My Greatest Escape
by Fabienne Godet
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Former thief and mobster Michel Vaujour spent 27 years in prison, 17 of those in solitary confinement. Using fake guns, he succeeded in carrying out amazing escapes worthy of a Hollywood script. The most notorious involved a firearm made out of soap and a daring helicopter breakout from the roof of a jail, organized by his wife. He was released on parole in 2003. If his life story is at times an exhilarating ride, he also experienced some of the most challenging conditions the penal system can impose. The isolation forced him to continuously confront himself. The reward has been self-knowledge.