Prison escape
A prison escape or prison break is the act of an inmate
Incarceration is the detention of a person in prison, typically as punishment for a crime .People are most commonly incarcerated upon suspicion or conviction of committing a crime, and different jurisdictions have differing laws governing the function of incarceration within a larger system of...

 leaving prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 through unofficial or illegal ways. Normally, when this occurs, an effort is made on the part of authorities to recapture them and return them to their original detainers. Escaping from prison is also a criminal offense in many places, and it is highly likely to result in time being added to the inmate's sentence, as well as the inmate being placed under increased security.


In some jurisdictions, such as most U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s, escape from jail or prison is a criminal offense. In Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, for instance, the punishment for escape depends on whether the offender escaped by using force or violence or setting fire
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

 to the jail, and the seriousness of the offense for which they were imprisoned. In other jurisdictions, the philosophy of the law holds that it is human nature to want to escape. In Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, for instance, escapees who do not break any other laws are not charged for anything and no extra time is added to their sentence; however, officers are allowed to shoot prisoners attempting to escape. In Mexico, an escape is illegal if violence is used against prison personnel or property or if prison inmates or officials aid the escape.

17th century

  • In 1621 Dutch author Hugo Grotius
    Hugo Grotius
    Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

     escaped from Loevestein where he was held captive by hiding himself inside a book coffin. He was then smuggled outside.

18th century

  • Jack Sheppard
    Jack Sheppard
    Jack Sheppard was a notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. Born into a poor family, he was apprenticed as a carpenter but took to theft and burglary in 1723, with little more than a year of his training to complete...

     took to theft and burglary in 1723, and was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure and wildly popular with the poorer classes.
  • The Italian author and adventurer Giacomo Casanova
    Giacomo Casanova
    Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

     escaped from prison in 1757.

19th century

  • Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from his prison on the island Elba in 1815 and returned to Europe in an attempt to restore his Empire.

  • The notorious outlaw Billy The Kid
    Billy the Kid
    William H. Bonney William H. Bonney William H. Bonney (born William Henry McCarty, Jr. est. November 23, 1859 – c. July 14, 1881, better known as Billy the Kid but also known as Henry Antrim, was a 19th-century American gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier...

     managed to escape from prison in 1881, but was captured and shot by Pat Garrett
    Pat Garrett
    Patrick Floyd "Pat" Garrett was an American Old West lawman, bartender, and customs agent who was best known for killing Billy the Kid...

     only a few months later.


  • German Naval Air Service Kapitänleutnant Gunther Plüschow
    Gunther Plüschow
    Gunther Plüschow was a German aviator, aerial explorer and author from Munich, Bavaria. His feats include the only escape by a German prisoner of war in either World War from Britain back to Germany; he was the first man to explore and film Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia from the air...

     escaped from the Donington Hall
    Donington Hall
    Donington Hall is a house and residual estate in Castle Donington, North West Leicestershire, located close to the city of Derby. The Hall serves as the headquarters for airline BMI....

     prisoner of war camp in 1915.

  • John Dillinger
    John Dillinger
    John Herbert Dillinger, Jr. was an American bank robber in Depression-era United States. He was charged with, but never convicted of, the murder of an East Chicago, Indiana police officer during a shoot-out. This was his only alleged homicide. His gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations...

     served time at the Indiana State Penitentiary at Michigan City, until 1933, when he was paroled. Within four months, he was back in jail in Lima, Ohio
    Lima, Ohio
    Lima is a city in and the county seat of Allen County, Ohio, United States. The municipality is located in northwestern Ohio along Interstate 75 approximately north of Dayton and south-southwest of Toledo....

    , but his gang sprang him, killing the jailer, Sheriff Jessie Sarber. Most of the gang was captured again by the end of the year in Tucson, Arizona
    Tucson, Arizona
    Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

    , due to a fire at the Historic Hotel Congress. Dillinger alone was sent to the Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana
    Crown Point, Indiana
    As of the census of 2010, there were 27,317 people and 10,976 households in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 88.20% White, 6.30% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.80% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 1.90% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races...

    . He was to face trial for the suspected killing of police officer William O'Malley during a bank shootout in East Chicago, Indiana
    East Chicago, Indiana
    East Chicago is a city in Lake County, Indiana. The population was 29,698 at the 2010 census.-Geography:East Chicago is located at ....

    , some time after his escape from jail. During this time on trial, a famous photograph was taken of Dillinger putting his arm on prosecutor Robert Estill's shoulder when suggested to him by reporters.

  • On March 3, 1934, Dillinger escaped from the "escape-proof" (as it was dubbed by local authorities at the time) Crown Point, Indiana county jail, which was guarded by many police officers and national guardsmen. Newspapers reported that Dillinger had escaped using a fake gun made from wood blackened with shoe polish.

  • Japanese murderer Yoshie Shiratori
    Yoshie Shiratori
    was a Japanese murderer, who committed a murder in 1933. He is best known for having escaped from prison four times over three years. He was eventually sentenced to life and 23 years imprisonment for a murder, escaping and manslaughter. However, in fact he had been in prison for 26 years until he...

     broke out of prison four times between 1930s and 1940s. A novel and TV-drama Hagoku was based on his true story.

  • The Fort San Cristóbal is a fort located on the top of the mount San Cristóbal, which is very close (4 km) to Pamplona
    Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

    , Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    . Built inside the mountain and obsolete since its opening in 1919, due to its weakness against aviation, it served as a prison. On May 22, 1938, during the Spanish Civil War
    Spanish Civil War
    The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

    , around 30 prisoners organised a mutiny for a massive prison break. 792 prisoners fled away but only 3 succeeded in getting to the French
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     border; 585 were arrested, 211 died and 14 of the arrested who were considered the leaders were sentenced to death. Most fugitives were intercepted during the following days. In 1988, a sculpture was erected to honour the memory of the Republican people dead there. The fort ceased to be prison in 1945.

