7. The Plan
The scheme itself was pretty straight-forward: get out of jail and swim all the way to the shore. The practice, however, would be considered almost impossible. As mentioned earlier, 36 inmates had earlier died while attempting to achieve the precise same feat – why should this be any different?
To pull this off, they would need to bring in all their experience and expertise to the table and build an incredible level of trust and loyalty among themselves. They were aware that the chances of success were all against them, with other inmates even calling them insane. The line between crazy and genius, however, is a thin line–one they were willing to walk beautifully on.
8. The Start
Ironically, all four convicts had served in the "Atlanta Penitentiary" before arriving at Alcatraz, this might explain why it didn't take so long for them to trust one another and carry out the plan. It's possible that they either considered themselves as friends because they all came from the same neighborhood (this will mean the same former prison location) or there's the possibility that they even knew one another before their departure to California.
The four men who were all put in cells close to each other had nothing but time to plan their renowned getaway. For this plan to be successful, It needed all the brain power and resources they could gather to pull it off.
9. Collection Of The Vital Equipment’s
How do you acquire the necessary resources when you're stuck in your cell all day? Well, fortunately for them, the jail also doubles as a plant. Inmates could earn a 'living' by working for the U.S. army making clothes, furnishings, or shoes.
These opportunities created an opening to a significant amount of resources that intelligent and creative people could ordinarily use to put their escape plans in motion! Because the four of them were sent to Alcatraz for non-violent crimes, the guards were not so interested in them and they were able to keep a low profile.
10. The Items
The four of them started putting their plan into motion gradually. There is a need to give credit where it is due, pulling off what they plan to do will require lots of skill, patience and intelligence to discreetly gather the resources necessary for the plan they had up their sleeves.
They were aware that their absence would be noticed once they left their cell, so they worked on creating life-sized dummies to place on their bed once they left. A way off the island was also needed once they left their cell. The wardens in those days weren't as pleasant as those of today –they'd have been shot at the spot if caught.
11. The Camouflage
Each member of the getaway team had their own duties to ensure the plot was effective. The Anglin brothers, for example, were instrumental in making the dummy heads for all four of the prisoners, while Frank Lee Morris was responsible for other tasks.
Soap wax, real hair from the barbershop in the prison facility and toilet paper were used in making the heads. Morris spent most of his time focusing on creating an instrument that would inflate like a raft and life jacket. They had all the components in motion to achieve a successful plot.
12. Feeling Chippy
Each night, from around 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., they had to physically nibble away at the rock in their respective cell in order to gain access to the ventilation system. When no one looked, they will take away the grate from their cell and nibble away at it using the spoons they stole or bits of wood gathered from places they worked during the daytime.
This would turn out to be the longest part of the master plan as it would take months and weeks to subtly nibble away and remove the rocks they had picked for many hours every day.