11 Incredible and Unbelievable Prison Break Attempts
Over the centuries thousands of prisoners attempted to break the prison. They engineered brilliant plans to dodge the high security of the jails. Some luckily succeeded whereas some lost their lives. They tunneled, dug, disguised themselves, swam through the violent ocean waves and traveled through the drain pipes in order to escape. This list comprises of 10 such real prison break attempts.
11. Clovis, New Mexico Jail Break
Seven Clovis Escapees
8 inmates escaped from the Curry County Adult Detention Center on August 24, 2008. The escape began with a key accidentally left in a door lock by the guards doing the plumbing repairs. They gained access to the pipes by using this key. After several days of planning and seven hours of continuous efforts, they broke out of the Clovis, New Mexico jail by climbing up plumbing pipes in a narrow space inside a wall and using handmade instruments to cut a hole in the roof near a skylight. 3 were recaptured the very next day and a 4th escapee was caught on August 28. This prison break was the topic of September 6th’s episode of America’s Most Wanted.
10. Berlin Escape Via a Hot Air Balloon
The Berlin Wall Balloon
Barbed wires, dogs, guard towers, and execution if you were caught escaping made the entire East Berlin a prison during the Soviet occupation. Many attempted escape. Some were successful whereas some were not. Some built tunnels or crammed themselves into tiny compartments of cars. The Wetzel and Strlzyck families chose a very interesting option. They bought nylon cloth in small batches and constructed their own hot air balloon. It took them several months to create a balloon which led to their rescue. The balloon successfully flew them over the wall and landed in West Berlin. After this the Soviets made it impossible for the locals to purchase lightweight cloth in East Berlin.
9. Pascal Payet
Pascal Payet escaped twice from the prison using a hijacked helicopter. He also organized the escape of three prisoners again using a helicopter. Payet was sentenced to a 30 year jail term in France’s Luynes prison for a murder committed during the robbery of a security van. He made his first prison break in 2001 via a helicopter which took him from the yard of the prison. After being recaptured in 2003, he escaped from Grasse prison for the second time using a helicopter that was hijacked by four of his friends from Cannes-Mandelieu airport. This time his prison was changed every 3 month to avoid escape. Payet was re-captured on September 21, 2007, in Mataró, Spain, about 18 miles northeast of Barcelona. He had undergone cosmetic surgery, but was still identified by Spanish police.
8. The Texas Seven
On December 13, 2000, 7 prisoners known as “The Texas Seven” escaped from a maximum security prison near the southern Texas town of Kennedy. They derived an elaborate plan to escape from the prison. The seven overpowered and restrained nine civilian maintenance supervisors, four correctional officers and three uninvolved inmates. They subdued them and wore their clothes. They stole their credit cards and identification. All this was done at lunch time. Three wore civilian’s dress and pretended to be there to install video monitors. They raided the guard tower and stole numerous weapons. In the end, they stole a prison maintenance pick-up truck, which drove them away from the prison. A year later they were caught, as a direct result of the television show America’s Most Wanted.
7. John Dillinger
The inspiration of the famous film “Public Enemies”, John Dillinger was a bank robber in America’s Midwest during the early 1930s. He robbed at least two dozen banks and four police stations and escaped from jail twice. His first prison break was in 1933 when he and his gang engineered a daring escape from a prison in Lima, Ohio after they used smuggled rifles and gunned down two guards. His most famous escape of all came in 1934, after he was arrested on the heels of a number of famous bank heists. He was put in the “escape-proof” Lake County Jail, a prison that was guarded by an army of policeman and National Guard troops. He invented his own way of prison escape involving no digging or tunneling, climbing or going through drain pipes. He designed a phony gun out of a bar of soap and shoe polish and used it to force his way out of the jail on March 3, 1934. He then stole the Sheriff’s brand new Ford and made his escape to Illinois.
6. 150 Prisoners Escaped From a Prison in New Mexico
Prison in New Mexico
Nearly 150 prisoners escaped from a state prison on the border of the northern Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo either late on Thursday night or on the morning of Friday, 17th December 2010. This massive prison break remained unnoticed until a routine headcount on Friday. The area is suffering from serious drug smuggling and trafficking. Based on preliminarily investigations, it is believed that they were helped by prison staff and a prison warden is now listed as missing. The public safety department of Tamaulipas state, Texas, said 141 inmates got out through a service entrance used by vehicles, “presumably with the assistance of the prison staff.” Eighty-three of the prisoners were being held for trial, while 58 were being held on federal charges, which include weapons possession and drug trafficking. Investigations are in process.
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