  • In The Great Escape
    Stalag Luft III
    Stalag Luft III was a Luftwaffe-run prisoner-of-war camp during World War II that housed captured air force servicemen. It was in the German Province of Lower Silesia near the town of Sagan , southeast of Berlin...

    , 76 Allied POWs (primarily Commonwealth airmen) escaped from Stalag Luft III
    Stalag Luft III
    Stalag Luft III was a Luftwaffe-run prisoner-of-war camp during World War II that housed captured air force servicemen. It was in the German Province of Lower Silesia near the town of Sagan , southeast of Berlin...

     during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    . Fifty of the escaped POWs were rounded up and shot by the Gestapo
    The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

    , while only 3 succeeded in reaching neutral territories.

  • Colditz Castle
    Colditz Castle
    Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. Used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it gained international fame as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II for...

     was used as an 'escape-proof' prisoner of war camp during World War II; but over the course of 300 escape attempts, 130 prisoners escaped. Thirty escapees eventually managed to reach friendly territory. The men had tunneled, disguised themselves as guards, workmen or women, sneaked away through sewer drains, and even planned to use a glider to get over the wall.

  • André Devigny, a French resistance fighter during World War II, escaped Montluc Military Prison
    Fort Montluc
    Fort Montluc is a former prison located on rue Jeanne Hachette in the 3rd arrondissement of Lyon, France.Built between 1831 and 1835 for use as a military prison, after the invasion of the unoccupied zone of Vichy France in November 1942, the Gestapo used it as a prison, interrogation centre and...

     in Lyons with his cellmate in April 1943.

  • In the Cowra breakout
    Cowra breakout
    During World War II, a prisoner of war camp near the town of Cowra in New South Wales, Australia was the site of one of the largest prison escapes of the war, on 5 August 1944. At least 545 Japanese POWs were involved in the breakout.-The camp:...

    , at least 545 out of approximately 1000 Japanese Prisoners of War escaped from Number 12 Prisoner of War Compound at Cowra on the night of 4 August 1944, of those 231 commit suicide and 108 are wounded.

  • French author Henri Charrière
    Henri Charrière
    Henri Charrière was a convicted murderer chiefly known as the author of Papillon, a hugely successful memoir of his incarceration in and escape from a penal colony in French Guiana....

     tried to escape in vain several times, but eventually was succesful in 1943. His story, Papillon was published and filmed under the same name
    Papillon (film)
    Papillon is a 1973 film based on the best-selling novel by the French convict Henri Charrière.This motion picture was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Steve McQueen as Henri Charrière , and Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega...



  • Accused safe cracker Alfie Hinds
    Alfred George Hinds
    Alfred George "Alfie" Hinds was a British criminal who, while serving a 12-year prison sentence for robbery, successfully broke out of three high security prisons...

     tried to proclaim his innocence by repeatedly walking out of prison. He became famous for escaping from Nottingham Prison
    Nottingham (HM Prison)
    HM Prison Nottingham is a Category B men's prison, located in the Sherwood area of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.-History:...

     after sneaking through the locked doors and over a 20 feet (6.1 m) prison wall, for which he became known as "Houdini" Hinds. He later escaped from the Law Courts at the Old Bailey
    Old Bailey
    The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

    . Escorted by two guards, he went to the lavatory, where they removed his handcuffs outside. As the three entered, Hinds locked the two guards inside the lavatory by snapping a padlock, which had been smuggled in to him earlier, onto screw eyes
    Eye bolt
    An eye bolt is a screw with a loop on one end and threads on the other end. Eye bolts are commonly used to attach cables to objects, for instance attaching a string to the back of a painting to allow the painting to hang from a nail on a wall....

     inserted on the door by his unknown accomplices and escaped into the crowd on Fleet Street
    Fleet Street
    Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

    . Hinds sealed his notoriety by making a third escape from Chelmsford Prison
    Chelmsford (HM Prison)
    HM Prison Chelmsford is a Category B men's prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in Chelmsford, Essex, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.-History:...


  • Frank Morris, John Anglin
    John Anglin
    John William Anglin was an American criminal who took part in the June 1962 Alcatraz escape and was never seen again.- Alcatraz :...

     and Clarence Anglin
    Clarence Anglin
    Clarence Anglin was an American criminal who took part in the June 1962 Alcatraz escape and was never seen again.- Early life :...

    June 1962 Alcatraz escape
    The June 1962 Alcatraz escape was an escape attempt by American criminals Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, Frank Morris, and Allen West from Alcatraz Island, one of the United States' most famous prisons, it is possibly the only successful escape attempt from the prison.- Previous attempts :There...

     from 'inescapable' Alcatraz Island in 1962; although the fate of the escapees is unclear.

  • The escape of Lucien Rivard
    Lucien Rivard
    Lucien Rivard was a Quebec criminal known for a sensational prison escape in 1965.Rivard had been engaged in robbery and smuggling drugs since the 1940s. He has been described as a "petty crook" in his early years, but in the 1950s he moved to Cuba and operated a casino, and became involved in...

     in Canada in 1965. Rivard was consequently named the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year
    Canadian Newsmaker of the Year
    The Canadian Newsmaker of the Year is a title awarded by the Canadian Press annually since 1946, reflecting the opinion of CP, and, since its formation in 1954, that of Broadcast News, on which Canadian has had the most influence on the news in a given year...

     by the Canadian Press
    Canadian Press
    Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. is the entity which "will take over the operations of the Canadian Press" according to a November 26, 2010 article in the Toronto Star...


