S.F. Police Warn Against Raid by Escaped Convicts

Bank Managers Told to Have All Guards Alert

Grim fog that had shielded their prison break lifted but a furious day and night of unceasing search still failed to find a single trace of the two Oklahoma bad men who vanished from “escape proof” Alcatraz Island.

From dawn yesterday and during last night officers pressed the search for Ralph Roe and Theodore Cole. The rocky island, itself, the bay and its shores were combed in a great but fruitless manhunt.


Following theft of rifles, revolvers and ammunition from a boat anchored at Yacht Harbor, San Francisco, police took every precaution against depredations by the fugitives, should they have reached the mainland.

All bank managers were warned to have guards on the alert in case of an attempted holdup; police radio patrol cars were watching banks and other places where large amounts of money are kept; all stolen cars and cars with Oklahoma license plates were being investigated by police and Department of Justice agents.

While the possibility still remained the convicts were met by outside accomplices in a boat, most observers believed they left the islands on a makeshift raft or life preservers fashioned from heavy driftwood and discarded tire casings at the base of the Alcatraz bluff.

Although Warden James A. Johnston was convinced the men perished, whether they utilized a makeshift raft or not, others believed they may have succeeded in staying afloat as far as the Golden Gate to be swept ashore either on the Marin or San Francisco sides.


This theory gained official recognition when the Coast Guard was requested to watch closely both shores at the Golden Gate. Mariners disclosed that Golden Gate bridge towers have caused violent eddies in the outgoing tides which cause objects to be swept shoreward.

Guards and prison officials searched without result every inch of the island, concentrating on the caverns caused by tidal erosion on the northern and western shores.

Coast Guard patrol boats, launched from Fort McDowell and Fort Mason and the San Francisco police boat D.A. White patroled the entire north end of the bay and searched the island from offshore.

All fishing craft were being searched at Fisherman’s wharf by G-men acting under Chief Agent M.J.L. Pieper. G-men also were maintaining a watch at the home of Cole’s mother, Mrs. Esther Cole, at Woodlake, and the home of his sister, Violent [sic] Dawson, at nearby Bell, in Tulare county.

Sheriff’s deputies and local police in communities bordering the bay kept a close vigil on water fronts and shoreline, questioning all suspicious persons.

Dozens of tips were telephoned to police, but most of them proved nebulous, erroneous, or not connected with the flight.

Commenting on the possibility of a makeshift raft, Warden Johnston disclosed that tire casings are tossed down the cliff of Alcatraz after most of the usable portion of the rubber is punched out in making rubber mats for the navy. All inner tubes are removed when the tires are brought into the prison, he said, and there is no possibility the men could have obtained within the prison anything for use as a life preserver.

It was thought possible, however, that the men could have obtained rope in the machine shop with which they could have bound together driftwood, unusually heavy due to the recent valley floods, into a raft.


“I can’t see how the men could be alive,” Johnston declared. “At the time they escaped the ebb tide was so swift—why it tosses driftwood around like matches—I don’t see how they could have stayed aboard a raft. A life preserver would have been practically useless. A body with a life preserver on it drifted ashore here some time ago and the life preserver was water logged, indicating that the man went right under in the swirling currents.

“If the men tried swimming without any makeshift contrivance, they must have drowned within a few moments.”

Johnston informed Prison Director James V. Bennett in Washington, D.C., of the progress of the hunt throughout the day. It was from Bennett that first word of the escape came on Thursday.


After being locked up all Thursday afternoon and yesterday morning so as to expedite the search, the 300 prisoners on the island were taken out of their cells at noon yesterday and routine returned to normal.

Bay Region police discussed the possibility that Roe and Cole had been given a picture of the Bay Region layout by John Paul Chase, former Sausalito rum runner and member of the Baby Face Nelson gang, now confined on the island.

The theory of outside connivance, considered highly probable by some was discounted by Johnston. He declared that even had the break been worked with someone on the outside as to time and position, visibility was so poor it would have been next to impossible for the fugitives to have made connections with a boat.

Two incidents possibly connected with the break were being investigated by San Francisco police. They were informed by Mrs. Harry N. Jack, San Bruno, that she saw something resembling a man in the water as the 10:30 Sauselito auto ferry docked at Hyde street Thursday night.

