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Another Houdini Handcuffed Prisoner Kills Himself in the Back of a Police Car

Written by Gary North on August 14, 2012

You may recall the report of a prisoner who was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car, who then got out of the handcuffs, got a gun, and shot himself in the head. Police were amazed.

Well, we now have a copy-cat suicide victim. This one was arrested, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, somehow got his handcuffed hands in front of him, and used the seat belt to strangle himself. Police are amazed.

Police said the three offenders were handcuffed behind their backs and put in the back seats of three different patrol cars while police returned to the building to investigate.

“How long a period of time can someone remain in the patrol car by himself without an officer there? Well there are several factors involved in that, and it’s part of the investigation that I cannot release right now,” Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw said.

Police said the 17-year-old managed to move his handcuffed hands from behind his back to the front of his body.

It is indeed amazing: teenagers in two cases having this ability to evade the confining effects of handcuffs and then finding ways to kill themselves, in the back seats of police cars.

The public, being used to such astounding abilities in arrested teenagers, pays no attention. It’s in the local news, and then it’s forgotten.

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14 thoughts on “Another Houdini Handcuffed Prisoner Kills Himself in the Back of a Police Car

  1. The training I received many years ago at the Northern Virginia Police Academy recommended that the handcuffs, where ever possible, be placed through the prisoner’s belt before the second hand was handcuffed, thus making it impossible for the prisoner to move their hand from behind to in front of their body. There was an old saying back then (1970s) that said (regarding cops), “Dead is dumb.” The same held true for prisoners who wound up that way because of dumb cops.

  2. Neither story says whether they used extreme flexibility or unlocked the handcuffs. The latter is easy to do if one has a universal handcuff key hidden on one's person.

  3. Reminds me of Roberto Calvi, boss of Bank Ambrosiano, who managed to commit suicide by hanging himself under Blackfriars Bridge. His hands were tied behind his back and he had bricks in his pockets.

  4. How they did it or why they did it – most likely they were not being charged with a crime that resulted in the death penalty…. 17 year old kids just killing themselves – that is the more difficult issue to come to grasps with. It almost seems like they need cameras in the police cars to capture the 'rest of the story' as Paul Harvey used to say……

  5. victorbarney says:

    Sounds like another "COP STORY" to me! Just saying…WATCH!

  6. keepyourpower says:

    When I was a police officer in the 70's, I had this one crazy dude in my patrol car back seat, with cuffs on behind his back. Halfway to the jail…he had them in the front of him, and was grabbing the cage. He acted like, and spoke like, and looked like Manson! He actually frightened me! I used psychology with him, until I got to the jail. He was drunk as a skunk…but still devious, filthy mouth, threatening. Manic..Was threatening one minute, and praising Jesus the next! I called the dispatcher and told her, to tell the jail to bring down the doors of the entrance when I arrived, because I had a "rabbit". He left me a gift….urine that smelled like alcohol. It was dead cold winter. I could not stand the smell. Had to go to a 7-11 and buy products to clean out my car. Not a good night! Then the Pine Sol gave me such a headache. The smell of Pine Sol and urine in the Morning! Yuck! By the way, it was my Sgt who cuffed him, and did not pat him down! Those were his cuffs too.

    I learned that night to never trust ANY other officer with MY prisoners.

  7. keepyourpower says:

    And that is why Virginia has some of the best cops..especially the Highway Patrol…But I understand Maryland had the best of all.
    They never taught us at the SC academy about the belt. But then..many did not wear belts. The loops could tear easily.

    But still a good idea. There are still Houdinis out there.

  8. Can anyone say POLICE MURDER PRISONERS who were hand cuffed behind their backs in the back seat of Police cars?
    Why do so many Police get away with Murder?

  9. Well cops are not know for being to smart!

  10. Doctor_Bob says:

    Reminds me of a guy we had near here a few years ago who, while in police custody, committed suicide by shooing himself in the back of the head, THREE TIMES! And yes, the Coroner actually ruled it a suicide.

  11. DoctorBob says:

    I used to drive a cab in Vegas. I'll match you story for story of crazy stuff in the back seat. I have had to go out of service for a couple of hours on more than one occasion while I cleaned out the back seat with Lysol spray and Pine-Sol. You wouldn't believe what couples do in the back seat of a taxi! And they leave the mess for the cabbie to clean up! Yech!!!

  12. Well COMMA cops are not knowN for being TOO smart. Neither are web commenters…

  13. And to think they tried to implicate the Freemasons. Honestly, some people …

  14. Perhaps he missed a bit the first two times … reminds me of the cartoon I saw (think it was Playboy?) decades ago: a meat grinder on a bench, with a human arm coming out of it, grasping the handle; detective standing morosely staring at it saying words to the effect "That's the most determined case of suicide I've ever seen!"