In ApriL 1943, Floyd Hamilton managed to scale a fence while incarcerated at Alcatraz. He made his way to a tidal cave and was presumed dead by prison officials. After spending a couple of days in the cave he was finally recaptured. In August 1943, Ted Walters also climbed the fence at the prison's laundry facility. After falling from the fence and injuring his spine, he crawled to the water's edge, but was helpless to continue on with his escape plans due to the extent of the injuries. He was recaptured and sent to solitary confinement.
Alcatraz foiled a prison break when Huron Ted Walters, 30, Arkansas bank robber, was captured an hour after he escaped from the prison laundry, hiding on the island beach. Walters was found on the beach opposite the laundry, on the Golden Gate side, where his planned getaway was balked by the cold tide, said Warden James Johnston. Walters is a former associate of Floyd Hamilton, one-time No. 1 desperado, who less than five months ago was captured when he and three other prisoners attempted an unsuccessful break from "The Rock." Hamilton hid out for three days in a rocky cavern on the beach of the prison before his capture. Walters was missed shortly after he had sneaked through a laundry door and over the fence, the Warden said. Five Coast Guard boats joined the prison launch in a search of the waters about the prison before Walters was captured by the prison's beach patrol. The prisoner was serving a sentence of 30 years for three crimes, bank robbery, violation of the Dyer act (auto theft) and assault. He had been transferred to Alcatraz in June 1940, from Leavenworth prison where he had been confined after sentence at Fort Smith, Ark., in 1938. With Hamilton, Walters had been captured near Dallas, Texas, after a four-month search. And with Hamilton, he had pleaded guilty to robbing the Bank of Bradley, Ark., of more than $600. The pair was sentenced simultaneously. Warden Johnston said Walters had escaped from the Texas State Prison in 1936.
Thanks go to the Walters Family for the photo below of Ted Walters from their personal collection. The Hideout welcomes Walters Family contributors. Ted Walters, D.F. Walters and Holly C. Walters.
Floyd Hamilton (right) with Chaplain Ray is visiting his old prison cellblock "D", where he spent 21 days following his escape attempt. Cell No. 22 (black & white photo) was the one he had called home, while he was incarcerated at Alcatraz.
After serving many years in the prison system, Floyd Hamilton finally got a new lease on life. Along with Houston Press reporter Harry McCormick and lawman Ted Hinton, Dallas businessman W.O. Bankston went before the parole board to speak on behalf of Floyd Hamilton. It was at Bankston's Oldsmobile dealership on Ross Avenue that Hamilton had found employment after being released.
After leaving the federal prison, Floyd was being transferred through Dallas to serve more time in the Texas prison. Ex-lawman Ted Hinton approached him and said, "Back in the 1930's I was trying to either kill you or put you in prison, but now I am up here to help you get out".
Hamilton leaves Federal custody
While working for W.O. Bankston as a night watchman, Hamilton had a couple of opportunities to make some money, "on the sly". Floyd's conversion to Christianity and his new way of thinking had changed him! One night, one of the salesmen had pulled up in an Oldsmobile, and he had left without his suitcase. Floyd checked the suitcase and it was full of money. A little while later the salesman came running up to the door in a panic. Floyd let him in and told him not to worry, that the money was still there. The salesman was extremely relieved and told Hamilton that he had saved him from a lot of trouble, because it was the government's money, and he'd have a hard time explaining it's loss and probably be accused of stealing it for himself. On another occassion, Floyd went to check the office and noticed that the official in charge of locking the safe, had inadvertantly left it wide open. Even though it contained a large sum of money, Floyd walked over to it and closed the safe's door and turned the latch to lock it. The next morning he told the official that he had better be more careful about securing the safe at closing time. The official said, "man, I had completely forgot about it". Floyd could have easily taken the money on both occassions and denied any knowledge about it, and the blame would have been directed to the others.