Catch South Hall man's Alcatraz story this week on Discovery Channel's 'Expedition Unknown'

·2 min read

Jul. 4—The South Hall nephew of two of history's most famous escapees will be featured on Discovery Channel's "Expedition Unknown" Wednesday.

Ken Widner of Chestnut Mountain will be part of the episode airing at 8 p.m. July 6 exploring the dramatic 1962 escape from Alcatraz.

The show will feature Widner at the prison, which closed in 1963. He will talk about how he believes his uncles, John and Clarence Anglin, successfully escaped and eventually lived the rest of their lives in South America.

The episode will show "us traveling into Brazil, where they once lived, and discovering items that kind of back up that theory," Widner said.

Whether the Anglin brothers and a third inmate — Frank Morris — survived the treacherous escape from "The Rock," as Alcatraz Island is famously known, is still debated today.

A 1979 movie starring Clint Eastwood, "Escape from Alcatraz," depicts the escape and ends on a note that the prisoners were never found. Documentaries have been made, as well, including one in 2015 on the History Channel.

The website for "Expedition Unknown," hosted by Josh Gates, says it's "cracking The Rock as Josh retraces the greatest prison break of all time and proves there's more to the 1962 escape from Alcatraz than the FBI maintains."

FBI archives go into extensive detail about the case.

"The fate of three particular inmates, however, remains a mystery to this day," the FBI says on its website.

The FBI believes that, among other things, "with the strong currents and frigid bay water, the odds were clearly against these men."

Also, "for the 17 years we worked on the case, no credible evidence emerged to suggest the men were still alive, either in the U.S. or overseas."

The FBI turned the case over to the U.S. Marshals Service in 1979.

'Expedition Unknown'

What: Ken Widner of Chestnut Mountain featured in Alcatraz escape episode

Where: Discovery Channel, 53 on Charter, 40 on Comcast; stream with Discovery+ subscription

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 6