Posts Tagged ‘prison escape’

“Two Mercer Escapees Nabbed In Hamilton,” The Globe and Mail. October 19, 1948. Page 05.

While crews of police cruisers searched the King St. W. vicinity of Mercer reformatory yesterday, two escaping women inmates calmly took a streetcar to the western city limits.

There, an obliging motorist, not noticing their white institutional smocks, drove them to the Humber River approach to the Queen Elizabeth Highway.

A cache of clothing, believed by police have been arranged by friends, enabled the escaping women to rid themselves of the reformatory apparel. A second motorist picked them up and took them to Hamilton, where, less than three hours after their escape, they were arrested.

The two, Camille Dinwoodle, 38, of Toronto, and Audrey Greenfield, 27, of Hamilton, were detailed yesterday afternoon to move garbage. They moved the garbage out and kept going. The matron saw them heading for freedom, gave chase and lost them. The pair clambered over a fence to railway tracks and escaped down the right-of-way.

While police searched, the couple took a streetcar to Sunnyside. Two rides later, they were in Hamilton at Mulberry and Railway Streets where detectives, alerted by Toronto police, picked them up.

‘Where did you get those coats?’ Hamilton police asked the women. They got no satisfactory answer. They will be returned to Toronto today.
Hamilton, October 18 (Staff). – Whether they objected to putting out the garbage or whether they wanted to see the profusion of autumn color along Hamilton’s Mountain, Camille Dinwoodle and Audrey Greenfield didn’t say when they were picked up.

Det.-Sgts. Clarence Preston and Orrie Young, informed of the girls’ escape by radio, were cruising in the Mulberry St. area when Det.-Sgt. Preston, who knew one of the girls, saw them. They made no attempt to escape when approached by the police officers.

They were lodged in Barton St. Jail, and will be returned to Mercer tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

“10 Years in Jail Escapee’s Price For 13 Free Days,” The Globe and Mail. October 8, 1948. Page 05.

In 13 days, David Cameron, 24, committed offences which netted him a prison term of 10 years. Magistrate Thomas Elmore sentenced Cameron yesterday for the latter’s armed robbery of a taxi-driver; breaking into a service station; attempted break-in of a second station; carrying an offensive weapon, and escaping from Burwash reformatory.

Cameron was given the 10-year-term for his robbery of taxi-driver John Kusian. Terms on the other charges against Cameron were made concurrent. The 10-year sentence will be consecutive to a three-months term the accused is now serving for a conviction registered in May.

Cameron escaped from Burwash Reformatory in September. The total sentence, which included the concurrent terms, amounted to 17 years.

‘You have had seven previous convictions before all this,’ His Worship told Cameron. ‘It is fortunate that no one has been injured.’

Read Full Post »

“3 Insane Convicts Free; 5 Make Escape From City Jail; 2 Recaptured / Insane Prisoners Break Jail at Bordeaux.” Montreal Gazette, September 17, 1938. Second edition. Top image is page 15.  Next two are pages 1 & 9.

“Fugitives Overpower Guards – Are Believed Armed. / Police Cordon Drawn. / All Available Forces Join Search for Desperate Men in Woods.

Three dangerously insane convicts, all believed armed, were fugitives from a widespread police net last night after escaping from Montreal Jail at Bordeaux shortly after two o’clock yesterday afternoon.  Two others who were also confined to the jail asylum, escaped at the same time, but were captured shortly afterwards.

A jail guard’s car, which the convicts seized at the gun point outside the prison’s main gate, was found abandoned last night in the north end of the city.  Provincial, Montreal and Royal Canadian Mounted Police threw a strong cordon about the island as soon as the break became known, but it was believed possible that one or more of the men had slipped through before the guards were posted.

The men were believed to have two revolvers and a rifle among them, and all were described by prison officers as ‘desperate men who would stop at nothing to retain their freedom.’

Police search squads were armed with machine guns and tear gas equipment.

The five, all declared by Dr. Daniel Plouffe, superintendent of the prison hospital, to be insane, were:

JULES LEGACE, 32, 10 years for burglary and holdup;

JOHN O’MALLEY, 25, life for assault on penitentiary guard;

JOSEPH GAUCHEN, 23, five years for assault on penitentiary guard;

DIEUDONNE COALLIER, 25, 10 years for burglary;

LEO TREMBLAY, 25, sentence unascertained.

