List of people who escaped from prison

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People who escaped once[edit]

Name Date of escape Date of recapture Prison name/location Number of days on run Notes

People who escaped multiple times[edit]

Name # Date Prison name Country Details
Joe, MoondyneMoondyne Joe 5 1833 (+/-) Borstal institution (youth detention)  GBR Joseph Bolitho Johns (1826–1900), better known as Moondyne Joe, was Western Australia's best known bushranger.
1861, August Toodyay lockup  AUS
1865, November  AUS
1866, August  AUS
1867, March 7 Fremantle Prison  AUS
Shiratori, YoshieYoshie Shiratori 4 1936 Aomori Prison  JPN Yoshie Shiratori (1907-1979), known as the "Showa Era escape artist". In 1983 a novel based on Shiratori’s life, Hagoku (literally, Prison Break), was published by Akira Yoshimura and in 1985 the book was converted to a made-for-TV-movie by NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation.
1942 Akita Prison  JPN
1944 Abashiri Prison  JPN
1947 Sapporo Prison  JPN
Sheppard, JackJack Sheppard 4 1724, April St Giles's Roundhouse  GBR Sheppard (1702 – 1724) was a robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure. He used multiple times knotted bed-clothes to descend to ground level during his escapes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years.[1]
1724, May 25 New Prison  GBR
1724, August 31 Newgate Prison  GBR
1724, October 15 Newgate Prison (the "Castle")  GBR
Jay Russell, StevenSteven Jay Russell 4 1992, May 12 Harris County jail  USA Russell (born 1957) is a U.S. con artist and escaped from a prison multiple times. As of 2010, Russell, Texas Department of Criminal Justice #00760259,[2][3] is located in the Polunsky Unit, on a 23-hour lockup, only having one free hour a day to shower and exercise to prevent him from escaping.[4]
Harris County jail (2)  USA
Maximum Security Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas  USA
Maximum Security Estelle Unit (2)  USA
Hinds, Alfred GeorgeAlfred George Hinds 3 1955 Nottingham Prison  GBR Hinds (1917 – 1991) was convicted for a jewelry robbery and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in 1953. He escaped from Nottingham Prison after sneaking through the locked doors and over a 20-foot prison wall. After his arrest, Hinds brought a lawsuit against authorities charging the prison commissioners with illegal arrest and successfully used the incident as a means to plan his next escape. He escaped but was captured at an airport five hours later. Hinds would make his third escape from Chelmsford Prison less than a year later. Two years later Hinds was arrested after being stopped in an unregistered car.
1956 Law Courts in London  GBR
1957 Chelmsford Prison  GBR
McNair, Richard LeeRichard Lee McNair 3 1988 Minot municipal police station  USA McNair (born 1958) escaped three times from three different institutions using various creative methods. On his first attempt he used lip balm to squeeze out of a pair of handcuffs. He escaped a second time by crawling through a ventilation duct. In his last escape from a federal prison in April 2006, he mailed himself out of prison in a crate. McNair was captured in October 2007 in Canada and is now held at the ADX Florence supermax facility in Colorado.[5]
1992, October North Dakota State Penitentiary  USA
2006, April 5 United States Penitentiary, Pollock  USA
Sutton, WillieWillie Sutton 3 1932, December 11  USA Sutton (born 1901) was a American named “The Actor” and “Slick Willie,”. In June 1931 he was sentenced to 30 years charges assault and robbery. He escaped on 11 December 1932, by scaling the prison wall on two 9-foot sections of ladder that were joined together. Sutton was apprehended on 5 February 1934 and was sentenced to serve 25–50 years in Eastern State Penitentiary, for a machine gun robbery of the Corn Exchange Bank. Sutton was one of 12 convicts who escaped the institution through a tunnel. Sutton was recaptured the same day by Philadelphia police officers; his fifth escape attempt at this prison. Sentenced to life imprisonment as a fourth time offender, Sutton was transferred to the Philadelphia County Prison. On 10 February 10, 1947, Sutton and other prisoners dressed as prison guards and escaped via ladders across the prison yard to the wall.[6]
1945, April 3 Eastern State Penitentiary  USA
1947, February 10 Philadelphia County Prison  USA
Payet, PascalPascal Payet 2 2001, October 12 Luynes prison  FRA Payet (born 1963) is a French criminal who has gained notoriety for his daring prison escapes using helicopters. He was initially sentenced to a 30 year jail term for a murder committed during the robbery of a security van in 1997. He escaped two times with a helicopter. After his second escape he was captured on September 21, 2007.[7][8][9]
2007, July 14 Prison in Grasse  FRA
Dillinger, JohnJohn Dillinger 2 1933, October 13 Allen County Jail  USA Dillinger (1903-1934) was a notorious bank robber who operated throughout the Midwest during the Great Depression. He broke out of the Allen County Jail in Lima, Ohio by having his gang pose as officers and infiltrate the prison. Only a few months later, the gang was re-captured when the hotel they were staying in caught fire. Dillinger was incarcerated while waiting to stand trial for the murder of a police officer in a bank robbery. Officials boasted that the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana was escape-proof and posted extra guards, but Dillinger contrived a second escape using a fake gun.
1934, March 3 Lake County Jail  USA

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Linebaugh, Ch.1. "The Common Discourse of the Whole Nation: Jack Sheppard and the Art of Escape", in The London Hanged, pp.7–42.
  2. ^ "RUSSELL,STEVEN L." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on December 10, 2010. TDCJ ID: 00760259, SID: 05138971
  3. ^ Stein, Joshua David. "Ewan McGregor: Filthy and Gorgeous." Out. Friday February 12, 2010. Retrieved on December 10, 2010. "[...] the two live lavishly until Russell gets caught and goes to prison for good (Escape, Case No. 9,856-C). Russell -- Inmate No. 00760259 -- has a maximum sentence that would keep him imprisoned until July 12, 2140 -- 47,595 days after the film opens."
  4. ^ Day, Elizabeth. "I love you Phillip Morris: a conman's story." The Observer. Sunday September 6, 2009. Retrieved on December 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Bayens, Stuart P. "Deadmonton - Richard Lee McNair". Last Link on the Left. May 15, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  6. ^ Willie Sutton, FBI, accessdate 2 January 2014
  7. ^ "French inmate in second breakout". BBC. 2007-07-14. Retrieved July 15, 2007. 
  8. ^ (French) Pascal Payet s'est évadé en hélicoptère de la maison d'arrêt de Grasse,, 15/07/2007
  9. ^ (French) Payet, auteur d'une évasion en hélicoptère, arrêté en Espagne, Le Point, 22/09/2007

See also[edit]