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Lori Beth Crawford



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The Fremantle Prison has seen its share of bold criminals come through its doors. It’s also seen quite a few sneak out. While John Boyle O'Reilly is the only prisoner to successfully stay out once he escaped, there are some other amusing attempts that are equally noteworthy. For instance, let's take a look at Brenden Abbott's attempt at freedom. Of all the escapees, this guy is my absolute favorite.

As told by the tour guide at the prison:

Mr. Brenden Abbott, the Postcard Bandit, was assigned to work in the tailor shop of the prison with a couple other inmates. Guess what they were making. Yep. Guard uniforms. They got the bright idea to make themselves a uniform and escape.

Since the guards had rifle practice on the range right behind the tailor shop, Abbott and crew knew when they were there. Once day, when the coast was clear, they put on their guard uniforms and hustled to the roof to go over the outside wall.

To get to the wall, they had to jump a good 7 to 8 feet across the rifle range. Abbott and one guy made it. But the third was ahead of his time in fashion and didn't have enough room in his sagging britches to make the jump. He smacked into the wall and slid down it to the ground.

If that wasn't enough pain, he caught his kneecap on a water faucet and nearly ripped it out of his leg. The faucet didn't fare much better as it was dragged down through the wall leaving a nice little hole. They had to move the faucet about a foot to the left to replace it.

Needless to say, the guy wasn't exactly quiet which alerted the guards to the escape attempt. They were able to catch the 2nd guy fairly quickly, but Abbott was long gone.

The part I love...the prison was decommissioned in 1991 and opened for tours in 1992. Abbott took a tour in '92 and had the audacity to sign the guest book. Yes, he was still wanted by the authorities. For his current address, he wrote, "Nowhere you'll ever find me."

Except they did. He's back in prison, but they only recovered about a $100,000 of the $5M he stole from banks over the years. Maybe it's just me, but I think he should've hid wherever he put the money!

Fremantle Prison Escapes: Brenden Abbott