Eastern State’s Prison Break Weekend is a lot of fun for staff and visitors alike. On this weekend, visitors were able climb a rock wall to see how high our walls really are. Everyone also had the chance to crawl through a re-creation of a section of the 1945 escape tunnel, and to hear from two inmates who escaped through it.
Former inmates Willie “the Actor” Sutton, and Clarence Klinedinst, brought to life by two actors, met again to discuss the 1945 tunnel escape. Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber and escape artist, claimed he planned the whole operation, with Klinedinst doing the majority of the digging. Clarence Klinedinst, a stonemason and plaster worker whose cell was the site of the tunnel escape, took sole credit for creating the 97-foot tunnel. After hearing both sides, and having the opportunity to ask each of them questions, our visitors voted for the man they believed most.
The vote this year was in Klinedinst’s favor. 147 people believed that he had created the tunnel alone. Only 69 believed that Sutton planned the escape. If you want to hear from the men yourself, come out to Prison Break Weekend next year and cast your vote!
Associate Director for Youth, Family and Tour Programs