The tales of prisoners making their way out of fortified confinements have always fueled the imaginations.
Prison breaks make great storylines in TVs and movies, but even the seemingly fictional escapes you see on screen were often inspired by real events in real life.
All prisons are basically designed to keep people inside. They have armed guards in every corner, barb wires surrounding the facilities, security cameras in the right places, and heavy duty locks attached to every door and gate.
You can even safely say all those things have worked well, because most prisoners have all been kept away from the society at large until they day of their release.
A small percentage of inmates were resourceful enough to figure out escape plans and actually managed to get away.
While the number of escapees remains relatively small in comparison to the enormous amount of inmates, those small percentage have become legends in their own right. Some of the most impressive and lingering names are as follows.
10 John Dillinger
Of course a list of the greatest prison breaks in history has to include the one and only John Dillinger, the notorious gangster imprisoned for murder and bank robbery.
Following his capture in Arizona in January 1934, Dillinger was taken to Indiana and imprisoned within the Crown Point jail.
Local authorities boasted that the facility was escape proof, but it turned out to be only as escape-proof as the Titanic was unsinkable.
On early March of that year, Dillinger carved a wooden gun and used it to escape his imprisonment. He even drove away in the sheriff’s car.
9 Vassilis Palaiokostas
Known as the Greek Robin Hood, the deeds of Vassilis Palaiokostas certainly lives up to the nickname.
He robbed millions from state-owned banks and distributed most of the stolen fortune to poor families.
Palaiokostas was eventually captured in 2000 and charged with the kidnapping of Alexander Haitoglou, a CEO of a food company. For his crime, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
However on June 2006, one small helicopter landed in the yard of the maximum security prison where Palaiokostas was confined.
Moments later, it took off carrying Palaiokostas and fellow escapee Alket Rizai.
8 Billy Hayes
A 23-year-old student from New York named Billy Hayes was arrested for the possession of illegal drug on his way out of Turkey in 1970.
He was initially sentenced to four years in prison but later on the authorities decided to charge him with attempted smuggling and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Hayes was given a job at the docks during his time, and he managed to escape prison in a rowboat sometime in 1975.
He first made way to Istanbul then Greece, where he eventually was deported back to the United States.
7 Alfie Hinds
In 1953, Alfie Hinds was arrested for theft and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
It only took him two years to escape by opening a locked door and climbing a 20-feet wall.
After spending about eight months as fugitive, Hinds was recaptured in 1956 and imprisoned again.
During one hearing at court, he somehow obtained a padlock and used it to keep prison escorts inside a toilet, and so Hinds escaped.
This time he only had about five hours of free air before another recapture.
And then a year later, Hinds managed to find way out of prison yet again and stayed free for two years.