Jailers worry about dental floss as a weapon
In 1994, Robert Shepard used a floss rope braided as a telephone cord to scale an 18-foot wall at the South Central Regional Jail in West Virginia. He was on the lam for about five weeks. He was already being disciplined for scraping away the mortar between bricks in his cell.
In 1991, three inmates bought hundreds of yards of dental floss from the store at the Hays County Jail in Illinois and turned it into a ladder of sorts.
‘‘It was ingenious,’’ said U.S. Attorney Gerald Carruth when the men pleaded guilty to attempted escape. ‘‘They made the rope out of dental floss and used cardboard salt-and-pepper containers for stirrups on the ladder. ... That dental floss is strong.’’
Associated Press Writer Michael Graczyk in Houston and Associated Press researcher Susan James in New York contributed to this report