Top 10 Prison Ecapes of All Time
As long as we have had prisons, we have had people escaping from them or at least trying to. These escapes have taken place in many forms, from armed getaways to sneaky escapes in the night. In this article, we are going to list some of the most widely known and exciting prison escapes of all time.
10. Maze Prison Escape
On September 25th, 1983, 39 prisoners escaped from a prison in Northern Ireland. They used explosives to blast holes in various parts of the jail system and even killed a police officer. Twenty other prison officers were injured during the escape. The guns that were used during the escape were smuggled into the prison by an accomplice and were later used to force their way out. Maze was considered a relatively complex prison and the prisoners had to do a lot of jumping and weaving to fully make it out. After a few barbed wire fences and an 18-foot concrete wall, 39 escaped.
9. Alfred Hinds Escapes
Alfred Hinds was a British escape artists and criminal who was serving a 12-year prison sentence for armed robbery. He managed to break out of high security prisons three times prior to this. After being sentenced for the 12-year felony, he escaped once again by sneaking through a series of locked doors and finding a way over a 20-foot prison wall. Because of these series of escapes, he later became known as “Houdini” Hinds.
8. The Texas Seven
On December 13th, 2000, a group of 7 prisoners made it onto America’s Most Wanted after elaborately escaping a high security prison in Texas. After their escape, they went on a robbing spree where they managed to accumulate over $70,000 in cash and jewelry. At one point, the bounties for their capture were about $500,000. Two days after making onto America’s Most Wanted, all of them were caught.
7. Alfred Wetzler
Very few people escaped Auschwitz during the time of the Holocaust. However, one of the lucky ones who managed to do this was a man named Alfred Wetzler. He, along with a co-conspirator, created a plan that would allow them to escape. They mapped out the entire camp and where all of the gas chambers, holding cells, and crematoriums were. Their plan was to provide this map to the allies upon their escape. On April 10th, Alfred walked over 80 miles, guiding himself away from the camp and towards the allies.
6. Stawomir Rawicz
Stawomir was a Polish solider who was arrested and placed in a German prison in 1939. After surviving a series of torture sessions, he decided that he was going to do something about in. On November 19th, 1939, he quickly made his getaway and was able to make it back to his home country to share his story.
5. Escape from Alcatraz
In the 30 or so years that Alcatraz prison was operating, there were 14 attempts to escape. In total, this equated to about 34 inmates. And on the records, every single attempt failed. Most of the prisoners were either killed or re-captured. The waters around Alcatraz were very cold and it wasn’t believed that anyone could make the swim to shore, which was about three miles. However, three men- Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers- decided to burrow out of their cells in the dead of the night, escape through an air-duct, and paddle into the icy waters made from raincoats being held together by contact cement. This occurred on June 11th, 1962 and the three men were never heard or see again. Some presume that they are dead while others believe they escaped, changed their identities, and lived the rest of their lives in a place where nobody recognized them.
4. Libby Prison Escape
This is probably one of the most famous and definitely largest prison breaks of all time. In this prison escape, over 100 inmates from Libby Prison managed to flee captivity and make it back to their homes during the American Civil War. 109 people escaped and 59 of them succeeded in making it back to the Union Lines. 48 were re-captured and 2 of them drowned while attempting to cross the James River. The prisoners begun their escape in groups and slowly but surely made their way out over time. Each one was able to slip into the dark unnoticed and disappear into the night.
3. Pascal Payet
It may sound like the movies, but no prison escape is as epic as this one. Pascal Payet managed to escape prison three times and each time it was with a hijacked helicopter. He also was involved, and even organized, the escape of three other prisoners. Today, he is still serving his sentence but the whereabouts to his location is kept a secret for the purposes of not wanting another escape attempt to occur.
2. The Great Escape
In 1943, a major escape took placed when Roger Bushell led a major escape from a German prison war camp. He, along with his accomplices, was able to dig tunnels out of the prison and into freedom. In order to prevent the Germans from detecting the tunnels via microphones, the prisoners had to dig very deep, about 30 feet. While the tunnels were relatively small, they were large enough to hold a workshop and air pump where the prisoner would stage their posts along the path of the escape.
1. Colditz Castle Escape
This was probably one of the more popular escapes during World War II. Basically, it involved Colditz Castle, a virtually inescapable building where many had attempted to escape before but not had succeeded. In one of the more popular escapes, two pilots from the allied team constructed a two-man glider that they used to glide into freedom.