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Topic: My Jail Break
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 10, 2005 01:39AM)
When I was in my early 20's and new to escapes, I had a burning in my gut so bad for the art, I ate, slept, drank and breathed escapes. I wanted to be an Escape Artist so badly I defied every bit of advice my family gave me about leaving radio to take to the road with my act. But, before I did leave for the road, I knew I needed to do something big, something great, something that would get me press and lots of it.

~Jail break~ I saw it as plain as day. I hit my local Locksmith shop and asked about jail locks and whats involved to pick them. Well, when I asked the 2 Locksmiths behind the counter, they looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

"Forget it, no way, you'll lose the battle, besides I can't tell you that, Rick" was his answer. All they told me is that they work the same as a regular locks, just on a larger scale.

"Great, just frigg'in great" I thought, what now ? About 2 days later a flash hit me. I was doing a show in Cheapeau, Quebec a few weeks before and I was introduced to this old fellow who was once an Escape Artist back in the 30's named "Stupefier Andre" which means Amazing Andre in english.

His claim to fame was escaping while chained to the back of a black bear and actually traveled with his own bear ! I called my pal in Chapeau and asked more questions, I got the fellows name and number and I called.

Luck was with me, he said he enjoyed my show and was very willing to help me out, (thank god). I asked if he had done jail breaks and "oui" was his answer, to make a long story short, this fellow had been all over the world with his act and had done jail breaks all over Europe, but when he met his wife, she said no more escapes and he retired.

I asked what I need to know and this fellow gave me incredible insight into the jail break and told me of a speed method. I spoke to him for over an hour, after which I called my friend back and made sure that a bottle of rye whiskey found it's way to the Amazing Andre as a thank you from me.

Okay, I did what I had to do, over and over and over and over. I was even told to do it blindfolded...and I did. September 1980, I approached the chief of police in my hometown and actually got in to see him. "So you think you can beat the o'l jail cell, eh" ? asked the Chief, "well, sir, I'd like to try" was my answer.

The Chief took me downstaris to see the cells, "may I see the inside, please"? I asked......then he said something that I almost threw my arms around him for saying, "I have to go upstairs and get the keys".....Y*E*S* !!!!.....

When the Chief was gone, I took out a piece of thin sheet metal blacked with stove black, inserted it into the keyway and did my thing, very, very carefuly took it out and wraped it up. Next I took out 2 small bundles of piano wire, shim steel and 3 handcuff keys, buried in a lump of play dough (sorry that's all I can say at this point) and hid it.

For obvious reasons, I can't tell you the procedure of my practice or the method of picking I used, sorry folks ! The rest of the story...well, I released myself from the cuffs, leg irons and opened the jail cell door in 8 minutes and 44 seconds, some kind of a record I think.

Why did I do it, the jail break I mean ?...Because I wanted to.

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Jan 10, 2005 02:44AM)
Rick! We must talk!!! Gonna PM you a bit later.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 10, 2005 07:26AM)
Interesting Very Interesting. Nice Story

Rick How Flat was the Blackened Piece of Metal after you pulled it out.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 10, 2005 10:03AM)
Don, I can't really say any more than what I have about that sort of thing. Sorry o'l chap !

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 10, 2005 10:17AM)
Rick Don't Worry about it. it's ok :)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 10, 2005 12:51PM)
Having tried to gain impressions in various ways ie balsa,aluminium and chalk covered plastic sheet I must take my hat off to you cos you achieved that which I thought was impossible.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 10, 2005 05:01PM)
Hi Kondini, well it's not really impossible if it's done the proper way. The method the old fellow gave to me was very unique according to a few Locksmiths I've shared it with.

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Daniel Santos (Jan 11, 2005 04:03PM)
You tell, like, THE coolest stories ;).
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 11, 2005 04:06PM)
These Stories are Very Amusing.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 11, 2005 04:14PM)
Its exactly that, a fish story. The odds are pretty low of making a key that works like described. Go to the lockpicking101 board and sign into the advance area after you get 50 posts, they will tell you its not very likely as well.


