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  Life   More Features  11 Dec 2017  Read about the 7 great escapes in prison history

Read about the 7 great escapes in prison history

Published : Dec 11, 2017, 2:31 pm IST
Updated : Dec 11, 2017, 2:31 pm IST

An American citizen detained in Indonesia escaped prison, while he remains to be caught, we list some of the biggest prison escapes ever.

Beasley is yet to be caught by authorities, the 10 most daring and amazing escapes from prison in history. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Beasley is yet to be caught by authorities, the 10 most daring and amazing escapes from prison in history. (Photo: Pixabay)

An American citizen detained for a drug offense escaped from a prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Head of Kerobokan prison Tonny Nainggolan says Christian Beasley, 32, was believed to have escaped at around 4 am Monday by sawing through a ceiling and then jumping over a 6-meter (20-foot) high wall behind the prison.

Beasley was arrested in August at a post office on Bali with a package containing 5.7 grams of hashish.

While, Beasley is yet to be caught by authorities, the 10 most daring and amazing escapes from prison in history.

Maze Prison Escape: In the biggest prison escape in British history, on 25 September 1983 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, 38 Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, escaped from H-Block 7 of the prison. HM Prison Maze was considered one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe. Accounts state that shortly after 2:30, the prisoners took control of the H-block holding the prison guards hostage at gunpoint. Some of the prisoners took the guards clothing and car keys in order to help with their escape. At 3:25, a truck bringing food supplies arrived and the prisoners told the driver that he was going to help them escape. They tied his foot to the clutch and told him where to drive. At 3:50 the truck left the H-block, and soon after the prison, carrying all 38 men.

While 19 escapees were caught, the remaining escapees were assisted by the IRA in finding hiding places.

Alfred Hinds: “Alfie” Hinds was a British criminal and escape artist who, while serving a 12 year prison sentence for robbery, successfully broke out of three high security prisons. Despite the dismissal of thirteen of his appeals to higher courts, he was eventually able to gain a pardon using his knowledge of the British legal system. After being sentenced to 12 years in prison for a jewelry robbery, Hinds escaped from Nottingham prison by sneaking through the locked doors and over a 20-foot prison wall for which he became known in the press as “Houdini” Hinds.

The Texas Seven: The Texas 7 was a group of prisoners who escaped from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas on December 13, 2000. They were apprehended January 21-23, 2001 as a direct result of the television show America’s Most Wanted. The seven carried out an elaborate scheme and escaped from the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum-security state prison near the South Texas town of Kenedy. Using several well-planned ploys, the seven convicts overpowered and restrained nine civilian maintenance supervisors, four correctional officers and three uninvolved inmates to facilitate their escape. Of the escaped convicts, 5 living members of the group are all on death row awaiting death by lethal injection. Of the other two, one committed suicide and one has already been executed.

Alfréd Wetzler: Wetzler was a Slovak Jew, and one of a very small number of Jews known to have escaped from the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust. Wetzler is known for the report that he and his fellow escapee, Rudolf Vrba, compiled about the inner workings of the Auschwitz camp – a ground plan of the camp, construction details of the gas chambers, crematoriums and, most convincingly, a label from a canister of Zyklon gas. Wetzler escaped with a fellow Jew named Rudolf Vrba. With the help of the camp underground, at 2 pm on Friday, April 7, 1944 — the eve of Passover — the two men climbed inside a hollowed-out hiding place in a wood pile that was being stored to build the “Mexico” section for the new arrivals. The two remained in hiding for 4 nights – to avoid recapture. On April 10, wearing Dutch suits, overcoats, and boots they had taken from the camp, they made their way south, heading for the Polish border with Slovakia 80 miles (133 km.) away, guiding themselves using a page from a child’s atlas that Vrba had found in the warehouse.

Sawomir Rawicz: Rawicz was a Polish soldier who was arrested by Soviet occupation troops after the German-Soviet invasion of Poland. On 9 April 1941, Rawicz claimed that he and his six allies escaped in a middle of a blizzard. They rushed to the south, avoiding towns in fear they would be betrayed, but apparently they were not actively pursued.

They also met an additional fugitive, Polish woman Krystyna. Nine days later they crossed the Lena River. They walked around Lake Baikal and crossed to Mongolia. Fortunately, people they encountered were friendly and hospitable. During the crossing of the Gobi desert, two of the group (Krystyna and Makowski) died. Others had to eat snakes to survive. Around October 1941 they claim to have reached Tibet.

Locals were friendly, especially when men said they were trying to reach Lhasa. They crossed the Himalayas somehow in the middle of winter. Another of the group died in his sleep in the cold and one fell into a crevasse and disappeared. Rawicz claims the survivors reached India around March 1942.

Escape From Alcatraz: In its 29 years of operation, there were 14 attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison involving 34 inmates. Officially, every escape attempt failed, and most participants were either killed or quickly re-captured. However, the participants in the 1937 and 1962 attempts, though presumed dead, disappeared without a trace, giving rise to popular theories that they were successful.

The most famous and intricate attempt to escape from Alcatraz (June 11, 1962) saw Frank Morris, and the Anglin brothers burrow out of their cells, climb to the top of the cell block, cut through bars to make it to the roof via an air vent. From there they climbed down a drain pipe, over a chain link fence and then to the shore where they assembled a pontoon-type raft and then vanished.

The Great Escape: Stalag Luft III was a German Air Force prisoner-of-war camp during World War II that housed captured air force personnel. In January 1943, Roger Bushell led a plot for a major escape from the camp. The plan was to dig three deep tunnels, codenamed “Tom,” “Dick,” and “Harry.” Each of the tunnel entrances was carefully selected to ensure they were undetectable by the camp guards. In order to keep the tunnels from being detected by the perimeter microphones, they were very deep — about 9 metres (30 ft) below the surface.

Finally, on Friday, March 24, the escape attempt began. Unfortunately for the prisoners, the tunnel had come up short. It had been planned that the tunnel would reach into a nearby forest, but the first man out emerged just short of the tree line. Despite this, 76 men crawled through the tunnel to initial freedom, even through an air raid during which the camp’s (and the tunnel’s) electric lights were shut off. Finally, at 5am on March 25, the 77th man was seen emerging from the tunnel by one of the guards. Out of the 76 men only 3 evaded capture. Fifty men were killed and the rest were captured and sent back.

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