We may laugh at the movies that depict jailbreaks by calling it unrealistic.
How can a man escape from prison so easily?
The truth is that most of those stories are inspired from real life incidences. Many criminals around the world have used very innovative ideas to escape prisons.
Some of them are ridiculous and some of them are downright genius.
1. Charles Sobhraj, who made a career out of crime and escape from prisons
Charles Sobhraj is a career criminal. In the 1970s, he committed petty crimes like cheating people out of cash, burglary. He upgraded to strangling people, drowning them and setting them on fire later. He was caught and put in jail, but somehow managed to get himself into a hospital and drugged a guard and escaped.
He then traveled to Afghanistan, where he was again arrested for some petty crime and he pulled off the hospital and drugging the guard routine all over again.
He was then wanted for crimes in Spain and France and somehow still escaped both the places with clever tactics.
He was then captured in New Delhi and served out the prison sentence before escaping again and moving to France for good. But karma soon caught up with him when he made an impulsive trip to Kathmandu, forgetting that he was also wanted in Nepal.
2. Choi Gap-bok, the yoga master who escaped from a hole in the jail door
Every prison cell door has a food slot to push the plate of food in. The slot is big enough for a plate of food to get in. Choi Gap-bok squeezed in through this slot to escape his prison cell. For the 23 years, he was in the South Korean prison, he practiced Yoga every day.
And when the time came, he requested a special ointment for his skin which was given to him by the jail authorities.
He slathered this ointment that acted as a lube and contorted his body to escape from the tiny food slot.
Ramdev Baba is proud.
3. Jack Sheppard, the man who invented the escape by bed sheet used as ropes
Jack Sheppard was London’s Houdini in the 1800s. The first time he was imprisoned, he broke through the jail’s ceiling and then climbed down with a rope he fashioned out of bedsheets.
He was caught and put into jail again with his wife this time. He broke through the jail window and escaped again using bedsheets as his escape tactic.
The last time he was caught, they put him in a strong cell – a maximum security prison cell at that time. His wrists and legs were chained to the floor to prevent any chances of escape. But guess what? He used a nail he found as a lock pick and broke free from the chains.
He then used these chains to break a window bar and then used the window bar to break the jail ceiling and then he broke 6 doors and jumped to the adjacent building and escaped into the night – WITHOUT WAKING ANYONE IN THE WHOLE PROCESS!
4. Frank Abagnale. Catch me if you can.
We all know the story of Frank Abagnale from Catch Me If You Can. When he was caught and sentenced to prison for 12 years, the police officer who was escorting him forgot the official papers that are used to put the criminal inside.
Frank Abagnale pounced on this opportunity and convinced the guards that he was actually an undercover inspector who was on a surprise visit.
If you remember in the movie, Frank Abagnale was educated, clean and well-mannered.
And guess what, he walked right out of this situation to freedom.
5. Ted Bundy, the psycho who escaped pretending to study law
Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious serial killers in America’s history. When he was finally arrested after killing almost 30 people, he was given the due privilege of being tried in court.
Ted Bundy, being very smart, appointed himself as his lawyer. In America, you have the right to represent yourself in the court of law which is a basic right. Ted did this for a very smart reason. By representing himself, he got all the privileges of a lawyer – that means he was not put in chains and shackles.
This is when Ted Bundy did the unbelievable. He requested to go to the library to read up on some law because he was representing himself and then when he was in the library he just jumped off from the window to the ground below and escaped.
He was captured and put in jail, and guess what? He escaped again – this time through the ceiling. He was recaptured and the government thought enough is enough and executed him.
6. Vassilis Paleokostas, who escaped in a helicopter – twice!
We all know that prisoners get exercise time outside in a small exercise yard. Vassilis asked his brother to land a freaking helicopter on the exercise yard of the prison he was in. He escaped in the most ridiculous fashion ever.
They were captured two years later, and then pulled the same stunt again, and escaped in another helicopter.
They still haven’t been captured by the Greek authorities.
7. Parkhurst Escapees – made a master key to all locks by memory
We all know that prison inmates make a variety of makeshift weapons and gadgets that help them escape to freedom. Andrew Rodger, Keith Rose, and Matthew Williams were fellow inmates in Parkhurst prison and were brilliant geniuses. Why? Here’s why.
They built a 25 feet long ladder to scale the outer compound of the prison with scrap.
Then they made a gun in the workshop from scratch too.
Then they also forged a key to open all locks after just looking at a key they had seen on the warden’s hip. They actually forged a key by just memory, without an original available.
They opened the prison door and walked out and scaled the fence and straight into freedom.
And it kinda feels sad because they were caught just 4 days later.
8. Sobibor Death Camp, the real life Inglorious Basterds
Remember The Inglorious Basterds? This story is similar to that. Sobibor concentration camp was one of the many concentration camps the Nazis ran throughout their territories to execute Jews. Sobibor was located in Ukraine and hence had many Ukranian guards too.
Alexander “Sasha” Pechersky, a Russian prisoner who was an officer in the Russian army gathered the rest of the prisoners and planned to kill every Nazi officer in the camp. He theorized that killing the Nazis would cripple the Ukranian guards because then they would have no chain of command to listen to.
He recruited every one of the prisoners and all of them one day suddenly out of the blue, started killing the Nazi soldiers in the camp.
They succeeded and it became one of the most famous escapes where almost 400 prisoners escaped the Sobibor concentration camp.
9. Michel Vaujour, the man who could have a movie made on him
Michael Vajour has used brilliant everyday objects as a means to escape. He once used a very old piece of cheese so as a mold for prison keys.
He used a bar of soap to scare police officers by carving it into a gun.
He then made his wife take flying lessons when he was in prison and asked her to come to the prison in a helicopter so that he could escape. He painted oranges so that they looked like grenades and scared the guards shitless. Then he got to the roof and escaped on the helicopter.
Like a true boss.
As they say – true genius cannot be contained within four walls.
Which one of the above escapes did you most like? Let us know in the comments.