this day in crime history: july 31, 1945

On this date in 1945, inmate John Giles escaped from the federal prison at Alcatraz. Giles, a convicted train robber, worked on the prison’s dock loading and unloading military uniforms that were cleaned in the prison laundry. Over a period of time, Giles managed to steal a complete uniform, which he hid from guards. While dressed in the uniform, he boarded a ferry carrying a forged pass and left the island, headed for freedom. Or so he thought.

Luck and math weren’t working in Giles’s favor. The guards at Alcatraz soon realized they were one inmate short on their dock detail. And the senior officer on the ferry saw that he had somehow picked up an extra soldier. When the ferry arrived at its destination, nearby Angel Island (not San Francisco, as Giles had hoped), Giles stepped off the boat and into the hands of Alcatraz guards.

Further reading (and viewing):

Alcatraz History – Alcatraz Escape Attempts

Socyberty – None Shall Escape Alcatraz

HowStuffWorks – Alcatraz Webisodes: 1945 Escape Attempt

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7 thoughts on “this day in crime history: july 31, 1945

  1. John D.:

    LOL…this story always makes me smile.
    Here, he “thought” he had it ALL figured out…except for those damn HEAD-COUNTS…!
    🙂

    Gotta love the little things that nail these dummies.

    Good call.

    Stay safe out there.

    Like

    • Yup, they do multiple head counts every day in prison. It’s the fastest way to determine you still have all your prisoners. Fall short, and then they have to drill down and find out who’s who.

      Like

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