How Richard Lee McNair Escaped Prison By Mailing Himself Out Of It
Richard Lee McNair is a convicted murderer who is notorious for his ability to escape from prison and elude capture. He has escaped from prison three times, using various creative methods, such as lip balm, ventilation ducts, and postal mailbags. His third and most daring escape in 2006 involved mailing himself out of a federal prison in Louisiana and convincing a police officer that he was not the fugitive but a jogger. This article will tell you the unbelievable story of Richard Lee McNair, the escape artist.
Who is Richard Lee McNair?
Richard Lee McNair was born in Oklahoma on December 19, 1958. He was the son of a reserve police officer and was described as keenly intelligent by his brother. He joined the US Air Force and was posted at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota .
In November 1987, while attempting to rob a grain elevator in Minot, McNair was surprised by two men and shot them both. One of them, Jerome Theis, died from his wounds, while the other one survived. McNair was arrested and sentenced to two life sentences for murder and attempted murder, and a 30-year sentence for burglary .
How did McNair escape from prison three times?
McNair’s first escape attempt occurred at the Minot municipal police station in February 1988, shortly after his arrest. He was handcuffed to a chair and left alone with three detectives. He used lip balm, which he had in his pocket, as a lubricant to squeeze his hands free from the handcuffs. He then ran out of the room and led the police on a chase through the town. He climbed up a three-story building and tried to jump to a tree branch, but the branch broke and he fell to the ground, injuring his back. He was quickly recaptured and sent to the North Dakota State Penitentiary .
McNair’s second escape attempt happened in October 1992, at the state penitentiary in Bismarck. Along with two other inmates, he crawled through a ventilation duct and escaped from the prison. He remained on the run for almost a year, traveling across several states and using fake identities. He was finally caught in July 1993 in Grand Island, Nebraska, after a routine traffic stop. He was then transferred to a maximum-security federal prison in Pollock, Louisiana .
McNair’s third and most famous escape attempt took place in April 2006, at the federal prison in Louisiana. His job at the prison was to repair torn mailbags that were sent to post offices for reuse. He devised a plan to hide himself inside a pallet of mailbags and mail himself out of the prison. He used a breathing tube made from plastic bags to survive inside the pallet. He also applied skin lotion all over his body to reduce his body heat and avoid detection by thermal sensors. He managed to get past several security checkpoints and was loaded onto a truck that drove him out of the prison .
How did McNair evade capture for over a year?
After escaping from the prison truck, McNair ran into a nearby forest and changed his clothes. He then hitchhiked to Ball, Louisiana, where he encountered a police officer who stopped him for questioning. The officer had received an alert about McNair’s escape and had seen his mugshot on his laptop. However, McNair managed to convince the officer that he was not the fugitive but a jogger who worked at a nearby hotel. He even gave the officer his real name and date of birth, but the officer did not check them on his computer. The officer let McNair go after a friendly chat that lasted for about 10 minutes. The encounter was captured on the officer’s dashboard camera and later became viral on the internet.
McNair then traveled across several states by train, car, and bicycle. He also crossed into Canada twice by using fake IDs and passports. He visited British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. He lived as a fugitive for over a year, staying at hotels, motels, campgrounds, cabins, cottages, farms, ranches, boats, trailers, RVs
and other places. He also enjoyed various outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, and kayaking. He often took photos and videos of himself and his surroundings, which he later sent to a Canadian journalist named Byron Christopher, who had contacted him via email. McNair and Christopher exchanged hundreds of letters and phone calls, in which McNair shared his thoughts, feelings, experiences, and opinions on various topics. McNair also sent Christopher some of his personal belongings, such as his driver’s license, passport, and credit cards .
McNair managed to remain free for a year and a half. He was caught 100 miles north of the border in Campbellton, New Brunswick driving a stolen truck on October 24, 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In what must have been no surprise, McNair tried to make a run for it once more, but a policeman tackled him to the ground.
McNair was extradited back to the United States and sent to a supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, where he is currently serving his life sentences in solitary confinement. He is not allowed to have any contact with the outside world, except for his lawyer and his brother. He is also not allowed to have any books, magazines, newspapers, or writing materials. He spends 23 hours a day in his cell, which measures 7 by 12 feet and has no windows. He is only allowed to exercise for one hour a day in a small cage. He is considered one of the most dangerous and escape-prone inmates in the country .