  • Soviet spy George Blake
    George Blake
    George Blake is a former British spy known for having been a double agent in the service of the Soviet Union. Discovered in 1961 and sentenced to 42 years in prison, he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison in 1966 and fled to the USSR...

     escaped from Wormwood Scrubs
    Wormwood Scrubs (HM Prison)
    HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs is a Category B men's prison, located in the Wormwood Scrubs area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, in inner west London, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service....

     on 22 October 1966, assisted by Pat Pottle, Michael Randle and Sean Bourke. Both Blake and Bourke reached the safety of the Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....


  • Before being sentenced to 12 years in the Federal Corrections Institution at Petersburg, Virginia
    Petersburg, Virginia
    Petersburg is an independent city in Virginia, United States located on the Appomattox River and south of the state capital city of Richmond. The city's population was 32,420 as of 2010, predominantly of African-American ethnicity...

     in April 1971, Frank W. Abagnale is said to have escaped from both a British VC-10 airliner, and the Federal Detention Center in Atlanta, Georgia
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

    . His autobiography was later adapted to the screen for the 2002 release of Catch Me If You Can
    Catch Me If You Can
    Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical comedy-drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor...

    , starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • In 1973, three Provisional Irish Republican Army
    Provisional Irish Republican Army
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

     prisoners escaped in the Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape
    1973 Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape
    The Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape occurred on 31 October 1973 when three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, Ireland, aboard a hijacked Alouette II helicopter, which briefly landed in the prison's exercise yard...

    , when a hijacked helicopter landed in the exercise yard at Mountjoy Prison
    Mountjoy Prison
    Mountjoy Prison , founded as Mountjoy Gaol, nicknamed The Joy, is a medium security prison located in Phibsboro in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. It has the largest prison population in Ireland.The current prison governor is Mr...

    , Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    Republic of Ireland
    Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...



  • Midnight Express
    Midnight Express (book)
    Midnight Express is a 1977 book by Billy Hayes and William Hoffer about Billy's experience as a young American who was sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey to the US. An adaptation of the book was made into an American film of the same name directed by Alan Parker in...

    author Billy Hayes escaped from a Turkish prison island where he was serving a 30 year sentence for hashish smuggling, using a fishing boat to make his way to Greece and eventually home to New York City, in 1975.

  • Serial killer Ted Bundy
    Ted Bundy
    Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered numerous young women during the 1970s, and possibly earlier...

     escaped from prison twice in 1977.

  • Michael Sabo
    Michael Sabo
    Michael John Sabo is an American consultant and speaker on identity theft and fraud in the business sector. He is currently Executive Director of US Prison Consultants, a principal resource for individuals charged with white-collar crime....

     escaped from Allenwood Federal Prison in 1979.

  • In December 1979, political prisoners Tim Jenkin
    Tim Jenkin
    Timothy Peter Jenkin is a South African writer, former political prisoner and prison escapee.Jenkin, a Cape Town resident and University of Cape Town alumnus, was charged with "producing and distributing 18 different pamphlets on behalf of banned organisations" including the South African...

    , Stephen Lee and Alex Moumbaris escaped from South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    's maximum-security Pretoria Prison. After 18 months of plotting, testing, preparing, and learning how to pick locks and forge keys, the trio escaped the prison the same way they came in: through 10 locked doors.

  • In the 1983 Batticaloa Jailbreak
    1983 Batticaloa Jailbreak
    1983 Batticaloa Jailbreak happened in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka on 27 September 1983 . After the Welikada prison massacre Tamil political inmates were transferred to Batticaloa. Since they were not co-operating with the police they were told by the prison guards that they will be transferred back to a...

     on 23 September 1983, 41 Tamil
    Tamil people
    Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

     political prisoners and 151 criminal prisoners escaped in eastern Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...


  • In the Maze Prison escape
    Maze Prison escape
    The Maze Prison escape took place on 25 September 1983 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. HM Prison Maze was a maximum security prison considered to be one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe, and held prisoners convicted of taking part in armed paramilitary campaigns during the Troubles...

     on 25 September 1983, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army
    Provisional Irish Republican Army
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

     members escaped from HMP Maze in Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

    , the biggest prison escape in British history.

  • In 1984, six death row inmates escaped Mecklenburg Correctional Center
    Mecklenburg Correctional Center
    Mecklenburg Correctional Center is a medium security prison operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections in unincorporated Mecklenburg County, Virginia, United States, near Boydton. The facility serves as a reception and classification facility...

    , making it the largest mass death row escape in American history. All were recaptured within 18 days, and all six men would eventually be executed. The final execution took place in 1996.

  • Claude Dallas
    Claude Dallas
    Claude Lafayette Dallas, Jr. was a self-styled mountain man. The son of a dairy farmer, he spent his early years in Luce County, Michigan, later moving to rural Morrow County, Ohio where he liked to trap and hunt game. Dallas graduated from Mount Gilead High School, Mount Gilead, Ohio in 1967...

     escaped from a penitentiary in Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

     in 1986 and spent a year on the run.