Two rifles, two revolvers and a large amount of ammunition was stolen from the ketch Jessie G. Moore at Yacht Harbor about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, but a man in a boat berthed near-by said he saw a boy whom he recognized break a lock and go into the ketch. There was a bare chance, police said, that someone else and not the boy took the guns.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 18 December 1937, pages 1 and 3.

Alcatraz Inmates Pleased With Success of Break

By Lawrence Resner

From a distance of 70 feet away on the deck of Coast Guard patrol boat No. 412, I had a close range view yesterday of life on Alcatraz Island just 24 hours after “the rock’s” first escape of Federal prisoners.

Inside the machine gun lines with weather clear and everything sharply defined, I saw with the Coast Guardsmen a little of what tension and excitement must exist in the great prison as a result of the break of Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe.


I saw convicts knotted in groups, usually of no more than four, being busied about tasks that obviously might have to do with the search of missing men.

I saw them, at the foot of the cliff where the two desperate escape artists had made their leap, pulling together old tires and doing away with them.

Coast guardsmen said it was believed that Cole and Roe might have utilized these to support themselves in the water after their leap from “the rock.”

I saw guards working furtively in the search among the caves that have been worn by erosion in the sides of the fortress-like island.

I saw an obvious bristling of guns on the guard mounts, could hear shouted orders.


And with the aid of glasses, I could discern smiles of amusement on the faces of prisoners as they moved about under rapid-fire orders.

You could sense real drama here.

I spent three hours on the patrol boat. On part of its routine tour, it passed extremely close to the prison island.

At the southeast corner of the island, eight convicts, dressed in black caps and gray jumpers, were piling the used tire casings into a small truck.

Probably three guards were present with them. When the Coast Guard passed, the four convicts seemed to draw together, and with the aid of high powered binoculars, I saw them actually laugh.

On the island prison, convicts at work are supposed to maintain a strict silence. The men I saw did. But the powers of expression have been developed in a new way at Alcatraz. The prisoners indicated the entire nature of the situation to each other by nods and looks.

The convicts, I imagine, weren’t smiling at the Coast Guard, but at mighty Alcatraz prison’s legend as an “escape proof” penitentiary. On other parts of the island, guards in pairs were seen going over a labyrinth of stairways, in the unending search for Ralph Roe and Theodore Cole, still possibly on the prison island hidden somewhere.

Aside from the actual search and occasional requests sent out to the Coast Guard Patrol to investigate strange boats close by the island, however, life on Alcatraz apparently was near normal.


Smoking chimneys indicated the entire prison population at work as usual. The tension of the guards on the island was indicated, however, as they had the Coast Guard order back to the San Francisco shore a boat with a newspaper photographer possibly 400 yards from Alcatraz.

I was the only reporter on the 412 when it went out on an afternoon tour of inspection. It proceeded from Pier 43 1/2 along the San Francisco waterfront, pass the Coast Guard cutter Shoshone, in temporary anchorage off the Presidio, and out past the Golden Gate.

The boat made a complete encirclement of the bay. Seamen on the boat were equipped with high-powered glasses and inspected every inch of shore line for bodies or perhaps a can or a shirt.

Each small cove was given thorough inspection. Previous experience in search for bodies and an understanding of the tides and cross currents of the bay sent the crew of 412 into each section likely to yield a clue to Thursday’s escape.

Driftwood occasionally attracted the attention of the searchers. The fog lifted yesterday afternoon and for the first time enabled the Coast Guard to make a full search of the bay.

The Marin shores likewise drew the attention of the sea searchers.

For 28 hours the 412 had been hindered by the fog, but as the fog lifted the lost hours seemed to have destroyed a possible solution to the present mysterious disappearance.


From outside the Gate the Coast Guard patrol boat returned directly toward the island prison and encircled it. We saw the guards and prisoners, almost as beclouded with doubt as any others outside the island.

In the course of the trip a couple of seaman acted as my tutors, and for the three hours I learned a lot about swift tides, cross-currents, whirlpools and fog, the legendary hazards of Alcatraz.

Unless Roe and Cole had outside help, the Coast Guard personnel, officers and enlisted men are firmly of the opinion they drowned.

Persons, even young girl swimmers, have swam out and around the island, the seamen admitted, but never in weather like Thursday.

