Less than 24 hours after entering federal prison to begin serving a 150-year sentence, convicted swindler Bernard Madoff and four other prisoners were apprehended in a daring jail break. The five were found sprawled on the ground against the wall of the prison compound, still inside the prison.
Details were still sketchy, but early reports indicated that Madoff had convinced the prisoners to climb on each others’ backs until they reached the top of the wall. The jailbreak failed when the prisoners were stacked five high, still well short of the top of the wall, and the bottom prisoner slid out to climb on top of the four remaining prisoners, collapsing the human tower.
“Madoff convinced us that we could each slide out from the bottom and get on top and we’d reach the top of the wall,” one prisoner reportedly said. “It sounds stupid now, but I tell you, the guy had us convinced.”
“When we fell on the ground, I lost my shiv, my girl’s photo, and a pack of smokes—everything I had left in the world,” said Butch McGuire, a convicted felon who is now facing an additional 20 years on top of his life sentence, “If I get my hands on the motherfucker, I’ll kill him.”
For his part in the attempted escape, Madoff now faces an addition 20 years on top of his 150-year sentence.
“I still expect to see my Bernalah one day,” said his wife Ruth Madoff, “By continuing to drink the blood of our victims, we’ll still be alive when his sentence is up.”