8 Amazing Real-Life Prison Escapes

real life prison escapes england

#8. Nottingham Prison and Chelmsford Prison | England | 1955-1957
Alfred George Hinds, who became known as “Houdini” Hinds, started his escapist career early, fleeing from an institution for teenage delinquents. Hinds also escaped a career in the armed services during World War II, when he became an army deserter. But his most impressive vanishing acts would come in the 1950s when he escaped prison three separate times.

While serving a 12-year sentence for robbery, Houdini somehow slipped past the prison’s locked doors and, using a makeshift ladder, went over the 20-foot walls at Nottingham prison. He spent the next eight months making an honest buck as a builder in Ireland before Scotland Yard caught up with him.

While in prison, he filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of his arrest. At a court date, he requested to use the restroom. Two guards accompanied him and removed his handcuffs so he could answer nature’s call. When they did, Hinds locked them in the bathroom and disappeared into the crowd on Fleet Street. Five hours later, he was back in custody.

Less than a year later he would perform his grand finale — an escape from Chelmsford prison after which he headed back to Ireland. Hinds evaded arrest for two years, and it would have been longer had he not been driving an unregistered car.

After his prison breaks, Hinds used his intellect and knowledge of the British legal system to gain pardon. In subsequent years, he won a libel case against a Scotland Yard officer, became a high-profile speaker on matters involving England’s flawed legal system, and even became secretary of the Channel Islands’ Mensa Society.

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