Friday Funny- Criminal Acts

Criminal activity is going to be the general theme of this Friday Funny; specifically escaped fugitives. Be warned: This is a long article, so get your mouse-scrolly wheel oiled up with some WD-40.

Lets start with our quiz, as usual answers will be at the bottom of the page.

Today’s Quiz: “The Fugitive” Oh, and if you IMDb this, you suck monkey chunks!

1. What is Dr. Richard Kimble’s specialty in medicine?

a) Neuro Surgeon

b) Hepatologist

c) Vascular Surgeon

d) Plastic Surgeon

2. What is the name of the Sheriff who initially heads the investigation into the search for the escaped fugitives?

a) Rogers

b) Rawlins

c) Roderick

d) Rodenberry

3. What is U.S. Marshall Cosmo’s last name?

a) Renfro

b) Politan

c) Jackson

d) Jefferson

4. In what major city does the bulk of The Fugitive story take place?

a) Boston, Massachusetts

b) Chicago, Illinois

c) Portland, Maine

d) New York, New York

5. Julianne Moore has a cameo in the movie, what is her character?

a) A colleague of Dr. Kimble at Chicago Memorial

b) A waitress

c) A doctor at Cook County Hospital

d) A nurse

6. Another cameo in the movie is played by an actor who is on a long running sit-com playing the antagonist to a group of doctors.  In The Fugitive he plays a transit cop, what is his name?

a) Robert Sean Leondard

b) Barry VanDyke

c) T.J. Thyne

d) Neil Flynn

7. What actress plays Dr. Richard Kimble’s wife?

a) Lisa Edelstein

b) Marcia Gay Harden

c) Jeanne Tripplehorn

d) Sela Ward

8. During their first face-to-face contact Dr. Kimble declares to U.S. Marshall Gerard, “I didn’t kill my wife!” What did Tommy Lee Jones’ character say back?

a) “Not my problem!”

b) “Put down the gun!”

c) “I don’t care!”

d) “I don’t believe you!”

9. Which of the following does Dr. Kimble NOT do in order to conceal his identity?

a) Create a fake i.d.

b) Lose 30 lbs.

c) Shave his beard and mustache.

d) Dye his hair.

10. Dr. Kimble creates a fake i.d. and changes his appearance to sneak into Cook County Hospital, why?

a) To do research on prosthetic limb replacement.

b) To administer first aid to himself from the injury his sustained from the jump off the damn.

c) Sees a child on the gurney pulled out of an arriving ambulance and can’t resist helping.

d) Figures the police will never think to look for him hiding in a hospital.


Happily my Yahoo news popped up a great weird article on an escape attempt out of a Mexican prison after a conjugal visit, care of Reuters:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican prisoner hoped to take a trip to freedom by packing himself into his girlfriend’s suitcase.

But guards at the jail in the southeastern town of Chetumal grew suspicious when the woman seemed nervous as she wheeled out the bulging bag after a conjugal visit with the prisoner.

Opening the luggage, guards found Juan Ramirez folded into the fetal position in his underpants and socks, a spokeswoman for local federal police said on Tuesday.

Ramirez and his girlfriend face criminal charges over the bungled escape.

(Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

Peek-a-Boo, I see you!

So, why don’t we explore the many varied attempts at jail-break.

Pascal Payett:

Many European prisons have exercise yards on their roofs, a feature that French criminal Pascal Payet has repeatedly used to his advantage. Payet was originally jailed for a murder that occurred during a botched robbery on a security van, and was sentenced to thirty years in France’s Luynes Prison. In 2001, he managed to make a daring escape when an accomplice simply picked him up from the prison’s roof with a hijacked chopper. Payet even returned to the prison two years later with another helicopter and proceeded to help three other prisoners make their escape, but all four men were re-captured, and Payet was given another seven-year sentence for his role in the jailbreak. Amazingly, in 2007 Payet again escaped via helicopter, this time from Grasse prison in southeast France. He was lifted off the roof by four masked accomplices who had hijacked a chopper from a nearby airport by threatening to kill the pilot. After landing near the Mediterranean Sea, the pilot was released, and Payet and his accomplices have since disappeared.

Dieter Dengler:

Dieter Dengler was a German-American Navy pilot who made a famous escape from a jungle prison camp during the Vietnam War. In early 1966, Dengler’s plane was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Laos, and he was captured and shipped to a prison camp run by the Pathet Lao, a group of North Vietnamese sympathizers. Dengler had earned a reputation for his uncanny ability to escape from mock-POW camps during his military training, and he immediately contributed to a plan the prisoners had to make a getaway. On June 29, 1966, he and six other prisoners managed to escape from their hand and foot restraints and get a hold of the guard’s weapons. After gunning down three guards, Dengler escaped into the dense forest. He would eventually spend 23 days in the jungle enduring extreme heat, insects, leeches, parasites, and starvation before being rescued by an American helicopter. Only one of the other prisoners, a Thai contractor, survived the escape. The others were all either killed or disappeared in the jungle. Dengler would go on to become a successful test pilot in his later years, and to this day he is credited as the only American soldier to successfully escape from a prison camp during the Vietnam War.

