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DB Cooper DNA could reveal his identity

doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

It looks like the enigma of who DB Cooper really was may be solved by the end of the year through DNA analysis. Dude had some stones on him, jumping out of the back of an airplane, pitch dark, during a thunderstorm. I would love to know who he really was.

The mystery of DB Cooper could soon be solved thanks to new evidence

The mystery of DB Cooper could soon be solved thanks to new evidence
'DB Cooper: Where Are You?!' trailer Netflix
It’s a case that has stumped the highest levels of US law enforcement and amateur sleuths alike for more than 52 years.

But now, the mystery of Dan “D.B.” Cooper may soon be solved.

For the uninitiated, the story began on the afternoon of November 24, 1971, when a nondescript man used cash to buy a one-way ticket from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle.

The man, who called himself Dan Cooper, wore a business suit with a white shirt and black tie, according to the FBI. (And remember that black tie, because it could well be the key to unlocking this whole enigma.)

Cooper, who looked to be in his mid-40s, ordered a bourbon and soda while the flight was waiting to take off but, otherwise, he kept himself to himself.

That was, until just after 3pm, when he handed an air attendant a note informing her that he had a bomb in his briefcase and instructing her to sit down.

She did as she was told, and was duly offered a glimpse at the contents of his attaché case, which consisted of a mass of wires and ominous red sticks.

An FBI artist's rendering of the mysterious man who called himself Dan Cooper(FBI)

The hijacker then dictated his demands to her, which she noted down on a piece of paper: four parachutes and $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills.

When the flight landed in Seattle, Cooper exchanged the flight’s 36 passengers for the cash and parachutes, but kept hold of several crew members.

Staying on the plane, he then ordered the pilots to set a course for Mexico city.

But as they travelled between Seattle and Reno, a little after 8pm, Cooper suddenly jumped out of the back of the aircraft using one of the parachutes, clutching his bag of ransom money.

The crew landed safely, but the hijacker disappeared into the night, never to be seen again.

Who he was and what became of him remains unknown to this day, despite the FBI interviewing hundreds of people, tracking leads across the US, and scouring the aircraft for evidence.

The most crucial bit of evidence was the aforementioned black JCPenny clip-on tie, which Cooper left behind in his seat.

The item of clothing was tested countless times over the decades, enabling investigators to discover thousands of particles scattered among its fibres, including rare metals associated with the aerospace sector.

This led amateur sleuth Eric Ulis, who has been studying the case for years, to believe that the suspect was an employee of a special metals facility in Pittsburgh called Crucible Steel, which was a major supplier to Boeing in the 1960s and ‘70s.

He even pinpointed a lead suspect: a man called Vince Petersen who was one of only eight engineers employed at Crucible in the years preceding the skyjacking, Hackadayreports.

Nevertheless, despite their intensive efforts, Ulis and his fellow researchers have failed to find any concrete proof of Cooper’s true identity.

But that all looks set to change.

Cooper wore this black J.C. Penney tie during the hijacking, which he removed before jumping(FBI)

In an interview with TheUS Sun, Ulis explained that he had recently met with scientist Tom Kaye, who had analysed the tie in 2009 and again in 2011.

In order to carry out these tests, Kaye used a special device that captures particles in a filter.

Kaye was tasked with checking for traces of certain metals, chemicals and pollen. However, it now transpires that the device is also capable of capturing DNA.

Ulis and Kaye now plan to share the filter – which has been hermetically sealed for the past 13 years – with a state-of-the-art lab to conduct advanced DNA analysis.

This process, called metagenomic analysis, enables scientists to separate individual strands of DNA.

Once these strands are separated, Kaye and Ulis will start building a genetic profile of Cooper to compare with that of suspects including Vince Petersen.

They also aim to use the DNA for forensic genealogy – building a family tree for Cooper then working backwards to identify him.

"People thought I was kidding when I said things are moving so fast that we could solve this by the end of the year, but I wasn't," Ulis told The US Sun excitedly.

"Metagenomic DNA is the holy grail where this is concerned because it can separate individually all of the DNA profiles on the tie,” he explained.

