved at a certain point.