Dramatic Escape Years in the Making Led to 30 Hours of Freedom

Dale Otto Remling concocted one of the most well-known prison escapes in Michigan’s history - all from his Michigan State Penitentiary cell. With the help of a few outside accomplices, he hopped aboard a stolen helicopter and flew to freedom in 1975.


Remling’s downfall could have been predicted by even the most mundane criminal long before he soared over the walls of, what was then, the world’s largest walled prison. Focusing on every detail of his escape, he forgot to create a plan for once he was free.

His lack of planning got him captured a mere 13 miles from his cell in Leslie. Remling traded 30 short hours of freedom for 10 additional years behind bars, which was tacked on to his original 7 to 10-year sentence for check fraud and livestock theft.

“I think cages are for something other than people. You talk about problems with people, the prison system breeds it into you,” Remling stated just after his arrest.  

Find out the details of this criminal mastermind’s short-lived escape at Cell Block 7 – the only prison museum inside the walls of an operating penitentiary! Plan your trip today to see this temporary exhibit and so many others!

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