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8 Amazing Real-Life Prison Escapes

The problem with convicted criminals escaping prison is that they’re, uh, convicted criminals. Nevertheless, some of the ways they managed to escape are pretty ingenious.

By Matt Christensen

france lynes prison real prison breaks

#2. Luynes Prison and Southern France & Grasse Prison | South-East France | 2001 and 2007
Few inmates have the ambition, skill, or balls to escape from prison once. Well, Pascal Payet did it twice. And he did it with stolen helicopters.

A convicted murderer sentenced to 30 years in France’s Luynes prison, Payet wasn’t fond of high-security living. So in 2001 he convinced some pals on the outside to swoop in and pick him up in a hijacked heli. The plan worked, and he was a free man. He even returned voluntarily two years later with another helicopter to bust out three of his buddies, and it worked again.

Eventually, however, he was caught and another seven years was added to his original sentence. This time, the prison system was one step ahead of Payet and periodically changed his location to avoid any more Hollywood-style prison breaks. But in 2007 a gang of four heavily armed guys hijacked yet another helicopter in Cannes and rerouted it to France’s Grasse prison to stage another chopper escape. Payet again tasted freedom … until he was picked up a few months later in Spain. For now, he remains in custody.

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