"It's critically important because [...] let's say you have a dozen different DNA profiles on that tie from everyone who has come into contact with it over the years, including various FBI agents and Cooper himself. We will be able to separate all of those strands individually, and - while we won't know which one is Cooper's - we will be able to gradually narrow them down.”

He added: "If DB Cooper had any kids, for example, those children would likely be on the tie as well. So if any of the dozen or so profiles on the tie are related, that will mostly likely be Cooper's."

One of four parachutes that Cooper requested(FBI)

It’s worth noting that the tie has already been tested twice for DNA, but to little avail.

Still, Ulis isn’t disheartened by this. He pointed out that the testing methods used by investigators 20 years ago were like the "Stone Age" compared to today’s technology.

Nevertheless, the high profile researcher has other hurdles to surmount before his mission here is complete.

Last year, he sued the FBI with the hope of forcing the bureau to release the tie for further testing.

But a judge dismissed the case on the grounds that the Freedom of Information Act pertains only to records and not to tangible objects such as ties.

Ulis intends to appeal the ruling, particularly since he believes investigators overlooked a crucial feature of the tie — a small clasp in the knot that allows the wearer to adjust its size.

He believes is that if Cooper ever adjusted this – which is highly likely – his DNA would be trapped within the clasp’s grooves.

"Metagenomic DNA testing is expensive, time-consuming, and complicated," he explained to The US Sun. "That's why the spindle is of great importance because it's protected. We're likely dealing with a situation where DB Cooper's DNA is isolated on that spindle.

"Maybe there's one or two profiles there, compared with the rest of the tie which could contain dozens. Testing the spindle could give us a solid, clean, and simple profile.”

Still, he boasted: “We don't need the FBI anymore.

“We have more than enough to work with to find DB Cooper ourselves."

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Comments

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very famous mystery, he's got his own Topps Heritage Flashbacks and Allen and Ginter cards. It's a complex case, with tons of shady suspects that fit his description and have backgrounds that would line up with Cooper himself, I've researched it a lot over the years, very frustrating riddle to solve. If they match up the DNA, it would be a phenomenal break through.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing for sure, there is no possible way he survived that jump. Jumping out of a plane at that high altitude going that fast, likely killed him anyway in short seconds. If that didn't do it, the tree limbs from the forest absolutely tore him apart.

    The only thing he was good for is an easy meal for the bears, wolves, condors, etc, in the area.

    Proof of his demise, I forget the amount, but they found a large monetary number of bills along a river bank which was traced to the robbery. If he survived the jump, there is no way he would have left that money behind.

    I agree, it would be very interesting to know who he was.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if discovering his identity would pump-up the value of those cards?

    Might not be a bad idea to throw a few dollars on it for a possible quick pop.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would love to know if he survived the jump and got away with it, one of the greatest mysteries. Kind of like the Anglin brothers and Frank Lee Morris, did they survive the escape from Alcatraz, or did they succumb to exhaustion and the San Francisco Bay water. Like you said, he probably didn't survive the jump, but he sure has some stones on him to even attempt it. The ransom money from that skyjacking actually turns up on eBay and other places from time to time, money grading companies actually grade it and slab it, highly collectible if authentic.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This right here sold for $37,000 a while back.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    I would love to know if he survived the jump and got away with it, one of the greatest mysteries. Kind of like the Anglin brothers and Frank Lee Morris, did they survive the escape from Alcatraz, or did they succumb to exhaustion and the San Francisco Bay water. Like you said, he probably didn't survive the jump, but he sure has some stones on him to even attempt it. The ransom money from that skyjacking actually turns up on eBay and other places from time to time, money grading companies actually grade it and slab it, highly collectible if authentic.

    There's no way the Alcatraz escapees survived that ordeal. I forget the temperature of the water, but it was brutally cold. Who knows if that shabbily built raft, even lasted very long with all that weight in it. At the very least their clothes were wet, and that alone could have led to their demise.

    Plus the currents going out to sea, they would not possibly have been strong enough under those conditions to fight against that, and make it to shore. Eventually they became shark food.

    Made for an interesting movie though.

