Escape From Folsom Prison

The Book: Escape from Folsom Prison

On August 27th, 1929 Billy planned and executed an elaborate escape from Folsom Prison. This plan included creating a round ball the size of a human head from plaster of paris which he stole from the prison dentist office. He placed it in his bunk to fool the night guards into thinking that he was asleep in his bunk. It worked. He then hid in a coffin in the mortuary until the least amount of guards was on duty late in the evening. Then he made his escape, sneaking past the guard towers where guards and their dogs were sleeping. He climbed a 12-14 foot wall and crossed a swift moving American River and continued running throughout the night. He was safe from the confines of prison---for awhile.

On October 29th, 1929, Billy was captured and sent back to prison. In 1930 and 1931 Billy made a couple of more attempts at freedom, along with his cell mate. Neither attempt were successful. He then spent the next nearly 30 years in and out of Folsom Prison. It wasn't until about 23 years after his final release, 1956, from prison that the book, "Escape from Folsom Prison" was written.

The book chronicles what it was like for Billy being in Folsom prison and how he went about planning his escape and untimately escaping. The pictures below show some of the scenes from prison life.

Prisoners in Striped Outfits

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Aerial View of Prison

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Prison Dining Area

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Billy Standing by Cell

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Billy Standing Inside Cell

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Billy - Mug Shot

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