ROME, Ga - An 89-year-old Rome man claims he played a role in the notorious escape from Alcatraz, but kept his story bottled up for nearly 50 years.
"I don't care if people believe me or not," said Bud Morris, who claims to be the cousin of escapee Frank Morris. "I'm telling the truth."
In June of 1962, brothers John and Clarence Anglin along with Frank Morris escaped from a prison off the coast of California that was thought to be inescapable.
Bud Morris insists to get away, the men needed help from the outside. He insists he was part of that help. He claims on several occasions prior to the escape he delivered an envelope full of money to an Alcatraz guard.
"I must have done it eight or nine times," said Morris "How much (money) I don't know. It was a lot."
Morris believes the money was used to convince Alcatraz guards to look the other way.
Most believe the three escapees perished in the brutally cold waters that surround Alcatraz.
Bud Morris claims not only did the men survive, he insists he saw Frank Morris face to face shortly after the breakout.
His daughter Sarah was 8 or 9-years-old at the time, and remembers being there at a park in San Diego.
"Dad said it was Frank, a friend," said Sarah Valdez. "I had no idea (about the escape),"
"That's when I told him I didn't think we should associate no more," said Morris. "I had a family and I didn't want to get tangled up in nothing.
In south Georgia, the sister of escapees John and Clarence Anglin insists her siblings are still alive.
"We know they are ok," said Marie Anglin Widner of Lee County.
Widner and her sons are planning a trip to San Francisco to visit the famed prison on the 50th anniversary of the escape.
Marie's sons David and Ken recall FBI visits to the house and bugged phone lines. They said the Feds have stopped by as recently as months ago.
The family is hoping to convince the government to return some of the brothers' items.
Bud Morris says he doesn't care what anyone thinks of his claims, and that includes the federal agents who continue to investigate the great escape.
"After all this time what are they gone do?" said Morris. "Put an old man like me in prison? I ain't gone live long anyway."