The first four were Montrealers, while Tremblay was brought here from Quebec CIty.

O’Malley and Coallier were captured within a few hours of the break.”

Read Full Post »

Cinq Fous Criminels S’Évadent


Bordeaux – Des Gardes Blessés.” La Patrie, Edition Quotidienne. September 17, 1938. Page 1 & Page 21.

“L’évasion la plus sensationnelle encore vue dans notre province s’est produite vendredi après-midi,

à 2 heures 30,

à la prison de Bordeaux alors que cinq détenus de la section des aliénés criminels ont pris la fuite.

Trois gardes de la prison ont été assommés par les évadés qui leur ont enlevé leur armes et quie so sont ensuite fait ouvrir la grande barrière de la prison en dirigeant une fusillade nourrie dans la direction  des gardiens qui avaient mission de les empêcher de passer.”


Read Full Post »

“Cinq prisonniers s’évadent de Bordeaux – Ils désarment deux gardes, en assomment deux autres et fuient dans une voiture volée à un cinquième gardien.” Le Canada. September 17, 1938. Page 01.

Read Full Post »

“Two Years at Kingston,” Toronto Globe. September 12, 1918. Page 03.

Highway Robber Pleaded Not to be Sent Back to Burwash.

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
Brantford, Sept. 11 – Clarence Brackenbury was sentenced to two years in the Penitentiary at Kingston by Judge Hardy to-day, on charges of highway robbery while in possession of a loaded revolver, of theft, and of damage to a St. George schoolhouse. He and a young lad set out as Dick Turpins on stolen bicycles, and held up a farmer near St. George. Brackenbury had previously broken jail at Simcoe, and was captured again at Burwash. He begged for a chance to go overseas, and when this was refused, pleaded not to be sent to Burwash, where, he alleged, he had been badly treated, the food he claimed, being very bad. His request was granted, and he will go to Kingston for two years.

Read Full Post »

“Evasions à Archambault,” La Presse. September 11, 1980. Page B12.

La police recherche deux prisonniers qui se sont évadés, tôt hier, du pénitencier fédéral Archambault à sécurité maximale. 

Michel Lafleur, 30 ans, qui purge une peine de 11 ans pour divers crimes, et Gilles Lavery, 23 ans, en prison pour 10 ans pour tentative de vol à main armée, tentative de meurtre et une évasion antérieure, ont tous les deux été décrits par la police comme étant «très dangereux».
Ils se sont évadés de la prison de Sainte Anne-des-Plaines, au nord de Montréal, vers 01h00 hier matin, après avoir scié les barreaux de leur cellule. La police et les autorités du pénitencier ont refusé de donner d’autres détails.

Read Full Post »

“Diversified Record Of A Young Criminal,” Toronto Globe. August 2, 1917. Page 12.

Sentenced to Four Years For Forgery – Also Charged With Bigamy.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Aug. 1. – Four years on each of four charges of forgery was the sentence given William John Leseur, alias John Dalton, alias John Langton, alias James John Bailey, by Police Magistrate Creasor, this morning, while he was also sent up for trial on the charge of bigamy. The sentences run concurrently. Lesseur was born near Peterboro, and as John Dalton served a sentence in Kingston Penitentiary. On his release he was married at the rectory of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Peterboro’ in May, 1914. In 1915 he and his wife came to Sullivan township, and he was employed as farm help under the name of John Langton, and his wife as housekeeper for a farmer named Treiford. The second day after his engagement he disappeared, taking with him one of his employer’s horses. He was traced, and on his arrest was being taken to Walkerton for trial when he crawled through the lavatory window and jumped while the train was going at a high speed. He was again apprehended, and on his arrest was sent to the Ontario Reformatory for a year. He escaped when he had served ten months and was lost sight of until eight weeks ago, when he came to Owen Sound and secured employment in  a local factory. He was around town for some few weeks, making himself quite popular and finally eloped with a young woman beloging to a reputable family. They went through the form of marriage at Meaford, and had reached London in an attempt to get over the border in the United States. His arrest followed the receipt of a letter from the young woman to a relative here. In the meantime it was found that he had passed cheques on four local firms, to which he had forged signatures, and charges were laid for this as well as for jumping his board bill. It was then that the police began looking up his career, and during a remand for sentence on the forgery charges, to which he pleaded guilty, the evidence consisting of a copy of the original marriage register at Peterboro’ was secured, and Leseur now faces the other charges in a higher court.

