Friday, 11 June 2010

Factual Friday

On this day in 1962, the most elaborate escape attempt from Alcatraz was made. Clarence and John Anglin; Frank Morris and Allen West began planning an elaborate escape by at least September 1961. Using ordinary objects they burrowed through the walls, finishing their escape route in May 1962. They constructed an inflatable raft from raincoats and made dummies out of papier-mâché, which they left in their beds during the attempt on July 11th, 1962. Allen West never took part in the actual escape because he didn't manage to remove the false wall he erected to hide the tunnel in time. By the time he had managed to the other three had taken the raft and gone. The whereabouts of the others are unknown, and they presumably drowned in San Francisco Bay. Therefore, it can still be maintained that there were no successful escapes from Alcatraz Island.

A more successful escape attempt was made by the famous womaniser, Casanova. He was housed in the famous jail adjacent to the Doge's Palace, Venice. Using a sharpened iron bar, he and a priest in the cell next door cut through the ceilings of their cells and made an escape over the roof.

Colditz was apparently 'escape-proof' but over three-hundred escape attempts were made, and over thirty managed to reach friendly territories.

This is only a small part of the long history of prison breaks. Wherever there are prisoners, there are also potential escapees.

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