In the Thursday search, a cross current completely turned about the Coast Guard’s harbor launch Swift, a comparatively small boat, but certainly more formidable in the water than mere men or even a raft. The seamen were inclined to discredit the swimming abilities of Roe and Cole, long confined in State and Federal penitentiaries.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 18 December 1937, pages 1 and 3.

“My Sonny Boy Is Dead,” Sobs Mother of Cole

Parents of Escaped Convict Hear News at Home Near Visalia

WOODLAKE, Dec. 17—”My God, tell me the worst,” sobbed a gray-haired woman today as she leaned for support against the door of her modest river bottom home near here, “tell me the worst. Sonny Boy is dead, and he wasn’t prepared to meet his God.”

Then, obviously fighting collapse, the woman, Mrs. Esther Cole, mother of Theodore Cole, 35, one of the escaped Alcatraz convicts, led The Chronicle’s correspondent into the living room.


There, since she belongs to an evangelistic sect which does not permit the reading of newspapers or the use of radios, Mrs. Cole learned of her son’s death for freedom.

Sitting rigid in a rocker with her Bible clutched to her breast with trembling fingers, Mrs. Cole, when told that authorities are not certain “Sonny Boy” met his death in the swirling waters, cried brokenly.

“I hate to say it, but I wish he were dead. Then I would know that he is out of all the trouble, and that my worries of the last eight years are over.”


From her side Fred Cole, the boy’s stepfather, a service station attendant and World war veteran, ejaculated, “Well, I’ll be damned. Why, I taught him to swim when he was 12 years old.”

Recounting how they had come from Oklahoma two years ago to be near “Sonny Boy,” Cole added, “If the boy is dead, you’ll let us know? We would like to have the body. They’ll let us have him, won’t they?”

Mrs. Cole then revealed that young Cole wrote to her less than two weeks ago. In his letter, he complained of the monotony of prison life; asked about his childhood sweetheart, Pauline McAllister of Tulsa, and thanked them for a photograph they sent him.


Fingering their son’s letter from Alcatraz reflectively, Cole said: “I hope the boy will turn himself in,” and added that he would be “duty bound” to turn him over to the authorities if he came to the ranch, 16 miles from Visalia.

Opening the Bible to the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, “The Betrayal of Jesus by Judas,” Mrs. Cole brokenly read a few lines, then buried her care-worn face in her hands and sobbed.

“‘Sonny Boy’ was framed when they sent him up as a boy for robbing the bottle works at Tulsa, Okla. He was such a good boy and we all loved him. He took the blame for what other boys did and it ruined his life.”

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 18 December 1937, page 3.

Ex-Cell Mate Hints At Cole Accomplice

(On exile parole from McAlester, Okla., State Prison, Collins Freeman, No. 22695, convicted of bank robbery and committed with Harvey Bailey, notorious Urschel kidnaper, now in Alcatraz, yesterday told The Chronicle of his prison experiences at McAlester as a cellmate of Theodore Cole, who, with Ralph Roe, escaped from Alcatraz Thursday.)

By Collins Freeman

If Ted Cole had outside aid in his Alcatraz escape, it probably came from Joe Harris, another Oklahoma bank robber, who engineered Cole’s escape from McAlester.

And if Ralph Roe survived his swim to shore, the lives of half of a dozen men are already in danger, for he has sworn to kill the deputies who shot his brother, Robert, in an escape attempt.

My first day of a 20-year sentence for bank robbery found me a cellmate of Cole’s. He had just had his death sentence commuted to 15 years and was embittered and surly because worse offenders than in prison had been given lesser sentences. He was only an 18-year-old kid even then, but his only thoughts were of jobs he’d do when he got out and the revenge he’d have.


Cole was generous, shared everything with me, including a lot of secrets I didn’t want to know, but he was without fear or nerves and had no more idea of reform than a tiger.

You’ll get some idea now he felt about things from the fact that only a few weeks after I was transferred to another cell, he cut up and killed his new cellmate with a knife—apparently because he feared the man was a snitcher. They had only a preliminary hearing. He was never tried.

While I was celled up with Cole, he met Joe Harris, another bankrobber, who was released and the underground brought in news of bank jobs Harris was doing to finance Cole’s escape. Cole was shot in the first attempt but the next was successful and he thereafter teamed up with Harris.

