Top 10 Real Life Prison Escapes in History

When you hear about prison escapes you think, oh this is the stuff of movies and television. Well, I am here to tell you, you are wrong. Often times the entertainment industry takes inspiration from real life incidents, and sometimes real life is way ahead of the reel life.

Here are a few escape incidents that you may find interesting.

#10. The Sobibor Escape

prison escape

Image Source: flickr.com

Sobibor Extermination camp was one of the three camps set up by the Nazis in the parts of eastern Poland.  It was highly secured, as in laid with landmines on the outskirts so that no prisoner could escape, and if they did the prisoners inside were exterminated. Only people safe for a little time were the worker Jews. But that changed when the Nazis started shutting down the barbaric camps one by one. That was when a group of workers decided to hatch a plan to escape. Long story short, out of 550 prisoners, 400 managed to seize the opportunity and only 58 of those 400 escaped and survived the manhunt and slaughter that followed.

#9. Billy Hayes and the midnight express

Billy Hayes’ real life experience was adapted into a Hollywood film, the Midnight Express. But people who know the popular version of his story don’t know that a few things were altered to make the movie entertaining. Nevertheless, the story is true. Billy Hayes was caught leaving Instanbul with hash in 1970 after successfully smuggling hash from Turkey to America three times previously. Life was great for him in the 60’s and so was his love for Istanbul. But that changed (not his love for the city) when he was caught at the airport and thrown into a shady prison. He escaped to Greece using the money his father sent (hidden in the spine of a book) to bribe the prison doctor (which was also changed in the film- he did not actually kill a prison guard). And the infamous lines from the movie, not true at all.

#8. Alfred Hinds

prison cell

Image Source: flickr.com

Alfred George Hinds, a criminal, an escape artist. Born in London in 1917, he grew up as an orphan and started his stealing habit pretty early in his childhood. His first prison escape in 1955 earned him the name “Houdini” Hinds when he unlocked the door, climbed a 20-foot wall and escaped. He was arrested after a few months and then filed a case against the officers who arrested him. In the court on one of his hearings he managed to lock the prison escorts and escape but was arrested after 5 hours. And guess what comes next: another successful escape attempt from the Chelmsford Prison. He then used his knowledge of law to petition his case and walked free, legally, after a few trials.

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