10 Most Insane Prison Breaks Of All Time

These make Michael Scofield look like an amateur.

The Great Escape
United Artists

From Michael Scofield's sophisticated schemes to Andy Dufresne's harrowing sewage-pipe crawl, there's something about prison breaks that captures the imagination, especially when the escape is particularly daring or clever.

Both Scofield and Dufresne's flights to freedom involved layered plots that required a measure of disbelief suspension from the audience, but they're nothing compared to some of the crazy jailbreaks that have happened in real life.

When thousands of often desperate people are shut away together with tonnes of free time, they come up with creative ways to solve the problem of their incarceration, and that rarely involves knuckling down and engaging in good behaviour.

In the case of Dufresne, the audience rooted for the Shawshank escapee because he was wrongfully imprisoned, but in real life, most prison breaks are disquieting. The thought of a potentially dangerous felon with enough nous to outsmart the authorities being at large is enough to send waves of panic across a community.

This mix of emotions jailbreaks can inspire is no doubt why they've proven such fertile ground for Hollywood over the years, but the most far-fetched escapes you've seen on the big and small screen are nothing compared to some of the insane breakouts that have happened at prisons across the world.

10. The Texas Seven Don Disguises

The Great Escape

Two weeks before the first Christmas of the new millennium, seven inmates at the maximum security John Connally Unit in Karnes County, Texas busted out of the facility through a combination of brute force and vaudevillian deception.

Led by an inmate named George Rivas, the motley crew lured a maintenance supervisor into a warehouse and knocked him out with an axe handle to the head. This kicked off a chain of events which forced them to use this same strategy to incapacitate two prison guards and seven other maintenance men.

What happened next sounds like the plot of a kid's cartoon show. The prisoners stole staff uniforms, guns from one of the watchtowers and the keys to a prison truck, and used a combination of all three to buy their tickets to freedom.

Post-breakout, the gang went on a crime spree across Texas until they were recaptured in Colorado, but not before they had killed a police officer.

Three members of the Texas Seven are now on death row. One of the gang members committed suicide upon recapture and the others were previously executed.


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