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Prison Escapee Convinced Police He's Not The Man They're Looking For

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Prison Escapee Convinced Police He's Not The Man They're Looking For

Here's another entry for the golden age of true crime tales - it's remarkable enough that convicted killer Richard Lee McNair escaped from prison, but he also managed to convince a police officer that he wasn't the escapee, and was simply a harmless jogger. Watch the astonishing exchange here:

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McNair was convicted for the 1987 murder of Jerry Thies, who had disturbed him while he carried out a burglary.

But it was only after he went to prison that he really gained notoriety, largely for his ability to escape and elude capture.

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Posing a huge challenge to police, McNair didn't just escape thanks to a stroke of luck. In fact, he escaped three times, from three different institutions, and each method proved staggeringly creative.

Richard Lee McNair
Richard Lee McNair

The first time, he went for the simple approach. Getting hold of some lip balm, McNair managed to squeeze out of a pair of handcuffs by lubricating his wrists and hands. The second time, he managed to escape by crawling through a ventilation pipe.

But it was his last escape that was really ingenious. In April 2006, McNair managed to mail himself out of prison in a crate.

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Then, as we see in the astonishing footage above, he even successfully convinced a police officer that he wasn't actually an escaped prisoner by simply saying he was a jogger.

After this, his mugshot was aired on TV while he became one of the top fifteen wanted fugitives.

The wily criminal even managed to travel to Canada twice to evade authorities, travelling for a year before being caught by chance in a random police check. He opened up about his experience with Canadian journalist Byron Christopher.

Writing later about how he mailed himself, he said: "The heat was unbelievable. The inside of the pod felt like a furnace. Sweat rolled off me; my head was swimming in the fog. I was afraid I would pass out.

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"It was a tight fit. I couldn't wipe the sweat from my brow; it was running into my eyes, down my neck, dripping from the tip of my nose and everywhere else.

"I wanted to scratch the itches, wanted to wipe the sweat from my face.

Credit: Ball Town Police Department
Credit: Ball Town Police Department

"It was just crazy with the long wait. My fears, every noise amplified. My nerves were just popping."

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He managed to make a snorkel out of a piece of cardboard, which he poked through the pallet to breath.

He added: "The tube was between my drawn-up knees and feet. I drew my breaths and exhaled through the tube.

"I was afraid I'd pass out. To keep my mind focused, I concentrated on my military training, and thought about how difficult our fighters had it in Iraq. The trick is to distract the mind, yet focus on the mission. My mission was freedom and that freedom was very close.

"New Hampshire's motto is 'live free or die'' My goal was to be free. Did I want to die? Hell no. Was I going to hurt anyone trying? No."

Featured Image Credit: United States Marshals Service

Topics: Interesting, US News, crime

Amelia Ward
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