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Topic: Chain handcuff escape
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Dec 22, 2004 12:16AM)
Many years ago ... I purchased chain handcuffs, where steel chains are linked to a steel connecting rod (oval shaped) and you are chained in with two padlocks.

I want to add this escape to my street act, and have been examining them and working out a routine. I have noticed that the left hand can't reach the right lock and visa-versa, which I figure is a good explanation for the steel connecting rod - so that I can't so much as touch the locks.

I was wondering if anyone can provide more subtleties to heighten this escape? Anything in general about the "history" of these cuffs, and why they would be "harder" to escape from regulation cuffs used today?

Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 22, 2004 12:41AM)
Tell your spectators that normal handcuffs have a rigid shape and if someone has the right shaped hand or missing fingers etc. they can still slipp them off, whereas these ones tighten around the actual wrist and take on the form of the arm and are therefore more difficult to escape from.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 22, 2004 01:11AM)
I don't know if this is true, or just made up patter, but the last time I saw that escape done, the magician said the cuffs were invented to prevent the criminally insane from trying to strangle anybody. True or not it was good patter.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 22, 2004 01:46AM)
That is good patter.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 22, 2004 02:53AM)
Can't one strangle someone with the Bar. I agree it does sound like Patter to me to.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Dec 22, 2004 05:41AM)
Problem is, those things really don't fool many people.

A siberian chain can easily be done as an in again out again, with a jacket or small cloth over the hands.

I demo'd it that way for years at the magic shop and sold a bunch because of it.

I'd play with things that are less obvious to the audience.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 22, 2004 07:24AM)
I have a similar type of design to the Syberian, but works differently and is way more believable and can be made from a simply choker chain.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Dec 22, 2004 07:55AM)
On 2004-12-22 08:24, Wolflock wrote:
I have a similar type of design to the Syberian, but works differently and is way more believable and can be made from a simply choker chain.

Not sure I understand you.

If you are saying the siberian chain is not believable I can only say that has never been my experience. In all the years demo'ing it at the magic shop it was a sale every time. People don't buy what doesn't fool them.

It has been in my Cub Scout escape show for years, and they WILL tell you if you don't fool them.

If it isn't working for someone, there is a flaw in the presentation, not the prop.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Dec 22, 2004 10:58AM)
I think he was saying the chain handcuffs don't fool ... I would have to disagree - I doubt very many people "know" the secret to them, as they have no real purpose in real life. Thus, to fool someone it is a matter of coming up with the subtlities and patter the key points not in an effort to entertain them to the point they don't care how I escaped so they don't think about it.

I do think dropping the steel bar on the sidewalk will make a nice clang and I have been working on some great lead-in to the effect.

I intend to point out that these handcuffs were used in history - thus the audience will assume they are "real", just no longer used in favor of cheaper smaller versions.

I'm going to have the bar and chains examined by a spectator ... another spectator will examine the locks, and each will lock a wrist pointing out that today's handcuffs are ridgid in shape and someone with the right wrist could slip out - but these chains will form around my wrist so make sure they are tight! (Thanks Wolflock)

Then, the purpose of the streel connecting rod is to prevent the left hand from reaching the right lock ... and visa versa. I am practicing reaching for the locks with the other hand with a visual deceptive move.

I can then point out that they are still used today, but only for the worst of the criminally insane, often in combination with waist and ankle restraints (and hope my audience doesn't expect these as well). "You may have seen Scott Peterson being transfered to jail sporting a set of these and an orange jumpsuit".

I am not sure what way to go with the actual escape ... have my hands covered in front of me and remove the right arm with a watch for a timer, and some other siberian chain like byplay ... or, have the cuffs locked behind me letting the audience see them until someone says "go" at which point I immedidatly turn around and escape letting them fall behind my back. Any thoughts on what would work best there? I'll probroly experiement with both and see which one plays best.

Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 22, 2004 11:41AM)
Abbot's e-s-c-a-p-e-s has the correct routine. Although it is out of date material it can be picked up for a couple of dollars just to get the routine. Most recommend EOE by mickey hades.