Harris is still free and was sworn to free Cole again if he could.

Ralph Roe was there for three of the four years I served and he and Cole became friendly then. Roe’s brother, Robert, was also serving time and when he was taken out for trial on another matter, he tried to make a break on the return trip.

He died in the prison hospital of bullet wounds with Ralph at his bedside swearing he would kill every deputy involved when he got out. He was shot and captured himself soon afterward and this is the first chance he’s had to make good his threat.

In the same cell run with me was Wilbur Underhill, who was shot and killed when Ralph was recaptured. He was the toughest of them all.

I’ve since thought prison training helped make some of them tougher. Gambling runs wide open for both money and canteen coupons and the yard would look like a Reno gambling club every Saturday afternoon and Sunday. There were killings or cutting scrapes every week-end over cheating and hijacking. Life was cheaper than a few coupons.


Only one thing stopped the boys cold. That was the sterilization law for habitual criminals. It scared them worse than the chair. So desperate and frightened did they become, they planned revolts, took up defense funds to fight the first cases and swore if they ever got out they’d leave the State and confine their bank robbing to places where they had some regard for a man’s rights.

They lost the first case and nearly went crazy. The law was some deterrent. But it certainly led to a lot of extra jailbreaks.

It may be fear of the sterilization law will keep Roe out of Oklahoma and a chance to kill the deputies. If so, he’ll probably head for Los Angeles, because most of the boys are holed up down there waiting for things to blow over.

That’s why I’m up here. None of them has any idea of reform, and it’s pretty easy to go along if you’re around ‘em.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 18 December 1937, page 3.

G-Men Flock Into S.F. To Tighten Net In Felon Hunt

Warning Against Harboring Fugitives Issued by Agents

Department of Justice operatives moved yesterday to cut off possible aid for the fugitives from Alcatraz, Ted Cole and Ralph Coe, Oklahoma “bad men,” who fled “the Rock” Thursday.

Sending in additional men from other Coast cities to augment those already heading the search for the pair, the Federal Bureau of Investigation made it obvious that Cole and Roe share the brand once borne by Baby Face Nelson and others now dead gangsters—”Public Enemy No. 1.”


Formal warning was issued by the bureau “that anyone suspected of harboring the men will be subject of intensive investigation and will be prosecuted.”

The warning was voiced by N.J.L. Pieper, in charge of the local office, after an extensive telephonic conversation with J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the bureau in Washington.

Declaring the bureau must continue to investigate and hunt the men despite the possibility they were immediately swept to their deaths in the bay after leaping from the island in the dense fog, Pieper said:

“We are going to catch them. They can’t operate alone, and those who give them aid of any nature will place themselves in the same category as the hunted men.”

The hunt will go on, he said, until it is definitely established the men drowned, or until they are captured.


Police, Coast Guardsmen, soldiers, Sheriff’s deputies, and others continued one of the greatest man hunts the west has seen.

Admitting many tips had been received by the bureau, Pieper said all were being run down.

Federal agents and Marin county officers also investigated the report of Johnny Santos, 35, truck driver who said that two men attempted to jump on his truck Friday night while he was driving on a lonely road between Mill Valley and Sausalito. He said he fought them off.

The same two men were reported to have jumped back into the bush on Cascade drive, two miles south of Mill Valley, when the headlights of an auto shone on them. The spot is in the vicinity of the place Santos said he saw the men.

From Ukiah came a report that the FBI had asked the Sheriff’s office carefully to search through the freight yards following rumors men of the convicts’ description had been seen in Marin county.

A mysterious boat whose search light pierced the fog for a moment near an abandoned and crumbling wharf near Richmond sent investigators hurrying to the spot.

Shortly afterward two holdups were reported, one in not far distant El Cerrito and another at Concord.

Both were staged by young men whose descriptions broadly tallied with those of Cole and Roe.

A cross plank life raft was found floating in Golden Gate. The raft was buoyed by a small air tank attached under one of its planks.

Police investigated the contrivance on the possibility it might have been used by the fugitives.

George Jones, special patrolman on the Richmond water front, reported at 2 a.m. he had seen a 30-foot cabin cruiser nosing through the fog near Winehaven wharf. He notified his father, Chief of Police L.E. Jones, and police sped to the spot.

