By Bob Negele
Two men have escaped from a federal prison located in downtown Chicago, only a few blocks from the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). A recent article in the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the two men are believed to have escaped using a make shift rope.
To make this Hollywood-esque escape even more incredible, the two had to shimmy down from 15 stories up.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago, (MCC), is a unique building design. An aerial view of the building shows a triangle shape, with tall and thin windows (only around 3 inches wide) for each cell. The building is also equipped with an exercise yard on the rooftop.
A police SWAT team later forced its way into a Tinley Park home. The two were not there, but police believe they were only hours before.
The escape, perpetrated by Joseph “Jose” Banks and Kenneth Conley, is most likely to have occurred between 10pm October 17, and 5am October 18. The last time the two were seen was during a head count conducted at 10pm on October 17. It was at 5am that the two were not accounted for.
Employees who arrived at the MCC saw a makeshift rope hanging out of the cell window.
According to authorities, the window to the cell was broken and the makeshift rope was tied onto the bars.
Where the two were planning on going and who, if anyone, is helping them is still unknown.
The MCC is a federal prison that is not typically used for long-term prison sentences. It is mainly used for holding people who are charged with federal crimes or awaiting sentencing. It does hold prisoners that have been sentenced to fairly short sentences. Both Banks and Conley were in the MCC while awaiting their sentences for separate crimes.
If the two are apprehended, they could definitely use a good criminal defense lawyer. Just the escape alone would potentially add years to to their already looming sentences. And this is assuming that they don’t commit anymore crimes while they are on the lam.
Despite its seemingly escape-proof appearance, this is not the first escape from the MCC. The last escape took place in 1985 when two convicts shimmied down the side of the building with the help of a 75 foot electric cord attached to a floor buffer.
An even more elaborate escape was allegedly planned, but ultimately did not go through. In 2010, a Sinaloa Cartel leader was exported from Mexico to the U.S. to stand trial. While being held at the MCC, federal authorities got wind of a plan to use a helicopter to airlift the prisoner from the rooftop exercise yard.