12 Most Daring Escapes In The History Of The World

We all love the Shawshank Redemption. A story of a man who successfully escapes from a prison. But as they say, life is stranger than fiction and there have been events which can even put the film to shame.

Here are some real life escape stories.

 1. Colditz

The most famous escape was by a Pat Reid and Airey Neave. Neave’s escape was particularly daring as he marched out of prison in a German Uniform

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The story of Colditz has almost become a part of the prison-break folklore.

Well, you must know that there were multiple escapes from this prison. Though many people tried to escape the prison only about 15 were actually successful in actually doing so.

Another very interesting attempted escape story is of Bill Goldfinch and Jack Best. They had one of the most innovative ideas ever. They gathered the pieces of wood and steel and attempted to make a glider with it. They did achieve significant progress but before their escape, the camp itself was rescued by the Allied powers.

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2. The Great Escape

Led by Roger Bushell, the inmates escaped from the prison by making not one but three tunnels.

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Yes, that’s what it’s called. The story of this escape was so famous that it was eventually made into a film of the same name.

In January 1943, Roger Bushell led a plot for a major escape from the camp.
The plan was to dig three deep tunnels, codenamed “Tom,” “Dick,” and “Harry.” The entrances of the three tunnels were chosen carefully so that they can’t be seen by the guards. The tunnels were dug over a period of almost 5 months. ‘Harry’ was the first prison to get completed.

But unfortunately, the tunnel was a bit short than what they had planned. Almost 70 people did manage to escape initially but most of them got caught.

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3. Alcatraz

Morris and the Alvin brothers managed to escape from this prison via a small air vent.

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Alcatraz is a name most of you must be aware of. The name of the prison itself was enough to strike fear into the hearts of the criminals. The prison was considered one of America’s safest prisons.

Though officially no one has ever escaped Alcatraz but still it is widely believed that Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers were the only three people who had managed to escape the escape proof prison. These three burrow out of their cells and then made it to the roof via an air vent and from there they used the drain pipe to climb down and escape.

Though officials think that they were drowned in the sea but it is widely believed that these three did actually make it to the shore.

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4. Pascal Payet

What makes his story more cinematic is that he has managed to escape via a highjacked helicopter and that too not once but twice.

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Payet has escaped not once but twice from high-security prisons in France.

He escaped the prison using a helicopter that was hijacked by four masked men from Cannes-Mandelieu airport. The helicopter landed some time later at Brignoles, 38 kilometers north-east of Toulon, France on the Mediterranean coast.

That’s not all, he has also helped three other people escape also via a helicopter. This man is an absolute legend when it comes to escapes.

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5. The Maze Breakout

This breakout was more like a mutiny led by Bobby Storey and Garry Kelly.

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Unlike other prison escapes, where the prisoners tried to escape as quietly as possible. The Maze breakout was filled with action and drama. In 1983, some 38 prisoners escaped from one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe.

The prisoners escaped with the help of smuggled guns. They killed one guard and injured several others and later escaped in a van delivering food.

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6. The Midnight Express.

Billy Hayes escaped from prison using a row boat.

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The Midnight Express has been one of the most famous prison escapes of modern times. The story of this escape is so famous that it has been even made into a film of the same name.

US student Billy Hayes was captured for smuggling hash in Turkey and was sent to prison for 4 years but he was handed an extended 30 year sentence weeks before his release. Hayes was given a job on the docks but he escaped using a row boat in the year 1975.

He eventually arrived in Istanbul, dyed his hair and went to Greece. Luckily, from Greece he was deported to America. He later wrote a book called ‘The Midnight Express’.

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7. Alfred Hinds

He has managed to escape from prison not once but thrice. He first escaped from Nottingham prison, sneaking through locked doors and climbing over a 20ft high wall.

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Now, this guy escaped from prison not once or twice but thrice. What makes him unique is the fact that even after he escaped from the prison, he kept sending memorandums to the British MPs pleading innocence. He made more than 13 appeals to the higher court. Hinds had a great knowledge of the British legal system.

Hinds was arrested just 6 months after his first escape. His second escape was even more dramatic. The second time he escapes from the court itself. When the two guards who accompanied him to the toilet, as soon as the guards removed his handcuffs, he fled. But he soon arrested at the airport.

Within a year, Hinds again managed to escape, this time from Chelmsford Prison.

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8. The Libby Prison Escape

The inmates used a room called the rat room to start digging the tunnel that would help them to escape.

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This is one of the most successful prison breaks. The Libby Prison was placed where the prisoners of war of the American civil war were kept. The living conditions of the prison were pathetic even for a prison. On the night of 9th February 1864, more than 100 prisoners of war escaped from this prison.

After almost 17 days of digging, the inmates were able to successfully dig a tunnel which could help them escape the prison.

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9. Chai Gap Bok

Bok managed to squeeze through the tiny food slot.

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Chai Gap Hok’s escape is probably one of the most unbelievable prison escapes of all time. What he managed to do was almost impossible.

It is said that he had been learning yoga and that helped him to squeeze through the tiny space.

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10. Parkhurst Escape

In 1995, Andrew Rodger, Keith Rose, and Matthew Williams escaped from here by constructing their own tools.

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Of all the prison escapes, the Parkhurst Escape was probably the most creative one. These people were artists. They used to work in the prison sheet metal shop.

They first managed to build a ladder, which would help them to climb over the prison wall. But that’s not all. They even built a gun and keys. It is said that they made the keys from the memory of seeing a prison officer’s key.

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11. Armando Ramirez.

The young Cuban escaped from his country in the wheels in the nose wheel compartment of a jet airliner.

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This for change is not a prison escape. Cuban guy Armando Ramirez fled from his country in the most unique and daring way. He hid in the airport and waited for a direct flight to Madrid. He ran towards the plane and climb over the wheels.

What makes his story fascinating is the fact that he survived the 8-hour long flight in spite of low oxygen and low air pressure.

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12. Harriet Tubman

She was a slave who managed to escape from her owners in Maryland and trekked more than 500 miles to freedom in Canada.

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The story of her escape is truly amazing. In those days if a slave was found to have escaped then death penalty was almost certain. Not only did she escape but she also managed to free more and help more than 300 people to escape.

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So, if you get trapped with these people, you know they will always find a way to escape.

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