A Real-Life Andy Dufresne Was Finally Caught 56 Years After Serving Time In Shawshank Prison

Turns out, Andy Dufresne wasn’t in Zihuatanejo after all.

Frank Freshwaters, who escaped the Ohio State Reformatory (the setting for The Shawshank Redemption) in 1959*, was apprehended this week in Melbourne, Fla. He spent an astounding 56 years on the run. Freshwaters plead guilty to a manslaughter charge stemming from an automobile accident in 1957. Two years later, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after violating the terms of his deal.

But that was only the beginning for Freshwaters, who, like Andy Dufresne from the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption, used his pull inside the prison to escape after only seven months. For the next 56 years, Freshwaters worked mostly as a truck driver and hopped from state to state and town to town. He even collected social security, presumably under an alias. An astute Marshal assigned to cold cases finally tracked Freshwaters down in a rural area of Florida.

An old picture of Freshwaters came into play, when, after a week of surveillance, authorities confronted him with a question as he left his trailer in a rural area near Melbourne: Have you seen this man?

“They showed him the pic, and he said he hadn’t seen that guy in a long time,” Goodyear said. “Then he admitted it and basically said, ‘You got me.'”

Freshwaters is 79 years old and is a wheelchair user. Authorities don’t yet know how he escaped from Shawshank.

*According to CBS News, Freshwaters was moved from the Ohio State Reformatory (a.k.a Shawshawnk) to a lower-security camp in Sandusky, where he escaped.

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