Forrest Tucker (criminal)
Forrest S. Tucker (1920–2005) was an American career criminal first imprisoned at age 15 who spent the rest of his life in and out of jail. He is best known as an escape artist, having escaped from prison 18 times successfully and 12 times unsuccessfully. A former inmate of Alcatraz (from which he escaped), his most famous escape was in the summer of 1979 from San Quentin, when he and two confederates built a kayak and paddled away in full view of the guards. He was not apprehended for four years, during which he and a gang went on a crime spree. Tucker's crimes of choice were bank robberies and it is estimated he stole over 4 million dollars during his career. Tucker married three times and had two children, a boy and a girl; none of his wives knew of his criminal career until they were informed by police. Tucker wrote a number of books about his life including Alcatraz: The True Story and The Can Opener, although it is unclear if they were ever published.
Tucker was profiled by David Grann in The New Yorker in 2003 in a piece titled "The Old Man and the Gun" which describes Tucker's most recent bank robbery. Living in a retirement community in Florida, at the age of 79 and married for the third time, he robbed an estimated four banks by himself in the local community. He was finally caught in 2000 and sentenced to 13 years in jail, making him eligible for release in 2013. Tucker died in prison in 2005, he was 85 years old.
- David Grann. "The Old Man and the Gun" (abstract), The New Yorker, January 27, 2003. Collected in The Devil and Sherlock Holmes (2010).
- Although no one ever successfully escaped from Alcatraz, Tucker was able to escape after he had been temporarily moved to a hospital in San Francisco for an operation. He was captured a few hours later still in handcuffs and a hospital gown.
- Jerry Lewis Champion Jr. The Fading Voices of Alcatraz, AuthorHouse, Jan 27, 2011. Pg. 86
- "Mastromauro finds Identity", Variety, February 15, 2010.
- Mike Geary. "79 Years Old and His Life of Crime Appears to Be Going Strong", LA Times, July 27, 1999.
- David Grann. "The Old Man and the Gun" (abstract), The New Yorker, January 27, 2003.