To get the right reaction out of them you will need to lock up a spec first to prove there is no way out and then end with the two assisting specs locked together. I have seen this done to mostly music and facial expression with only a few words spoken and it still killed. They play well on the street and keep you from being too locked up to protect the green.

The EARL has a very nice Bar cuff without the metal ring that can use the same exact routine.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 22, 2004 12:32PM)
JoeJoe try both ways and see what gets the best reaction.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 01:42AM)
I agree with some of you on the chain cuffs, they scream "magic show"... Why use chain cuffs when there are so many others to be used. when I was busking, I used a pair of S&W cuffs (police model) with the teeth filed down,they were very examinable. I said to the audience..."all I ask is to have this small piece of steel wire in my hand" (a shim). The audience will either think..."trick cuff" or "he'll pick it" so why not let them know you can pick it, and tell them you will be and show off a bit, that's why your there...right ?

It's really funny, get the person to cuff you first behind your back, have some rope or chain attached to the middle of the cuffs and as they tie you up, free one hand and say..."ummmm, hey John...you for got to cuff my right hand"...the audience roared when I did that. When he goes back to finish the tie job, free the other hand and say..."ummmm, John"? When he looks up, don't say a word, just show him the other free hand. The audience loves the humor and you have just proven yourself as a master cuff picker.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 23, 2004 01:56AM)
I like that idea Rick.

Yes I meant it looks a bit more realistic that the chain cuffs. Plus you don't need to do it under a sil or shirt or anything like was explained a few posts up.
I think I just did not explain myself very well. Sorry guys. Have not gotten much sleep and wont be for the next two weeks. On the road for a while.

Merry Christmas to you all.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 23, 2004 03:10AM)
Wolfie Merry Christmas to you to.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 04:41AM)
You know what, Wolflock...Mrs. Dunninger once told me that her husband found more pleasure in pulling stuff off right under the persons nose than in anything else he did. Dunninger (as was Houdini) was a master at this...they won't look for it or even see it, if it's done out in the open, under their nose.

Holly cow...after I steal a billet, I openly, in front of everyone, take it out of my pocket, open it and attach it to my clipboard and walk away. In 22 years of doing a billet act, nobody but nobody has ever questioned it or even asked what is was that I pulled out of my pocket.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 23, 2004 05:01AM)
LOL. Too True. I have a friend that owns a sweet shop and while I talk to him I casually take bottles of sweets, his pens and other stationary and put them into my pockets, etc. then I wave goodbye and tell him I will come again soon etc. Just before I exit the door I turn around and ask him if he wants his stuff back. I will not place down what he normally says at that moment as little ones might be reading.

WOW. You spoke to Joseph Dunninger's Wife. Did you get to speak to him? I would have given anything to meet him. Love his work.

Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Dec 23, 2004 05:56AM)
Wolflock, you are too funny...OMG, that is so smooth, in non-stage life, I would'nt have the nerve to do that. Yes, I was at the Dunninger home several times. Mrs. Dunninger was a good friend to me. Dunninger died in 1975, I met Mrs. "D" as I called her, in 1983. She was very kind to me, letting me go over Dunninger's notes, etc. She answered all of my questions and told me things that the books won't tell you. Dunninger was a genius and that is the brass wire, my friend.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 23, 2004 08:24AM)
I am not worthy. I probably would have given my left kanobi to be able to have even glanced at Mr. Dunninger's notes. I am so jealous. I am happy for you that you had that honour.

Oh, I still go the whole sweet thing every now and again. The trick is just to keep talking and keep the other person talking. You can do anything. In a coffee shop I will end up with my friends access cards to their work, Bank cards from their wallets, photos, cellphones, everything that I can. Thank heavens I am an ethical guy and not a thief though. When I start pulling all their things out, everyone has a good laugh.

Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 23, 2004 09:31AM)
Maybe we should call Wolfie Sticky Fingers from now on ?