Don't take my word fo it, go talk to the pros.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 11, 2005 04:32PM)
Well there you go, it beats me, but then I am not the greatest,,,,but I do try hard.
Still not being a Locksmith maybe my view was clouded !!
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 11, 2005 04:37PM)
Also go there if you just want general info. Like I said before about half of those folks can work with things they find in the garbage can. Simply amazing.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 04:42PM)
Thanks for your comments, folks, I appreciate them all. I forgot to mention, I have headline clippings and a letter form the chief of police on this escape...it was a lot of fun to do.

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 11, 2005 05:05PM)
Rick will you Ever Be Attempting another Jail Escape Again. I'll love to see it.
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Jan 11, 2005 05:17PM)
Locksmithing101? Hey Mike, do you have a link?
Tony
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 11, 2005 05:27PM)
Sorry Tony I was confusing work and play on that one. Its http://www.lockpicking101.com/
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 05:39PM)
Hi Don, No sir, no more jail breaks for me. I love escapes and because of what I have read here at the Café and because of the support I have recieved from a lot of EA's here I will be adding an escape to my regular show (the salem manacles). By trade I am a stage hypnotist and have been for the past 22 years. So, no...no more jail breaks for me...thanks for asking
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jan 11, 2005 05:58PM)
A thin piece of flat sheet metal would not go into the lock without bends in it to duplicate keyway ridges. While certainly these types of locks can be impressioned, it is not as simple as blackening a bit of metal, putting it in and turning on a single occasion. Such a task would take a knowledgable locksmith a good deal of time with the lock itself to accomplish it.



Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (Jan 11, 2005 05:59PM)
Thanks for the link Mike....nice looking site.
Tony
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 06:09PM)
Nobody will ever know why I inserted a piece of tin plate with stoveblack on it. If you want to think it was for an impression, then that's ok. But only I will ever know what I did. I know something about a jail lock that most E.A.'s don't, it's no big deal, we all have our trade secrets. The bottom line is...it worked.

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 11, 2005 06:33PM)
Nice site. Making tubular picksets out of garbage is a bit more labor intensive than I care to go. Its interesting to see how far some of these folks go with it though. Its almost like a game for some of them to see how far they can go with trash. No really, real trash from the garbage can.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 06:39PM)
I know lots of good stuff and maybe someday I will share it with an "up and coming".

Until then, I choose to keep it to myself. Remember, there will always be lesser and greater people than yourself, and one of those greater people will always know a little more than you or me or the next E.A.

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 11, 2005 06:47PM)
Perhaps you could replicate it, for the folks that want to see? I mean its not like anyones going to publish it or somthing, we just want to see it happen.

You could shoot a vid. Sell it even.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 07:05PM)
Naaaaa, that was almost 25 years ago. I did the jail break then to get some press to help launch my escape act on the road. I have absolutely no interest in doing that. And to be honest with you, I probably couldn't do it now, I am so out of practice, I'm amazed I even open my own front door with the key !!!

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jan 11, 2005 09:25PM)
Dear Rick, I have read and re read your message and I think I can see how it works. I am not too sure what type of locks they have or you encountered on that cell escape but if they are the same type or simple to the ones that were used here in Australia, I think I know what you have done. I will PM you my idea and we can swap notes if that is okay with you.

Ian McColl
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 11, 2005 09:31PM)
Ian...absolutely, I'd love to talk to a real pro at the biz like you...it would be my pleasure. Aside from that, so many people have asked to know more about my method for the cocoon escape, I wrote it out on a notepad and will send it to anyone who posts here on a regular basis...

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 11, 2005 09:38PM)
Hey do I qualify to posting on a regular basis.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Jan 12, 2005 02:11AM)
I have not recieved mine yet Rick.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 12, 2005 04:03AM)
Wolfie...I promise I'll send it today...

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Jan 12, 2005 05:27AM)
No PRoblem. I am a patient man. I don't mind waiting.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 12, 2005 06:16AM)
Wolfie must be a Dr if he has patients.
Message: Posted by: bnadworn (Jan 12, 2005 09:26PM)
I may not be a physicist but I know what matters.

Rick,
I have enjoyed reading your posts about your stories. They are great (and well written).

