How to break out of prison

Somebody has been a bad lad. The boys in blue caught you bang to rights doing something you shouldn't have been. And, now, after a morning in front of the old beak, you've been sent down for a year in clink. So what are you going to do? Well, you could always get to know your cell-mate - "Big Ernie" - a bit better. But that's not really on the cards, is it? So, if you don't want to bide your time for 12 months, what's the alternative? How about a jailbreak? Think it can't be done? Think again...

Heading for the skies

Well, it's your first day in the cell. Only 364 more to go. So you've got plenty of time to plan your escape. And, if you are going to get out, why not try and shoot for the moon, so to speak? You were always good with engines and your dad was in the RAF. That's the perfect combination! You may ask: "For what?" Flying out of the slammer, that's what! Who can forget that old 007 film when Bond strapped on a futuristic jet-pack? Hell, stranger things than that have been secretly erected behind the guards' backs!

Finding your feminine side

It's probably never a good idea to parade around in the pokey in women's clothing. Okay, there's one exception. Next time the missus comes to visit, get her to secretly bring along a change of clothing. Her clothing. Maybe a nice blonde wig, too. Then, get one of your mates to fake a heart-attack in the visiting-room, and while all hell is breaking loose, bunk off to the lavvy, do a quick, Superman-style change of attire, and sneak out with the other half when time is up. It worked for Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot!

Undercover in the underwear

You've got to be desperate to go down this path - and maybe you are! One thing you've noticed after a couple of weeks of doing porridge is that the laundry lorry comes every Thursday morning. And, as luck would have it, next week, you're on dirty-clothes duty. It's your big chance: wait until the guard ambles off for a toilet break, find yourself a decent-sized sack-full of prisoners' sweaty garments, dive in, and before you know it you'll be loaded on the lorry and on your way out. Making a clean start? More like an unclean one!

Don't you know who I am?

Whatever you got sent down for, there was one thing you should have made sure of before you got caught: that you were famous. You know: someone off the box. Or the guitarist in that band you like. Better still: some celebrity who is famous for, well, for being famous. Why? Because the stars of screen and stage always seem to just get a slap on the wrists, rehab, or a pitiful fine. Not the rest of us, though. So, that's the key: get a bit of fame behind you, and trust us, you'll be out in no time.

In a jam

It seems that any film that focuses on a prison break always has the stars digging a tunnel and making a bid for freedom. Remember The Great Escape and Alcatraz? It worked then. Maybe it can work for you. So, after lights-out, you spend weeks and weeks, inch by inch, secretly scraping away at the wall of your cell until you have made a big enough hole to ensure your escape. Finally the day comes and you're ready to go. But disaster strikes. Prison grub is so good these days that you've put on 2-stone and can't squeeze through. Bugger!

Behind bars and around the bend

Telling your fellow prisoners that the ghost of Elvis Presley wants you to perform Jailhouse Rock in the governor's office is probably just going to result in a rolling of eyes and not much else. But tell the prison doctor, and you just might be lucky enough to convince them that you're as nutty as a fruitcake. Yep: playing crazy may get you out of your cell and a few weeks in the psychiatric ward. Then, if you can amp up the nuttiness even more, an early release on compassionate grounds might be just around the corner. So, get acting!

Sick to death

The guards might think it a positive thing that you're spending all your free-time reading books in the prison library. Well, it is. You've got a plan. You're looking up the symptoms of the most serious health issues you can think of. Finally, you find one that you think you can best fake. You stage a collapse in your cell, dribble a bit for good measure, and get carted off in an ambulance. But before the emergency guys can get a stethoscope on you, you're out the back- doors, and legging it up the hard-shoulder of the M25 for freedom!

The best Christmas ever

Life inside is grim, but it's not all bad. Christmas is coming next week and a bunch of do-gooders are putting on a play for the prisoners. Goodwill to all men and all that. One of them is going to be playing Jesus. You have a brainwave. After the show, you walk over to God's nipper and whisper: "Follow me, or it won't just be your hands that get nailed to a cross." The Messiah wisely does as he's told, you steal his robes, faked beard and wig, and breeze on out with the rest of the cast. Christ!

Out in the open

Possibly the best approach to getting out of the hell-hole you're stuck in is to be on your best behaviour at all times and hope to get transferred to an open-prison. You know: they're the places where you get to sleep in until 10, at which point the guards gently wake you with a nice cuppa. It's where punishment means cutting the grass, shining the governor's shoes or walking his wife's little poodle around the grounds. It's a doddle compared to shower-time at your old place. And they're easy to escape from too. They don't call them "open" for nothing!

Honest, it wasn't me!

If all else fails, there's one final route left for you. You can always claim - as so many do - that plod got the wrong man and that your sentence was a grave miscarriage of justice. But with just about everyone pleading innocence, you're going to need a really good, original story. Maybe come up with something along the lines of: "They're trying to shut me up because I was the second gunman in the Kennedy assassination!" Or: "I know what really happened at Roswell!" Get enough people listening and maybe wheels will start turning. Good luck!

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About the Author

Nick Redfern is the author of many books on UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Hollywood scandal and much more. He has worked as a writer for more than two decades and has written for the Daily Express, Military Illustrated and Penthouse.