Houston, TX. – Prison breaks are not just the stuff Hollywood writes movies about.
While escaping the confines of a high-security facility is extremely difficult, it does happen.
In Texas, there have been quite a few notable escapes over the past few decades that have made big headlines.
The Texas Seven
On Dec. 13, 2000, seven convicts broke out of the Connally unit lock-up, a maximum high-security prison in South Texas, setting off a six-week all-out manhunt.
Soon after, they robbed a Radio Shack in Pearland, making off with cash and police scanners.
The escapees: George Rivas, Joseph Garcia, Randy Halprin, Larry Harper, Patrick Murphy, Donald Newbury, and Michael Rodriguez, had all been convicted for a rash of violent crimes including murder, rape, and robbery.
On Christmas Eve 2000, they killed a police officer while stealing cash and weapons from a sporting goods store in North Texas and then fled to Colorado where some were captured and others surrendered.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 48 inmates attempted to escape from Texas prisons between 2005 -2022, with 2007 having the highest number of five.
In 2011, 27-year-old David Puckett used a cell phone smuggled into prison to break out of a maximum-security unit near Beaumont. He was arrested in Nebraska with the woman who allegedly helped him escape.
One of the U.S. Marshal’s most wanted fugitives, Jose Bustos-Diaz was serving a 35-year sentence for murder when he escaped from the TDCJ Briscoe Unit in Dilley, Texas on April 6, 2010.
Prior to 2005, back in 1998, death row inmate Martin Gurule escaped from the Ellis Unit between Huntsville and Riverside, north of Houston. His body was found a week later, floating in a creek near the Trinity River.