Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Glen Stewart Godwin escaped from Folsom Prison in a way that seemed like it came right out of the movies. Clint Eastwood escaped from prison in the movie Escape from Alcatraz and Tim Robbins cleverly escaped from prison in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, but when Glen Stewart Godwin escaped, it made those escapes look pale in comparison.
Godwin was sent to Folsom prison after he attempted an escape from the Deuel Vocational Institution, a state prison in San Joaquin, California. Godwin was sentenced to 26 years to life for robing and murdering a local drug runner. He served just five months of his term before escaping from Folsom, a feat only a handful of people have accomplished in the prison's one hundred plus year history.
Like the prisoners in the movies I mentioned previously, Glen Stewart Godwin had some help with his escape. Authorities think the help came from a former cellmate. Godwin cut through a fence and dropped down a storm drain. In the storm drain were white smiley faces with arrows painted on the walls, showing Godwin the way to the river. He crawled a thousand feet through the storm drain and at the end of the drain, the bars were already cut at the end of the storm drain. Godwin crawled out to an inflatable raft that was waiting for him. He went down river a bit along the bank and then crossed the river, left the raft and went down a trail to a spot where his wife was waiting for him.
Godwin, who speaks Spanish fluently, made it to Mexico, but couldn't stay out of trouble there. He was arrested on drug charges and sent to a high security prison in Guadalajara and was waiting possible extradition back to the states. However, while in prison there, he killed an inmate that was part of a drug cartel, so that delayed his extradition. In fact, it delayed the extradition long enough for him to escape from this prison as well. It is assumed that he had some help from the drug cartel, as a reward for killing the inmate. Godwin is still at large today. Authorities believe he is either in Mexico or some other Spanish speaking country, but also say that he could be in the United States as well, and he was put on the F.B.I.'s Top Ten Most Wanted list in 1996.
On a personal note, I am surprised that they haven't made a movie about this guy. He escaped from two maximum security prisons and is still on the run today. That is just remarkable.