    Very interesting about the money found being on Ebay. That is a cool collectible.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,219 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting story

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,219 ✭✭✭✭✭

    DD you can crack this case!!!

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @doubledragon said:
    I would love to know if he survived the jump and got away with it, one of the greatest mysteries. Kind of like the Anglin brothers and Frank Lee Morris, did they survive the escape from Alcatraz, or did they succumb to exhaustion and the San Francisco Bay water. Like you said, he probably didn't survive the jump, but he sure has some stones on him to even attempt it. The ransom money from that skyjacking actually turns up on eBay and other places from time to time, money grading companies actually grade it and slab it, highly collectible if authentic.

    There's no way the Alcatraz escapees survived that ordeal. I forget the temperature of the water, but it was brutally cold. Who knows if that shabbily built raft, even lasted very long with all that weight in it. At the very least their clothes were wet, and that alone could have led to their demise.

    Plus the currents going out to sea, they would not possibly have been strong enough under those conditions to fight against that, and make it to shore. Eventually they became shark food.

    Made for an interesting movie though.

    Very interesting about the money found being on Ebay. That is a cool collectible.

    Very cool collectible, someone on the forum, BST section I believe, was looking to purchase a ransom note a while back, don't know if he found one or not.

  • pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 439 ✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @doubledragon said:
    I would love to know if he survived the jump and got away with it, one of the greatest mysteries. Kind of like the Anglin brothers and Frank Lee Morris, did they survive the escape from Alcatraz, or did they succumb to exhaustion and the San Francisco Bay water. Like you said, he probably didn't survive the jump, but he sure has some stones on him to even attempt it. The ransom money from that skyjacking actually turns up on eBay and other places from time to time, money grading companies actually grade it and slab it, highly collectible if authentic.

    There's no way the Alcatraz escapees survived that ordeal. I forget the temperature of the water, but it was brutally cold. Who knows if that shabbily built raft, even lasted very long with all that weight in it. At the very least their clothes were wet, and that alone could have led to their demise.

    Plus the currents going out to sea, they would not possibly have been strong enough under those conditions to fight against that, and make it to shore. Eventually they became shark food.

    Made for an interesting movie though.

    Very interesting about the money found being on Ebay. That is a cool collectible.

    I have seen a few specials on the Alcatraz escape over the years. It was possible that a boat met them out not far from Alcatraz. Both the Alcatraz escape and the DB Cooper are very interesting unsolved mysteries.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:
    DD you can crack this case!!!

    Believe me, I've tried, I've looked into it over the years, it's a tangled mess, so many good suspects, it's impossible to figure out. I hope they match up his DNA, I want to see his real face!

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:

    @perkdog said:
    DD you can crack this case!!!

    Believe me, I've tried, I've looked into it over the years, it's a tangled mess, so many good suspects, it's impossible to figure out. I hope they match up his DNA, I want to see his real face!

    Yea, there's been so many false alarms about this case over the years, sometimes ya just gotta yawn at the latest new evidence. Although this one seems a bit stronger than most. We shall see.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    This right here sold for $37,000 a while back.

    Wow - I was figuring maybe 150 bucks.

    Well there goes my career as an appraiser of the value of hijacked currency down the drain.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2024 3:04PM

    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

  • Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    Leaving things like that on shore is exactly what you would do if someone wanted you to think they didnt make it. Did they make it or some of them make it maybe, but it would be more likely those items would have washed out to sea than turn up on shore in good condition. The fact they were even able to make it off the island says to me that they were more than capable of making it

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Basebal21 said:

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    Leaving things like that on shore is exactly what you would do if someone wanted you to think they didnt make it. Did they make it or some of them make it maybe, but it would be more likely those items would have washed out to sea than turn up on shore in good condition. The fact they were even able to make it off the island says to me that they were more than capable of making it

    I honestly hope they did make it, heck of a bad way to go if they didn't.

  • Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    Leaving things like that on shore is exactly what you would do if someone wanted you to think they didnt make it. Did they make it or some of them make it maybe, but it would be more likely those items would have washed out to sea than turn up on shore in good condition. The fact they were even able to make it off the island says to me that they were more than capable of making it

    I honestly hope they did make it, heck of a bad way to go if they didn't.

    I would bet that its more likely that at least one of them made it than not. It would be more likely that nothing was ever found if they didnt make it

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,219 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2024 3:57PM

    I think they made it as well, I think the current and water temp was probably exaggerated?

    IDK but the Pacific off the coast of California is a lot warmer than the East Coast Atlantic

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    It would be very interesting to visit Alcatraz. I don't believe in ghosts, but I'd say it would have to be an eerie feeling walking thru that building.

    I once visited Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp. That was an eerie feeling for sure.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A few quick Googles, pasted:

    "The Alcatraz 1962 Escape Report
    The official Alcatraz 1962 escape report concludes that the three Alcatraz inmates drowned in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. During the time of their escape, there were strong ocean currents and water temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit."

    "How cold was the water when they escaped from Alcatraz?
    Physical obstacles. It had seemed impossible to escape from Alcatraz by swimming. The seasonal water temperature in the San Francisco Bay is about 53 °F (12 °C) in December and the current can exceed 6 knots."

    I really don't know anything about the convicts who attempted the escape other than the movie. If the movie mentioned what they were in for, I don't remember it. But I recall thinking that I hoped they made it.

    Perhaps my rooting was because I've always liked Clint Eastwood. 😄

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It was one heck of a plan the escapees hatched, very intricate. The drill they used and shared to make the holes in the back of their cells, the fake dummy heads with real hair, the life raft, life jackets, pumping mechanism to inflate the raft and vests, the wooden paddles. There were originally supposed to be four to make the escape, but one guy got stuck in the hole in the back of his cell and couldn't get through it. It's interesting, back in 2013 a letter turned up and was given to the San Francisco police, the person who wrote the letter claimed to be John Anglin and claimed that they survived the escape here is an article written in 2018 about the story.

    Letter claims inmates survived infamous Alcatraz escape

    The three inmates who famously broke out of Alcatraz prison in 1962 may not have gone down to their watery graves in shark-infested San Francisco Bay after all, according to a report.

    According to a letter allegedly written by one of the three convicts in 2013, they all survived their daring escape.

    “My name is John Anglin. I escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!” said the letter, obtained by local CBS affiliate KPIX.

    He then tries to strike an astonishing deal with the FBI — offering to be locked up again for a year in exchange for medical care.

    The feds have reopened the ancient cold case as a result of the shocking piece of evidence, which was sent to San Francisco police.

    “It’s interesting, I mean it’s obviously a very famous case here in San Francisco,” said Jeff Harp, a security analyst for CBS San Francisco who worked for 21 years with the FBI, though not on the escape.

    The three bank robbers gained widespread notoriety and folklore after escaping from the high-security lockup on June 11, 1962 — the only convicts to successfully break out of the island prison, nicknamed “The Rock.”

    In 1979’s “Escape from Alcatraz,” Clint Eastwood portrayed Morris in a dramatization of the trio’s escape. The warden, played by Patrick McGoohan, informed him that no inmate had ever made it out alive.

    According to the feds, the men used a homemade drill devised from a broken vacuum cleaner motor to widen vents and crawl through before clambering up a series of pipes.

    They eventually made it out through the ventilation system that led them to the prison roof and slid down the smokestack to the ground, where they launched their makeshift raft fashioned out of more than 50 raincoats.

    They also created life vests and wooden paddles.

    The next morning, shocked guards found dummy heads made of plaster, papier-mâché, paint and real human hair in their cells.

    According to the letter, Morris died in 2008 and Clarence Anglin died three years later.

    The writer offers a deal: “If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. This is no joke…”

    The proof that 3 men survived their escape from Alcatraz
    The US Marshals Service, the sole agency probing the case, said the FBI lab examined the letter for prints and DNA, KPIX reported. The FBI’s results were inconclusive.

    “So that means yes, and it means no, so this leaves everything in limbo,” Harp said.

    The letter writer said he lives in Southern California after spending many years after his escape living in Seattle and North Dakota.

    In a statement to CBS, the Marshals Service wrote: “There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of them would have changed their lifestyle and became completely law abiding citizens after this escape.”

    National Park Service Ranger John Cantwell said: “The Federal Bureau of Prisons say that they drowned once they got off of Alcatraz and their bodies were swept out to the Pacific Ocean — end of story.”

    There have been previous tantalizing reports about the escaped prisoners.

    A 2015 History Channel special showed a photo allegedly showing John and Clarence in Brazil — 13 years after their escape.

    If the men are alive today, Morris would be 90 years old, John Anglin 86 and Clarence Anglin 87.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, this certainly is interesting. John and Clarence Anglin's nephew actually weighed in on the mysterious letter and said that his grandmother received roses and cards with their signatures on them for years after the escape.

    Anglin's cell is now a favorite stop for tourists who can see the vent he squeezed through when he and the others made their break, then floated off the island in a homemade raft.

    "It's always been talked about through the family," said David Widner, a nephew of John and Clarence Anglin. "My grandmother received roses for several years after the escape."

    Widner said John and Clarence's signature was on the cards that came along with those flowers.

    The letter was received by San Francisco police in 2013 but never before made public.

    "I really haven't come to a conclusion whether I believe that it's John reaching out or not," Widner said."

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is the mysterious letter in question.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Like I said, Alcatraz was a hard as nails place to attempt an escape from, in 1946 six guys tried to break out and the US Marines had to be called in, it ended very badly.

    https://youtu.be/JX78xN4c7zY?si=xmqhvA19pCUArpcn

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can see the hole in the back of Frank Morris's cell, the inmates used a makeshift drill that they shared and passed from cell to cell every night when the lights went out. They made these holes in their cells to climb through the night of the escape, one of the inmates got stuck in the hole in his cell and got left behind. That inmates name was Allen West and he gave the guards all the information about the entire plot and how it was carried out.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    These are the fake dummy heads the inmates made, they put real human hair in them.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of the wooden paddles they made for the raft.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A life vest they made for the journey across the water.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is Allen West, the inmate that couldn't get through his hole, and got left behind. West would later claim that he masterminded the whole thing. I don't know if that's true or if he just wanted credit for the legendary feat.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    On June 21, 1962, shreds of raincoat material, believed to be remnants of the raft, were found on a beach not far from the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One more story for you before I call it a day, this photo was taken in 1975 in Brazil, the two men pictured here are alleged to be the Anglin brothers, John and Clarence.

    This photo could finally crack a notorious Alcatraz cold case

    This family photo allegedly shows escaped prisoners Clarence (left) and John Anglin in Brazil in 1975.
    Anglin Family Archive

    For more than 50 years, Alcatraz officials have stated that three inmates who escaped the notorious prison in 1962 drowned in the waters of San Francisco Bay.

    But thanks to new evidence presented in the History channel special “Alcatraz: Search for the Truth” Monday night — namely a photograph showing escaped brothers John and Clarence Anglin in Brazil in 1975 — the cold case is garnering new attention from the authorities.

    As recounted in the special, the photo was allegedly taken by the Anglins’ family friend Fred Brizzi, who claims to have run into the brothers in Rio de Janiero in the ‘70s. Brizzi gave the photo to the Anglin family in 1992, but nephews Ken and David Widner only now handed it over to Art Roderick, the retired US marshal who was lead investigator on the case for 20 years.

    “When you work these types of cases, there’s a feeling you get when stuff starts to fall into place,” Roderick recently told The Post. “I’m getting this feeling now.”

    Roderick commissioned a forensic artist expert to analyze the photo, who concluded it was “highly likely” that the men in the photo are indeed John and Clarence Anglin. After looking into Brizzi’s own criminal background — as well as an alternate escape theory centered on a getaway boat — he now also suspects the Anglins’ childhood friend may have helped in their escape.

    The new evidence was enough to spur Roderick to line up new interviews in the case and he is talking to the US Marshals Service about investigating in Brazil, where the brothers (who would be in their mid-80s if still alive) may have fled.

    He ends the special by saying, “I truly believe we’re going to close it.”

  • Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    This is Allen West, the inmate that couldn't get through his hole, and got left behind. West would later claim that he masterminded the whole thing. I don't know if that's true or if he just wanted credit for the legendary feat.

