Tuesday, October 2, 2012


9/22/1934 - Desperate to escape their fate, former Dillinger Gang members, "Handsome Harry" Pierpont, "Fat Charlie" Charles Makley, and Russell "Boobie" Clark make a desperate attempt to escape from the Ohio State Penitentiary using fake weapons they have constructed from bars of soap.

                Makley                                           Pierpont                                      Clark

Only days away from their scheduled date to sit in the electric chair for the 1933 murder of Allen County Sheriff Jess Sarber (his friends sentenced to death, Clark is serving a life sentence for the crime), a killing committed while freeing their comrade John Dillinger from the Lima, Ohio jailhouse, the break begins at about 10:30 in the morning when Guard O. E. Slagle enters Pierpont's cell to deliver breakfast.

                                                           Sheriff Sarber

Rejecting his daily allotment of coffee, powdered eggs, toast, and mystery meat, using his fists and a pistol made out of an assortment of prison junk that includes a bar of soap, tin foil from cigarette packs, black shoe polish, fountain pens, thread from blankets, cardboard tubes, jigsaw-puzzle pieces and wire crafted to look like a snub-nosed .38 revolver (Makley has a similar "weapon"), Pierpont relieves the guard of his keys and lets Makley, Clark, and six other inmates out of their cells ... unfortunately for the desperado though, he does not have a key to get out of the cell block.

                                              Ohio State Penitentiary, Columbus

Crazed for freedom, the trio continue on anyway and leads the unhappy group of still penned convicts in an attempt to batter their way to freedom using a heavy wooden table on the steel door to the outside ... a fruitless pursuit that ends abruptly when the prison's armed eight-man riot squad arrives on the scene.  Seeing the escape is doomed, and not facing death sentences, Clark and the others return to their cells while Pierpont and Makley continue their door pounding ... continue until they are stopped by a hail of lead that is sent through the bars of the door.  The big ouch, Makley is hit in the thorax and abdomen and dies in the prison hospital within an hour of being holed.  Seriously wounded (hit several times, one round lodges in his spine), Pierpont pleads for the guards to "Finish It!" to end his suffering, but none are willing to give him the requested coup de grace, and taken to the prison hospital, the outlaw is allowed to recover just enough to meet his date with death, and carried to the electric chair, he will be juiced with volts of lightning on October, 17th, "Handsome Harry" no more. 
                                                            The soap guns

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