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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: SATURDAY DIGEST: World's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries (Day 17)

Saturday, 31 October 2015

SATURDAY DIGEST: World's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries (Day 17)

Good morning lovelies! Bet you've had a lovely week out there? It's the last Saturday of the month already and the last day in October. All glory to the almighty God for his love, mercies and cares over us...

The dummy head found in Morris cell
Wow i Can't believe it's time for our Saturday Digest again and today 'The June 1962 Alcatraz Escape' joins our long-list of World's Greatest unsolved mysteries.

On the night of June 11 or early morning of June 12, 1962 three inmates serving terms at the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary broke out of the facility in what becomes the only successful escape in the 29 years that the facility served as a federal penitentiary.

The men Frank Morris, Clarence and John Anglin alongside Allen West (The only conspirator who did not participate in the actual escape, because he was unable to finish removing the ventilator grill in his cell in time.) began planning their escape in December 1961, under the leadership of Morris
the most intelligent of the four, after one of them discovered some discarded saw blades on the prison grounds. Over the course of six months they slowly widened ventilation duct openings in their cells' walls, using the saw blades, spoons stolen from the commissary, and a drill improvised from the motor of a broken vacuum cleaner, until the openings were large enough to crawl through. They concealed their work with cardboard and various other items. Behind the cell tier was an unguarded utility corridor. They made their way down this corridor and climbed to the roof of their cell block inside the building, where they set up a small workshop. There, they assembled a variety of stolen and donated materials, including more than 50 raincoats that they turned into makeshift life preservers and a 6-by-14 foot rubber raft, the seams carefully stitched together and sealed with heat from nearby steam pipes. They built wooden paddles, and stole a small accordion-like concertina from another inmate to serve as a bellows to inflate the raft. Finally, they climbed a shaft of pipes and ducts to the building's roof, where they cut away most of the rivets holding a large ventilating fan and grille in place.

To avoid immediate discovery of their absence during routine bed checks by guards, they sculpted realistic dummy heads from a home-made papier-mâché-like mixture of soap and toilet paper, and decorated them with paint and their own hair.

On the night of June 11, 1962, they placed towels and clothing in their bunks, covered them with blankets, positioned the dummy heads on the pillows, and crawled through the ventilation holes into the service corridor. West could not get through his vent opening—he had used cement to shore up crumbling concrete and it had hardened—and was left behind. He later gave investigators many details of the escape.

From the service corridor, Morris and the Anglins climbed to the roof. Guards heard a loud crash as they broke through the shaft onto the roof, but since nothing further was heard, the source of the noise was not investigated. Hauling their gear with them, they descended a 50-foot wall by sliding down a kitchen vent pipe to the ground, then climbed two 12-foot barbed-wire perimeter fences. At the northeast shoreline—a blind spot in the prison's network of searchlights and gun towers—they inflated their raft with the concertina. At some time after 10 o’clock, investigators estimated, they departed.

The escape was not discovered until the following morning, due to the successful dummy-head ruse. Police found no trace of the men on Alcatraz or Angel Island, but did identify remnants of the raft, paddles, and a bag containing the Anglins' personal effects washed up on an Angel Island beach.

Hundreds of leads have been pursued by the FBI and local law enforcement officials in the ensuing years, but no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced favoring the success or failure of the attempt. Numerous theories of widely varying plausibility have been proposed by authorities, reporters, family members, and amateur enthusiasts...No one knows the fate of the Alcatraz three till date making it one of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries.

Reference: Wikipedia

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