Some of the high-profile prison escapes in recent US history

AP News
Posted: Jun 07, 2015 9:58 PM
Some of the high-profile prison escapes in recent US history

NEW YORK (AP) — Two convicted killers used power tools to cut through steel walls, pipes and bricks to escape from a maximum-security prison in a "Shawshank Redemption"-style breakout. Here's a look at some high-profile prison escapes in modern U.S. history.

— July 2009, from a prison in Michigan City, Indiana. Three inmates left through tunnels under the prison yard. All were captured within days.

— August 2008, from the Curry County Adult Detention Center in New Mexico. Eight inmates made it to freedom by climbing prison pipes inside a wall, then using homemade instruments to slice a hole in the roof. All were caught, including one taken into custody four years later.

— August 2008, from Rockville Correctional Facility in Indiana. A female inmate escaped with the help of a prison guard who was promised $15,000 in return. She remained on the run for four months.

— July 2003, from the Elmira Correctional Facility in New York. Before escaping, two convicted murderers spent a month chiseling a hole through the concrete ceiling of their cell with a sledgehammer head and other shop tools. They made dummies with papier mache heads sporting their own clipped hair, which they left in their bunks that night. Both were later captured.

— December 2000, from the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum security prison in Kenedy, Texas, near San Antonio. A group later dubbed The Texas Seven overpowered prison staff, taking their clothes and cash. They drove off in a maintenance truck, committing more crimes while on the run. Six were captured and sentenced to death; one killed himself before authorities closed in.

— January 1997, from a maximum security prison in Pittsburgh. Six prisoners escaped from a lockup that was considered "escape-proof," tunneling their way out using a jackhammer and other prison-issue power tools, along with blueprints of the building. The men apparently used tools used by inmates working on a steam-pipe installation project. All were later caught.

— May 1984, from Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Virginia. Six death-row inmates overpowered inattentive guards and bluffed their way out by saying they had a bomb. All six were caught, returned to prison and executed.

— June 1962, from Alcatraz, an island off San Francisco. Three men crawled through holes they'd cut in their cell walls, climbed to the roof and left on a raft fashioned from prison raincoats and rubber cement. They were never found; officials surmised they may have drowned before reaching shore.

— April 1941, from what was then called Sing Sing prison, in New York. Three inmates made their getaway after killing a guard and a police officer. One was killed; the other two surrendered after seven hours.

— January 1934, from Crown Point County Jail, Indiana. John Dillinger, the most-wanted man in the country, used a wooden prop gun supplied by his attorney to corner two guards who released him. He drove away in a sheriff's car. Dillinger was shot to death outside a Chicago movie theater by federal agents.


This story has been corrected to show three, not four, men escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962.