Jailbreak: How Australia's Most Brazen Crims Find A Way Out

From a dramatic escape involving a helicopter to a simple walk with a dog -- Aussie prisoners continue to escape from jail.

Prisons are designed to be the most difficult places to escape from. Yet, despite increasingly sophisticated security measures, prison breaks continue to make headlines around the country.

The jailbreak process varies -- some routes are audacious and brazen while other plans are pretty simple.

However life as a fugitive isn't easy and for most escapees, their days on the outside are dangerous and numbered.

Here are some of the most bizarre and bold attempts at freedom.


In early 1993 Peter Gibb and Archie Butterley blasted their way out of the Melbourne Remand Centre with the help of prison guard Heather Parker.

Parker was in an intimate relationship with Gibb.

Parker is captured near after assisting  Gibb (right) and Butterly escape.

Gibb, who'd been jailed for robbery and escaped with fellow prisoner Butterly  after they blew a hole in the prison with a home-made bomb (sourced by Parker who was a guard at the correctional centre).

A car loaded with weapons was waiting for them outside, thanks again to Parker.

Gibb and Parker were arrested in a shootout a week after the escape and Butterly was shot dead.

The dramatic prison escape was the subject of a 1997 film One Way Ticket. 


John Killick and his girlfriend planned one of Australia's most daring prison break-outs.

Killick’s girlfriend, Lucy Dudko, booked a helicopter ride and forced the terrified driver at gunpoint to land in the prison exercise yard.

Killick pulled off at brazen prison escape when his lover hijacked a helicopter to get him out of jail.

Dudko had watched Charles Bronson's movie Breakout in the days leading up to the infamous escape.

The bank robber leapt on board, and despite prison guard gunfire, they managed to fly out of the grounds of Sydney's Silverwater jail in the hijacked chopper.

The lovers evaded the police for 45 days before their eventual capture at a Sydney caravan park.


Christopher Binse is arguably Australia's most experienced escape artist. The armed-robber escaped from custody half a dozen times -- and there were several more unsuccessful attempts.

One was from hospital, where despite being under heavy guard recovering from a stab wound, he used a smuggled gun to get past guards.

In 1992, after finding a way out of Parramatta Prison, he sent NSW police postcards and put ads in newspapers to antagonise authorities.

In 1993, he was part of a plan to free 30 of the most dangerous inmates in Pentridge prison’s top security division.

He is currently in jail and expected to remain there until at least 2028.


Drug trafficker Brett Faulkner found an unusual way to escape jail -- he took a  dog for a walk.

In 2014, during a supervised sporting event for inmates at Perth's Wooroloo Prison casually strolled off with a labrador that was being trained to help inmates with disabilities.

Almost two years later Faulkner was arrested in a Queensland shopping centre.

Faulkner literally just walked free.

Drug trafficker George Savvas broke out of jail in 1996 when he walked out of the visitor area maximum security section of Goulburn wearing a blond wig and sunglasses.

He was eventually recaptured (several months later) and went on to plan a further prison escape with infamous serial killer Ivan Milat, but that escape plan was unsuccessful.

The day after the plot was discovered, Savvas was found hanging dead in his prison cell.

George Savass's disguise. IMAGE: Supplied

Russell Cox made several attempts to escape prison. The notorious criminal, who was nicknamed "Mad Dog",   was successful in 1977 when he fled from Sydney's Long Bay jail.

Cox used a hacksaw to chisel away at a metal bar in the facility's exercise yard and create a gap in the fence.  The career criminal is the only person to have escaped Long Bay’s maximum security facility.

Unlike most escapees who are found within days, it took authorities several years to capture Cox.

He spent the next 11 years at large providing the media with random “sightings” in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and even New Zealand.

Russell Cox found after arrested after 11 years on the run.

Brenden James Abbott earned his nickname for allegedly sending detectives photographs of himself all around the country.

This followed his notorious 1989 prison escape. Abbott and a fellow prisoner jumped over a Perth prison’s walls dressed in a fake guard’s uniform.

However, this was just one of three escapes he engineered. Another occurred in 1997 when his then girlfriend smuggled in angel wire, which he and four inmates used to cut themselves out of the prison.

Abbott has since been kept in top security -- and is behind bars in Queensland until 2020.