A Novel Method of Escape
January 30, 2008 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever escaped from jail or prison using this novel method, either in fiction or in real life?

As a child I remember hearing about an escape by a prisoner using string and an abrasive to saw through the steel bars of his cell. I believe the story involved the string being coated with soap, which was used to adhere powdered mortar or concrete. The improvised "saw" was then pulled back and forth against the metal bar until it cut through.

I honestly can't remember where I came across this idea, whether I was told it as historical fact by my father, or if I read about it or perhaps saw it on TV as a work of fiction.

Has anyone else heard of this? I'm not so much interested in speculating whether it is really possible or not, rather if anyone can provide any specific examples.
posted by Tube to Technology (6 answers total)
I wasn't going to post this originally, but I saw your Mythbusters tag and figured maybe you were thinking of the episode where they used salsa to attempt a breakout.
posted by nitsuj at 9:58 PM on January 30, 2008

Inmate flosses his way to freedom
Dental Floss
"Vincenzo Curcio, an Italian Mafioso convicted of one murder and arranging seven others, flossed his way to freedom in 2000 by painstakingly using dental floss to saw through the bars"

via Quite Interesting.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:15 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

there was the story, I think in 2002 where a guy stole a helicopter to take the man who molested him out of prison.
posted by parmanparman at 10:29 PM on January 30, 2008

Response by poster: Dental floss, of course!
posted by Tube at 10:33 PM on January 30, 2008

Right. Now you have to go and watch Quite Interesting.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:56 PM on January 30, 2008

I believe I first heard about this on the Alcatraz tour when I was a kid, explaining that they had to change the kind of metal used for the bars afterwards.
posted by rhizome at 1:06 AM on January 31, 2008

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