Richard Phillips spent 45 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit — the longest verified sentence to have been served in error in America. As the result, he got $1.5 million payout from the state.
James “Honest Dick” Tate was a Kentucky State Treasurer, so-called due to his good reputation. In reality, he had quietly misappropriated over $250,000 ($7 million in present value) from the treasury. In 1888, he fled the state with a sack of gold and silver coins and was never seen again.
Australia’s first cops were all criminals. The first police force was made up of 12 of the best behaved convicts.
Despite having a PHD in statistics, Carl Gugasian, the most prolific bank robber in American history AKA the Friday Bank Robber, chose a life of crime because he feared that he would never find a job due to spending 2 years in prison as a teenager for robbing a candy store.
A man taught himself how to pick the “unpickable” lock boxes of pay phones. He stole an estimated $500,000 in quarters from phones in 30 states, taunted the FBI, and was featured on America’s Most Wanted twice. After getting caught, he had to pay back $800.
A Florida man accidentally locked his 1 yr old daughter in his car, and 5 prisoners out on work detail used a coat hanger to break her out. The mother who took a video of it said: “Them prisoners bust that s*** right open, so thank god for the criminals in the world.”
A con man tricked Al Capone out of $5,000. He got Capone to give him $50,000 to invest in a scam. After 2 months, he returned it. He told Capone that the scam had fallen through, and he had no money left to support himself. Capone, stung by his honesty, gave him $5,000 to “tide him over”.
George Martonaro was sentenced to life without parole on non-violent charges. In his 32 years in the prison system, he learned dozens of subjects, taught numerous courses such as creative writing to over 8000 inmates, and authored more than 30 books.
André Stander, a South African police officer, robbed almost 30 banks. Sometimes he’d carry out a crime during his lunch break and then return to the scene as an investigating officer. He was caught but escaped, formed a gang and robbed more banks. He was eventually killed in Florida.
In 1966, during his second stint in jail, Charles Manson refused release and requested to stay in prison. He’d spent half of his 32 years behind bars, and saw it as his home. Authorities refused and released him. He quickly formed the family.