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Two MCC Chicago Prisoners Suspected of Escape

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets, two prisoners at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Mark Conley and Joseph “Joe” Banks, apparently escaped this morning:



Conley and Banks, known as the Second-Hand Bandit who was convicted just last week, were discovered missing from their cell at the federal jail at 71 W. Van Buren St. around 8:45 a.m., according to Central District Police Sgt. Michael Lazzaro. The inmates were last checked at 5 a.m., he said.

A rope could be seen dangling from about 15 stories up along the south side of the MCC, but police would not say whether it was involved in the escape. The rope appeared to be pieces tied together.[…]

The last escape at the MCC was in 1985 when two convicted murderers enlarged a sixth-floor window and climbed down a 75-foot electrical cord attached to a floor buffer.

Bernard Welch and Hugh Colomb used a bar from exercise weights to knock out concrete and used hacksaw blades to cut metal away, enlarging a 3-inch window slit. The blade had been smuggled into the jail, authorities said.

Welch was serving a 143-year sentence for the 1980 murder of Dr. Michael Halberstam, a Washington, D.C. cardiologist and brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam.

Welch was serving a 143-year sentence for the 1980 murder of Dr. Michael Halberstam, a Washington, D.C. cardiologist and brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam.

Update: The Bureau of Prisons has issued a press releaseregarding the escape.

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  • Anonymous

    No successful breakout in over 3 decades, and this was the day I had scheduled to travel from Washington DC to visit my brother being held at MCC Chicago.