SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – More than four decades after the most famous escape attempt from Alcatraz, the investigation continues into the disappearance of three fugitive inmates. One of the men continuing the search tells CBS 5 there is a good chance the men escaped “The Rock” alive.

Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and his brother John Anglin escaped their cells through vent systems on Alcatraz on the night of June 11th, 1962. The men left dummy heads in their beds and scrambled up a series of pipes, ran across the prison roof and may have inflated a raft before heading towards shore. The men were never found, and for years have been presumed dead.

“We just don’t give up looking for anybody,” said Supervising Deputy Mike Dyke of the U.S. Marshals Service. “I think probably the brothers lived… but there’s a chance that all three of them could have lived and they just split up once they left. There’s no body recovered. I can’t close the case.”

Dyke has been working on the case since 2003.

“Some teletypes that indicate there was possibly a raft recovered on Angel Island…the day after the escape – and one of them mentioned footprints leading away from the raft,” said Dyke.  “They came across an oar, a paddle…right off the coast, about 50 yards from the shore of Angel Island.”

“They determined the oar was made on Alcatraz. There was one oar left behind and this one was an exact match,” he continued.

The issue of the raft is key. If they made it to land, and avoided the cold water, their chances of survival were greatly improved.

“There’s still a chance. You can’t rule out the fact that they died. But you can’t rule out the fact that they lived. That’s why we still have the warrants for them,” said Dyke.

The only problem is that no actual raft was ever found on Angel Island, there was only teletype evidence from the FBI. But if the men made it safely to land, there is still a chance they are alive today.

Clarence Anglin would be 79, his brother John would be 80, and Morris would be 84.

The National Geographic Channel is scheduled to air a documentary Wednesday night based on Dyke’s investigation.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (27)
  1. cracklewalk says:

    Who does the math here? It’s been almost FIVE decades.

  2. JaneQPublic says:

    After this period of time, if they are still alive and have not gotten into trouble, it may be time to DROP the warrants.

    1. Brian P White says:

      I agree with you! It would seem an inhumane deed to put these old men back in jail after 48 years.

  3. JoMama says:

    These men have earned their freedom, I hope they never get cought.

  4. Brad says:

    Thought one of’em was Clint Eastwood? He’s totally rehabilitated by now.

    1. Brian says:

      Your probably right! I think Clarence Anglin is definitely rehabilitated.

  5. JamesMore says:

    I was 12 years young and have no recollection of this news worthy story. However, I do remember Willie Mays hitting 4 home runs off Warren Spahn of the Braves in 1961. How could I possibly remember that, you ask…I was in the backyard doing chores for my Dad, listening to my San Francisco Giants on my transistor radio…that’s how! And I shouted for joy and ran and told my Dad of Wille’s accomplishment. What a great day that was!

  6. Rgab says:

    It is clamBEred, not clamored.

    1. louie says:

      Rgab…thanks for pointing that out…our education dollars at work (?)

  7. LostInSpace says:

    So how much does this continuing investigation cost??? Nothing better to do??? No wonder we are broke…

  8. dave says:

    Good job U.S. Marshals. Don’t give up on these criminals?
    .

    1. Brian says:

      Yeah this makes all of the U.S. Marshals all ridicules. They have been missing for 48 years!

  9. Steven says:

    These guys were in prison for bank robbery and other violent crime. Why should we give them a break since they have been albe to avoid the law all these years. NO…. hang them and hang them high!!!!!

  10. Gym pronounced JIM says:

    This is where our taxes go. Look how productive the US is.

  11. Philip Scharfy says:

    Don’t believe it. These were three CAREER criminals. Impossible that they escaped, walked the straight and narrow and were never arrested again.

  12. tn says:

    Wonderful, these US Marshalls are still looking for 3 old guys for 50 years when a sexual predator and his wife kidnap Dugaard for 18 years without even knowing what was right under their noses. Hard earned tax dollars spent on the wrong people, with the wrong people in charge.

  13. Ciaotym says:

    How about the Alcatraz Tri-athalon: Swim from Alcatraz to Tibouron, steal a bicycle and ride to San Jose, dump the bike and run to Mexico.

  14. Jesse Garr says:

    Sooo no new evidence?? What a weak story.

  15. Mary Prichard says:

    Being very familiar with the waters between the city, Sausalito, Tiburon and Alcatraz, I would say their chances for a sucessful escape depended on one thing… incoming tide. If they launched their escape on an outgoing tide their bodies would never be found. If they launced on an incoming tide they could have made it to any point north or east of alcatraz. And, if they were sucessful and kept a low profile, more power to them.

  16. chris says:

    if they don’t want to be found, they wont.

  17. THOMAS TILDEN says:

    WHEN i WAS IN THE MILITARY i KNEW A GUY THAT TOLD ME HIS GRANDFATHER WAS ONE OF THE THREE PERSONS WHO MADE IT AWAY ! WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THE THINGS HE TOLD ME HAVE BEEN RECENTLY RELEASED ABOUT THE ESCAPE. I SAT THERE WATCHING TV WITH MY MOUTH DROPPED OPEN . I DO REALLY BELIEVE AT LEAST ONE MADE IT TO SAFETY ! HIS GRAND FATHER AT LEAST MADE IT ! EVERYTHING THAT I RECENTLY SAW AGAIN, I KNEW ! WOW, I REALLY THOUGHT HE WAS TELLING ME A FIB !! BUT, HE SAW NOT TELLING ME A FIB !!!!

  18. THOMAS TILDEN says:

    IT STILL GETS TO ME THAT I KNEW CERTAIN THINGS THAT WERE NEVER RELEASED. WHEN I WAS TOLD. HIS GRANDSON TOLD ME THAT YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM TELLING YOU THE TRUTH WHEN YOU FINALLY HERE A FEW THINGS !!! WHEN I HEARD THEM AGAIN MY MOUTH DROPPED OPEN !! I DO REALLY BELIEVE THAT HIS GRAND DAD MADE IT TO SAFETY !!! NOW ! UNRELEASED DOC. THE US. MARSHALL SERVICE HAD RECEIVED FROM THE F.B.I . THINGS THAT WERE NOT RELEASED. MOST BE TRUE HIS GRANDSON TOLD ME ! HOW, WOULD HE NOT KNOW IF IT WERE NOT TRUE. EVERY SINGLE ITEM WAS STATED !!

  19. DJ says:

    We will never know exactly what happened that night. However Tom Kent, did punch holes in Allen West’s (The one who first came up with the plan) story because wasn’t West being truthful about everything.

  20. Jaystevo says:

    Hope they did make it! proper legends! would love to hear the whole truth.

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