The Maze Prison escape:

One of the most violent prison escapes of all time, the Maze Prison break took place in 1983, when 35 inmates escaped after taking control of the prison by force. The Maze was reserved for Irish Republican Army paramilitary combatants and terrorists, and was considered to be one of the most inescapable prisons in all of Europe. But after several months of planning, a group of prisoners led by IRA members Gerry Kelly and Bobby Storey seized control of an entire cellblock by using handguns that had been smuggled into the jail. After wounding several of the guards and stealing their uniforms, the prisoners hijacked a car and took over a nearby guard post, but when they couldn’t get past the main gate, the men hopped the fence and made a run for it on foot. All told, 35 men escaped from the prison– sixteen of whom were recaptured soon after–and twenty guards were injured.

Billy Hayes (who says pot smokers are lazy?):

Billy Hayes was an American student who was arrested in 1970 when he tried to smuggle two pounds of hash onto a plane in Turkey. After being caught, he was sentenced to thirty years in the harsh Turkish prison system. Hayes toiled in Sagmilicar Prison for five years, but he was eventually transferred to an island prison in the Sea of Marmara, and it was here that he began to seriously plan his escape. The island had no boats, but a nearby harbor would frequently fill up with small fishing vessels any time there was a strong storm. Hayes spent days hiding in a concrete bin, and when the time was right, he swam to the harbor and stole a small dinghy. From here, he was able to make his way to Greece, and eventually traveled halfway around the world before arriving safely back in the United States. Hayes later wrote a book about his ordeal called Midnight Express, which was adapted into a fictionalized film of the same name.

The Great Escape:

For sheer planning, risk, and scale, prison escapes don’t get much more complex than the 1944 escape of 76 Allied soldiers from Stalag Luft III, a German prison that operated during WWII. The escape was the culmination of over a year of work by some 600 prisoners. The men dug three tunnels (nicknamed “Tom,” “Dick,” and “Harry”) 30 feet beneath the surface of the prison with the plan of tunneling past the main fence and surfacing in the nearby forest. This required a sophisticated construction process that included the use of wood blocks for support, a series of lamps, and even a pump to make sure the soldiers digging had enough air to breathe. After gathering a collection of civilian clothes and passports, on March 24, 1944 the soldiers began to make their escape. Unfortunately, the tunnel had come up short of the forest, and as the men surfaced they were in clear sight of the guards. 76 men still managed to escape, but the 77th was spotted and the tunnel was shut down. The Nazis took a special interest in the escaped prisoners, and all but three were eventually caught. Still, thanks to the popularity of the famous movie based on it, as well as its sheer scale and audacity, “the Great Escape” remains one of the most well-known prison escapes of all time.


OK, those were all very well and good, meaning mostly ‘good people’ trying to escape bad prisons, but why not look at some creepy bastards that have escaped that generate nightmare material…

Theodore Robert Bundy (from my recollection and ‘infused’ with Wikipedia):

Made two prison escape attempts; the first was unsuccessful, the second allowed him more time to commit rape, sodomy, and murder. While at the Colorado court-house awaiting trial and serving as his own attorney he made a daring jump from the court-house library and sprained his ankle.  He managed to still escape into the woods where he broke into a vacation home and stole supplies.  However he became lost in the woods, and as a result managed to continue to elude search parties.  He stole a vehicle and more supplies from a camp ground and drove back into Aspen, CO.  Due to pain and exhaustion he was driving erratically and was pulled over by police. This first attempt at freedom only lasted 6 days.

Probably due to his lesson learned over the sprained ankle, Bundy put more thoughts into his next escape.  He was already an athletic build, but began skipping meals in order to lose weight. After loosing 35 lbs and acquiring both cash and a small hack-saw cut his way through the ceiling and made his way to freedom just before he was to be transferred for a change of venue. He stuffed his bed to look like he was sleeping and wasn’t discovered to be missing until he had a 17 hour lead on police.  By then he was in Chicago. Bundy then made his way south to the greener pastures of Florida, specifically, the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee where he committed the brutal attacks at the Chi Omega sorority and another FSU coed in a near-by apartment. Later, in February he brutally murdered 12-year-old girl after failing to kidnap a 14-year-old girl the day before (by identifying himself as a fireman).  Finally police stopped him when they ran the plates of the vehicle he was driving and discovered it was stolen.  Bundy had escaped on December 30th and wasn’t arrested again until February 12th, during that time he murdered or severely injured 6 females.

