Alcatraz: History Of Escape Attempts Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

Alcatraz: History of Escape Attempts Alcatraz, one of the most feared prisons in the world was known for its difficulty in having prisoners escaping from it. No one has actually, successfully escaped from Alcatraz. But that all depends on how you look at it. There are known escape attempts were the convicts actually made it to the water, and some to the other side. And there is a one escape we can not totally explain. Alcatraz's location, western California, San Francisco Bay, near San Francisco. There is a one and a half mile radius of water surrounding the Alcatraz Island("Alcatraz" 1). This was a main key in making it difficult to escape from Alcatraz. Warden Johnston became the first administrator of Alcatraz. Alcatraz was meant for taking the extremely dangerous criminals. Alcatraz took convicts such as kidnapers, racketeers, and people who had a history of predatory crimes ("Alcatraz: Federal Prison 1934-1963" 1-2). A lot of bank robbers attended Alcatraz also. the twenty-nine years of 1934-1963, that Alcatraz was a federal prison, 36men, including two who tried to escape twice, participated in 14 separate escape attempts ("Escapes from Alcatraz" 1). The outcomes of the majority of the escape attempts resulted in capture and even sometimes death. The escapes resulted in two of the men drowning, six were shot and killed, 23 men were caught, two men who were caught were later executed in the gas chamber at the California State Prison at San Quentin for killing an officer during their escape("A Brief History of Alcatraz" 2). Just to state that no one has officially escaped form Alcatraz, there are still five convicts that attempted to escape but their status is listed as "missing and presumed drowned" ("A Brief History of Alcatraz" 2). After many escape attempts, Alcatraz decided to band a few things. They band anything that gave the prisoners time to make a break. Alcatraz decided to band all gardening and baseball games that were played outside. Alcatraz also restored itself with new cell doors that are electronically controlled, metal detectors at all the entrances, a gun gallery, tear gas canisters that were permanently mounted to the ceiling of the mess-hall, and also replaced the old window bars with new tool proof tubes. New cells were also built at Alcatraz.These cells were called "strip" cell or "The Hole", as some called them, for those prisoners who required complete isolation from fellow prisoners or the outside world (Smith 1). At 9:30, Monday night, three inmates at Alcatraz, Frank Lee Morris and the Anglin brothers, John and Clarence, were counted in the last head count of the night. The lights were turned off and the guard in the gun gallery retired for the night. The three convicts got all their supplies needed to make their life-like dummy heads and life preservers and a raft. They placed the heads on their pillows and used extra pillows to...

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