How a Woman Running a Rescue Dog Program Sneaked Her Boyfriend Out Of Prison In A Dog Crate
Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas had a program in 2005 where dogs came to the place to train with prisoners. We've talked about these prison dog programs before, and they're great. Prisoners have lots of time to devote to dogs, letting the dogs train much faster than they ever could otherwise, and research suggests that hanging out with dogs does the one thing no other form of rehabilitation can: It teaches you to love.
Toby Young, a 48-year-old woman, had the job of bringing the dogs to the prison in her van. One time when she was there, a prisoner was about to attack her. Then in stepped a 27-year-old inmate named John Manard as her hero and protector. The two got to know each other after this and fell in love.
At least, that's the way Young told the story. Prison officials question several parts of her account, particularly her claim that the prison followed up that encounter by making Manard her "unofficial escort." But either way, the two did get private time together and became romantically involved, despite his serving a life sentence for murder and her being married with two kids.
Manard was the one who came up with the plan for escaping using one of her dog kennels. He stood 6-foot-2, so it would be a major squeeze, but in the months leading up to the attempt, he lost 25 pounds so he'd better be able to fit. They pulled it off on February 12, 2006. It was cold that day, which meant everyone was so concerned with staying inside and staying warm that they didn't do at all a good job of supervising Young. So she managed to stuff Manard into a crate and into a van full of dogs and out the front gate without ever being inspected.
From there, they drove to an isolated cabin in Tennessee. When police eventually searched the place, along with sex toys and a guitar they found fake IDs, which suggested the pair had some kind of a plan for life as fugitives. But before then, they spent two weeks in this cabin within a thousand miles of the prison, and they got caught during a day trip into Chattanooga. Manard went back to jail for life, and Young got two years in prison herself. She's since been released and remarried. Apparently she, new husband Chris, and Manard are all friends now, so hope someone's keeping an eye on them.
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Top image: Tomasz_Mikolajczyk