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Murderer who escaped prison convinced police officer he was just out for a jog

Murderer who escaped prison convinced police officer he was just out for a jog

His escape became infamous

A murderer known for repeatedly escaping prison managed to evade capture on one attempt by convincing a police officer he was a jogger. But that's not the only bizarre part of this story...

Richard Lee McNair was first taken into custody after a bungled burglary attempt in November 1987.

McNair was taken by surprise while attempting a burglary in Minot, North Dakota, and shot the two men who had come across him.

One of the men, Jerry Thies, died, leading McNair to be convicted for his murder.

McNair was sentenced to two life sentences for murder and attempted murder in addition to a thirty-year prison sentence for burglary.

Richard Lee McNair was imprisoned for murder in 1987.
United States Marshals Service

However, McNair was determined not to remain behind bars and attempted to escape three times.

His first effort in 1988 occurred shortly after he was arrested at the police station.

On that occasion, McNair had used lip balm as a lubricant to squeeze his hands out of his handcuffs.

The second attempt came four years later when the Oklahoma-born convict crawled out of prison via a ventilation duct.

After growing out his hair and dying it blonde, he managed to evade capture for ten months until he was apprehended in New York.

Fourteen years later, McNair would attempt his third - and most infamous - escape.

Richard Lee McNair managed to outwit a police officer shortly after his escape from prison.

On April 5 2006, McNair gave his prison the slip while out on yard work at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana.

His duties on yard work primarily revolved around repairing old mailbags, but the criminal had used this to his advantage.

McNair had constructed an 'escape pod' with a breathing tube and hid beneath a pile of mailbags.

When the repaired mailbags were delivered to an outside warehouse, McNair cut himself free and ran for freedom.

Yep, he literally mailed himself out of prison.

Hours after his escape, McNair was pulled over by Officer Carl Bordelon as he was running along a railway track.

Although McNair accidentally gave two different names to the officer - Robert Jones and Jimmy Jones - he still managed to sweet talk the cop into letting him go.

He convinced Bordelon that he was out for a jog and was in town to help with some post-Hurricane Katrina repair work.

The photo that Bordelon had been provided of McNair was reportedly low quality, and after ten minutes, he let McNair go on his way.

McNair was added to the US Marshal's 15 Most Wanted List the next week, as the first prisoner to escape federal prison since 1991.

Despite high levels of media coverage, McNair managed to make his way into Canada, where he evaded capture until October 2007.

As of 2022, McNair remains incarcerated at a high-security prison in Florence, Colorado.

Featured Image Credit: United States Marshals Service/Ball Town Police Department

Topics: Crime, True crime, US News