'Real' Shawshank Redemption Prisoner Caught After 56 Years On The Run

A man who was sent to the same prison featured in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, and who later escaped, has been caught by police after being on the run for 56 years.

Frank Freshwaters’ story, as told in the Washington Post, has a few strange similarities to Frank Darabont’s movie, which was based on a story by Stephen King.

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Freshwaters was initially imprisoned back in 1957, after he hit and killed a pedestrian in his car when he was aged just 20.

He was handed a suspended 20 year prison sentence, but ended up in jail two years later for a parole violation when he was caught driving a car.

It was at that point that he was sent to the Ohio State Reformatory to serve his time, the same prison from the famous Tim Robbins movie.

He was later transferred to an 'honour camp’, a working prison based on the honour system, but in 1959, he went AWOL and was never seen again.

Rather than a sun-drenched beach in the South Pacific, however, he turned his life around, got himself new documents and a new identity and began working for – of all people – the West Virginia government, driving a mobile library.

His past came back to haunt him when he was later arrested for allegedly threatening his wife, but he was not extradited to Ohio, and moved to Florida.

It wasn’t until a deputy marshal re-opened the case, tracked down Freshwater, now 79, and staked out his mobile home.

He was using the name William Harold Cox, but after being rumbled, and then arrested, he admitted his guilt without contest.

According to Major Todd Goodyear of the Brevard County Sherrif’s office, he was confronted with a mugshot of himself all those years ago.

“He said he hadn’t seen that guy in a long time. Then he admitted it and basically said, ‘You got me’,” said Goodyear.

He’s now been returned to Ohio, where he will finish the remainder of his 18 year sentence.

It’s not known whether Morgan Freeman provided his inner monologue while he was on the lam, but Freshwaters certainly managed to get busy living for all those years.

Image credits: AP/Columbia