World: The Great Jail Break

Behind the turreted greystone walls of Birmingham's Winson Green prison, the night guard made his regular 15-minute check, looking through the "judas hole" in the door of the maximum security cell where the lights burned all the time. He was satisfied to see the prisoner lying under his blanket, eyes closed, chest gently rising and falling. It was 3:04 a.m. and all was quiet.

But the prisoner was not asleep. Ten minutes later, onetime Bookmaker Charles F. Wilson, 32, was free and away, leaving behind 29 years and eight months of a 30-year sentence....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!