This high octane series tells the dramatic stories of some of the most ingenious jailbreaks in recent history, and the detective work that led to the successful recapture of escapees.
Each breakout is told from the perspectives of the criminals and the teams who hunt them down.
Convicted armed robber Roy Harper is serving an 88-year sentence without parole at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. In Unit 32, the prison's supermax facility, Harper meets murderer John Woolard, an inmate aching to break out. See how these two criminals plan their escape. After hatching a plan to cut through their cell window at night, they make their big break, leaving a trail of destruction across the country.
When convict Lance Battreal hears of his father's heart attack, the desire to escape from Indiana's state prison and prove that he is a changed man consumes him. Together with his best prison buddy, he spends weeks planning an elaborate escape through a storm drain connected to one of the prison's tunnels. But as viewers will see, the real trouble starts when they finally make it out from behind bars.
It's 1976, the South African government is imprisoning radicals who are fighting against the country's racist policies. Tim Jenkin, an accused terrorist, explodes a leaflet bomb to spread a message of freedom. Jenkin and his friend are caught and put in Pretoria Prison. Jenkin's former job as a locksmith and his position in the prison wood shop are the lucky breaks that save them, as Jenkin works to discretely make a key to open his cell. Ten more doors stand between them and freedom.
For a dead man walking, escape seems impossible, but life inside prison is the only thing that's worse. Harold Laird had been at Stiles Unit in Texas for 10 years for the murder of two people. Refusing to join a racist prison gang left him with a bull's-eye on his back. But Laird's innate ability to tinker was his saving grace, as he used anything from cloth to dental floss to plan his great escape. After working his way through a locked door and two fences, see how Laird fights to escape.
Rondell Reed's argument with his boss turns deadly and he's placed in the maximum security unit at Indian River County Jail in Vero Beach, Fla. Rondell's determination to escape brings him to Levi, a prisoner already planning a way out. With a smuggled-in hacksaw, they saw through bars, escape through the vent and into the rec yard. The plan hinges on Levi's girlfriend driving agetaway car. But when Levi abandons Rondell, he's without a ride and a place to stay. See how long he can make it.
Gang members Tommy Valdez, Johnathon 'Snoopy' Rodriguez and Arturo Torres are locked up in the Grant County Detention Center in New Mexico, but they are determined to escape. National Geographic Channel goes inside their dramatic escape plan. See how they avoid guard checks and dig their way out to reach the prison roof. Now armed and high on drugs with help from other gang members, the three men make for the Mexican border, with the police in hot pursuit.
Keys are what locked them up, so why not use keys to escape? Desperate for freedom, Tim Jenkin builds wooden keys to use in an escape attempt from a high-security prison in South Africa. And Matthew Williams fashions keys out of metal to help his escape plan from an island prison in the United Kingdom.
In a Connecticut maximum security prison, Ronald Rutan meets Frank Vandever, a former stockbroker with a reputation for cross-dressing, who is aching to escape his 40-year sentence. Ronald fears the gangs in the prison, and he and Frank begin to plot their breakout plan. After cutting their way through window bars, running five miles and stealing a car, the guys escape, but not for long.