The boat had disappeared, but while the investigation continued a rowboat with “more than one man” was seen beneath the old wharf. When officers got down to the water the boat also had vanished.

Jones, saying the boats might have been used by the Alcatraz convicts, added that the wharf would be a favorite haven for illegal fishing or other unlawful enterprises.

Before the furor of that incident had quieted, police reports came in of a holdup of Victor Robinson, service station attendant at San Pablo avenue and Panhandle boulevard, El Cerrito. He lost $80 and reported the one man he had seen compared to descriptions of Cole.

Later H.W. Miller of Concord, said two men had held him up and obtained $83.

In addition to the drive of the G-men, orders came from James V. Bennett, Federal prison director, to investigate all reports and rumors and to continue the manhunt until the Department of Justice is convinced the men are dead, or until they have been captured.

Bennett said personally he did not see how the two men could have escaped alive by swimming to the mainland through the heavy tides that were running.

“I am in closest contact with Warden Johnston of Alcatraz as well as with the Coast Guard searching along the Pacific Coast. We have no intention of abandoning our search,” Bennett said.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 19 December 1937, pages 1 and 4.

Alcatraz Felons Alive, at Liberty, Prison Pal Says

Civilian Employee, Guard Named as Assistants in Escape Plot

The escape from Alcatraz was analyzed from an inside viewpoint yesterday by a man who was a prison pal of Theodore Cole, one of the fugitives, as continued search for the Oklahoma bad men proved futile.

Cole and his companion in flight, Ralph Roe, are alive.

They were taken off the island on a boat that came to the very shores of “the rock” in the dense fog.

Their escape was the culmination of months of plotting, with messages carried to and from the mainland by civilian employees and one guard.

Clock-like precision was necessary—or the two convicts are now dead at the bottom of the bay.

These are the views of Manual Limas, former convict on the island, who was closely questioned by Department of Justice operatives concerning his friendship with Cole.

Telling a story that in some respects was fantastic, Limas said more than 18 months ago he had warned prison officials of plans of Cole to flee from the “escape proof” prison.

Limas explained he had been sentenced to Alcatraz by the army, when the dread prison was still under the War Department, and had been held there after the Department of Justice took it over.

While there, he said, he had unlimited opportunity to talk to Cole, other prisoners and civilian employees and guards while working on the plumbing detail. Much of the time he worked side by side with Cole in the isolation of the locked cells.


He is now being held as a parole violator at the Hall of Justice.

Limas declared the carrying of messages back and forth from the island to the mainland was not uncommon, despite the extreme efforts of officials to prevent communication between convicts and the outside world.

He said one old time civilian employee is notorious among the convicts as a bearer of messages.

Cole, he said, had often boasted he could swim from the island to the shore, but little credence was given that possibility.

However, Limas is convinced the pair made a contact with friends on the mainland, who sent a boat to the island at the designated moment and picked them up. He said it would have been possible for the boat to come within a few feet of the island without being seen from the towers in the fog that prevailed. Possibly, he added, the attention of other guards had been distracted by other prisoners at the crucial moment.


“At one time, Cole wrote my address on the wall in the back of his cell, and said, ‘Don’t be surprised if I pay you a visit some time.’ I laughed and said, ‘You’re in here from now on.’”

He implied the escaped convicts knew the location of money that had been buried by companions and planned to make their way to it.

Meantime, Department of Justice operatives followed a maze of leads.

Speeding to Muir woods in the middle of the night they investigated a robbery of a large quantity of food. The fact that a rifle, shotgun and revolver were in sight but not taken led authorities to discredit possibility the thieves had been Roe and Cole.


Richmond police, Federal agents and Coast Guardsmen succeeded yesterday in tracing the “phantom yacht” of Whitehaven wharf near Richmond that was sighted Saturday, causing a flurry of excitement. The boat was found to be an old craft tied up near by.

Announcing he had been in regular communication with J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nat J.L. Pieper, local chief, said all possible tips are being followed night and day by an augmented force of operatives.

“We are working on the assumption the men are alive and we are not going to stop the search until they are captured or we are convinced they are dead,” Pieper said.


From Vallejo came reports of the robbery of two homes that had been thoroughly ransacked by burglars who apparently wore rubber gloves.

