Escape Artistry


The current New Yorker has a great article about murderer Richard McNair, who is the only person to escape from a maximum-security federal prison in the last 13 years and, apparently, a bit of an evil genius. You can't read the article online (the New Yorker only publishes a few of its articles on the web every week), but you can see a remarkable video in which he outsmarts a cop who's on patrol looking for him. The mag describes the video, which was taken by a camera on the cop's dashboard, thusly:

"Within two hours of receiving instructions to be on the lookout for a freshly escaped prisoner, the cop spotted a man jogging along a railroad track who turned out to be carrying no identification and who roughly matched a description of the fugitive. Yet, somehow, the men's conversation ended the jogger saying, 'You had a good day, now,' and the cop replying, 'Be careful, buddy,' and sending him on his way. Only by wrestling the officer to the ground and seizing his weapon could McNair have demonstrated more literally what it means to be disarming."

Lights, camera, action:

The article notes that the blunder was actually very fortunate: McNair might well have killed the cop had he been cornered. No one knows where he is now, but if you live in Western Canada (where he was last spotted) and you see a guy who looks like this, don't assume he's your "buddy."