Read Full Post »

“Fugitive Lives Week On Berry Diet; Caught,” Globe and Mail. July 13, 1938. Page 04.

Sudbury, July 12 (Special.) – For bushy-haired Joseph Walker, 27-year-old Hamilton car thief, it surely is not a case of three times and out.

Three times Walker has escaped custody. Each time he has been captured.

Tonight he rested in his cell in the isolation block at Burwash Industrial Farm, a week’s growth on his face, bedraggled and exhausted after wandering the bush for several days and nights with blueberries as his only source of sustenance.

He will appear in District Police Court at Sudbury tomorrow on a charge of breaking jail and escaping lawful custody.

Seven miles from the limits of Burwash last evening, a man emerged from the tick bush and asked a settler where he might find the road. The stranger said he was lost. Recognizing him as a fugitive because of his blue prison garb, the settler directed him to the road that led back to the industrial farm, though Walker didn’t know this. Then the settler went to the nearest telephone at the C.P.R. station and notified the prison authorities. Guards were not long in picking up the missing man.

‘He offered no resistance,’ Superintendent Powell told The Globe and Mail. ‘He was pretty weak when our men reached him. He was hungry and badly bitten by flies. His clothing was torn. He was not exactly glad to be back in custody, but he appreciated a chance for food and shelter.’

Shortly after 3:45 a.m. on Monday morning, July 4, Walker fled Burwash, thanks to the aid of a companion, Patrick McKenzie, 20.

McKenzie cut the bars of his own cell with a hack saw and then sawed through the bars of Walker’s cell door and the bars on the window of Walker’s cell. After pushing Walker through the aperture in the cell window, McKenzie found that he could not squeeze his 185 pounds through the same opening, and had to stay behind. Yesterday he was sentenced to two years in Kingston Penitentiary for assisting Walker to escape.

Last March Walker ran from a gang at Burwash, but he was recaptured the same dry. For this attempt two more months were added to his terms of from 24 to 27 months by Judge Edmund Proulx at Sudbury.

Before coming to Burwash Walker had fled from the Hamilton City Jail, only to be recaptured. He has served about 15 months of his original sentence.

Read Full Post »

“Two Years for Escaping,” Toronto Globe. May 31, 1916. Page 16.

“Guelph, May 30. – (Special.) – Fred Carson and David Lee, whom Magistrate Watt last week committed for trial on a charge of escaping from the Ontario Reformatory, were brought before Judge Hates at the Court House this afternoon. They both pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to two years at Kingston Penitentiary.”

Read Full Post »

“A Convict Escapes,” Kingston Daily Standard. March 30, 1912. Pages 01 & 08.

“Joseph Chatrand Scaled Penitentiary Wall and Got Away Safe.


This is the Second Time the Man, Who Is Insane, Has Got Away from Prison – Search Parties After Him – Cleverly Planned.
Joseph Chartrand, an insane convict, made his second escape from Portsmouth Penitentiary some time between midnight and two o’clock this (Saturday) morning.

The convict sawed through bars, substituting black paper, and scaled prison walls with aid of a rope.

He escape the first time on May 6th, 1906, and was captured a month later.

A reward of $50 is offered for his capture.

He may have crossed over the ice.
Somewhere, perhaps within a short distance of Kingston, a maniac convict from Portsmouth Penitentiary roams at large.  he may have got away on a freight train or possibly crossed over on the ice into the United States.

This morning between midnight and two o’clock Joseph Chartrand, a lifer in the Penitentiary, made his escape from the building for insane convicts. The prisoner, who is a desperado, duplicated the performance he pulled off on May 6th, 1906.

When on that date, six years ago, the morning gong was rung to summons the men of stripes, ‘No. 934,’ otherwise known as Joseph Chartrand, was an ‘absentee.’

It was a revelation to the officials and inmates of the ‘Bastille,’ when it was found that one of the inmates had escaped, for there are few who are landed behind the walls of stone and bars of iron that get out till their time is finished or he is pardoned. It is an exceedingly rare occurrence when a convict takes ‘French leave.’ The convict in question is half French and half Indian.  His original home was Montreal and from there he drifted to Ottawa.  Afterwards he went up to the Soo. He found employment as a trapper and combined that life with that of a rough sailor.  in this place his untamed spirit found vent and got him into trouble.

