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Inmates Used Peanut Butter to Smear Their Way Out of Jail

And one of the 12 escapees is still on the loose.
Photo of Kilpatrick via Walker County Sheriff and peanut butter via Flickr user 


Authorities are still searching for a fugitive who escaped with 11 other men from an Alabama jail on Sunday night who—rather than make papier-mâché head sculptures or smuggle in tools—smeared their way to freedom with peanut butter.

According to the Associated Press, a dozen inmates at the Walker County Jail—located about 40 miles northwest of Birmingham—apparently used the sticky protein paste to obscure part of their cell number to make it match the number of a door leading outside. They then managed to get an inexperienced guard to open that door, tricking the guy into accidentally handing them their freedom, NBC News reports.


"It may sound crazy, but these people are crazy like a fox," Walker County sheriff James Underwood said at a news conference Monday. "They apparently saved peanut butter from food regularly served at the jail. They love peanut butter sandwiches."

After breaking out around 6:30 PM, the men used blankets to climb over the jail's razor-wired walls. Then they scattered, with some taking off on foot and others in cars. Everyone was rounded up within eight hours except Bradley Andrew Kilpatrick, a 24-year-old inmate who was arrested for marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia, and is not considered dangerous.

Now police are trying to track him with a state helicopter and offering $500 for any information leading to his recapture. During Monday's press conference, Underwood said that jailbreaks are just the "cost of doing business" when it comes to running a facility, and that the fugitives identified a weak link in the new guard who they tricked.

"Escapes happen," he said. "We've got some evil people down here, and they scheme all the time to con us and our employees at the jail. You've got to stay on your toes. This is one time we slipped up. I'm not going to make any excuses."

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