The Great Escape

The 1980s were the most turbulent decade in the history of Boggo Road Gaol.

Riots, roof-top protests and hunger-strikes by prisoners became the norm. On Saturday 11 March 1989 the biggest mass-breakout ever took place when eight prisoners managed to escape Brisbane Prison.

Officers remember it as the “Laundry Truck Escape.” Journalists called it “The Great Escape.” Prisoners called it the “Boggo Road Fun Run.”

As the prison laundry van readied to leave No.1 Division, 30 prisoners exercising on a nearby oval raced towards the inner hydraulic gate. One got his leg caught as it closed; eight made it into the gatehouse.  Armed with replica guns, they forced officers to open a side door before fleeing down the driveway to a waiting vehicle under gunfire from the tower.

All were recaptured, including the mastermind of the escape Frankie Post, convicted rapist and armed robber.

Blame was laid on the gatehouse officer who was selling raffle tickets at the time of the escape – though this was unfair. He had not received an internal memo issued two days earlier warning an escape was planned. A breakdown of communication and chronic under-staffing were really to blame.

This dramatic escape is now part of Queensland’s prison history…

Come along for one of our very special Escapes Tours on the second Sunday of every month! For prices and booking, click here

Discover more of Boggo Road Gaol’s infamous Escapes with Gaol Director Jack Sim’s book – Boggo Road Gaol Escapes. Find it in our Gaol Shop or click here now!