  • Danny Ray Horning escaped from the Arizona State Prison in Florence, Arizona
    Florence, Arizona
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 17,054 people, 2,226 households, and 1,540 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,056.2 people per square mile . There were 3,216 housing units at an average density of 387.7 per square mile...

     on May 12, 1992, and a 55-day manhunt ensued as Horning fled the authorities. The pursuit ended on July 5, 1992, near Sedona, Arizona
    Sedona, Arizona
    Sedona is a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona...

    . Horning led authorities hundreds of miles through the Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

     wilderness, and committed numerous kidnappings during the manhunt.

  • In September 1994, 6 prisoners, including Paul Magee
    Paul Magee
    Paul "Dingus" Magee is a former volunteer in the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who escaped during his 1981 trial for killing a member of the Special Air Service in 1980...

    , used guns to escape Whitemoor Prison
    Whitemoor (HM Prison)
    HM Prison Whitemoor is a Category A men's prison, located near the town of March in Cambridgeshire, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.-History:...

    . They were later recaptured.

  • In 1995 Vellore Fort Jailbreak
    1995 Vellore Fort Jailbreak
    1995 Vellore Fort Jailbreak , happened in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India on 15 August 1995. After digging a tunnel, 43 Tamil Tiger inmates escaped from the prison, 21 of the escapees were re-captured within weeks of the escape....

     on 15 August 1995, 43 Tamil Tiger inmates escaped from Vellore Fort
    Vellore Fort
    Vellore Fort is a large 16th-century fort situated in Vellore city near Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The Fort was at one point of time the headquarters of the Vijayanagara Empire...

     prison in India.

  • In August 1996, Englishman David McMillan
    David McMillan (smuggler)
    David McMillan is a British-Australian drug smuggler who is best known for being the only Westerner on record as having successfully escaped Bangkok's Klong Prem prison. His exploits were the subject of the 2011 Australian telemovie, Underbelly Files: The Man Who Got Away.-Early life:McMillan was...

     escaped from Thailand’s Klong Prem Central Prison while awaiting trial on drug charges. McMillan cut the bars of his shared cell, scaled four walls before dropping over the electrified outer wall using a bamboo ladder, and then skirted the moat while hiding his face under an umbrella from the prison factory. The break-out is described in his book Escape (published 2007).

  • In 1998, the Belgian child molester Marc Dutroux
    Marc Dutroux
    Marc Dutroux is a Belgian serial killer and child molester, convicted of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six girls during 1995 and 1996, ranging in age from 8 to 19, four of whom he murdered. He was also convicted of having killed a suspected former accomplice, Bernard Weinstein,...

     notoriously managed to escape for a few hours. He was caught the same afternoon, but the incident forced two politicians to resign and deepened the loss of faith in the Belgian judicial system. (

  • Martin Gurule escaped from the Texas Death Row at Ellis Unit
    Ellis Unit
    O. B. Ellis Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison located in unincorporated Walker County, Texas, north of Huntsville. The unit, with about of space, now houses up to 2,400 male prisoners. Ellis is situated in a wooded area shared with the Estelle Unit, which is located away...

     in 1998. He was found dead a few days later.

  • In 1999, Leslie Dale Martin
    Leslie Dale Martin
    Leslie Dale Martin was an American murderer. He was convicted and later executed for the rape and murder of Christina Burgin.-Crime:...

     and three other inmates on Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

    's death row
    Death row
    Death row signifies the place, often a section of a prison, that houses individuals awaiting execution. The term is also used figuratively to describe the state of awaiting execution , even in places where no special facility or separate unit for condemned inmates exists.After individuals are found...

     escaped from their cells at the Louisiana State Penitentiary
    Louisiana State Penitentiary
    The Louisiana State Penitentiary is a prison farm in Louisiana operated by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. It is the largest maximum security prison in the United States with 5,000 offenders and 1,800 staff...

    . They were caught within hours before they even managed to escape prison grounds. The four men had managed the escape with the use of hacksaws that had been smuggled in for them by a bribed corrections officer. Other corrections officers were inattentive to the inmates' two to three week effort at cutting their cell doors and window. After the escape, two corrections officers were fired and two others were demoted. Martin was later overheard by two corrections officers plotting another escape, which included taking hostages and commandeering a vehicle to ram the prison's front gates. Martin was immediately moved to the holding cell outside the Death Chamber, a month before his execution in 2002.

  • In March 1999, Lucy Dudko hijacked a helicopter during a joy-flight over Sydney and ordered the pilot to land inside Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre
    Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre
    The Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre is an Australian prison located in Silverwater, from Sydney's CBD, Australia. The prison opened in 1997, and has a capacity of 900 inmates. It is the largest single correctional centre in Australia...

     in Silverwater, New South Wales
    Silverwater, New South Wales
    Silverwater is a suburb in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales Australia. Silverwater is located 20 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Auburn Council....

     where her lover, John Killick, was serving 28 years for armed robberies. The helicopter plucked Killick from the prison's exercise yard and avoided a shower of bullets fired by prison guards. The couple then went on the run, eluding police around the country until their luck ran out in a Sydney caravan park six weeks later.

  • Ty Conn
    Ty Conn
    Tyrone Williams "Ty" Conn was a Canadian bank robber. He was the only person in the last half century to escape over the wall from the Kingston Penitentiary, one of Canada's most secure prisons....

    's escape on May 6, 1999 from inside Kingston Penitentiary
    Kingston Penitentiary
    Kingston Penitentiary is a maximum security prison located in Kingston, Ontario between King Street West and Lake Ontario....

     was the 26th in the history of facility. Conn employed a ladder and homemade grappling hook to scale the wall and used cayenne pepper
    Cayenne pepper
    The cayenne pepper—also known as the Guinea spice,cow-horn pepper, aleva, bird pepper,or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper—is a red, hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes and for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum...

     to deter dogs following his scent.


