Here’s a very obscure and interesting fact about prison that a lot of people don’t seem to know: it’s hard to escape. I know this must seem mysterious and inscrutable, but it’s true. They built these things to keep people in. Guards, walls, snipers, barbed wire, fences, moats, guard dogs, cameras, floodlights, even the ocean — all designed to keep prisoners inside until the system says otherwise.
Still, there are more escape attempts a year than you might think. Predictably, most of these attempts were made through Dikembe Mutombo in Geico ads. Inevitably, a guard blocks you, wags his finger and plays a charming prank, “Not at my house.” This causes many jailbreak attempts to fail, and there are very bad results at best.
In 2011, James Edward Russell was serving his fourth stint in prison at the Olympic Corrections Center outside of Forks, Washington. In the middle of the night, he decided to make a daring escape—and succeeded. He made it out of the corrections center and into the woods, seemingly home free.
A little after midnight, he spotted a cabin in the woods and knocked on its door. The cabin’s renter answered and Russell asked to use the phone. There were only two problems. One: Russell was still wearing his prison uniform. Two: the man renting the cabin was a guard at the very facility Russell had just fled. After his capture, Russell was deemed an escape risk and sent to a higher-security facility.