You would think that, when people are in prison, they wouldn’t be able to fashion terrifying weapons for themselves. Through media and the entertainment industry, most people know about prison “shanks.” Shanks are weapons (specifically daggers and other stabbing weapons) that are made of every day items like toothbrushes. However, some inmates are pretty clever and create some intense, fatal weapons while on the inside. Each of these were created while an inmate was in prison. They were made from seemingly innocent materials.
Shotgun: This was made from iron bedposts. The charge was constructed with pieces of lead from curtain tape and match-heads, and was ignited by AA batteries and a broken light bulb. On May 21, 1984 two inmates in Celle, Germany, took a jailer as a hostage. They then escaped by car.
Toilet paper shank: These shanks were seized from an inmate at the Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility. They were made from many layers of toilet paper that were softened and hardened.
Double barreled pistol: This gun was found with other homemade firearms in the cell of the two Celle prison inmates from 1984. The weapons were made in the prison’s metal shop.
Radio transmitter: This was made from radio recorder parts and found in Wolfenbüttel prison, Germany. Sometimes prison would attempt to install these in guard rooms to be aware of future cell searches (or be able to talk to other inmates).
Knuckleduster: This had a padded handle and was most likely fashioned from a rasp in a workshop (found in 1993).
Whip: This whip, complete with razor blades, was found in 1996 in the Santa Fu jail cell in Hamburg, Germany. A drug addicted inmate attempted to extort a higher Methadone ration by threatening a female prison officer with a knife, leading to the search.
Tattoo gun: This elaborate tattoo gun ran off of the two small batteries attached.
Dummy submachine gun: This was made from a grease injector, wood, a rubber sleeve, and tape. The mock weapon was found in 1994 in a prison workshop in Wolfenbüttel prison, Germany.
Crossbow: This weapon could accurately fire a dart 40 feet. It was built from 10 toothbrushes, a cigarette lighter, a section of ballpoint pen casing, a piece of wire coat hangar, a section of a pair of aluminum cafeteria tongs, assorted electrical components, pieces of yellow rubber gloves, some Kleenex, a piece of string, and a few screws. The darts were made from tightly rolled paper, Q-tips, aluminum foil found in cigarette packs, pieces of wire and masking tape.
The creativity, ingenuity and desperation that some of these inmates had is mind-blowing. Life on “the inside” can be exceedingly rough, so it’s no surprise that many inmates resort to making weapons to protect themselves… but this? This is crazy. Share these insane weapons with others by clicking below.
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