Image - the speakers and detail from book cover
San Francisco

Alcatraz: The Last Escape

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It is an enduring mystery whether Frank Morris, and brothers John and Clarence Anglin, escaped from Alcatraz prison on June 11, 1962. It is widely believed that they succumbed to the waters of San Francisco Bay, though no trace of the men has ever been found―only their makeshift raft. In this reexamination of the escape and its aftermath, Ken Widner presents compelling evidence that his two Anglin uncles did in fact survive and eventually made their way to Brazil, where they married and had children―evidence which corroborates the stories he heard about his uncles while growing up.

Widner and Mike Lynch make a strong case for the Anglin brothers’ survival using official government documents showing how mobster Mickey Cohen may have been involved in their escape, revealing letters from fellow inmate Whitey Bulger, and recorded testimony from the person who facilitated their escape to Brazil. In addition, there is a 1975 photograph of the brothers in Brazil which has overcome all challenges to its authenticity by skeptics.

Join us for a fascinating deep-dive into Bay Area history.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

This program is in-person only.

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Photos courtesy the speakers.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Thu, Jun 6 / 5:30 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

Co-Author, Alcatraz: The Last Escape

Image - Ken Widner

Ken Widner

Co-Author, Alcatraz: The Last Escape

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m program
(all times Pacific Time)


$10 members
$20 nonmembers
$40 members with a book
$50 nonmembers with a book