Prison sentences are meant to teach the criminal a lesson. Take away their freedom and it will be a deterrent to any future criminal activities. For many, that works, but not for all.
Some just don’t believe in the saying “you do the crime, you do the time.”
Losing freedom is a horrible feeling that nobody wants, which leads to many prison escape attempts. There are numerous stories, fact and fiction, about prison escapees making a desperate flee towards a life on the outside. They don’t always end up like The Shawshank Redemption, where they make it to some beach somewhere living happily ever after.
Most do not succeed in staying free for long. They are normally recaptured pretty quickly. Some are never heard from again, such as the only three men to have ever escaped from Alcatraz.
The crazy part is that attempting to escape just adds more time onto their sentence. They would be better off just biding their time.
These prisoners made their way to freedom while incarcerated and their attempts just happened to have been caught on tape.
1. Daring Helicopter Escape
In a Canadian prison in the city of Quebec, two prisoners decided to make a crazy daytime escape.
They had two friends steal a helicopter, using guns to force the pilot to fly them to the prison and land on top of it.
The next phase was to be a climb up using a rope. They quickly learned that they didn’t possess the strength needed to accomplish such a feat. They were caught on camera struggling to climb the wall up to the chopper.
Finally the helicopter took off with the two inmates hanging from the ropes.
Their joyride was all for naught, as they were caught and back behind bars in just a few hours.
2. Prison Fire Helps Hundreds Escape
Prison riots are all too common. They wreak havoc and cause damage and injury and sometimes even loss of life.
A riot in a Brazilian prison ended in a fire being set by inmates, resulting in mass chaos and hundreds of inmates taking the chance to run for it.
I’m not sure what was in their heads to make them think they would all really get away, but they tried anyway.
200 actually made it without being captured, but 80 were caught pretty quickly.
The guards took a few hours to get things under control, because the prison was overcrowded.
3. 2015 Chinese Prison Escape
In a Chinese prison, three prisoners devised a plan to escape. One requested a private meeting with a guard, while the two other inmates followed. They all three killed the employee while in the room and procured security guard uniforms.
They planned to don the uniforms and just walk out of the prison, and did. However, they were caught within minutes.
They were all charged in the murder of the guard. Two for the murder and one for accessory.
4. Prisoner Dying to Escape
The last story included the death of a guard. This one ends with a dead inmate.
At medium security Johnston Correction in North Carolina, Andelino Najera made his escape by climbing two fences that surrounded the facility.
There was, however, no happy ending to this story for the prisoner.
After many orders to cease and desist, with no compliance from Najera, he was shot by a guard, as allowed by law, to stop an escape.
After the shots were fired, the guard went about his day. No lifesaving measures were initiated, and Najera died at the scene of the attempt.
5. Bulldozer Escape
In Copenhagen, Denmark, a bulldozer crashed into a wall surrounding a prison. The wall was 26 feet tall and it came crashing down amongst a thick cloud of debris and dust.
This was all televised on TV2. From the cloud of dust, came a stampede of prisoners running for their escape.
Guards are also seen in the video attempting to hold them back to no avail. Thirteen inmates got away, including drug dealers and murderers. Three were caught and re-arrested. The cameraman was arrested for prior knowledge.
10 of the escaped criminals still haven’t been found.
6. Officer Killed and Man Sentenced to Life
Wesley Correa-Carmenaty is a convicted murderer sentenced to a life behind bars.
He made it permanent when he escaped during a transport from the courthouse to the jail. He somehow managed to remove his handcuffs and shackles with a contraband key he received from another inmate.
Using a handmade shank, he cut Officer Mark Burbridge in the arm, neck and face before grabbing his service weapon and shooting him in the head after exiting the van. Another officer was gut shot.
He then took possession of the van and made his escape after ramming the garage door and getting out.
He was caught later and sentenced to life for the death of Officer Burbridge, in addition to the escape.
