During its prison days, escapes from Alcatraz were very rare. Trying to escape from Alcatraz Island is nearly impossible, unless you have a boat. The San Francisco Bay's incredibly strong currents, icy temperatures and great white sharks are powerful deterrents, but none of these have stopped active maximum-security prison inmates from attempting to break out. Read about the history of escapes from Alcatraz below.
Alcatraz History: Escape Attempts
Web site: Escape Attempts
This site provides readers with rundowns of 14 escape attempts made by 36 prisoners from The Rock including two men who tried to break out twice! You'll learn about the famous "Battle of Alcatraz" escape attempt, which occurred during three days in 1946, as well as the one possibly, and only. successful escape made by prisoners Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe, both of whom made it into the Bay, only to never been seen again. The site includes pictures of some of the inmates who attempted escape, plus a look at the Frank Morris escape, which inspired the Clint Eastwood film "Escape from Alcatraz."
Alcatraz Escapes: 1934-1962
Web site: Escapes from Alcatraz: 1934-1962
This page offers viewers a look at all the attempts to escape made by prisoners at Alcatraz during its years of operation, including dates, names of inmates, and detailed summaries of how they broke out. Included is a section on the inmates and breakout that inspired the classic '70s film "Escape from Alcatraz."
SFGenealogy.com: Escapes from Alcatraz
Web site: Escapes from Alcatraz
Check out this brief history of the island, which focuses on the years it served as a federal prison When you scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the link to the archive, which lists all inmates who attempted to escape from the island (including prisoners from when the island served as a military prison, from 1862 to 1933). In the gallery you'll find an amazing collection of photos of both wardens and inmates. Also view the diagram, which outlines the entire island and notes the different buildings that made up the prison.