Killed A Policeman.
One night in a fracas he resisted arrest and killed a policeman.  

For three days he was a fugitive and when found a portion of his body whas buried in slime in the woods.  he was still alive and was convicted and handed over to the tender mercies of the Dominion hangman Ratcliff. Then the mercy of the misguided public came into force and the plea of temporary insanity was sufficient to commute his sentence and he came down to the big Portsmouth institution.

On his way down he threatened the life of his penal conductor.  After being locked up he became offensive and violent. The prisoner is described as follows: He is 40 years old, height 5 feet, 9, rather sallow complexion, high cheek bone and large nose, thin body, grey eyes, brown hair, two scars below knee, berth mark on back of thigh and leg.

Cut Through Bars.
The [1906] escape was made by cutting the bars of his cell and window and scalling over the prison walls with the aid of sash cords taken from the window. Chartrand cunningly placed a dummy in his bed, made up of flower pots.  After a month and eight days’ liberty, Chartrand was captured in a very clever manner by a woman on a farm near Mallorytown.

Prison Bell Clanged.
The clang of the prison bell about two o’clock this morning alarmed the slumberers of the people of the peaceful village of Portsmouth.  To the guards living in the village and the city it was a summons to report at the big penal institution.  Before the last sound of the bell had died away, guards and keepers were making their way towards the big stone building on the hill, where it was found that Joseph Chartrand had once more taken French leave.  Just what direction the man took would be hard to determine.  The ice is still good between Kingston and the American shore.  Friday night the moon shone clear across the frozen surface and there would be little risk in a desperate convict attempting to duplicate the exploit of Blake Robson, Shott and Wright who crossed the ice on a bitter cold night to Cape Vincent.

Perhaps Boarded Freight.
Warden Platt was of the opinion that Chartrand took his direction towards Collins’ Bay and that he would try and board a freight train.  The grade near Dawson’s farm, west of Cataraqui, is a good place for anyone to get on heavy freight trains, and is frequently used by tramps and others who ride the bumbers. No doubt at this place the fugitive might try to board a Grand Trunk freight.

The Same Old Way.
The escape was effected in about the same manner as the way the man got out of the Penitentiary six years ago.  He cut out three bars in the cell door and one from the window.  The work must have taken him some time.  He replaced the bars with imitation ones made of black paper, and in this way deceived the guard.  In some manner the man secured a rope which was found hanging over the wall of the west side of the prison, by the night patrol before the man was missed from the cell.

Searching parties were despatched in all directions and the police at different places were notified by telephone.

Warden Platt has offered $50 for Chartrand’s recapture.

Where Is Chartrand?
Up to the time of going to press no trace has been found of Chartrand, although scores of guards and the police in neighbouring towns had been on the lookout for him.  At the penitentiary, the opinion seems current that the escape convict is hiding within a short distance of the institution.  To-night guards will patrol the Portsmouth shore in case Chartrand is on this side, and should attempt to escape across the ice.  It is possible that guards will search Snake Island this afternoon.  The authorities at Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent have been notified to be on the lookout for Chartrand.”

Read Full Post »

“Thought Prison Term Would Do Them Good,” Toronto Globe. February 7, 1919. Page 05.

To North Bay Man and Pal From Falls Are Given Three Years Each.

(Special Despatch to The Globe)
Niagara Falls, Ont., Feb. 6. – Morley Pearson of Niagara Falls and David Parker of North Bay were both sentenced to three years in Kingston Penitentiary to-day by Magistrate Fraser on pleading guilty to a series of housebreakings here in the past few weeks. They were arrested Wednesday night in the Grand Trunk yards at Merritton by a Grand Trunk detective. Pearson tried to pull a gun. He and Parker were with two others, but the latter escaped. Parker and Pearson escaped from the Provincial Prison Farm some week ago and evidently arranged a partnership in crime. In pleading guilty Parker said they had done wrong and were ready to receive punishment, and he thought a term in prison would do both of them good. Pearson was sent to the Prison Farm from this city several weeks ago for breaking into a store in company with three others.

Read Full Post »

“Quebec Radio Man Warned By Thugs,” Montreal Star. January 25, 1937. Page 01.