    Unlikely he was the mastermind. Once you get caught you might as well try and take credit. Out of the three that got out two were skilled outdoors men and had a history of swimming in Lake Michigan when there were up there and the third had escaped from prison before.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2024 6:15PM

    Oh just one more thing, years ago a couple of guys actually tried to repeat the escape, they made everything as close to authentic as they could, the raft and everything, and tried to make the trip from Alcatraz Island across the water to the shore. I watched it but forgot if they made it or not. The PBS documentary is called Secrets of the Dead: The Alcatraz Escape and is available on DVD.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is always a number of pranksters out there. I think the flowers thing was a sick joke. In the UK, pranking is like a cottage industry.

    But many folks in the US also like pranks. Remember the old Candid Camera show? It was a show about pranks and was very popular. Some other shows similar to that followed. There are some prank videos on Youtube which are elaborate beyond belief. Some are actually dangerous. I guess for some it's anything for a laugh.

    Bottom line: if the evidence shown was real, it would have been conformed and verified by now, and the media would have picked up on it. It would be common knowledge, instead of just some lone wolf investigator tracking a cold case just to get overtime pay.

    That being said, it is interesting to discuss. Even though I firmly believe that they didn't make it, the way they formulated and executed the escape plan was genius. It's a shame with that intelligence that they didn't become tradesmen such as carpenters, electricians, or other skilled professions. I think they would have prospered quite well. Instead they sadly chose a life of crime.

  • Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    Bottom line: if the evidence shown was real, it would have been conformed and verified by now, and the media would have picked up on it. It would be common knowledge, instead of just some lone wolf investigator tracking a cold case just to get overtime pay.

    It wouldnt necessarily be confirmed as real. It happened at a time when it was hard to prove things if authorities were saying it wasnt. Theres a lot of agencies that have a vested interest in saying they died escaping as opposed to saying they couldnt catch them and were wrong. I dont know if they actually survived or not, the evidence suggests theres a better chance they did than didnt.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    You can see the hole in the back of Frank Morris's cell, the inmates used a makeshift drill that they shared and passed from cell to cell every night when the lights went out. They made these holes in their cells to climb through the night of the escape, one of the inmates got stuck in the hole in his cell and got left behind. That inmates name was Allen West and he gave the guards all the information about the entire plot and how it was carried out.

    West should have lost a little more weight so as to fit through the hole. Wonder if the other 3 lost some weight to make it easier to fit through the hole.
    Also if one can cover their body with petroleum jelly it helps to retard the cold from the exposure to cold water,if in fact they had to swim some.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stories such as this brings to mind the California Zodiac killer case. We may never conclusively know.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • TabeTabe Posts: 5,905 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The DB Cooper theory that I buy into is that Cooper never existed. The whole thing was concocted by the airplane crew.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,219 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:
    A few quick Googles, pasted:

    "The Alcatraz 1962 Escape Report
    The official Alcatraz 1962 escape report concludes that the three Alcatraz inmates drowned in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. During the time of their escape, there were strong ocean currents and water temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit."

    "How cold was the water when they escaped from Alcatraz?
    Physical obstacles. It had seemed impossible to escape from Alcatraz by swimming. The seasonal water temperature in the San Francisco Bay is about 53 °F (12 °C) in December and the current can exceed 6 knots."

    I really don't know anything about the convicts who attempted the escape other than the movie. If the movie mentioned what they were in for, I don't remember it. But I recall thinking that I hoped they made it.

    Perhaps my rooting was because I've always liked Clint Eastwood. 😄

    The thing about inmates is they are absolute masterminds when it comes inventing something out of nothing, I'd be willing to bet they were able to put together some type of rubber suit to cover vital parts of themselves to stay warm enough in the water along with a decent flotation device.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    DB Cooper --- modern technology and DNA research aside, his identity is certain to never be known. Even if his DNA is on the tie, even if they are able to separate it from all the other DNA/contamination, even if they can then obtain a useable profile it may be useless. There may be no living person to obtain a sample from to back-trace, leaving known DNA of ______________.

