Great Escapes: History’s Most Baffling Breaches!


You know, they say the truth is often stranger than fiction, and that definitely applies in today’s blog post!
We’ve all seen the films and TV shows dedicated to the topic of prison breaks and great escapes from captivity, although they can seem a little far fetched.

In today’s post we’re taking a look at some of history’s most baffling breaches / astounding escapes that you won’t believe are actually true!

The Amazing Escape From Alcatraz

This is perhaps one of the best-known escapes on our list, and when we look at the facts behind the case of the Alcatraz escapes, it’s easy to see why.

Alcatraz was a maximum security federal prison surrounded by a large body of water on ‘Alcatraz Island’, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. At the time the prison was said to be America’s only ‘escape-proof’ prison, however on the 11th of June 1962 three men vanished from inside the prison’s walls, never to be seen again.

By fashioning rudimentary tools from the limited resources they had access to, the men dug holes through their cell walls during music time in the prison, and created Paper Mache heads to fool passing guards into thinking the convicts were soundly asleep, while they were actually making good their escape from Alcatraz!

If you haven’t seen the classic 1979 movie ‘Escape From Alcatraz’ based on these events, be sure to check it out!

Catch Frank if You Can!

Here’s another case so famous that it found its way into a well-known movie! Frank Abagnale, the infamous con-artist portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2002’s ‘Catch Me If You Can’ had been sentenced to do jail time after impersonating at least 8 people, including a doctor, a lawyer and an airline pilot, all by the time he’d turned 21 years old!

Image of Frank Abagnale with air hostess's from his early days as an 'imposter'

During his deportation from England back to the United States, Frank was able to escape from a British airliner by requesting a bathroom break, removing the toilet and making his way onto the runway through a hatch. Now that takes some serious determination! However perhaps Frank’s best escape ever was from his own life of crime, after being recruited to an American anti-crime squad Frank now leads a respectable life after serving a total of just 5 years in prison following a mountain of fraudulent crimes. For more information on this wonderful character please check out the Frank Abagnale Wikipedia page here.

The ‘Dental Floss’ Escape

Vincenzo Curcio was a convicted killer and mafia member that was about to face prosecution. On the 17th of March in 2000, he managed to escape from his cell in Italy without the aid of any heavy-duty tools, using only a thread of dental floss (and a lot of patience) to saw through the bars over time.

Because the prison was built in 1970, the prison was equipped to deal with attacks from the outside, but not escapes from the inside. After a breaking free from his cell, Curcio used a makeshift rope made from knotted bed sheets to climb down the prison walls and down to freedom.

Nothing much is known about Vincenzo these days however you can find out more on his wikipedia page here.

Attack of the Mother Trucker

On the 11th of April 1998, Jay Sigler – having served 8 years of a 20-year sentence at the Everglade Correctional Institution in Florida was waiting in anticipation for the arrival of his visitors in the prison courtyard, and arrive they did!
His visitors showed up in the form of a huge speeding truck which smashed through 4 prison fences before the truck’s occupants opened fire on prison security, buying Sigler enough time to make his escape. As if that all wasn’t quite crazy enough, the getaway car that followed the truck was driven by Sigler’s own mother, Sandra.

Image of Jay Sigler after being captured

After jumping in his moms car and then switching cars twice to confuse pursuers, the entire crew actually got away…for a while. A few days later they were recognised from news reports which quickly turned into another car chase which resulted in their arrest. Sandra Sigler later testified against her son to reduce her own sentence.

The Great Escape

You are likely to have encountered books or the popular film based on a real-life great escape which occurred during WW2, and with good reason. Stalag Luft III was a German prisoner of war camp which held enemy air force servicemen during the second world war, and was deemed inescapable…until British inmate Roger Bushell hatched an escape plan with over 600 other prisoners.

After digging 3 separate tunnels (each 9 metres deep to avoid setting off seismograph microphones along the perimeters of the camp!) they finally launched the plan on the 24th March 1944 the ‘great escape’ began.

Out of 200 men, only 76 actually made it, and all but 3 were recaptured. In retaliation to the escapees, Hitler himself ordered the execution of those captured to deter any further attempts of escape; thankfully he didn’t have long left before the allied forces overpowered his forces and brought World War 2 to an end.

So there we have 5 of the most incredible escapes from history! For a secure facility that noone can break into, be sure to get a quick online quote on self-storage space from Incredible Bulk Self Storage today!

Additional sources;

Alctaraz escapees

Frank Abagnale

Jay Sigler

Roger Bushell and the great escape

Time to start packing!

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