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TheDailyBeast: The Greatest Prison Escapes

Imrali Island, Turkey (1975)

In an escape he later claimed differed greatly from the version in the movie Midnight Express, young American Billy Hayes escaped a prison in Turkey to which he had been sentenced to 30 years. Arrested in Istanbul in 1970 for attempting to smuggle two kilograms of hashish out of the country, Hayes was sentenced to five years in prison. Weeks away from his release, the American student was horrified to learn his sentence had been extended to 30 years. Determined to flee the harsh conditions of Imrali Island, Hayes hid in a concrete bin for several days before hijacking a small fishing boat at the local harbor and escaping to Greece. He eventually made it back to the U.S., where he wrote an autobiography about his journey.

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