Four Escapes from Prison
Four Escapes from Prison Four Escapes from Prison

Four Escapes from Prison

From Mexico to France, 4 uncanny escapes from prison since 2000

El Chapo Guzman

El “Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, has escaped from from two high-security prisons in Mexico, first in 2001 and most recently, on July of 2015. El “Chapo’s” first escape from a high-security prison was in a laundry cart. The stunt allegedly cost him over $2 million dollars in bribes and bought him 13 years out of prison. El “Chapo,” named the 63rd most powerful person in the World by Forbes magazine, was only held prisoner over a year after being re-captured. His second escape was through an elaborate underground tunnel that started in the shower of his cell and ended a mile south of the high-security corrections facility.
Reports by the authorities and media revealed that the tunnel, which took at least 10 months to dig, was about as high as Guzman himself. The tunnel was perforated with PVC tubbing for ventilation and lighting, and equipped with an adapted motorcycle on rails to clear dirt inside the dugout and eventually, to carry Guzman outside of the prison. The tunnel ended at a construction site of a house about a mile south of the prison. Following his most recent escape, El “Chapo” has been renamed Chicago’s “Public Enemy No.1” a title once held by Al Capone. Since his escape, Guzman allegedly threatened Donal Trump via Twitter on account of Trump’s recent libels against Mexico and Mexican people. Authorities believe the Twitter accounts may be apocryphal, but the FBI has announced they are investigating the threats regardless.

Fugitives Richard Matt & David Sweat left this note behind for their jailers
Fugitives Richard Matt & David Sweat left this note behind for their jailers

Richard Matt & David Sweat

Means of escape: facility underground tunnels

Richard Matt had encounters with the law starting at age 13. At age 31, after murdering his 72-year-old boss, Matt fled New York State and crossed the US-Mexican border into Matamoros. He was aprehended for stabbing a man at a bar and sent to a a high-security prison in Mexico. While serving time there, Matt was shot after climbing up to the roof of the prison in an attempt to escape. After his attempt to escape, Matt was turned over to the US authorities, tried for the murder of his boss, and sent to Clinton Correctional Facility, in upstate New York.

On June 6th, Richard Matt and fellow inmate David Sweat escaped Clinton Correctional Facility. The two men used power tools to cut a hole in the back wall of the prison tailor shop. Both convicts climbed through the hole and into a series of underground tunnels which led them to a manhole about a block away from the prison walls.

The escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat resulted in a 22 day manhunt that concluded with the death of Richard Matt, and the capturing of David Sweat just two miles away from the US-Canadian border.

Texas Seven, the biggest prison break in Texas history

On December 13, of 200, a group of seven prisoners led by George Rivas managed to escape from Jonh Connally Unit, near Kennedy, Texas.
Rivas planned the escape while serving life sentences for kidnapping, robbery, and burglary. In the months (possibly years) leading up to his escape from Connally Unit, Rivas manipulated his prison supervisors into transferring other six convicts into the maintenance area where he worked. The other six prisoners, who would eventually become the members of the “Texas seven,” were handpicked by Rivas himself. On December 13th of 2000, as the prison was getting ready to shut down for the evening, the gang assaulted a group of three civilian employees, robbed them of their clothing and gagged them. After disguising themselves in the stolen civilian clothing, the gang convinced a tower worker that they were a working crew and needed to go outside the prison walls. The authorities later found an abandoned prison truck, two miles away from the prison.
Eleven days later, on Christmas Eve, 2010, the gang donned disguises again, this time as security officers and held up sporting goods store. As the gang fled the scene with $70,000 in cash, and an arsenal of 44 firearms and ammunition, they shot a police officer and subsequently ran him over in their getaway van. Authorities finally tracked and aprehended the gang in Colorado. The manhunt lasted over a month and ended with the capture of six members of the gang. One of the “Texas seven” members committed suicide rather than being taken back into custody.Three of the remaining gang members have since been put to death. Their leader, George Rivas, was the second to die by lethal injection in 2005. The remaining three remain on death row.

Pascal Payet

Payet’s first escape through helicopter was in 2001. Convinced that his method was foolproof, he later returned by chopper to that same prison to help other inmates escape. After being captured, he escaped by chopper yet again, this time from a state penitentiary in Grasse with the help of four assailants. Payet’s accomplices threatened and kidnapped a chopper pilot at the Cannes airport. The masked criminals released the pilot without harm after the man had flown them into the Grasse penitentiary and out of it with Payet on board. Payet was eventually caught in Spain and remains in custody.

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