San Joaquin valley officials also joined in the sweeping search, following a flood of reports men answering the descriptions of the fugitives had been seen in Fresno.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 20 December 1937, pages 1 and 2.

‘Rock’ Escape Made by Two Felons After Sawing Bars

Warden Reveals How Cole, Roe Broke Out of Prison Shop

Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe cut their way through bars and glass to effect their escape Thursday from Alcatraz Prisons. And the entire operation required about five minutes of effort.

That was the revelation yesterday of Warden James A. Johnston as the hunt for the missing Oklahoma bad men continued by land and sea.

“I still think,” said Johnston, “that these two men lived but briefly after plunging into the bay and that their bodies were carried toward the Golden Gate by swift currents through the dense fog.”


“The possibility remains, however, that they made good their escape, and the search for them will continue until they are found—dead or alive,” said the warden. “I ask the public to telephone immediately Alcatraz any suspicions these men may have been seen.”

How the convicts obtained the saw or other instrument used in cutting the bars which permitted their departure from a machine shop where they worked was a mystery which Government agents had not solved.

A checkup of tools from the prison blacksmith and machine shops disclosed no articles missing, said Warden Johnston. The saw may have been smuggled to the prisoners, it was admitted.


The theory that the two had the help of confederates appeared strengthened by the revelation that a number of yachts and other craft had approached close to the 200-yard deadline set about the prison fortress on the day of their escape.

“These boats,” said Warden Johnston, “were observed flirting dangerously near the buoys surrounding the island and marking the line beyond which no unauthorized vessel is permitted to approach. Boats defying the deadline are fired upon.”

The heaviest fog in years that covered the Bay Region on the day of the escape, investigators admitted, undoubtedly would have permitted the closer approach of a vessel without detection by island guards.


A report—one which Warden Johnston heard with interest—had it that Cole and Roe had $200,000, fruit of Oklahoma robberies, cached in the Bay Region, and that their escape was engineered with part of this money used in the payoff of confederates.

This report, however, was little more than a rumor, but it was nevertheless being investigated, as were various other reports and rumors to the effect that suspicious persons answering the description of the escapees had been sighted in nearby counties.

Describing the method employed in the escape, Warden Johnston said the men were at work in the machine shop at 1 p.m., on Thursday. At 1:30 p.m., when the guard returned to the shop after inspecting other shops on the island, they were not there.


A glance at the heavily barred and glassed window was revealing. Two iron bars had been cut through and three heavy panes of plateglass had been shattered, leaving an aperture only eight and three-quarters inches high and 18 inches long. One of the bars had been bent out the other in.

The slim Cole would have had no difficulty in slipping through this hole, but for the 170-pound Roe it must have required some strenuous effort, investigators said.

Once through the window, the two moved through the fog to the gate of a high wire fence. With a wrench taken from the shop where they had been working they forced the gate lock, then dropped 20 feet to the wave-lapped beach, probably breaking their fall by wrapping themselves in discarded tires from the rubber mat shop.

There their trail vanished. An immediate search of the shorelines around the island by flashlight disclosed no mark that might have been made by the prow of a boat.


A further exhaustive search completed yesterday disclosed no trace at all of the men along the rocks and crevices around the island.

That the men, even without aid, may have succeeded in reaching the mainland, was indicated as a possibility with the Coast and Geodetic Survey report showed that since the completion of the bay bridges and Treasure Island bay tides have swung toward the Marin and San Francisco shores.

Discussing the statement made to Federal officials by Emanuel Limas Sunday that he had information the escape was effected after months of plotting with messages carried to and from the prison by civilian employees at the prison and one guard, Warden Johnston confirmed Limas’s statement that he was a prison associate of Cole.

“They had not seen each other, however, for 18 months,” he said. “They worked together in the plumbing shop.”

Like other Government officials the warden was inclined to discredit much of the somewhat fantastic story told by the former Alcatraz inmate, who is now under arrest as a parole violator from McNeil island.


Meantime, the hunt for Cole and Roe from the supposedly escape-proof “Rock,” spread through Western States. As far east as Chicago, according to Associated Press dispatches from Washington, agents at field offices of the Federal Bureau of investigation received orders from J. Edgar Hoover that the two escapees, if alive, must be caught.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 21 December 1937, pages 1 and 6.


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