Facts about Most Famous Prison Escapes

List of Famous Prison Escapes
  • Italian author, adventurer and famous womanized Giacomo Casanova managed to escape from prison in 1757, which was situated on the top of the Doge's Palace in Venice.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte managed to escape from his imprisonment on the island of Elba, and returned to Europe where he tried to regain his power.
  • In the famous Libby Prison Escape in 1864, 109 union soldiers managed to escape via underground tunnel form the prison camp in the American Civil War. Only 59 of them managed to reach Union lines, while the rest either drowned or was recaptured.
  • American outlaw and gunmanBilly the Kid managed to escape from prison near Las Vegas, only to be recaptured and killed few months later.
  • Famous American depression-era bank robber John Dillinger managed to escape from prison that was considered to be "escape-proof". Exploits of Dillinger and his criminal compatriots such as Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde brought the rise of the modern day law enforcement agency FBI.
  • Over 130 American POW's managed to escape from supposedly "escape-proof" camp during World War II. However, the most innovative prison attempt was never executed because allied forces freed the camp. This plan included highly dangerous mission of flying wooden glider to fly over the wall, and fly down from the mountain on which camp was located.
  • 76 Allied POW's managed to escape from German Stalag Luft III camp, in event what will later be remembered as "The Great Escape". Out of that number, only three of them managed to reach allied territory.
  • On 9 April 1941, Polish soldier Sławomir Rawicz and his six prison friends managed to escape from the distant Siberian prison camp. During their two year journey, they walked over 4,000 miles toward south, over desert Gobi and Himalayas until they reached safety in India. Story of his life was adapted in book and movie "The Long Walk".
  • After escaping infamous holocaust camp Aushwic, Slovak Jew Alfréd Wetzler provided to the allied forces detail plans of the camp. His information was later used to prevent railroad access to the camp which saved the lives of over 120 thousand people.
  • French author Henri Charrière managed to escape from the notorious prison colony in French Guiana called Devil's Island. Story of his life was later adapted into popular book and movie "Papillon".
  • Alfie Hinds fascinated the public of England when he managed to escape from three heavily guarded prisons in an attempt to prove his innocence.
  • In July of 1962, Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin supposedly managed to escape from most heavily guarded supermax prison in United States of America - the famed Alcatraz. The unknown fate that surrounded these three escapees created much controversy in the years following their escape.
  • Famous American criminal Frank W. Abagnale managed to escape from several prisons during his lifetime. His exploits were recently adapted into movie "Catch Me If You Can", starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • Political prisoners Tim Jenkin, Stephen Lee and Alex Moumbaris managed to escape from maximum security South African "Pretoria" prison by lock picking the same 10 doors in which they were brought in.
  • The biggest prison escape in British history happened in 1983, when 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army members escaped from a very secure "HM Prison Maze" in Northern Ireland.
  • In 1984, six death row prisoners managed to escape from Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Virginia. All of them were successfully captured in the following weeks and eventually executed.
  • Pascal Payet managed to escape from two French prisons using helicopter! He later on helped with escape of other prisoners, also with helicopter.