8 Amazing Real-Life Prison Escapes

real life prison escapes billy hayes

#7.Bosphorus Prison, Turkey | 1975
Twenty-three-year-old American student Billy Hayes was arrested in 1970 for attempting to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. He was sentenced to four years, but weeks before his sentence was set to end, prison authorities slapped another 30 years onto it.

Spending his days unloading cargo from ships, Hayes devised a plan to make a dash from captivity using a small rowboat. He rowed all night before reaching land, but hadn’t yet made it out of Turkey. He then dyed his hair black to alter his appearance and, days later, swam across a river and into Greece, where he was deported to the U.S. in 1977.

The book and film, Midnight Express, were based on his experience; in 2010, Hayes directed Locked Up Abroad: The Real Midnight Express for the National Geographic channel.

Next: Nottingham Prison and Chelmsford Prison, England