Anyone who knows the story of the count of Monte Cristo, Papillon, or the Shawshank Redemption, knows that the story of someone escaping to freedom can help lift us out of depression and provide us the strength to face another 5 days of imprisonment in an office cubical. There are many thrilling stories of escape that range from royalty dressing up as the opposite sex (Like with Mary Queen of Scots and King Charles II), to war stories escapes like the Allied Prisoners of War at Stalag Luft III and Colditz or the East Berliners from 1961-1989 (which included a getaway in a hot air balloon) to of course “Prison Breaks”
Below are our 3 of our favorite well known stories of Prison Break Escapes that we feel qualify the “escapees” as “Artists”
The First Being……
1. Kalashnikov Pat – Pascal Payet
Pat is one of the most notorious criminals in France
After being convicted of robing an armored truck and shooting a guard 14 times, Pascal Payet was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. At least, so the authorities thought.
On October 12 2001 a buddy flew into the compound with a rope ladder and pat escaped with a friend. (why didn’t I think of that?)
The guards got smart and put a net over top of the compound. But in may 2003 he decided to come back with another helicopter and cut a hole in the steel net to bust some friends out (3) He flew the helicopter to a nearby sports stadium and escaped in a car
He was recaptured in 2005.
He then again in June 2007. This time armed men hijack a helicopter, overpowered guards and went straight to his cell to
The chopper landed at a nearby helicopter and everyone escaped. Pat was found 2 months later and thrown back in prison. Of course the authorities aren’t saying which one.
Famous for his philandering, Giacomo Casanova pissed off one too many husbands. In fact his powers of seduction were so impressive he was imprisoned for allegedly practicing witchcraft in 1755 when he was sent to Leads prison in Venice, notorious for its inescapability.
However Casanova found a piece of iron in the prison yard and kept it for tunnel digging purposes. He dug a tunnel in the floor beneath his cell, but got moved before its completion. Thats when he convinced “Balbi” (the prisoner in the end cell next to his) to dig two tunnels. One connecting the two cells, and the other leading to the outside the prison.
Both Prisoners escaped with the iron bar, which they used one last time to break through a set of gates on their way to freedom.
3. Frank Morris and the Anglin Brothers
For those who saw the movie “The Rock” (which had nothing to do with the wrestler and everything to do with Sean Connery being a super cool ex MI6 agent) you may remember how hard it was to break in to the Prison Island of Alcatraz. Apparently, Alcatraz was even harder to break out of….unless you are a diabolical genius like Frank Morris.
In its time, Alcatraz was the most secure prison in the United States. It was fully equipped with hidden microphones, gun towers, and trigger happy guards who would like nothing better to do than to snipe some poor bastard who got too close to the electric fence. On top of that, even if a prisoner did manage to escape, they would have to find a way to cross the dangerous waters that completely surrounded the island.
In 1962, Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, Clarence and John, decided that Alcatraz was a boring un-fun place to be and began planning their escape. Little by little with a set of nail clippers, some spoons and a drill made from a fan, they began to chip away at the concrete around a ventilation shaft. Each night, as the hole got bigger, they would fill it in with a jail made paper mache of newspapers and paste. Once the hole was big enough, they used their paper mache skills to create fake heads with barbershop hair to act as decoys for their escape.
With the help of 50 prison raincoats, they constructed an inflatable raft (that they blew up with an accordion) and took to the water.
They were never heard from again.
If you would like to conduct your own prison or wartime escape from home, all you need is an imagination, some army men, and one of the cool RC helicopters from DaftGadgets.com
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