    Alcatraz --- logic would seem to say there were three outcomes to the escape: they swam to shore, they had accomplices who picked them up at sea, they drowned and the bodies were never found. It seems most likely that they drowned but improbable that their bodies wouldn't be discovered. If they swam to shore or had help and survived, it seems equally improbable that they never re-surfaced and their whereabouts was never known.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood said:
    DB Cooper --- modern technology and DNA research aside, his identity is certain to never be known. Even if his DNA is on the tie, even if they are able to separate it from all the other DNA/contamination, even if they can then obtain a useable profile it may be useless. There may be no living person to obtain a sample from to back-trace, leaving known DNA of ______________.

    Alcatraz --- logic would seem to say there were three outcomes to the escape: they swam to shore, they had accomplices who picked them up at sea, they drowned and the bodies were never found. It seems most likely that they drowned but improbable that their bodies wouldn't be discovered. If they swam to shore or had help and survived, it seems equally improbable that they never re-surfaced and their whereabouts was never known.

    The Alcatraz accomplice scenario is interesting. Two problems, coordinating the exact pickup point, at night, the escapees wouldn't have any lights, flares, etc, in a current moving at six knots. Second, who would be willing to do this for some hard core criminals? If the accomplice was caught, that person would have received a serious prison sentence. Also if any of the escapees were eventually caught, they might in some sort of deal, reveal the name of the accomplice.

  • pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 439 ✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    One more story for you before I call it a day, this photo was taken in 1975 in Brazil, the two men pictured here are alleged to be the Anglin brothers, John and Clarence.

    This photo could finally crack a notorious Alcatraz cold case

    This family photo allegedly shows escaped prisoners Clarence (left) and John Anglin in Brazil in 1975.
    Anglin Family Archive

    For more than 50 years, Alcatraz officials have stated that three inmates who escaped the notorious prison in 1962 drowned in the waters of San Francisco Bay.

    But thanks to new evidence presented in the History channel special “Alcatraz: Search for the Truth” Monday night — namely a photograph showing escaped brothers John and Clarence Anglin in Brazil in 1975 — the cold case is garnering new attention from the authorities.

    As recounted in the special, the photo was allegedly taken by the Anglins’ family friend Fred Brizzi, who claims to have run into the brothers in Rio de Janiero in the ‘70s. Brizzi gave the photo to the Anglin family in 1992, but nephews Ken and David Widner only now handed it over to Art Roderick, the retired US marshal who was lead investigator on the case for 20 years.

    “When you work these types of cases, there’s a feeling you get when stuff starts to fall into place,” Roderick recently told The Post. “I’m getting this feeling now.”

    Roderick commissioned a forensic artist expert to analyze the photo, who concluded it was “highly likely” that the men in the photo are indeed John and Clarence Anglin. After looking into Brizzi’s own criminal background — as well as an alternate escape theory centered on a getaway boat — he now also suspects the Anglins’ childhood friend may have helped in their escape.

    The new evidence was enough to spur Roderick to line up new interviews in the case and he is talking to the US Marshals Service about investigating in Brazil, where the brothers (who would be in their mid-80s if still alive) may have fled.

    He ends the special by saying, “I truly believe we’re going to close it.”

    Art Rodericks dad Art Sr. worked for the local court and also worked with my dad at the community center. I did not know Art Roderick Jr. as he was a bit older than I am. I'm sure my dad and older brothers knew him or of him.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Her it is, the > @BLUEJAYWAY said:

    Stories such as this brings to mind the California Zodiac killer case. We may never conclusively know.

    The Zodiac killer and Jack the Ripper's true identities have been revealed, you just have to really look for it. Years ago, I spent a lot of time, probably too much time, looking into both cases. My search led me to these two books, both killers identities are revealed in both books. The Zodiac killer was a man named Arthur Leigh Allen, and Jack the Ripper was an artist named Walter Sickert. Read both of these books from start to finish.

  • burghmanburghman Posts: 794 ✭✭✭✭

    Zodiac is definitely a convoluted web. I’ve read the Graysmith book but also other more recent references, shows/documentaries, and there’s no perfect suspect. New series is starting up on Peacock, “Myth of the Zodiac Killer” - first episode was last week (haven’t watched it).

