After 12 months in medium-security prison, Susan made a desperate decision. "I was feeling suicidal,” she says. “I prayed to have the courage to end my life."

Marie says she did not have a single visitor—until her grandfather came to see her one day. "I thought maybe he'd come to tell me that a court was appealing this," she says. "He said, 'Nobody's coming. Nobody knows what to do.' And they're building a maximum-security prison soon.'"

Marie says her grandfather told her she needed to escape. She agreed, and they began planning. "I don't recall exactly how I coordinated," she says. "We didn't have cell phones or anything in those days."

The day she escaped, Susan reported for work, as usual, to a job that required her to be outside before sunrise. “There were towers, but they weren't really manned. It was pretty lax as far as that,” she says. “There was a helicopter that came out.”

Susan threw her jacket over the top of the barbed wire fence, made it over the top and ran through the woods to where her grandfather was waiting in a car. "We waited for the snow to clear because that would be kind of hard to get tracks," she says. "There weren't any leaves, though, either. So they could see down, so I had to hide by a tree when the helicopter went over. And I was running, running, running."


Next Story