Frank Morris, born on September 1, 1926, was a convicted armed robber who gained notoriety for his role in the infamous Alcatraz prison escape. Morris was incarcerated for a series of crimes, including bank robbery, narcotics possession, and armed robbery. Alcatraz, known as “The Rock,” was considered one of the most secure prisons in the United States, located on an island in San Francisco Bay. Morris’s escape, along with brothers John and Clarence Anglin, on the night of June 11, 1962, remains one of the most daring and mysterious prison breaks in history.
The trio meticulously planned their escape, crafting life vests and a makeshift raft from raincoats. They managed to chip away the vent openings in their cells over the course of months using spoons and crude tools. On the night of the escape, Morris and the Anglin brothers slipped into the frigid waters surrounding Alcatraz, embarking on their journey to freedom. Despite an extensive manhunt and ongoing investigations, no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding the fate of the escapees, leading to various theories and speculations about whether they successfully reached the mainland.
Frank Morris’s escape from Alcatraz has become the stuff of legend, immortalized in books and films. The enduring mystery surrounding the fate of Morris and the Anglin brothers continues to captivate the public’s imagination, adding a layer of intrigue to an already dramatic tale of defiance against the seemingly impenetrable walls of Alcatraz.
It’s a good idea to look at these 10 fun facts about Frank Morris to know more about him.
- Early Criminal Record: Before his Alcatraz days, Frank Morris had an extensive criminal record, including charges of bank robbery, narcotics possession, and armed robbery. His history of criminal activities set the stage for his eventual incarceration at the notorious prison.
- IQ and Academic Background: Morris was known for his high IQ, reportedly scoring at around 133. Despite his intellectual capabilities, his criminal lifestyle led to numerous arrests and incarcerations.
- Artistic Talent: While serving time at Alcatraz, Morris discovered and developed his artistic skills. He created intricate drawings and paintings, showcasing a talent that often surprised both inmates and guards.
- Escape Planning: Morris was the mastermind behind the Alcatraz escape plan. His meticulous planning involved creating life vests and a makeshift raft from raincoats. The escape also required months of chiseling away the vent openings in the cell walls.
- Raincoat Raft: The trio’s escape involved using a makeshift raft constructed from raincoats. The ingenuity displayed in crafting a seaworthy vessel from limited materials added to the legend of the Alcatraz escape.
- Elaborate Dummy Heads: To fool the prison guards during bed checks, Morris and the Anglin brothers created lifelike dummy heads. These heads were placed on their pillows to give the illusion that they were sleeping in their cells while they worked on their escape.
- Alcatraz Fitness Enthusiast: Morris was known for his physical fitness and spent much of his time in Alcatraz’s recreation yard, where he engaged in intense workouts. His dedication to fitness likely played a role in the success of the escape plan.
- Escape Discovery: The escape from Alcatraz went undetected until the morning of June 12, 1962, during routine cell checks. Guards found the dummy heads in the beds, signaling that the inmates had successfully escaped.
- Fate Unknown: The ultimate fate of Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers remains unknown. While theories and speculations abound, no concrete evidence has ever surfaced to confirm whether they successfully reached the mainland or perished in the attempt.
- Alcatraz Escape Legacy: The Alcatraz escape has become one of the most famous prison breaks in history. The mystery surrounding Morris’s disappearance has inspired numerous books, documentaries, and films, solidifying his place in criminal folklore.
Frank Morris, the enigmatic mastermind behind the daring Alcatraz escape, remains an enduring figure in the annals of criminal history. From his early criminal exploits to his meticulously planned escape from “The Rock,” Morris embodied a combination of intellectual acumen and audacious determination. His artistic talents, displayed through intricate drawings, and the elaborate dummy heads used in the escape underscored a multifaceted personality. The legacy of Frank Morris is perpetuated not only through the mystery of his disappearance but also through the enduring fascination with the Alcatraz escape. The legend of Morris and the Anglin brothers, disappearing into the foggy waters of San Francisco Bay, continues to captivate imaginations and inspire countless stories, books, and films. In the shadow of uncertainty surrounding his fate, Frank Morris stands as a symbol of defiance against the seemingly impenetrable walls of Alcatraz, leaving an indelible mark on the lore of criminal escapades.