    Jim

  • 1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,587 ✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    Happy Gilmore accomplished that feat no more than an hour ago.

    Man people have made the swim. In 1934 a 17 year old girl made it. Since then even pregnant women have made it.

    They had a makeshift raft and paddles too.

    Can't discount the desire to survive. People have braved harsher realities and have survived.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2024 10:57AM

    So let's see now, three escapees somehow make it to shore with no possessions, no money, no ID in soaking wet clothes, freezing half to death. With countless numbers of law enforcement officers looking for them in those areas. Despite the fact that the adrenaline rush from the escape had to suck much of the energy out of them even before they set foot in the water. And sitting in a prison cell for years with no cardio exercise, they suddenly were able to make a long swim or fragile raft ride in cold, treacherous waters.

    Somehow, some way they manage to I guess hitchhike it down to Brazil, eluding suspicion, with no money, no ID, no passport, etc. Then they become workers to earn money, but why would a Brazilian business owner hire them over fellow Brazilians, especially with no background record, and I highly doubt if they spoke Portuguese which is the major language of Brazil.

    Then on subsistence wages if they could even find a job, they somehow wind-up buying a farm, and live happily ever after.

    Mark Twain couldn't come up with a better story.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    On June 21, 1962, shreds of raincoat material, believed to be remnants of the raft, were found on a beach not far from the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Looks to me like the raft likely fell apart shortly after they got in it.

    Here's the final verdict:

    Escaped: June 11, 1962
    Died: June 11, 1962

    Shark, fish, and crab smorgasbord: June 11, 1962

    Case closed

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will say this, som> @1948_Swell_Robinson said:

    @doubledragon said:
    The Alcatraz escape, I think Steve is right, the men probably didn't make it. I remember a guard that was involved in the search for the escapees said that some of their personal belongings washed up in a nearby shore, letters from family, photos of their loved ones, things like that. Those are the type of items that they would have wanted to keep with them, and not abandoned unless they absolutely had to. Alcatraz has always fascinated me, I would like to take a tour someday, you just can't build a more isolated, intimidating prison, quite a few men died trying to escape the hell of the rock.

    Happy Gilmore accomplished that feat no more than an hour ago.

    Man people have made the swim. In 1934 a 17 year old girl made it. Since then even pregnant women have made it.

    They had a makeshift raft and paddles too.

    Can't discount the desire to survive. People have braved harsher realities and have survived.

    No doubt about it, when your life is on the line you will fight like heck to survive. I don't know if they made it or not, but I'm certainly not ruling the possibility out, people have survived a lot worse circumstances than that.

  • Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:
    A few quick Googles, pasted:

    "The Alcatraz 1962 Escape Report
    The official Alcatraz 1962 escape report concludes that the three Alcatraz inmates drowned in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. During the time of their escape, there were strong ocean currents and water temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit."

    "How cold was the water when they escaped from Alcatraz?
    Physical obstacles. It had seemed impossible to escape from Alcatraz by swimming. The seasonal water temperature in the San Francisco Bay is about 53 °F (12 °C) in December and the current can exceed 6 knots."

    I really don't know anything about the convicts who attempted the escape other than the movie. If the movie mentioned what they were in for, I don't remember it. But I recall thinking that I hoped they made it.

    Perhaps my rooting was because I've always liked Clint Eastwood. 😄

    The thing about inmates is they are absolute masterminds when it comes inventing something out of nothing, I'd be willing to bet they were able to put together some type of rubber suit to cover vital parts of themselves to stay warm enough in the water along with a decent flotation device.

    Inmates have all the time in the world to plan things and nothing else to do. They didnt have TVs or anything back then just idle time. The brothers were farmers and were known skilled swimmers even in Lake Michigan with ice in the water during their seasonal farming work. They were from the south and had made homemade boats in the past too.

    I think their boat likely made it or they were picked up by someone and destroyed the boat. Given the time frame I wouldnt put it past evidence being planted to just say they died and save face as opposed to admitting inmates actually escaped. Its certainly incredibly hard, but the swim even without a boat isnt impossible like the reports want people to believe

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