Danger Threats Made For Giving Information On Jail Break

QUEBEC, Jan. 25 – (C.P.)
Three telephone calls warning a radio announcer that he was in danger if he continued sending out reports of a jail-break were received by a local statoon today. The station is said to have broadcast last night reports of the escape of Monorat [sic] Bernard and Arthur Fontaine from Quebec jail.

Several persons were questioned at provincial police headquarters in the legislative buildings and officers searched the narrow avenues of Lower Quebec for the two men who fled last night after they had been permitted to leave their cells to confer with their lawyer. No arrests have been made.

While police guarded the railway stations and posted men on all highway outlets, officials of the Attorney-General’s Department announced that Leonce Charboneau, assistant jail governor, and Sergeant Alphonse Vezina had been suspended pending investigation into the escape of the two prisoners, armed with five revolvers and a supply of cartridges.

Bernard, 28, and Fontaine, 32, who had been awaiting trial for a series of robberies, were last seen leaving a taxi near the outskirts of the city. Police, however, said they believed the pair were still hiding in the city.

The prisoners escaped from jail visitors’ room where they had been escorted to talk with their lawyer, Paul Lescage. Jail officials said that Fontaine drew a revolver as soon as he got into the room, relieved the guard of the keys and fled with his companion after stealing four revolvers and ammunition from the office.

Read Full Post »

“2 Individus S’Evadent De La Prison De Québec,” La Patrie. January 25, 1937. Page 2.

QUEBEC, 25. (P.C.) – La police municipale et la police provincile de la capitale ont été mobilisées pour retrouver deux individus qui s’évadèrent, hier soir, de la prison de Québec, après avoir enfermé deux gardes de la prison et volé plusieurs revolvers et des cartouches dans les bureaux.

Les deux fugitifs sont Honorat Bernard, 28 ans, et Arthur Fontaine, 32 ans, arrétés le 16 octobre pour cambriolages et qui attendaient leur procès aux assises criminelles. Au moment de leur évasion, ils étaient au parloir à causer avec leur avocat, Me Paul Lesage, Fontaine se leva soudain et, tirant un revolver de sa poche, il tint en respect Me Lesage et le garde, pendant quue son compagnon volait des revolvers et des balles au bureau de la prison.

Après avoir enfermé les deux hommes, les deux individus sortirent de la prison, montèrent dans un taxi et se firent conduire à une maison de la rue Saint-Ollivier. Ils se rendirent ensuite à Limoilou, où la police a perdu leur trace. 

70 agents de la police provinciale et 40 agents municipaux sont à leur trousses.

Deux gardes ont été suspendus.

Read Full Post »

“Deux officiers de la prison sont suspendus,” Le Soleil. January 25, 1937. Pages 03 & 04.

Le sergent-major Carbonneau, assistant-gouverneur, et le sergent Alphonse Vézina, sont suspendus par le procureur général – Les raison.

Le sergent-major Léonce Carbonneau, assistant-gouverneur de la prison de Québec, et le sergent Alphonse Vézina ont été suspendus de leur fonctions dans le cours de la nuit, après une rapide enquête dirigée par le chef de la  sûreté, le lt-colonel Léon Lambert, qui a interrogé plusieurs témoins. D’après les renseignements obtenus par le ‘Soleil’ d’une personne très digne de foi, le sergent-major Carbonneau avait été averti à deux ou trois reprises que des amis des deux évadés, Honorat Bernard et Arthur Fontaine, préparaient l’évasion des prisonniers. Des témoins ont affirmé cette nuit aux policiers qu’ils étaient allés à la prison de Québec avertir les autorités de ce qui se tramait dans l’ombre. 

On prit alors note de leurs avertissements. Le sergent Alphonse Vézina a été suspendu pour avoir, dit-on, ignoré l’article qui défend au sergent qui a la garde des prisonniers d’entrer à l’intérieur des grilles de fer, avec la clef qui donne accès aux quartiers des détenus.

Si la clef avait été laissée aux soins d’un garde à l’extérieur, les deux prisonniers seraient encore à la prison et tout ce trouble aurait été évité. La supension des deux officiers de la prison a été annoncée par le lt-colonel Léon Lambert lui-même. Le chef de la sûreté  a déclaré: ‘Cette double suspension a été décrétée après une enquêre faite par le départment du procureur général’. Le lt-colonel Lambert n’a pas voulu faire d’autres déclarations, laissant au départment du procureur général le soin de renseigner le public.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »