The Mammoth Book of Prison Breaks

BOOK: The Mammoth Book of Prison Breaks
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Paul Simpson
is the author and co-author of over a dozen non-fiction books including the recently released
A Brief History of the Spy.
He has edited and contributed to numerous international entertainment magazines and currently oversees the news and reviews website
SciFiBulletin.com
.

 

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Constable & Robinson Ltd.

55–56 Russell Square

London WC1B 4HP

www.constablerobinson.com

First published in the UK by Robinson,
an imprint of Constable & Robinson Ltd., 2013

Copyright © Paul Simpson, 2013

The right of Paul Simpson to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library

UK ISBN: 978-1-47210-023-8 (paperback)

UK ISBN: 978-1-47210-024-5 (ebook)

First published in the United States in 2013 by Running Press Book Publishers,
A Member of the Perseus Books Group

All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions

This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher.

Books published by Running Press are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail
[email protected]
.

US ISBN: 978-0-7624-4940-8

US Library of Congress Control Number: 2012944636

9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

Digit on the right indicates the number of this printing

Running Press Book Publishers

2300 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371

Visit us on the web!

www.runningpress.com

Printed and bound in the UK

Cover photograph: Corbis;
Cover design:
www.simonlevyassociates.co.uk

 

 

“The best-run prison in the world is going to have an occasional escape. We’ve had escapes and will have them again. I am sure, as long as there are prisoners. To ask that a prison have no escapes is like expecting a police department to prevent robberies altogether.”

Fred T. Wilkinson, assistant Federal Director of Prisons, 13
June 1962, after the Great Escape from Alcatraz,
quoted in the
San Francisco Chronicle.

 

 

For Sophie, who is developing a keen interest in history, particularly the Horrible parts!

CONTENTS

 

Epigraph

 

Introduction

 

BETWEEN THE LINES

1

Food Truck to Freedom: The Maze 1983

2

Breaking the Heart of Midlothian: The Edinburgh Tollbooth

3

The Book Smuggler: Hans de Groot 1621

4

The Prince and the Pauper: Napoleon III 1846

5

The Outlaw’s Last Escape: Billy the Kid 1881

6

Getting Even With the Bankers: John Dillinger 1934

7

The Unknown Great Escape: San Cristobal 1938

8

Cheating the Death Camp: Treblinka 1942

9

Getting the Axe: Frank Mitchell 1966

10

Caught Because They Could: Frank Abagnale 1971

11

The World’s Most Impregnable Prison?: Tim Jenkin 1979

12

A Monument to Failure: The Mecklenburg Six 1984

13

Checking Out of Hotel K 1990

14

Sealed with a Kiss: Christopher Glover 1995

15

Hide and Seek: Daniel Mitchem 1995

16

A Trucking Great Escape: Jay Junior Sigler 1998

17

Love on the Run: Terry Banks & Lynnette Barnett 1999

18

Caught in the Net: William Davis & Douglas Gray 2001

19

A Final Smell of the Grass: Charles Thompson 2005

20

Escaping a Dog’s Life: John Manard 2006

21

Nursing a Grudge: Billy Jack Fitzmorris 2007

 

UP, UP AND AWAY

22

A Towering Achievement: The Tower of London 1100 onwards

23

A Heavenly Breakout: St John of the Cross 1578

24

Tunnelling Out of the Attic: Casanova 1624

25

The Prison Breaker: Jack Sheppard 1724

26

Anchoring the Giant: William Perry 1892

27

Bringing Out the Big Guns: Roger Tuohy 1935

28

Escape from Scotland’s Gulag: Johnny Ramensky 1938

29

Making Dummies in Internment: Joe O’Hagan 1955

30

The Real-Life
Fugitive?:
Alfie Hinds 1959

31

The Escape That Changed the Law: Ronald Ryan 1965

32

Their Mission, Should They Choose to Accept It . . . : The Great Train Robbers 1965

33

The Camper Escape: George Blake 1966

34

Nothing to Lose: John McVicar 1968

35

Swooping Down to Freedom: Joel Kaplan 1971

36

The Longest Hunt: Linda Darby 1972

37

Bird in the Sky: Seamus Twomey et al 1973

38

Hearing the Foxes Bark: Dale Remling 1975

39

American as Apple Pie: Garrett Brock Trapnell 1978

40

Checking Out of the Hilton: David McMillan 1983

41

Escaping
into
Prison: Orlando Boquete 1985

42

Back to Badness: Christopher Binse 1992

43

The Lucky Escaper: Tony Artrip 1997

44

The King of Escapers Takes Off: Pascal Payet 1998

45

Florida Getaway: Steven Whitsett 2000

46

Knoch-out Blow: Lee John Knoch 2001

47

Slipping the Supermax: James Robert Thomas 2001

48

A Rubbish Escape: Ted Maher 2003

49

Shawshank Redux: Otis Blunt & Jose Espinosa 2007

 

THE BERLIN WALL

50

My City, My Prison: The Story of the Berlin Wall (1961–1989)

 

GETTING OFF THE ISLAND

51

The Hour of Need: Mary Queen of Scots 1584

52

Escaping the Gentlest Jail: Napoleon 1815

53

The Real Papillons: Devil’s Island 1890–1945

54

Farewell to the Rock: Alcatraz 1935–1962

55

Catching the Midnight Express: Billy Hayes 1975

 

PRISONERS OF WAR

56

Where the Wind Blows: André Devigny 1942

57

The Greatest Escapes?: POW Escapes in Germany & England 1943

58

Free as a Bird: Colditz 1944

59

A Christian Helper: Ward Millar 1951

60

So Near And Yet So Far: Bud Day 1964

 

TUNNELLING FOR FREEDOM

61

Like Rats From a Trap: The Yankees in Libby Prison 1864

62

This Room For Rent: The Tupamaros 1971

63

The Darkest Day: Claude Eugene Dennis 1978

64

Containing the Taliban:
2004 to date

 

Afterword

 

Appendix

 

Acknowledgements

BOOK: The Mammoth Book of Prison Breaks
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