Lesson learned from a movie. Bizarre Escape From Prison

  1. Pinups of bikini-clad women hid jailbreak route, officials say

    (CNN) -- Two inmates at New Jersey's Union County Jail made a movie-style escape Saturday and remained at large Monday, according to Union County Prosecutor Ted Romankow.

    Twenty-year-old Jose Espinosa and 32-year-old Otis Blunt, who are considered armed and dangerous, were discovered missing from their cells at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Romankow said.
    The men left behind dummies in their beds, cinder block dust and a note wishing authorities "Happy Holidays."
    Espinosa, who recently pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter, was to be sentenced on January 25 and faced a minimum of 17 years in prison. Blunt was being held in lieu of $75,000 bond on weapon and robbery charges.
    Both men were being housed in the high security area of the multilevel jail, Romankow said.
    Police said Espinosa and Blunt were in adjacent cells and used a long metal wire to scrape away mortar around the cinder block between their cells and the outer wall in Espinosa's cell.
    Once the cement block between the cells was removed, they smashed the block and hid the pieces in a footlocker. According to police, Blunt, who is 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 210 pounds, squeezed into Espinosa's cell through an approximately 16- to 18-inch hole.
    The two inmates wiggled through another 18-inch hole in the outer wall. From a roof landing, the two men "took a running jump or they were standing and they jumped approximately 15 feet out and about 30 feet down," Romankow said.
    Then they jumped a razor-wire fence onto a New Jersey transit railroad bed to freedom, police said. Authorities found two sets of footprints in the snow heading in opposite directions.
    At a news conference Monday, Romankow read the note that was found in Espinosa's cell, saying it represented the "arrogance of these two men."
    "Thank you officer -------- for the tools needed, you're a real pal, Happy Holidays," the note read, with a smiley face drawn next to it.
    Authorities are investigating the note's claims about the guard, the Associated Press reported. The guard has not turned in a report and disciplinary action has not been taken, Romankow said, according to AP.

    To delay discovery of the escape, Espinosa and Blunt used dummies made of sheets and pillows in their beds. They also hung photographs of bikini-clad women to hide the holes in the walls, a move reminiscent of a scene in the Hollywood hit "The Shawshank Redemption."
    Romankow played down the comparison.
    "I think this is a very serious situation you saw," he said. "I really prefer not to compare with any movie, although I can understand why you might because it does look certainly very similar to some of them. Except in 'The Shawshank Redemption' they had a better poster on the wall."

    According to police, Blunt tried to escape in September using similar methods. There is an $8,000 reward for the men's capture.
    Romankow said a statewide hunt is under way, with several agencies involved.

  2. Saw this on the news. "Shawshank Redemption" is one of my favorite movies. (I love Morgan Freeman as an actor.) I figured it wouldn't take long before someone tried this!

    I thought in prison, it was illegal to have posters above a certain size, but then, I guess authorities don't think these guys would try something out of a movie! (And the dummys are straight out of the movie "Escape From Alcatraz" starring Clint Eastwood!)
  3. Yeah, they just took scenes out of movies. How strange is that huh..?
    I'm far far away from New Jersey but still, it scares me to know that two dangerous criminals got out of a cell that easy. A high security cell even.
  4. This was all over the news in the NYC area last week. One of the escapees mothers reportedly said she had info about the innocence of her son and told him to keep running. Where they escaped from is near NJ Transit train tracks. It wouldn't be that hard for them to hop on a train and be basically anywhere in the US by now.
  5. Passion/determination is 9 tenths of one's success?
  6. no updates on the two inmates but the guard who was named in the note killed himself :sad:


    "Smiley Face" Prison Guard Commits Suicide

    ELIZABETH, N.J., Jan. 2, 2008 (AP) A guard who was named in a cheeky thank-you note left by two inmates when they chiseled their way out of their cells was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot Wednesday, the same day he was to be interviewed about the jailbreak, authorities said.

    The body of Rudolph Zurick, 40, was found at his home in New Jersey, said attorney Michael J. Mitzner. Zurick had not been charged in the Dec. 15 break from the Union County jail and had been cooperating with the investigation, Mitzner said.

    "Everything I understand, he did nothing wrong," said Mitzner, who spoke to Zurick on Monday. "It's hard to know what goes through someone's head."

    The death is being investigated, Union County prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said in a statement.

    "This is not a time for speculation, but a time for mourning," he said.

    Zurick was scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday about the daring break by inmates Otis Blunt, 32, and Jose Espinosa, 20. Both remained at large Wednesday.

    The two used photos of bikini-clad women to hide holes they dug through the cinderblock walls of their adjoining cells in a high-security unit, authorities said. They jumped onto a lower roof, then made it over a 25-foot-high (7.6-meter-high) fence topped with razor wire.

    The inmates left behind a thank-you note, signed with a smiley face, that named Zurick, thanking him for the tools they used — a thick piece of wire and a 10-pound (4.5-kilo) steel water shut-off wheel.

    "You're a real pal! Happy Holidays," said the note, which also included a drawing of a hand with an upraised middle finger.

    The note, Mitzner said, was "definitely sarcastic."

    "There was no way he gave them any help. He was the one who had noticed they were missing."

    Blunt was awaiting trial for robbery and weapons offenses. Espinosa was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a 2005 drive-by shooting.

    Authorities are reviewing security measures and have barred inmates from putting pictures cut from magazines on their cell walls.

  7. OMG. Talk about taking your job way too seriously. :sad:
  8. OMG. The news about the prison guard...that sounds like something out of a movie too. :sad:
  9. I saw this on the news, and what was weird was, a local jail guard in my town also killed himself Wednesday. He was demoted from patrol to the county jail for some reason, and he committed suicide when his friends (all cops) came to check on him because he hadn't gone to work for a few days.

    Apparently, whatever he did to get demoted also ate at him like this guy.

    It's so sad. Suicide is a permanant solution to a temporary problem.

    I hope they find these two guys soon. Something tells me they are not together anymore, and family knows more than they are saying.
  10. eek, it does sound like a movie....this is so terrible =(
  11. i live about 20 mins from this prison .. let's just say it is right across from downtown elizabeth , which already isn't a very good town. I feel soo bad for the officer's family . my DH is a correction officer so i know the stress that is involved with the job. everybody always thinks that street cops have it bad .. well so do CO's. think about street cops are out in the street with good guys and bad guys , but in a prison they are all bad guys who are really mad about being there and love to pi** the co's off because they know the co's will bring that home to their family .. it's a very tought field to be in .
  12. My guess is that the prisoners thought it too good to be true when they actually managed. :lol:
  13. I actually gasped when i heard that the guard committed suicide. I think they are going to try to press charges against these two convicts WHEN they catch him for the death of the guard. I seriously hope they do.
  14. He killed himself..?? Oh my :blink: That's really sad! I do hope that they get the prisoners, because of their escape a man is dead now but they probably don't care about that.
  15. That is so sad about the guard.

    And this totally sounds like Shawshank. So weird it can happen.