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Synopsis

A comprehensive history of major prison breaks by those who paid a heavy price for their misdeeds, and risked all to regain their freedom

In the folklore of World War II, the memory of those heroes who staged great escapes from POW camps still endure. But what about the other side of the coin: the audacious and daring breakouts of gangsters and villains today? This book focuses on great escapes from civilian prisons, whether the escape was planned or opportunistic, aided from within by corrupt guards or facilitated by a violent gang of intruders. The exploits of such legendary Houdini type figures as the 18th-century rogue Jack Sheppard and the Canadian serial escaper Wayne Carlson are recounted alongside tales of breakouts from seemingly unassailable jails; Alcatraz, Northern Ireland's Maze prison, and the Bangkok Hilton. This book thrillingly describes a phenomenon as old as imprisonment itself. For despite the ever more sophisticated technology of surveillance and security equipment, the escapee will always find the weakest link.

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