  • The Texas 7
    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.- Members :...

     escaped from John B. Connally Unit on December 13, 2000. Six of them were captured after over a month and a half on the run; the 7th killed himself before being captured.

  • In January 2001, 3 inmates escaped from Oklahoma State Penitentiary
    Oklahoma State Penitentiary
    The Oklahoma State Penitentiary is located in McAlester, Oklahoma, on . It is a prison of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Opened in 1908 with 50 inmates in makeshift facilities, today the prison holds more than 1,200 male offenders, the vast majority of which are maximum-security inmates...

    's H-Unit (Hi-Max). One of them was injured during the escape, and while trying to get back in the prison he got caught in the razor between the fences. The other 2 offenders (one serving a life sentence for murder, the other for rape and kidnapping) were at large for several days before being apprehended in a small town approximately 40 miles (64.4 km) from the prison.

  • In New York, two convicted murderers escaped from Elmira State Penitentiary in July 2003, both recaptured in 2 days.

  • Hugo Selenski was the target of a nationwide manhunt and gained national media recognition in USA when he escaped from the jail where he was awaiting trial the week he was charged with murders, on Friday, October 9, 2003. He and another inmate used bedsheets to escape from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in the county seat of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    Wilkes-Barre is a city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the county seat of Luzerne County. It is at the center of the Wyoming Valley area and is one of the principal cities in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area, which had a population of 563,631 as of the 2010 Census...

    . Selenski's partner in the jailbreak, Scott Bolton, was injured and hospitalized during the escape, but Selenski remained free. He turned himself in several days later.

  • Brian Nichols
    Brian Nichols
    Brian Gene Nichols is known for his escape and killing spree in the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia on March 11, 2005. Nichols was on trial for rape when he escaped from custody and murdered the judge presiding over his trial, a court reporter, a Sheriff's Deputy and later a Federal...

     on March 11, 2005 escaped from the Fulton County
    Fulton County, Georgia
    Fulton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. Its county seat is Atlanta, the state capital since 1868 and the principal county of the Atlanta metropolitan area...

     courthouse in Atlanta, by overpowering an officer and taking her pistol. He then murdered a judge, a court reporter, a police officer and U.S. Customs agent. He then held a woman named Ashley Smith hostage for a night in her own home, before he allowed her to leave to visit her daughter. Once she was released, she called the police, and he surrendered peacefully to SWAT
    A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

     officers who arrived on the scene.

  • On November 4, 2005, Texas Death Row Inmate Charles Victor Thompson
    Charles Victor Thompson
    Charles Victor Thompson is an American criminal. Sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and her lover in 1998, Thompson made headlines in 2005 by escaping from Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas after a parole meeting using a forged ID badge, claiming to be with the Attorney...

     escaped from the Harris County Jail by acquiring a set of street clothes and pretending to be a representative from the State Attorney General's office to fool the corrections officers. He was recaptured two days later in Shreveport, Louisiana, 200 miles (321.9 km) from where he escaped.

  • Ralph "Bucky" Phillips escaped from prison on April 2, 2006, in New York, by cutting through the ceiling in the kitchen with a can opener. On June 10 he was suspected of a shooting which ended with one New York state trooper being severely wounded. Bucky was later caught in Warren County, Pennsylvania, on September 8, 2006, his escape led police on the largest manhunt in New York state history. He was sentenced to life without parole for the shooting death of SWAT officer Longobardo and 40 years to life in both other shootings, which injured one state trooper and one other SWAT officer.
  • Richard Lee McNair
    Richard Lee McNair
    Richard Lee McNair is a convicted murderer known for his ability to escape and elude capture. Macnair murdered a man in 1987 during a botched robbery, and is currently serving two terms of life imprisonment for that crime...

     has escaped from custody three times, including from a federal maximum-security prison in April 2006. He was recaptured by the RCMP on October 25, 2007 in Campbellton, New Brunswick, when he was stopped while driving a stolen vehicle.

  • John Parsons
    John Parsons
    John Parsons may refer to:*John Parsons * John Parsons , Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University* John T...

     (who murdered a Chillicothe, Ohio
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Chillicothe is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, United States.Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio and is located in southern Ohio along the Scioto River. The name comes from the Shawnee name Chalahgawtha, meaning "principal town", as it was a major settlement of...

     Police Officer while running away from the police for robbing a gas station) escaped from a jail in Ross County, Ohio
    Ross County, Ohio
    As of the census of 2000, there were 73,345 people, 27,136 households, and 19,185 families residing in the county. The population density was 106 people per square mile . There were 29,461 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile...

     on July 29, 2006 using bedsheets, toilet paper, and newspaper. He was later recaptured on October 19, 2006 .As a fugitive, Parsons was twice featured on the Fox television show America's Most Wanted
    America's Most Wanted
    America's Most Wanted is an American television program produced by 20th Television, and was the longest-running program of any kind in the history of the Fox Television Network until it was announced on May 16, 2011 that the series was canceled after twenty-three years, with the final episode...


  • Kelly Allen Frank
    Kelly Allen Frank
    Kelly Allen Frank is a felon, accused of crafting a plan to kidnap David Letterman's son, Harry Joseph Letterman, in 2005.On June 8, 2007, he and another man, William J. Willcutt, fled the Montana State Prison ranch in a truck. Officials said the search had concentrated on an area south of the...

     (who had plotted to kidnap the infant son of talk-show host David Letterman
    David Letterman
    David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC...

