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June 10, 2008

MLK's Killer James Earl Ray Escapes from Prison this Day

On June 10 1977, James Earl Ray, the confessed killer of Martin Luther King, Jr, was the first inmate to ever escape from the maximum security Brushy Mountain State Prison in Petros, TN.  He was recaptured 3 days later. Link

Using a primitive ladder made from plumbing materials, the seven inmates began scaling the 14-foot wall. When guards realized the fight was a distraction, they immediately sounded the escape alarm.

Ironically, the alarm aided the prisoners’ getaway. The high volume of calls from curious neighbors flooded and crashed the phone system.

Guards managed to shoot the last of the seven escapees. Wounded and lying just beyond the prison walls, the would-be escapee reportedly exclaimed, “Ray got away! 


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