A while ago (alright 25 years or so) while I was in college, I was walking through the college union and noticed 2 guys playing with handcuffs. I walked up to them and asked them about it and if I could see them. They quickly cuffed me and laughed hysterically. I did a 360 turn and handed the cuffs back to them saying that they looked very interesting and thanks for sharing. Their jaws hit the floor. I then pointed to a poster on the wall for a Magician that was performing there that weekend and said: yup, that was me! Good publicity. I didn't do any escapes during that show though.

- Brian Nadworny
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Jan 12, 2005 11:15PM)
Hi Brian, nice to meet you and thanks for your kind words. Isn't it beautiful when you can turn the table on a wise guy when he thinks he has you ?? That was a great bit you shared with me and the others, thanks...you da man !!

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Jan 13, 2005 02:55AM)
Nice one Brian. I would have liked to have seen their faces.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 13, 2005 04:06AM)
Brian sounds like that was a Kodak Moment
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jan 13, 2005 08:29AM)
I did that bit in a surplus store once as a teen. The clerk was floored.

Steve
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 13, 2005 10:00AM)
LOL I wonder if the Police will mind if someone did it to them :)
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jan 13, 2005 01:29PM)
If they are in the process of arresting you...yes (can you say nightstick to the head?)

Steve
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 13, 2005 01:38PM)
Yes I can but then that would be Police Brutality. which is a Shame some Cops resort to.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jan 13, 2005 01:50PM)
Isn't it though?
How's your skull fracture doing? :)
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jan 13, 2005 01:52PM)
Oh quite well. :) I've never been arrested yet but I do know people in certain places.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Feb 2, 2005 10:33AM)
Does anyone know how to contact KingStarDog from these forums?
I've lost his email address.

Thanks,
Frank
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Feb 3, 2005 02:54AM)
Frank I'm sure someone on this Board has His E-mail Address.
Message: Posted by: MattTheKnife (Feb 7, 2005 11:55PM)
I actually got out of a ticket like that one. Quite a few years ago a buddy of mine and I were driving back to my place with a bunch of gear in the back seat. Anyway, we're pulled over and the cop asks about it. I explain what I do and he says, "can you get out of my cuffs?" And I respond with, "As long as you don't give me a ticket I will." He says that if I can do it then he will. He didn't even bother to double lock them. Long story short... one amazed cop and me with no ticket.

-Matt (TK)
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Feb 8, 2005 12:46AM)
Oh, what a pleasure! I am going to try that one Matt.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Feb 8, 2005 03:04AM)
Wolfie let me know when you find one. maybe I can Cop a Dealto get out of being arrested to.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Feb 8, 2005 07:16AM)
I have been asked by MANY cops over the years if I can beat their own service cuffs. I ALWAYS say "No". Same answer to locksmiths, or anyone else who dares to ask. My skills -- which are so easy to misunderstand and misinterpret even on good days -- are not for public consumption.

I mean, would you say to a tax officer that you knowingly dodge paying taxes?

Some things are just better left unsaid.

Just some free advice, and worth every penny.
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Feb 8, 2005 07:44AM)
Hi Chance

While I understand what you are saying. at least to a point. I must disagree with your analogy somewhat. Unlike tax evasion, opening handcuffs is not by itself illegal, immoral, corrupt, nor in any way wrong, it is not a criminal act, and it should not attract investigation. These are the reason you would not mention tax doging to a tax inspector. None of them apply to the simple act of opening, or otherwise escaping from handcuffs. By the same logic you may as well say that admitting to being able to drive a car is the same as admitting that you steal cars!
Message: Posted by: MattTheKnife (Feb 8, 2005 09:46AM)
Chance,
I've got to agree with David on this one.
I've done a lot of work with police officers over the years and I've found that they aren't offended, just impressed. Mind you I don't run up to them and start saying how I can get out of their cuffs or anything like that. But if they ask and I'm so inclined then I don't have an issue with it and neither do they (at least they haven’t with me so far).
Actually I've worked many of my escapes out so that police would be there in order to supply the restraints as well as put me in to them. I appreciate their help and always assure them that it's not a competition between myself and them but rather between myself and the equipment. The simple trick here is to just never make them look foolish.