John McClusky and Casslyn Welch:

McCluskey was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder, as well as other charges. The two convicts with whom he escaped, Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick, have been apprehended.

Welch, 44, is McClusky’s fiancée and also his cousin and is believed to have aided their escape. Authorities say she threw a pair of wire cutters over a fence, which allowed the three to cut their way out of the medium-security, privately run Arizona State Prison in Golden Valley.

Since starting their run from the law, police believe, McCluskey and Welch have hijacked an 18-wheeler and its two drivers, who were later released unharmed and brutally murdered an elderly couple in New Mexico.

Richard Lee McNair:

Authorities believe McNair, who is serving three life sentences for murder, attempted murder and burglary in North Dakota, escaped after concealing himself in a secret compartment under a pallet of mail bags and was transported on a truck from the prison to a local mail facility, where he broke out from his hiding place and escaped.

You could also say Richard Lee McNair has a way with words. He proved it when he convinced a police officer in Ball, Louisiana, last week that he was just out for a jog and the officer let him go. What the officer didn’t know was this casual jogger had just escaped from the Federal Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana. McNair is still on the run.

Not only does McNair have a history of violence, he has a history of escapes. The escape from the detention center in Pollock was his third escape since his murder conviction in 1987. His other escapes included one from a North Dakota county jail in 1988, and the second in 1992 from a penitentiary in the same state.

Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevalo and Danny Martin Gallegos:

Diaz-Arevalo had served one year for killing his ex-girlfriend, 22-year-old Lindsey Rae Fawson, in 2005. He was sentenced to seven years to life in prison. Diaz-Arevalo, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, is a gang member and drug dealer who returned to the United States after he was deported on gun charges, prosecutors said.

Gallegos admitted to killing 18-year-old Tammy Syndergaard in 1990 in South Salt Lake. He was denied parole in 2005, when his next hearing was scheduled for 2025.

The men and some of the 12 inmates in their pod were in an outdoor courtyard during an hour-long recreation break between 2 and 3 p.m., when they managed to slip through an unlocked back door to get outside and scale a 14-foot fence covered in razor wire to reach the roof, Department of Corrections Director Tom Patterson said. They dashed across the roof and jumped about 16 feet off the west side of the building to freedom, he said.

Deputies reviewed surveillance tape and discovered security footage of a fence shaking around 2:30 p.m., the only tangible evidence of the escape, Patterson said. Cameras on the west side of the jail did not record properly, he said. Ellsworth said he hoped prisoners would be more “forthcoming” as interviews continue but had no solid leads as to where the escapees went.

From the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted as of 7/5/2011:

Glen Stewart Godwin, is being sought for his 1987 escape from Folsom State Prison in California, where he was serving a lengthy sentence for murder.  Later in 1987, Godwin was arrested for drug trafficking in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  After being convicted, he was sent to a prison in Guadalajara.  In April of 1991, Godwin allegedly murdered a fellow inmate and then escaped five months later.

Editor’s Note (7/11/11) I’m adding Diane Downs to this list: Thanks to Amy B. for the reminder about Diane Downs and that she escaped from prison while incarcerated in Oregon.  For those not in the ‘know’ she was convicted of shooting her own children in 1984 after trying to claim that they were the victim of an attempted car-jacking. One child died, 2 survived and were adopted by one of the prosecutors and she gave birth to a fourth child just after her conviction. She had been sentenced to life in prison +50 years. In July 1987 she escaped from the Oregon Women’s Correctional Center and wasn’t recaptured until July 21st. Diane managed her escape by wearing extra clothing and climbing over an exercise yard fence topped with barbed wire before the institute was able to put on more guards for security. She was found at a fellow inmates home less than a mile from the correctional facility.


Very well, now that I’ve hopefully threatened your false sense of security I’m ready to move on.

Clumsy criminals actually make up the bulk of arrests.  Actual masterminds are few and far between, so rest easy; most of the time, if a crime is committed against you the perpetrator will be captured via their own stupidity.

