June 1962 Alcatraz escape attempt: Escape from Alcatraz
FBI closing files
Alcatraz, San Francisco, USA
The FBI closed its file on December 31, 1979, after a 17-year investigation. Their official finding was that the prisoners most likely drowned in the cold waters of the bay while attempting to reach Angel Island, it being unlikely that they made it the 1.25 miles to shore with the strong ocean currents and the cold seawater temperatures ranging between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They cited the remnants found of the raft as well as the personal effects of the men, as evidence to bolster the official line that the raft broke up and sank at some point after having launched from Alcatraz and that the three convicts tried to swim for it, but then surely succumbed to hypothermia, their bodies swept to sea by the rapid currents of the San Francisco Bay. However, the FBI did hand the investigation over to the U.S. Marshals Service, who have not closed theirs since. As Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael Dyke told NPR in 2009: "There's an active warrant, and the Marshals Service doesn't give up looking for people." Dyke also pointed out that the bodies of two out of every three people who go missing in San Fransisco Bay are eventually recovered.