13 of The Most Daring and Interesting Prison Escapes Ever

 Escaping prison is a thing that not almost every prisoner hopes to achieve once. Not all prisoners repent their misdeeds inside the prison, nor do all prisoners spend their time doing recreational work inside the jails. Some of the most dreaded prisoners have come up with some convoluted schemes to get themselves over the fence in any way possible and though some of the ways are truly diabolical and some are extremely clever, while some just take balls of steel to pull off.

Let’s have a look at 13 such daring and clever prison escapes in the world ever.

Michel Vaujour

Prison of Health in Montparnasse, Paris housed a prisoner named Michel Vaujour for crimes like robbery and carrying illegal arms. Vaujour had already escaped from prison five times, but his best ever escape came in May of 1986 when he used painted grenades. He had nectarines painted as grenades and scared the guards to get on the roof, where his wife Nadine Vaujour, was waiting for him with a helicopter. They landed in a football field some miles away and drove away. However, they were caught and put behind bars. French film La Fille de l’air and a documentary Do not release me, I am in charge of it were made on his escape.

 El Chapo

Joaquim “El Chapo” Guzman is a well-known drug lord from Mexico. He escaped the notorious Puente Grande, Mexico’s toughest prison in 2001, by bribing guards, disabling the security cameras and walking out, cutting his 20 years sentence to 8. He vanished for 13 years and the escape cost him $2.3 million. He was caught and put in Altiplano Federal Penitentiary but escaped after 17 months building a custom route costing him $50 million.

 Steven Russell

Steven Russell is a well-known fraud who posed as a pilot, a judge, a doctor, and an FBI agent to dupe people of millions of dollars. However, despite being caught and jailed, he has escaped a number of Texas jails four times. This has given him the nickname of “Houdini” and “King Kong”. In one of his escapes, he feigned being an AIDS patient for 10 months in 1998, ate little food and laxatives making himself weak. He was then transferred to a nursing home without their own checks and then Russell talked to the prison authorities by posing as a doctor proclaiming himself dead, sending a death certificate to the prison. His life was entailed in the movie I Love You, Philip Morris.

 Richard Lee McNair

Richard Lee McNair is currently serving a ruling for two terms of life incarceration in Florence, Colorado and is one of the top 15 fugitives wanted list by the United States’ Marshals. He had already escaped the prison twice. This time he was housed at United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana and was given duties of restoring old and torn mailbags in the manufacturing area.

He used the opportunity to build himself an escape hatch with breathing scope. He waited in the hatch for over an hour until the crate was lifted into the storehouse and then escaped the hatch during lunch in April 2006.

 Alcatraz prison escape


Let’s go back into the time, 55 years back to be exact, to the night of June 11, 1962, when three prisoners of the infamous Alcatraz prison escaped from the seemingly inescapable prison. Bank robbers Frank Lee Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin used 50 raincoats made of rubber to create a raft and jumped into the sea. Neither any of them were caught, nor their bodies recovered. The night they escaped from “the Rock”, they got out via the tunnels into the convenience hallway, got down a drainpipe, and got on the roof using an exhaust vent. A 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz was inspired by this escape.

 Choi Gap-Bok


In September of 2012, Choi Gap-Bok was a yoga master who was arrested on charges of robbery. The experience of 23 years of yoga came in handy when Bok escaped from the prison five days after his imprisonment. He did so by lathering himself with lots of oil and slid through a 5.9-inch-tall and 17.7-inch-wide food slot of his cell in just 34 seconds. He was eventually caught.

 Moondyne Joe

Joseph Bolitho Johns or who is better known as Moondyne Joe is a legend amongst prisoners in Australia. In 1866, he was sentenced to a year old sentence for carrying an illegal firearm and he kept escaping his cell and getting caught. Ultimately, he was housed in a cell that supposedly escaped proof, his neck was chained to the window and the cell was lined with 1,000 nails and he was allowed two hours of fresh air, as the cell was air proof and light proof. He finally escaped from his cell in 1867.

 John Dillinger

John Dillinger was a known mob boss in the 1930s Tuscon, Arizona. He was arrested in 1934 for robbing police stations and other crimes. Well, Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point jail using a gun made from wood, razor handle, and some black shoe polish. He intimidated people in prison, got hold of a real gun and walked in the sheriff’s office, got the key to his personal car and drove himself out of the jail.

 Mark De Friest

Mark De Friest was first arrested in 1978 for stealing the work tools willed to him by his father after his stepmother called police on him. In jail, his 4-year sentence was increased to 34-year sentence thanks to his 13 attempts at escaping the jail. He had an exceptional memory where he could learn by heart the patterns of the keys of the prison and then exactly duplicate them on any substance that was accessible to him. He had a really bad time inside the jail. The “escape artist” was dispossessed of almost everything, even water, for 11 days in a row once

 Kazimierz Piechowski

One of the most daring escapes ever came in the Auschwitz concentration camp when Kazimierz Piechowski and three prisoners escaped right under the nose of German officers. A group of four Polish prisoners, Kazimierz Piechowski, Gienek Bendera, a boy scout Stanislaw Gustaw Juster and a priest Józef Lempart were fed up of the tortures on them and in June 1942, they stole the uniforms of German officers and stole the car of deputy fuehrer, a Steyr 220, the fastest car of that time. When they reached the gates, they simply barked orders at the guards to open the gate and guards, seeing the car of a reputed officer obliged. They became the only four prisoners to have escaped out of the 144 prisoners in that camp at Auschwitz.

 Frank Abagnale

The main subject of 2012 thriller Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abagnale was a master impersonator whose crimes were not only big but extremely daring. His crimes included flying over 1,000,000 miles between the ages of 16 and 18 by impersonating a Pan Am cockpit. He was sentenced to 12 years of prison, but luck shined on him, as the officer forgot his transfer papers and he was able to convince the guards to let him out as he was actually an undercover prison inspector. He was treated much better in the prison and then used a friend, who impersonated an FBI agent and helped him get out of the jail.

 Keith Rose, Andrew Rodger, and Matthew Williams

Keith Rose, Andrew Rodger, and Matthew Williams were serving time at the British Alcatraz of Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight. They were not deterred with the reputation of the prison and planned an escape. The trio was in for murder and planting a bomb and they used a key that was made by themselves to unlock a series of doors, and then scale the perimeter wall. They spent four days trying to steal something to get off the Island but were caught.

 Yoshie Shiratori

 Yoshie Shiratori was arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery in 1933 Japan. He tried to escape by using a wire to unlock his handcuffs in 1936 from the Aomori prison but was caught. His most daring escape came in 1942 when he escaped the Akita prison via the air vents. But when he was recaptured in 1946, the Sapporo District Court sentenced him to death. He used a sharp metal sheet to dig his way out using a bowl.

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