    ) and William John Willcutt escaped from a Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

     prison on June 8, 2007. Both were recaptured on June 13, 2007.

  • On December 15, 2007 inmates Jose Espinosa and Otis Blunt escaped from the high-security level of the Union County
    Union County, New Jersey
    Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 536,499. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Elizabeth. Union County ranks 93rd among the highest-income counties in the United States. It also ranks 74th in...

     jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey
    Elizabeth, New Jersey
    Elizabeth is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969, retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city with an increase of 4,401 residents from its 2000 Census population of 120,568...

    . Espinosa was awaiting sentencing on an aggravated manslaughter
    Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is said to have first been made by the Ancient Athenian lawmaker Dracon in the 7th century BC.The law generally differentiates...

     charge, while Blunt was being held in lieu of bond on robbery and weapons charges. They escaped by scraping away the mortar around the cinder blocks making up the cell walls. They then smashed the block, hid the pieces in a footlocker and covered the holes with pin-up pictures. To delay knowledge of the escape, they made dummies out of sheets and pillowcases and left them in their beds. Espinosa was recaptured on Tuesday, January 8, 2008. Blunt was recaptured the following day Wednesday, January 9, 2008 in Mexico City, Mexico.

  • Mas Selamat
    Mas Selamat bin Kastari
    Mas Selamat bin Kastari , an Indonesian-born Singaporean, was for more than a year Singapore's most-wanted fugitive after escaping from detention on 27 February 2008. The search for him has been described as the largest manhunt ever launched in Singapore...

     escaped from the Singapore's Whitley Road Detention Centre at 4:05 pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2008. He was eventually recaptured in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on April 1, 2009, over a year after his escape.

  • Sarposa Prison attack
    Sarposa Prison attack
    The Sarposa Prison attack was a raid on the Sarposa Prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan by Taliban insurgents on June 13, 2008. One of the largest attacks by Afghan insurgents, the raid freed 400-1000 prisoners...

    ; a raid on the Kandahar detention facility in Kandahar
    Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

    , Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

     by Taliban insurgents on June 13, 2008. One of the largest attacks by Afghan insurgents, the raid freed 400-1000 prisoners.

  • Eight inmates charged with violent crimes escaped from the Curry County Adult Detention Center in Clovis
    Clovis, New Mexico
    Clovis is the county seat of Curry County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 32,667 at the 2000 census; according to 2010 Census Bureau estimates, the population had risen to 37,775....

    , New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

     on August 24, 2008. The eight men escaped by climbing prison pipes in a narrow space inside a wall, then using homemade instruments to cut a hole in the roof. The jailbreak was featured on a September 6 episode of America's Most Wanted
    America's Most Wanted
    America's Most Wanted is an American television program produced by 20th Television, and was the longest-running program of any kind in the history of the Fox Television Network until it was announced on May 16, 2011 that the series was canceled after twenty-three years, with the final episode...

    . As of October 2010, convicted murderer Edward Salas was the only inmate still at large.

  • Three inmates Lance Battreal, Charles Smith, and Mark Booher escaped from a Michigan City
    Michigan City
    Michigan City may refer to:* Michigan City, California* Michigan City, Indiana* Michigan City, Mississippi* Michigan City, North Dakota...

    , Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

     prison on July 12, 2009 through underground tunnels under the prison yard. Charles Smith was captured on July 20, 2009 near Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
    Richard M. Daley
    Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

    's vacation home in Grand Beach
    Grand Beach
    Grand Beach may refer to:*Grand Beach , Canada*Grand Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada*Grand Beach, Michigan, United States...

    , Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

    . Lance Battreal was captured on July 21, 2009 at his mother's house in Rockton, Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

    . Mark Booher was captured on July 23, 2009 in a hotel in Indianapolis
    Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

    , Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...


  • Three inmates at an Arizona State Prison for-profit Management and Training Corporation
    Management and Training Corporation
    Management and Training Corporation or MTC is a Utah-based contractor that manages private prisons and provides vocational training. It is involved in the U.S. Job Corps program. The company made headlines in 2010 after three convicted murderers escaped from one of its prisons.-History:MTC was...

     operated facility on July 30, 2010. Two, Daniel Renwick and Tracy Province were murderers and John McCluskey had been convicted of attempted murders. Renwick was captured in a shootout in Rifle, Colorado on August 1, 2010. Though he still had 32 years on his sentence in Arizona, he was sentenced to 60 years to be served in Colorado. Province, already a lifer, was captured on August 9, 2010 in Meeteese, Wyoming. After being sentenced to 38 1/3 years, he was quickly extradited to face murder charges in New Mexico. McCluskey, who had been doing consecutive 15-year sentences, was captured with Casslyn Welch, his cousin/accomplice in eastern Arizona on August 19 in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. He was sentenced to 43 years in an Arizona prison on escape, kidnap, hijacking and robbery charges. Like Province, Welch and McCluskey were soon extradited for the alleged robbery, hijack and murder of two vacationers in New Mexico. The U.S. Attorney in New Mexico had filed death penalty charges against all three.


