Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Am Not Your Schwarzenegger Line Monkey

The prison in Orgainville, Quebec, just hours ago has had its day broken up in the most dramatic of fashions: a prisoner escape. Given that the whole point behind prisons is to not allow the prisoners to leave unauthorized, this is always going to send everyone on immediate high alert.

Especially when it's done via helicopter. Helicopters are how you know the escapees mean business. Three inmates, 55-year-old Serge Pomerleau, 35-year-old Yves Denis, and 55-year-old Denis Lefebvre, were choppered out by an unidentified pilot believed to be alone in the entry.

The reason I bring this up is that these three are two helicopter escapes short of the record. There is, believe it or not, a Wikipedia page listing off helicopter-assisted prison escapes. It even has its own wonderful, glorious set of icons denoting whether the escape was successful: a circled green helicopter if they made it; a circled-and-X'ed-out red helicopter if they didn't. From this, you can see that, all-time, there have been 30 successes- including this one- and 11 failures.

Three attempts involved the same man, Pascal Payet of France, who was originally in for the 1997 murder of a guard during an attack on an armored car. Twice, Payet was the escapee, in 2001 and 2007, and in 2003- still on the run from his 2001 escape- he organized another chopper evacuation of three more inmates. Prior to his 2007 escape- which happened on Bastille Day mind you- Payet, due to the startling reputation he'd built up by now, had been shifted from prison to prison, never spending more than six months in one at a time. Since that failed to work, nowadays the guards just flat-out won't tell anyone which one he's in.

Whichever one he's in, it's probably underground somewhere.

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