Courtesy of Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird archives:

Nurse Sarah Casareto resigned in February from Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, and faced possible criminal charges, after allegedly swiping the painkiller fentanyl from her patient’s IV line as he was undergoing kidney-stone surgery (telling him once to “man up” when he complained about the pain). [Star Tribune (Minneapolis), 2-10-2011]

Karen Remsing, 42, stands accused of much the same thing after her November arrest involving an unspecified pain medicine delivered by IV at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital. However, Remsing’s case was different in that the IV line being shorted was that of her own, terminally ill, 15-year-old son. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11-1-2010]

A man stole Waltham, Mass., student Mark Bao’s notebook computer in March, but Bao used his automatic online-backup service to access the hard drive while the thief was using it, to discover a performance video of a man (presumably the thief) dancing (lamely, thought Bao) to a pop song. Bao uploaded the video to YouTube — where 700,000 viewers showed it the proper disrespect — and also tracked down the thief’s e-mail address and informed him of his new Internet “stardom.” Shortly afterward, the still-unidentified thief turned in the notebook to Bentley University police with an apology to “Mark,” begging him to take down the video. [CBS News, 3-24-2011]

John Stolarz, 69, became the latest just-released prisoner to return immediately to his criminal calling, by attempting a holdup of a Chase Bank in New York City instead of reporting to his halfway house on the day after his release. (The robbery failed because the “bank” was actually just a Chase customer-service branch, with no money.) [New York Post, 10-14-10]

The Phoenix convenience store robber escaped with the money in September, but like many others, inadvertently stuck his face directly in front of the surveillance camera. He had entered the store with a plastic bag pulled tight over his face to distort his features and foil the camera, but halfway through the robbery, he unsurprisingly began laboring for breath and yanked off the bag, revealing his face. [Arizona Republic, 10-11-10]

The reason career criminal Kevin Polwart gave for his brief February escape from New Zealand’s Auckland Prison was to demonstrate that he posed no threat to society on the outside (and thus that he should be parolled). (Instead, authorities added nine months to his sentence.) [New Zealand Press Association, 2-8-10]

A judge in Scotland went lenient on George McIntosh, 53, who had been convicted of embezzling the equivalent of about $87,000 from two pro golfing organizations. McIntosh claimed that his medication for Parkinson’s disease had made him “compulsive(ly)” generous so that he needed to embezzle money in order to buy gifts for his friends. [BBC News, 4-7-10]

John Campana, 18, was detained by police after they found him with several pieces of expensive jewelry in Gainesville, Fla. As they were questioning him about where he got the jewelry, Campana (according to the police report) started shaking and sweating, and then fainted. (He was charged several days later with burglary.) [Gainesville Sun, 5-3-10]

Jason Robinson, 22, was arrested at a Burger King in Pine Bluff, Ark., in May after robbing the restaurant manager at gunpoint. As the manager handed over the day’s proceeds, Robinson set his gun down on a counter to grab the money. Not surprisingly, the manager picked up the gun and shot Robinson in the leg. [KFSM-TV (Fort Smith)-AP, 5-19-10]

Convicted sex offender Paul D. Brunelle-Apley, 26, was arrested again, in Madison Township, Ohio, in September, when his attempt to make up with his 14-year-old girlfriend came to public attention. According to police, Brunelle-Apley was seeing another girl on the side (age 15), and in a display of remorse, he delivered flowers and a teddy bear to his main girlfriend while she was in class at Madison High. [Star Beacon (Ashtabula), 9-10-07]

According to police in Warsaw, Poland, novelist Krystian Bala might have gotten away with torturing and murdering a businessman in 2000 if only he had resisted writing about his crime in his 2003 novel, “Amok.” The trail for the killer had been cold for several years until a tipster informed police of the book. In the plot, which authorities say bore a distinct resemblance to the 2000 murder, were details that police say could only have been known by the killer. After investigating, police found several other ties Bala had to the crime, including the fact that the victim was Bala’s ex-wife’s lover. Bala was sentenced in September to 25 years in prison. [The Times (London), 8-9-07]

A 30-year-old man appears to be the most recent person (according to the account of police in Woodland, Calif., in August) to attempt to throw burning fireworks at a target while traveling in a car, but having the toss fail to clear the window and thus explode inside the car. He was hospitalized. [Sacramento Bee, 8-28-08]

In another familiar scene, two 18-year-old men spotted police approaching their trailer-park home in Salina, Kan., in August, panicked, and tossed illegal drugs out a window. However, police spotted the flying drugs, even though cops had originally intended only to serve warrants on two of their neighbors. The men were arrested. [Salina Journal, 8-25-08]

Harrison Ford: Just because.

Have yourselves a safe and happy weekend!


Answers to The Fugitive Quiz:

1. Vascular Surgeon

2. Rawlins

3. Renfro

4. Chicago

5. Dr. at Cook County Hospital

6. Neil Flynn; the janitor on “Scrubs.”

7. Sela Ward. (Pictured below, I tried to trick you with other sexy brunette ladies.)

8. “I don’t care!” (originally scripted as “That’s not my problem.”)

9. Lose 30 lbs

10. To do research on prosthetic limb replacement.

Top: Sela Ward, Lisa Edelstein Bottom: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Marcia Gay Harden


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