  • The Great Escape
    The Great Escape (film)
    The Great Escape is a 1963 American film about an escape by Allied prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough...

    involves the prisoners of a German prisoner of war
    Prisoner of war
    A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

     camp digging their way to freedom from under a hut, the story was made into a novel and later a movie.
  • The Wooden Horse
    The Wooden Horse
    The Wooden Horse is a 1950 British Second World War war film starring Leo Genn, Anthony Steel and David Tomlinson and directed by Jack Lee. It is based on the book of the same name by Eric Williams, who also wrote the screenplay....

    also prisoners of a German prisoner of war camp who dug from underneath a vaulting horse
  • Colditz
    Colditz (TV series)
    Colditz is a British television series co-produced by the BBC and Universal Studios and screened between 1972 and 1974.The series deals with Allied prisoners of war imprisoned at the supposedly escape-proof Colditz Castle when designated Oflag IV-C during World War II, and their many attempts to...

    based on the true story, depicts the fate of many imprisoned at Colditz Castle
    Colditz Castle
    Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. Used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it gained international fame as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II for...

     during World War II.
  • Le Trou
    Le Trou
    The Hole is a 1960 French film directed by Jacques Becker. It is an adaptation of José Giovanni's 1957 book of the same name. It was called The Night Watch when first released in the United States, but is released under its French title today...

    , a 1960 film by Jacques Becker, depicts the attempted escape of five French prisoners from La Santé Prison in 1947.
  • Papillon
    Papillon (autobiography)
    Papillon is a memoir by convicted felon and fugitive Henri Charrière, first published in France in 1969. It became an instant bestseller. It was translated into English from the original French by June P. Wilson and Walter B. Michaels for a 1970 edition, and by author Patrick O'Brian...

    tells the story of Henri Charrière
    Henri Charrière
    Henri Charrière was a convicted murderer chiefly known as the author of Papillon, a hugely successful memoir of his incarceration in and escape from a penal colony in French Guiana....

    's escape from Devil's Island
    Devil's Island
    Devil's Island is the smallest and northernmost island of the three Îles du Salut located about 6 nautical miles off the coast of French Guiana . It has an area of 14 ha . It was a small part of the notorious French penal colony in French Guiana until 1952...

     in 1943.
  • Escape from Alcatraz
    Escape from Alcatraz (film)
    Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American thriller film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. It dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. The film co-stars Fred Ward, and also features Patrick McGoohan as the...

    depicts the escape of Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers.
  • Escape From Sobibor
    Escape from Sobibor
    Escape from Sobibor is a 1987 British made-for-TV film which aired on CBS. It deals with the extermination camp at Sobibor, the site of the most successful uprising by Jewish prisoners of German extermination camps...

    , the true story of a Jewish Partisan and a Soviet POW who together, with a group of other inmates, help 300 Jews escape from Sobibor
    Sobibór is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Włodawa, within Włodawa County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It lies close to the Bug River, which forms the border with Belarus and Ukraine. Sobibór is approximately south-east of Włodawa and east of the regional capital...

     extermination camp.


  • Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a novella by Stephen King, from his collection Different Seasons . It has been hailed by critics as King's "greatest work", and "masterpiece". The novella was adapted for the screen in 1994 as The Shawshank Redemption, itself a lauded film, nominated for...

    is a novella by Stephen King which revolves around a prison escape, and was made famous by the subsequent film The Shawshank Redemption
    The Shawshank Redemption
    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman....

     featuring actors such as Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

    . The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards
    Academy Awards
    An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

  • The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas. It is often considered to be, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas's most popular work. He completed the work in 1844...

    depicts protagonist Edmond Dantès's falsified arrest and internment, years of isolation and finally recruitment into an escape from prison to exact revenge on his captors.
  • The TV series Prison Break
    Prison Break
    Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on the Fox Broadcasting Company for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and the other devises an...

    revolves around a complicated escape plan and the subsequent nationwide manhunt. A second escape from a prison in Panama and the subsequent (though brief) manhunt are featured at the end of the series' third season.
  • In the video game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent is an action-adventure stealth game, developed and published by Ubisoft. The series, endorsed by American author Tom Clancy, follows the character Sam Fisher, an agent employed by a black-ops division of the National Security Agency, dubbed Third...

    , Sam Fisher escapes prison with JBA member Jamie Washington.
  • In Oz
    Oz (TV series)
    Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes . It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced by premium cable network HBO. Oz premiered on July 12, 1997 and ran for six seasons...

    inmates Miguel Alvarez
    Miguel Alvarez
    Miguel Alvarez is a fictional character played by American actor Kirk Acevedo on the television show Oz. He is the main Latino inmate in the series. He is a gang member of El Norte and of Cuban descent.-Character overview:...

     and Agamemnon Busmalis
    Agamemnon Busmalis
    Agamemnon "Aggie" Busmalis a.k.a. The Mole is a fictional character of the television series Oz, portrayed by Tom Mardirosian. He is also referenced in OZ: Behind These Walls: The Journal of Augustus Hill.-Character's backstory:...

     escape from the prison. Eventually both are apprehended by authorities.
  • In the 1953 movie Stalag 17
    Stalag 17
    Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film which tells the story of a group of American airmen held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp, who come to suspect that one of their number is a traitor...

    , attempts to escape the prison fail because of a spy.
  • In the movie The Fugitive
    The Fugitive (1993 film)
    The Fugitive is a 1993 American thriller film based on the television series of the same name. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was one of the few movies associated with a television series to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best...

    , as with the television series on which it was based
    The Fugitive (TV series)
    The Fugitive is an American drama series produced by QM Productions and United Artists Television that aired on ABC from 1963 to 1967. David Janssen stars as Richard Kimble, a doctor from the fictional town of Stafford, Indiana, who is falsely convicted of his wife's murder and given the death...

