Real-Life Shawshank Prisoner Is Caught 56 Years After Prison Break

Jessica Renae Buxbaum
A 79-year-old man convicted of manslaughter has been arrested nearly 60 years after his prison break.

Real life Shawshank Redemption prisoner

In a story eerily similar to the critically-acclaimed 1994 film, Shawshank Redemption, Frank Freshwaters pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges after hitting and killing a pedestrian in Ohio in 1957. He initially received probation, but two years later Freshwaters was sentenced to 20 years at the Ohio State Reformatory after a parole violation. 

Oddly enough, the prison where Freshwaters served the majority of his sentence is the same one where scenes from the iconic prison movie were shot. Furthermore, much like the film’s protagonist, Andy Dufresne, Freshwaters earned the prison guards' trust and was able to persuade officials to transfer him to a low-security “honor-farm” where Freshwaters easily escaped.

During his time hiding, Freshwaters was in between states and worked some as a truck driver and even worked for the West Virginia state government. While Dufresne settled on the beautiful beaches of Mexico, Freshwaters eventually chose a similar tropical location as his permanent hideaway, the secluded area of Melbourne, Florida and went under the alias William Harold Cox.

Freshwaters did not put up much of a fight when U.S. Marshals came knocking on his mobile door home. He will be extradited to Ohio and probably serve the remaining 18 years of his sentence. Not exactly the idealistic prison escape ending Shawshank Redemption gave moviegoers. 

Read more: The World's 5 Most Brutal Prisons Show Crime Definitely Doesn't Pay