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5 Real Prison Escapes That Shouldn't Have Been Possible

#2. Parkhurst Escapees Build Their Own Ladder, Gun, and Master Key

Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

In 1995, Andrew Rodger, Keith Rose, and Matthew Williams escaped from the U.K.'s Parkhurst Prison by constructing their own tools. If you're thinking a whittled-down spoon or something, well, that wouldn't have qualified them for this article. First, these guys made a 25-foot-long steel ladder to scale the prison fence, but that's really the least impressive thing they built.

Working in the prison's sheet metal shop, they were able to craft a gun (though someone most likely smuggled them in the ammo), but we're not even sure why they needed it considering they also made a fucking key that unlocked every door and gate in the prison. Which, as far as prison officials can tell, was carved from memory of seeing a prison officer's key.

Via Wikimedia Commons
"It would have unlocked half the town, too, but I blinked when I saw it."

So, at the end of some gym time the trio unlocked the gym's back door and just walked out of the prison, which is something you can do when you have your own goddamned key. They cut a hole in the inner fence and then scaled the outer fence with the ladder. That shit's pretty easy when you have the right tools.

Unfortunately for them, they were apprehended after four days of hiding in a shed, before they could carry out the even more awesome part of their plan, which was to steal an airplane so Keith Rose (who was an amateur pilot) could fly them off. It turns out the airfield was better at keeping them out than the prison was at keeping them in, and they never made it. Though, honestly, we're surprised they didn't just build their own plane.

Via Wikimedia Commons
"We decided to go with the passenger jet design. We figured why not make a few bucks on the trip?"

#1. Sobibor Death Camp: A More Violent Inglourious Basterds

Via Adam Jones, Phd

The previous escapes on this list have been non-violent for the most part, and the truly great escape artists can pull that off -- stealth and ingenuity goes a long way. But sometimes that's not an option. For instance, if your prison is a concentration camp, and your captors are the fucking Nazi war machine. For, you see, uprisings were punished very heavily in the Holocaust; if even one prisoner rebelled in a death camp, the guards would punish/murder two dozen as retribution. Leon Feldhendler, a prisoner of Sobibor Death Camp, decided that was horseshit.

He got together with First Lieutenant Alexander "Sasha" Pechersky, a Russian POW who was sent to Sobibor for being Jewish. The two planned to fight back by having every single prisoner attack at once. Their logic was that the Nazis can't punish people if the Nazis are dead, which is pretty sound, as far as logic goes. SS officers were in charge of Sobibor, but the actual guards themselves were local Ukrainians. Pechersky theorized that the Ukrainians would give up if all the SS officers were dead, so he decided to make that happen.

Via Wikimedia Commons
Thereafter known as "Stabmonster Hugeballs."

And so, the prisoners secretly made weapons in the prison workshops, designing knives and other edged weapons, knowing that if at any moment they were caught, they were all dead. Then, each SS officer was individually invited or scheduled to come to different workshops, mostly to pick up things they'd previously demanded be repaired, like clothes or tools. And once everyone was in place, they sprang their perfectly orchestrated trap.

One by one, the Jews killed every single SS officer in the prison.

Via Jewishvirtuallibrary.org
A group portrait of some of the badasses from the uprising.

It didn't matter if the guard was armed or not: Hell, one even had a machine gun. They still died. Some guards were suspicious, and they died, too. It was a bad day to be a Nazi. Of the 600 prisoners, 300 escaped. Of those, 100 were recaptured, and 70 total survived the war, higher than any other group that went through a death camp. And all it took was giant balls and perfectly planned, coordinated mass murder.

Hey, how about we all take a moment to be thankful we didn't have to live through that shit?



To see some entries that didn't make the cut, read Rich's blog, or follow him on Twitter.



For more ways life is just like the movies, check out 9 Absurd Movie Premises That Actually Happened and 6 Absurd Movie Scenes (That Actually Happened).

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