Featured Image Credit: WRIC
But that didn’t stop inmates Linwood Briley, James Briley, Earl Clanton, Derick Peterson, Willie Leroy Jones, and Lem Tuggle - who were all slated for death - conjuring up a daring and damn nifty plan to bust free in 1983.
Thanks to some careful guard-watching and a TV disguised as a bomb, the six murderers - some of whom were serial killers - successfully broke out of the $20 million facility, although their freedom was short-lived. Watch footage of the manhunt below:
The first part of the prisoners’ plan involved people watching. The men carefully observed the behaviour of the prison guards over a number of days, and noticed that some of them were a little slow off the mark.
On the day of the escape, Clanton hid inside a bathroom while the prisoners were heading back to their block after their designated recreational time.
During this process, the control room was left open for a short while, and Clanton seized the opportunity to rush inside and opened all the cell doors.
Once their cell doors were open, the other men were able to overpower the guards using handmade weapons, and the next stage of the plan kicked into action.
The two Briley brothers had noticed that no proper bomb threat protocol was in place at Mecklenburg Correctional Centre, something they used to their advantage.
After cloaking themselves in riot helmets and guards’ uniforms, the men made a move for the front gate holding a TV disguised as a bomb on a stretcher.
Asking for both doors to be opened at the same time - something that had never been done before in the jail - they told prison staff that they needed a van as the bomb had to be disposed of, all the while spraying a fire extinguisher so as to cause more confusion.
Their ploy worked, and all six prisoners were able to make off in a van.
Unfortunately for them, the killers’ freedom didn’t last long. After splitting up, Peterson and Clanton were arrested the day after their escape, when they spotted tucking into cheese and wine at a coin-operated laundry.
The Briley brothers were eventually caught after police traced one of their phone calls, while Jones was convinced by his mum to hand himself in.
As for Tuggle, he was re-arrested after being caught robbing a convenience store.
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