Since the Civil War, Alcatraz, also called “The Rock,” had held captives on its lonely island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. In 1934 during the peak of a major war on crime, Alcatraz was officially turned into the world’s most secure prison: The iron bars were toughened, guard towers were strategically positioned, and strict rules like checking the prisons multiple times a day were all followed. Add to that the fact that it was surrounded by the rough waters of the Pacific ocean. High-profile inmates like Al Capone and criminals with multiple escape attempts were usually sent here.

Despite the seemingly impossible odds of escaping, there had been 14 separate escape attempts involving 36 men from 1934 until it was closed in 1963. None succeeded, as they were either caught or killed during the attempt. However, there was one escape attempt that remains a mystery to this day. This happened in 1962.

The Escape Artists

There were four people involved in the escape.

Frank Morris
Frank Morris. (FBI)

First was Frank Morris, a seasoned criminal who acted as the leader of the escape attempt. Morris had been abandoned by his parents when he was 11. By age 13, he had already had his first criminal convictions. Morris was arrested and charged with armed robbery and drug offenses during his teenage years. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a bank robbery while attempting to escape. Because of that, he was sent to Alcatraz.