-Matt (TK)
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Feb 8, 2005 01:08PM)
Some cops are good and some are rotten apples.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Feb 9, 2005 12:18AM)
I have also helped the Police with giving a few tips and hints to look out for with criminals too, so they get a lot of help too.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Feb 9, 2005 01:40AM)
Once upon a time, I was entertaining the State convention for the Order of Amaranth, a Masonic women's organization. Back then, I used to do the Thumbcuffs as a gag, vanishing them at the end. That evening, I had a gentleman up assisting me and, on a really odd move, I also picked his pocket.

When the cuffs vanished, he got a really stern expression on his face and, as I handed him his wallet, it fell open to reveal a Chicago Police Detective Lieutennant's badge! He was royally ticked off at me and, as the audience was laughing, I asked if he had ever used such cuffs and he said that he did when working is disguise, so, in all seriousness, I told his to see me after the show and I would show him what had happened and how to keep it from happening to him in the field. He visibly warmed to that as I also added to the crowd - "this man puts his life on the line every day he goes to work. If I can show him how to stay safer, I consider it my civic duty." And this was before 9/11 by several years.

The audience gave the idea a standing ovation and the cop was well pleased.

Odd thing is that he didn't look me up after the show... so I had no problem tipping the work to a non-magician. But, in that case, I probably would have. I would hate to think that, by not doing so, I could have gotten someone killed.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: RickSilmser (Feb 9, 2005 02:08AM)
Well done, Lee...well done. I really enjoyed that .

~Rick~
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Feb 9, 2005 03:05AM)
That is the reason I help the Police out here. Crime is VERY High here in South Africa so I make it my cival duty to help the police make our streets safer.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Feb 9, 2005 07:08PM)
You didn't know the guy was on the Police force. I even know of a Magician that had a police officer up on stage trying to shoot something. and darned if he could hit anything. some of the people in the audience knew that he was on the police force to.
Message: Posted by: Houdini man (Jun 17, 2005 08:57PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-12 22:36, bnadworn wrote:
Rick,
I have enjoyed reading your posts about your stories. They are great (and well written).

A while ago (alright 25 years or so) while I was in college, I was walking through the college union and noticed 2 guys playing with handcuffs. I walked up to them and asked them about it and if I could see them. They quickly cuffed me and laughed hysterically. I did a 360 turn and handed the cuffs back to them saying that they looked very interesting and thanks for sharing. Their jaws hit the floor. I then pointed to a poster on the wall for a Magician that was performing there that weekend and said: yup, that was me! Good publicity. I didn't do any escapes during that show though.

- Brian Nadworny

[/quote]

Those are the stories I love to read!!!


Perry
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Michael (Jun 19, 2005 06:07AM)
I had a run in with a bunch of cops once. I went into the local police supply store to buy some flex-cuffs and a pair of thumb cuffs. The whole place was crawlling with off duty cops and some of them wanted to know what I wanted with thumb cuffs and such. One thing led to another and I ended up in the thumbcuffs. I had on one of those hooded sweatshirts with the large pocket in front that you can put both of your hands in. I ran one hand in all the way through and out the other side and had this cop lock them on me. I ran my hands back inside the big pocket and did an "in again-out again routine" for these guys. They couldn't believe their eyes! After I was finished, one of the guys, an older gentleman with a military style flat top hair cut, wanted to see the cuffs. He looked them over, then he clicked one of the bows back through (into the open position). Then, he got real serious....he looked me right in the eye and asked, "Do you what we do with guys like you?" I answered in a semi-nervous voice, "No...." He said that he had something that smart alacs like me couldn't get out of. Foolishly, I asked what that thing was.....and then he showed me! He took that little hook shaped thumbcuff bow and hooked me inside one side of my nose! He lifted me up onto my tippy toes and said, "Well son, can you get out of this?" Before I could answer, he laughed and let me down. We all had a good laugh and shared some handcuff stories. By the time I had left, it was obvious that, even though I got out of a legitimite police restraint, at a police supply shop, that a vetern cop put me in, I had won all of their respect. I walked away with some free flex cuffs that day and I returned there many times after that to do close-up magic on the counter when business was slow, and I even did a full magic show for them once. I got a few freebies that day too! It was good to share this old war story with you all. Take care, Mike