In a story that sounds eerily similar to the plot of a movie (oh wait…), a former inmate has finally been captured after escaping from prison over 50 years ago. Frank Freshwaters had been on the run for 56 years when a group of U.S. marshals stalked out his mobile home in a Florida trailer park. It looked like the former Shawshank prisoner’s luck had finally run out as he heads back to prison to finish up his sentence.
Though the escape was not technically from the Shawshank prison that the 1994 Frank Darabont film starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman takes place, it is the story itself that could make Freshwaters yet another Hollywood classic. And the fact that Freshwaters did spend an abundance of time at the Shawshank prison definitely doesn’t hurt.
According to AP Press, Freshwater’s story all begins as a young 20-year-old kid who made a deadly mistake. As he was speeding through the streets of Ohio, he hit and killed a pedestrian and was sentenced to prison for up to 20 years. Luckily for him, the sentence was suspended, but Freshwaters was not too smart with his choices and ended up behind the wheel once again, violating his probation and was locked up in the Ohio State Reformatory in February 1959. When Ohio State Reformatory was closed in 1990 it was used as a set for the film, The Shawshank Redemption.
Freshwater was soon transferred to a nearby “honor camp”, which is where he made his quick disappearance. He was not incredibly sneaky about it though, later being arrested in West Virginia for allegedly threatening his ex-wife. Freshwater obtained identification and a new social security card with the name William Harold Cox when he moved to West Virginia. But the governor of West Virginia refused to extradite him to Ohio, and he was soon freed from jail and disappeared again, catching yet another break. Freshwater, still collecting Social Security under the name William Harold Cox, made his way down to Florida and now the 79-year-old man finally met his match.
His file was opened back in Ohio and soon later, after a cursory search of public records, it wasn’t hard to find the criminal. Marshals and deputies staked out the trailer park, which was surrounded by trees, and even concocted a plan to collect his fingerprints. They went undercover, got the prints, made a match, and voila! After 56 years, Freshwater was taken into custody again. This time, a senior citizen, facing time until he is as old as 97. That is unless he escapes... again.
Maybe this time around if Freshwater makes a move to get out of town, he will follow the moves of Shawshank Redemption’s Andy Dufresne and head across the border.