    , Dr. Richard Kimble
    Richard Kimble
    Dr. Richard David Kimble is the fictional character and the protagonist featured in the television series The Fugitive. He was portrayed by actor David Janssen. Dr. Kimble, who was born on March 27, 1927 in Stafford, Indiana, is a doctor falsely convicted of the murder of his wife, Helen Kimble,...

     is mistakenly accused of his wife's murder. He escapes along with another inmate when their transport crashes.
  • The movie U.S. Marshals
    U.S. Marshals (film)
    U.S. Marshals is a 1998 action thriller film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes, and a sequel to The Fugitive. The storyline of U.S. Marshals does not feature the character Dr. Richard Kimble; the role of the protagonist has been passed onto Samuel Gerard and his team of U.S...

    (a spin-off of The Fugitive movie featuring Tommy Lee Jones' U.S. Marshal character) revolves around a prison escapee and his mistaken conviction of his crime.
  • The Harry Potter
    Harry Potter
    Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

     novel The Prisoner of Azkaban depicts the manhunt of a wizard who escaped the magical community's version of Alcatraz (Azkaban).
  • In the video game Sly 2: Band of Thieves
    Sly 2: Band of Thieves
    Sly 2 Band of Thieves is a platform stealth video game develpoed by Sucker Punch and published by Sony Computer Entertainment released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2...

    the player has break out his fellow captive team members.
  • In Saints Row 2
    Saints Row 2
    Saints Row 2 is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 systems. It is the second title in the Saints Row series, after the release of Saints Row in 2006. It is succeeded by Saints Row: The...

    , the player escapes from prison with a fellow inmate named Carlos in the beginning of the game.
  • In Dead to Rights
    Dead to Rights
    Dead to Rights is a third-person shooter produced by Namco. It was released on June 3, as a timed exclusive for the Xbox, and releases for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube followed thereafter. A year after its console debut, the game was released for Microsoft Windows...

    , the player is sent to prison after being framed for murder. After a lot of work an escape plan is developed that includes escaping from the electric chair as its used on you and as a bonus, killing the sadistic guard that was to perform the execution by putting him in the electric chair after you escape from it. The player then escapes through sewer tunnels and an old mine shaft. In a later chapter where the player returns to the prison (now shut down due to the escape and severe damage from riots that followed), the escape is referred to as being "now legendary." An interesting note is that during the attempted execution, two of the game's main villains are there to see the execution (one of which was responsible for the character being framed and sent there) and there's a third that presumably represents the third major villain as he's seen later working for him.
  • In Con Air
    Con Air
    Con Air is an Academy Award–nominated 1997 American action-thriller film directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich...

    , the inmates on the plane attempted to escape in an attempt planned by Cyrus the Virus (John Malkovich
    John Malkovich
    John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, producer, director and fashion designer with his label Technobohemian. Over the last 25 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award...

  • Riddick
    Richard B. Riddick , more commonly known simply as Riddick, is the antihero of three films in the Riddick series, namely Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, and the animated movie The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury; as well as the two video games The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher...

    , a fictional character portrayed by Vin Diesel
    Vin Diesel
    Vin Diesel is an American actor, writer, director and producer. He became known in the early 2000s, appearing in several successful Hollywood films, including The Fast and the Furious and xXx...

    , is notorious for his ability to escape from seemingly any detention facility including those with extreme security measures such as hostile environments or even cryopreservation
    Cryopreservation is a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures, such as 77 K or −196 °C . At these low temperatures, any biological activity, including the biochemical reactions that would lead to cell death, is effectively stopped...

  • In both the novel and the film The Silence of the Lambs, serial killer Hannibal Lecter
    Hannibal Lecter
    Hannibal Lecter M.D. is a fictional character in a series of horror novels by Thomas Harris and in the films adapted from them.Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer...

     escapes from his specially designed maximum security cell in Memphis, Tennessee by killing his two guards and using the face of one of them to fool the ambulance crew. He later murders the ambulance crew and a tourist and flees Memphis.
  • In Cool Hand Luke
    Cool Hand Luke
    Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Paul Newman. The screenplay was adapted by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson from Pearce's 1965 novel of the same name. The film features George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D...

    , Luke becomes notorious for his repeated attempts to escape prison.
  • In the British soap opera Coronation Street
    Coronation Street
    Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

    , murderer Tony Gordon
    Tony Gordon
    Anthony "Tony" Gordon was a fictional character in the itv soap opera Coronation Street, portrayed by actor Gray O'Brien. The character first appeared on screen on 16 September 2007 and making his final appearance on 9 June 2010 after deciding to sacrifice himself in the Underworld fire. He is a...

     was broken out of prison by his ex-cellmate Robbie in order to get revenge on people who he believes caused him to be sent down.
  • The Next Three Days
    The Next Three Days
    The Next Three Days is a 2010 thriller film directed by Paul Haggis and starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. It was released in the United States on November 19, 2010 and was filmed on location in Pittsburgh...

  • In the videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch, published by Activision and released worldwide on November 9, for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii consoles, with a separate version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. Announced on April 30, 2010,...

    , the player escapes from the Russian prison Vorkuta in the second mission.

See also

  • Escape tunnel
    Escape tunnel
    An escape tunnel is a form of secret passage used as part of an escape from siege or captivity. In medieval times such tunnels are usually constructed by the builders of castles or palaces who wish to have an escape route if their domain is under attack...

  • Fugitive
    A fugitive is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from private slavery, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals...

  • Manhunt (law enforcement)
    Manhunt (law enforcement)
    In law enforcement, a manhunt is a search for a dangerous fugitive involving the use of all available police units and technology and sometimes help from the public....

  • Prison riot
    Prison riot
    A prison riot is an act of concerted defiance or disorder by a group of prisoners against the prison administrators, prison officers, or other groups of prisoners in attempt to force change or express a grievance....


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