Friday, August 26, 2011

Inventive Escape Tools Made By Prisoners

Imagine this, you just got nabbed for a crime you didn't commit and they lock ya up, akin to the West Memphis 3. What the hell do you do? Needless to say you learn to become quite resourceful and look at your situation in one of those come or hell or high water types of scenarios and devise a plan. The planning will take time but the payoff could be huge. Unfortunately Michael Westen or Jason Bourne are not here to help so get MacGyver on the case and dream about a roll of duct tape and a swiss army knife, or better yet get creative.

Have a look at some of these inventive escape tools created by a few German prisoners. With a lot of time on your hands, anything can be possible. Otherwise the only way to pass the day is figuring out who is going to shank you next or doing more pushups.

All of these images are found on the site of Marc Steinmetz

Mace - Instrument found in the metal workshop of "Santa Fu" prison in Hamburg, Germany, where an unknown inmate manufactured and hid it. It is either a weapon or attached to a pole, might have been designed to push away barbed.

Radio Receiver - Sometime in the seventies an  inmate of Ludwigsburg prison, Germany, built this radio on the sly and hid it inside an encyclopedia. It was probably commissioned by another inmate who had no electronic expertise himself.


SHOTGUN - made from iron bedposts; charge made of pieces of lead from curtain tape and match-heads, to be ignited by AA batteries and a broken light bulb. On May 21, 1984 two inmates of a prison in Celle, Germany, took a jailer as a hostage, showed off their fire power by letting go at a pane of bullet-proof glass, and escaped by car.

STOVE / GRILL / TOASTER - An inmate of Ludwigsburg prison, Germany, botched together this multi-purpose tool from wire, a broken heating rod and sometin foil. It was found in his cell and confiscated sometime in the mid-eighties.


GRAPPLING HOOK - with segmented extension rod (13 segments, overall length: 4.5 meters); rope made of leather and string. This cleverly conceived tool assisted two inmates in their escape from Ludwigsburg prison,Germany, on August 19, 1987. The attached rod enabled them to place and retrieve the hook and thus negotiate two prison walls in succession.


DOUBLE-BARRELED PISTOL - This gun was found along with other homemade firearms in the cell of two Celle prison inmates on November 15, 1984. The weapons had been made in
the prison’s metal workshop. They were loaded with pieces of steel and match-heads.


SHIV - disguised as a wooden crucifix; found in an inmate’s cell in Wolfenb├╝ttel prison, Germany, sometime around 1994; intended for use in an escape or as a general weapon. At that time a lot of crucifixes were fashioned in prison woodshops until jailers finally figured out  their true purpose.


DUMMY PISTOL - from blackened cardboard; found on June 23, 1988, in an inmate’s cell in Stammheim prison, Germany, after a fellow prisoner tipped off the jailers. The dummy was hidden in an empty milk pack and was most probably intended to be used for taking hostages in an escape attempt.


DUMMY SUBMACHINE GUN - made from a grease injector, wood, a rubber sleeve, and tape. The mock weapon was found in 1994 in a prison workshop in Wolfenb├╝ttel prison, Germany, after jailers were tipped off that an escape attempt was being planned.

WHIP - with razor blades. The grisly weapon was found around 1996 in ‘Santa Fu’ jail in Hamburg, Germany, in the cell of a drug addicted inmate after his failed attempt to extort a higher Methadone ration by threatening a female prison officer with a knife.


HASH PIPE - fashioned from an empty horseradish tube; confiscated in ‘Santa Fu’ prison in Hamburg, Germany. Smoking implements are the most common illicit items in prisons. The range of materials they are made of mirrors the inmates’ great imagination.
SAW - An inmate of ‘Santa Fu’ prisonin Hamburg, Germany, fitted a wooden handle to a piece of saw blade for better handling. The tool was found in his cell and confiscated

IMMERSION HEATER - made from razor blades; found in a cell in ‘Santa Fu’ jail in Hamburg, Germany. Jailbirds use these tools to distil alcoholic beverages forbidden in prisons. Your typical inmate’s moonshine still includes a plastic can containing fermented fruit mash or juice, an immersion coil of some sort, a rubber hose, and a plastic receptacle for the booze.

TATTOOING NEEDLE - made from a toothbrush handle, a ball pen and an electric motor;  confiscated in ‘Santa Fu’ prison in Hamburg, Germany. Tattooing instruments are a popular and common source of income among inmates but are banned as ‘illegal objects’ due to the danger of infection (Aids, Hepatitis, etc.)