He has been a prison guard’s worst nightmare since 1979.
After his dad died in 1979, Mark DeFriest stole some of his tools and was sentenced to four years in a Florida prison.
But he’s been incarcerated ever since, because he escaped from prison an incredible 13 times, earning him the nickname ‘Prison Houdini’ and adding numerous years to his originally skimpy sentence.
DeFriest has been so successful because he’s an autistic savant, capable of instantly memorizing the pattern of a prison guard’s key and fashioning an exact replica in his cell. He was denied parole in February, but may be freed today. Or he could just escape; that’s worked before.
Ironically, if he had waited for his father’s will to be executed before stealing the tools, he would have been gifted them.