It’s no secret that escaping from prison is a tall order, but one inmate took a particularly unusual approach to regaining his freedom.
Killer Richard Lee McNair decided that he’d treat himself like a human parcel and mail himself out of the United States Pollock Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana.
The killer told authorities at the time of the incident in October 2007 that they’d captured a ‘big fish’, who’d become particularly adept at evading the law, CBC News reports.
It all began back in 1987 at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota when a robbery gone wrong saw McNair shoot and kill two men.
When he was taken in for questioning over the incident, he had the genius idea of using lip balm in his pocket to lubricate his hands and escape from the handcuffs he was wearing.
He incredibly managed to get out of the holding room and make his way to freedom, but it wasn’t to last and he was soon caught again after jumping from a third-floor window in a bid to escape imprisonment.
He then tried to do an Andy from The Shawshank Redemption and chisel his way out of his cell, but this didn’t work.
However, after being sentenced to 30 years behind bars, he ultimately escaped in 1992 through a ventilation duct alongside two other prisoners.
While the other two men were quickly caught, The Infographics Show reports that he had 10 months of freedom this time before finding himself in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park.
This is a Level 5 prison that no one has ever escaped from.
But McNair somehow managed to get himself transported away from the prison to Florence High Penitentiary in Denver, Colorado.
He was then transferred again to United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana, and this is where his now famous mailbag escape took place.
It all went down after he got a job fixing broken mail bags, and the idea presumably hit him that they’d be a great way for him to escape.
This is exactly what he did on 5 April, 2006, after creating a hole small enough for a breathing straw in one of the bags and shipping himself to a storage facility.
He then bided his time until the workers were on lunch and found freedom once more.
While he was stopped by police as he made his way to freedom, he claimed that he was running because he was actually out on a jog and got away with it.
He went on to use a number of fake names during the year and a half that he was free and even went as far as to send Christmas cards to the jail he was supposed to be locked up in.
As reported by NBC News, he used the name of prison warden Tim Schuetzle when buying a phone, and he later sent him a Christmas card and notes while on the run.
He was finally captured again in 24 October, 2007 when he was found living in a stolen van, but he appeared to take his recapture with good grace.
The killer was ‘allegedly personable and friendly with the police officers’ and thanked Inspector Ronald Wells ‘for having such professional guys’.
McNair is now in a super maximum security prison, ADX Florence, which he has been unable to escape from since his re-incarceration.
He described his new home as the ‘most secure section of the most secure prison in the world’.
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