Why did McNair escape from prison three times?
McNair has given different reasons for his escapes over the years. In some of his letters and interviews, he said that he escaped because he wanted to prove that he was smarter than the system and that he enjoyed the challenge and the thrill of being on the run. He also said that he escaped because he wanted to see the world and experience different cultures and lifestyles. He claimed that he was not a violent or evil person, but rather a curious and adventurous one. He said that he never hurt anyone during his escapes or while he was a fugitive, and that he only stole what he needed to survive. He also said that he regretted killing Jerome Theis in 1987 and that he wished he could go back in time and change what happened
In other letters and interviews, however, McNair said that he escaped because he was innocent of the murder charge and that he was framed by the police and the prosecutors. He said that he was not at the scene of the crime and that he had an alibi that was ignored by the court. He also said that the evidence against him was fabricated or tampered with, and that the witnesses were coerced or bribed to testify against him. He said that he tried to appeal his conviction several times but was denied by the corrupt judicial system. He said that he escaped because he wanted to clear his name and expose the truth. He also said that he hoped to find new evidence or witnesses that could prove his innocence .
What are some of the lessons learned from McNair’s escapes?
McNair’s escapes have exposed some of the flaws and weaknesses of the prison system and the law enforcement agencies in both the United States and Canada. Some of the lessons learned from his escapes are:
- Prison security should be improved and updated regularly to prevent inmates from exploiting loopholes or vulnerabilities.
- Prison staff should be trained and supervised properly to prevent negligence or corruption.
- Prison inmates should be monitored and searched thoroughly to prevent them from acquiring or hiding contraband items or tools.
- Prison records should be accurate and complete to prevent inmates from using false or stolen identities.
- Law enforcement officers should be alert and vigilant when dealing with suspects or fugitives.
- Law enforcement officers should verify and cross-check information before releasing or dismissing suspects or fugitives.
- Law enforcement officers should use available technology and resources to identify and track suspects or fugitives.
- Law enforcement agencies should cooperate and communicate effectively with each other across jurisdictions and borders.
Richard Lee McNair is one of the most notorious prison escapees in history. He has escaped from prison three times using various creative methods, such as lip balm, ventilation ducts, and postal mailbags. He has eluded capture for long periods of time by traveling across different states and countries using fake IDs and passports. He has also befriended a Canadian journalist who has documented his life as a fugitive through letters, phone calls, photos, videos, and personal items.
McNair’s escapes have challenged the prison system and the law enforcement agencies in both the United States and Canada. He has also fascinated and intrigued the public with his intelligence, charisma, and audacity. He has claimed to be either guilty or innocent of the murder charge that landed him in prison, depending on his mood or motive. He has expressed regret and remorse for his actions, but also pride and satisfaction for his achievements.
McNair is currently serving his life sentences in a supermax prison in Colorado, where he has no chance of escaping or communicating with the outside world. He is considered one of the most dangerous and escape-prone inmates in the country. He is also one of the most captivating and controversial figures in the history of crime and justice.
Q: How did McNair get lip balm in his pocket while he was handcuffed to a chair?
A: According to McNair, he had lip balm in his pocket because he had dry lips from the cold weather in North Dakota. He said that he was able to slip his hand into his pocket while the detectives were not looking.
Q: How did McNair get fake IDs and passports while he was a fugitive?
A: According to McNair, he got fake IDs and passports from various sources, such as online vendors, street dealers, or identity thieves. He said that he paid for them with cash or stolen credit cards. He also said that he used different names, dates of birth, and photos for each ID or passport.
Q: How did McNair contact Byron Christopher, the Canadian journalist who documented his life as a fugitive?
A: According to Christopher, he contacted McNair by sending him an email to an address that McNair had used to post a comment on a website about prison escapes. He said that McNair replied to his email and agreed to communicate with him on the condition that he would not reveal his location or identity to anyone. Christopher said that he respected McNair’s request and kept their correspondence confidential until McNair was captured.