7. Mommy Helped Him Escape
Trent Archie was a convicted killer sentenced to the Walker County Jail. I’m 2011, he and his mom came up with plans for him to break out and regain his freedom.
Archie and a fellow inmate asked to make phone calls. While they were on the phone calls, they waited patiently for the guards to look away and drop their guards. When one went to leave the office, the two inmates attacked him and 3 other guards viciously.
Archie was able to get out, but his friend wasn’t so lucky. The guards were treated for injuries sustained during the attack.
After three days, Trent Archie was returned to jail, with more than a few years added on to his stay.
His mother was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting her felon of a son.
8. Riot Enables Children to Break Free
Another instance of prisoners being able to run for it during a riot happened at a juvenile corrections facility.
It also includes a massive riot and fires being set to mattresses and furniture to facilitate the escape. The minors took guards hostage by the dozens and ran to climb walls to run for freedom.
The San Paolo Brazil youth detention center houses juveniles and these young men planned the riot so they could escape.
Video shows the young men scaling the walls amid the chaos, and climbing down trees to get to the ground below.
Two boys were injured, seven were killed and 54 boys escaped.
9. Russian Escape
In the Russian town of Izberbash, an inmate at a jail made an attempt to escape in a very unusual way. Rustam Shakhrutdinov was convicted of robbery. He was put in jail and he decided he didn’t want to stay.
Surveillance footage from the detention center show Rustam squeezing his body through the slit that is used to pass food to the inmates.
He is seen struggling to fit the bottom half of his body through the small opening, but he is able to get his entire self through pretty quickly.
After his wiggle through the food slot, he dressed and attempted the next part of his plan, leaving the actual jail. It doesn’t go quite as well. He was caught before ever making it even one foot out of the facility. They then relocated him to a cell with a much smaller pass-through for food.
10. Brazilian Explosion
An explosion at a prison in Brazil facilitated escapes for some inmates. Surveillance footage clearly shows a man entering the facility with a package. Shortly after that, there was an explosion.
When the wall is blown out due to the blast, men can be seen running for it. Many kept going, while others think better of it and turn back around. Several go back in and decide escaping isn’t worth the risk.
The guards were short staffed on this particular day, and only half on duty were male. They had been warning the higher ups that something like this was likely to happen.
After the escape, they managed to recapture most of the escapees. Two were killed by police, and one was not located. He remains at large.
11. Razor Wire Escape
Nicholas Grove was a prisoner in an Ohio prison when he decided he just wasn’t going to stay there anymore.
In the middle of the day, he made a dash for it, climbing a fence topped with razor wire in just 15 seconds. The craziest part is that there were officers nearby.
He climbed the dangerous fence without suffering on cut, which is amazing. Others who have attempted the same method of escape at this prison have been cut so badly that they died.
Police weren’t able to catch him right away, but they did eventually.
After he had been escaped for about a year or so, Nicholas felt comfortable enough to start posting selfies on Facebook, which effectively led police straight to his hideout. They had been tracking his social media for a while, and he led them straight to him.
12. Port of Spain Shootout
In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city, a shootout with a guard led to the escape of three men.
Three prisoners at the facility somehow obtained handguns and a grenade which were used to make their escape. It’s not known how they managed to obtain such weapons while being locked up.
They forced a prison guard to the ground and began a shootout, leaving many dead or injured.
After they ran for it, one was tracked down and killed by police. One was found dead due to his wounds from the shootout. The third decided to avoid death by turning himself in. He faced new charges for the death of a guard and was in-prisoned once again.
13. El Chapo
El Chapo is the well known Mexican drug lord who has escaped from prison on two occasions.
This particular instance took place at a maximum security facility, Altiplano Federal Prison. Cameras captured his restless pacing in his cell before he went to the showers and effectively sank into the ground.
They found, under the showers, a tunnel that was nearly a mile long. It was well ventilated, and wired with lighting. It led to a partially built house.
After a massive search, El Chapo was captured by the Navy during a raid of his hideout.
He was then sent to the United States where he is awaiting trial on more charges.