|Name: Theodore Cole
|Name: Ralph Roe
Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe, two Oklahoma badmen, shattered the concept of Alcatraz Federal penitentiary as being "escape proof."
At 1 p.m., Thursday afternoon, Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe were working in a tire repair shop. At 1:30 p.m., when the guard returned to the shop after inspecting other shops on the island, they were gone. Two iron bars and three heavy glass panes of a window in the shop had a hole eight and three-quarters inches high and 18 inches long. Once through the window, the two slipped down to the gate of a high wire fence during one of heaviest fogs in years. With a wrench taken from the shop where they had been working they forced the gate lock and dropped twenty (20) feet to the beach. Their trail completely vanished at that point. A exhaustive search of the island revealed nothing.
How and if they managed to get off The Rock is complete conjecture. It is believed that once the pair reached the shore, they either used old tires or oil barrels to construct a raft. Then, they either made their way to shore or was picked up by confederates. Prison officials were convinced they could not have survived the treacherous ebb tides using a raft and definitely not by swimming, and that coordinating an effort to be picked up by a boat was almost impossible in the dense fog. The officials assumed they had drowned.
Meanwhile, police departments in the surrounding counties and the FBI followed up every tip and rumor, with no success. In the following days, months and years, there were various reports that they were seen. In 1941, four years later, a San Francisco Chronicle reporter declared that the pair were living in South America. Whether or not that was true is unknown.