EVERYONE'S WATCHING, TO SEE WHAT YOU WILL DO
June 11, 1962, 3 Alcatraz inmates get a little homesick and decide to set themselves free. Months of careful planning allow them to climb onto the roof, climb over a fence, stick their feet in the water of the San Francisco bay and set sail for Angel Island, presumably drowning in the process. Freedom! Followed by... eternal freedomnation?
The three men were Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Lee Morris. One might say that the two brothers, sharing the last name Anglin, might try to convince a third partner in such a crime to start calling them The Fisherman Brothers, but quite frankly Morris couldn't give half a damn about any of society's so-called nicknames. He just wanted to escape, which is why when they made a movie version of his real life antics, he was played by Clint Eastwood.
WANT A PIECE OF MY HEART? YOU BETTER START FROM THE START:
Frank, the two brothers, and a fourth man named Allen West set to escaping earlier that year when they discovered an unguarded utility corridor behind the wall of their cells. Using tools manufactured in the prison, such as a metal spoon soldered with silver from a dime ("dime silver", as my grandpappy called it), an electric drill built using a stolen vacuum cleaner motor, and plain old prisoner gusto, the four men cut the moisture damaged concrete from around an air vent leading into the corridor. They covered up the noise with accordions played during music hour and concealed the cutting with false walls which were hard to notice in the dark recesses of the cells. Down the corridor was a fan vent which the fan and motor had been removed from, replaced by a steel grille. The prisoners removed the rivets from the grille and substituted dummy rivets made of soap. Everything was going according to plan.
YOU WANT TO BE IN THE SHOW? COME ON BABY LET'S GO!
On June 11, the prisoners stole raincoats to use as a raft (which explains their presumed drowning), left papier mache mannequins in their cell, and made a break for it. Allen West, whose false wall had repeatedly slipped free prior to the escape attempt, had reattached it using cement and was now unable to remove it, so he got left behind, standing awkwardly with one arm over his papier mache mannequin friend when the guards made their rounds. "Heeeeey, guys..." he said, "just hanging out here with my good friend Collin... East..." The guards pulled him out of the cell and made him watch while they tortured his mannequin. He quickly and tearfully spilled everything and led the guards to Angel Island, where they were planning to land after leaving Alcatraz. There they discovered tattered remains of the raft and plywood paddles, leading them to believe that the prisoners had drowned.
Upon returning to Alcatraz, Allen West was given a job, along with everybody else, writing for the prison newspaper, The Weekend.