The Texas Seven - A group of prisoners who escaped from the John Connally Unit
The Texas Seven
is a term that describes one of the most famous groups of prison escapees in recent United States history. Using elaborate plans, these seven inmates
managed to overpower over 15 people before managing to escape the maximum-security prison "John Connally Unit" in December of 2000. After spending over
one month on freedom, they were finally apprehended in one of the most publicized police chases of US history.
Texas Seven consisted mostly from prisoners that were sentenced to spend their life in prison. Group leader George Rivas (age 30 at
the time of escape) was serving 18 consecutive 15-to-life sentences, Michael Anthony Rodriguez (age 39) andDonald Keith Newbury (age 38) 99-to-life, Larry James Harper (age 37), Joseph Garcia (29) and Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr. (age 39) 50 year sentence, and Randy Halprin (age 27) 30 year sentence.
Using well designed ploys and plans, they picked perfect timing (lunch, shifts and counting times) to slowly subdue one by one of prison guards, taking
their clothes, identifications, credit cards and slowly expanding their presence throughout the prison. By using less monitored maintenance are, they
made their way to the back gate of the prison (all dressed in prison or civilian clothing). There, they managed to subdue four guards, take their
weapons and pick-up truck, which they drove successfully out of the prison.
In the following weeks, the group continued their escape across the USA, occasionally robbing and stealing money, food, weapons and ammo. During one of
their robberies in Oshman's Sporting Goods, Irving, Texas they secured vast cache of weapons, which they used to ambush and kill the responding police
officer Aubrey Hawkins with 11 gunshot wounds. Toward the end of their run, $500.000was offered for their capture, which finally
happened on January 20, 2001, and was conducted using the help of popular television program America's Most Wanted. One of the viewers
of that show saw the descriptions of Texas Seven, and came to conclusion that they are residing in the nearby RV Park in Woodland Park, Colorado. SWAT
teams moved toward their location and captured five them at a nearby gas station, and the remaining two few days later in Holiday Inn in Colorado
Out of seven prisoners that escaped, five of them currently await their death penalty, Michael Anthony Rodriguez is already executed and Larry James
Harper committed suicide at the time of capture.