35 Interesting Facts about Prisoners

1Anthony Ray Stockelman

Anthony Ray Stockelman

In 2006, an inmate named Anthony Ray Stockelman who was imprisoned at an Indiana prison was forcibly tattooed across his forehead with the words “Katie's revenge” by another inmate after they found out that he was serving time for molesting and murdering a 10-year-old girl named Katie.

2. In 1986, a French convict named Michel Vaujour used oranges painted like grenades to escape prison via a helicopter which was piloted by his wife who took flight lessons solely for his escape.

3. American captives in the Vietnam War would authenticate a new prisoner's American identity by tapping the first five notes of "Shave and a Haircut", against a cell wall, and waiting for the appropriate response.

4. Auschwitz prisoner Kazimierz Piechowski, along with 3 others, were able to escape the camp by simply dressing up as Nazi Officers and commandeering the Deputy F├╝hrer's car. When they arrived at the gate they simply barked orders to the guards who let them out no questions asked.

5. An inmate named James Lucas confronted Al Capone to get back when he cut in the line during his prison time. Al asked him if he knows who he is. While holding scissors to Capone's neck he replied: “Yeah, I know who you are, greaseball. And if you don't get back to the end of that f*cking line, I'm gonna know who you were.”

6Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs

A prison inmate named Eugene V. Debs received nearly one million votes during the 1920 presidential election. He was serving 10 years for a speech he gave in Ohio.

7. In 2000, an inmate named Antonio Lara successfully used dental floss to cut through steel bars, escaping from his cell and kill his rival.

8. Thousands of prisoners were abandoned in Orleans Parish Prison during Hurricane Katrina where the water and sewage rose up to neck deep. They went days without food, water or ventilation.

9. Inmates of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department can get free laser tattoo removal, e.g., gang sign tattoos they want to break from. Over 2,200 inmates have had tattoos removed. The removal incurs no cost to the public as it is paid for in part by the charity “Homeboy Industries.”

10. A convict named Thomas Silverstein has been held in solitary confinement at a Supermax prison since 1983. Considered to be one of the most dangerous inmates in the U.S., he's committed multiple murders in jail. He's held in a specially designed cell called Range 13 and has no human contact.

11Ronnie Lee Gardner

Ronnie Lee Gardner

In 1987, a prison inmate named Ronnie Lee Gardner broke a glass partition and knocked out the lights in a visitation area to have sex with a woman who was visiting him. Fellow inmates cheered him on while barricading the doors. He claimed it was an accident.

12. The first death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence was wrongly convicted child murderer Kirk Bloodsworth in 1993. Ten years later, Bloodsworth discovered that the actual killer had been incarcerated just one cell block beneath him.

13. In 1995, an inmate named Robert Lee Brock tried to sue himself for $5 million because he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested. He then asked the state to pay because he has no income in jail.

14. Prisoners in Antwerp prison have a computer station with a headset and limited access to the internet in their cells. They can also order PPV films (including adult ones), "making the prison run more efficiently".

15. Inmates at the only American federal supermax prison, nicknamed "the Alcatraz of the Rockies," are allowed one hour per day for exercise in an empty concrete swimming pool. The remaining 23 hours are spent in solitary confinement.

16Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky

A convicted pedophile named Jerry Sandusky was taunted by inmates singing "Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone," a line from Pink Floyd's Another brick in the wall song.

17. The first death row inmate to escape from a Georgia prison was Troy Leon Gregg. He was beaten to death in a bar fight on the day of his escape.

18. A convict named Carlton Rich used his one phone call to call his girlfriend, who then called the same jail, with Rich himself on three-way. He pulled an impersonation of a prison official in New Mexico granting himself bail. Rich also orchestrated a fake fax confirming his release. He was released.

19. A group of inmates from a maximum security prison in New York once beat the Harvard debate team in a debate competition.

20. In 2006, a prisoner named Richard Lee McNair got himself a job in prison repairing mail bags, and he climbed inside one and mailed himself out of prison. Later that day while hiking along a railway line he was questioned, and let go by a police officer.

21Wilhelm Brasse

Wilhelm Brasse

Wilhelm Brasse was an Auschwitz prisoner assigned to take thousands of photos for 5 years. After World War 2, the portrait photographer tried to start taking photos but was so traumatized by the 'ghosts' of the 'dead' that he was unable, later saying he would 'never take another photograph'.

22. Thai prisoners are released early if they take part in special kickboxing matches against foreigners.

23. In 2013, a federal prison inmate named Gary Cole sued Taco Bell for stealing his Doritos Taco idea.

24. An inmate named Eric Torpy in Oklahoma asked to add 3 years to his sentence to honor Larry Bird whose number is 33.

25. A convict named Alexander Pearce made two prison escapes, during both of which he ate some of his fellow escapees. The first time it happened they didn't believe him, but the second time they had to because there were body parts in his pocket.