From stolen freedom to death row

Butch Ainsworth, Ronnie Roper, and Buster Harris hoped to get as far as Mexico, where they could enjoy the freedom they gained in their daring escape from the Galveston County jail on Nov. 21, 1969.

They made it as far as Flatonia, Texas.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 22, the fugitives stopped to […]

Fugitives escape Galveston County blockade, take more hostages

Deputies look at blood stains at Irene Alexander’s home in Dickinson (The Galveston Daily News)

Five escaped prisoners and their two hostages peeled out of the Galveston County jail parking lot shortly before 5 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, 1969, with George Earl Howard behind the wheel. Ringleader Butch Ainsworth, who was awaiting trial […]

Reign of terror: Five Galveston inmates terrorize county in 1969 jailbreak

At about 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, 1969, Deputy Tony Socias Jr. was making his rounds at the Galveston County jail. When he reached the third floor, he noticed water filling the hallway. He rushed to cell 3G, where the flood appeared to be seeping under the bars. In the middle of the cell, […]