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Alcatraz Escapes Recalled In Panel Discussion

Alcatraz Island

National Park News

The 50th anniversary of an escape from Alcatraz was marked with a visit to the island by relatives of the Anglin brothers and the US Marshal still assigned to the case and by a panel discussion for the media hosted by the National Park Service. 

John and Clarence Anglin, along with Frank Morris, escaped from the Island on June 11, 1962 after using spoons to enlarge air vents in their cells, climbing to the roof of the building, and making their way to the water’s edge with a makeshift raft of rain jackets.  The mystery of whether the escapees made it across the chilly bay waters continues to this day. Family members believes the brothers successfully escaped Alcatraz. 

The United States Marshals continue to search for the Anglin brothers and Frank Morris; Frank Morris would be 86 years old today, John Anglin would be 82, and Clarence Anglin would be 81. The case will remain open with the United States Marshals until the escapees are brought to justice, there is proof of death, or they reach 99 years of age.

Sixty people attended the panel discussion in the hospital ward at Alcatraz, including two sisters of the Anglin brothers and their families, United States marshals, National Park Service rangers, and 40 members of the press. The 50th anniversary of the escape has garnered national as well as international attention, with Thompson Reuters and BBC among the several network news agencies in attendance. 

The panel consisted of members of the Anglin family, United States marshal Michael Dyke, former Alcatraz guard George DeVincenzi, and Jolene Babyak, who at the time of the escape was living on the island with her father, the associate warden.   Alexandra Picavet, public affairs specialist for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, facilitated the panel discussion, and Lisa Wilkolak, from Lassen Volcanic National Park assisted with logistics. 

Fifty years later the question still remains to be answered whether Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers successfully escaped the supposedly inescapable Alcatraz Island.

For an overview of the news coverage, please visit the following links:


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