Convict Runs Away While The Guard Watches 'Escape From New York' (Times-Advocate/Aug 09/1981/US)


A convict who went to a drive-in with three other inmates and a guard to see an escape-proof prison didn't wait to see the ending.

He got away while the guard was enthralled in the plot of Escape From New York, officials say.

Thomas White, 55, of Araphoe, was among four Wyoming Prison Farm inmates allowed to go to Riverton's Knight Drive-In on Friday night for a "supervised excursion," according to prison farm superintendent Mickey Gamble.

In the movie, set in 1997 and starring Kurt Russell, the island of Manhattan has become a walled maximum-security prison. The president of the United States somehow winds up in the hands of the prisoners and Russell is enlisted to rescue him.

Ads for the movie say, "Breaking out is impossible."

Gamble said White made one round trip to the restroom, but didn't come back from his second outing.

The fugitive was believed to be hiding yesterday near the Wind River Indian Reservation.

He had served eight months of a sentence of one to 10 years for breaking and entering and parole violations.

Gamble said "supervised excursions" were fairly frequent for inmates in a "trusty-type situation." He said White, who was not a trusty, had been on supervised leave several time before.