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Two Convicts Attempt Alcatraz Escape

Dec. 17, 1962 - The myth of Alcatraz was shredded today as investigators tried to discover how a convict escaped and then survived the swim of two-and-a-half miles to the mainland, where he was recaptured at the water’s edge. John Paul Scott, 35, won the distinction of being the first prisoner known to have reached the shore alive. There is no proof, however, that three men who escaped in June failed to survive the crossing of San Francisco Bay. Scott and another prisoner, Darl Lee Parker, 31, broke out of the kitchen storeroom in the prison basement just before 6 p.m. Sunday, made their way to the water, and started toward San Francisco. When they had been gone 45 minutes, a guard discovered the escape. Four Coast Guard cutters began circling the island, and Parker was found clinging to a pinnacle of rock known as Little Alcatraz. Scott was seen by a group of teenagers at 8:15 p.m. sitting naked on the rocks just above the water line at Fort Point beneath the southern end of the Golden Gate bridge. The convict had floated across the bay with the aid of an improvised set of water wings made by enclosing rubber gloves within the knotted sleeves of his prison shirt. Military police from the Presidio took him to the Army’s Letterman General Hospital, where he was examined, and he was then returned to Alcatraz. Both Scott and Parker are serving sentences for bank robbery, Scott a 30-year term and Parker a 50-year term. The prison at Alcatraz is set to be closed next year. At that time, all remaining prisoners will be transferred to other facilities.


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