the eastern state penitentiary tunnel escape – 70th anniversary

In keeping with my recent policy of being asleep at the wheel on this blog, I managed to miss the 70th anniversary of the 1945 tunnel escape from Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. For the record, the breakout happened on April 3, 1945. You’d think I’d have remembered to do a This Day in Crime History post about it, especially since I wrote and published a true crime short story about the escape.


Here’s the book description from Amazon:

In 1945, twelve inmates, including notorious bank robber Willie Sutton and mob trigger-man Frederick “The Angel” Tenuto, escaped from Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia through a one hundred foot tunnel. Some would be captured quickly. Others would not go down so easily.

Under the Wall is a true crime short story. Approximate length: 5,000 words (about 20 printed pages)

If you’re interested in learning the whole story, you can buy Under the Wall for the low, low price of 99 cents. It’s available at the following ebook retailers:




Barnes & Noble


6 thoughts on “the eastern state penitentiary tunnel escape – 70th anniversary

  1. John D.:
    That’s definitely going down on my MUST READ list…especially since I used top go to a church about a block AWAY from the place (in the 1970s).
    Always liked that prison from an architectural standpoint.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Stay safe out there.


  2. A few years ago, on my first and only trip to Philly, I toured the Eastern State Penitentiary. I had never heard of it until then. I recommend it to anyone with my twisted interest in crime history (although the tour guides whitewash the story of how Al Capone got there). The pen was used for a movie (whose name I don’t know) and the recorded tour guide in the little machines is done by Steve Buscemi. That alone is worth the price of admission.
    Where can I find a copy of your book?


    • I think several movies may have been filmed there. One of them was Animal Factory, which was directed by Steve Buscemi and based on a book by Edward Bunker.


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