Facebook Prison Escape!
This is 19 year-old Kyle Leslie Lynch, of Hobart, Tasmania.
That photo is his Facebook profile picture. On January 5, Kyle Lynch’s relationship status changed from “single” to “in a relationship”.
He added dozens of friends.
And, finally, his Facebook status was updated to read:
“Kyle Leslie Lynch is getting out sooner than yas think boys. Its gonna be on!”
You see, Kyle Leslie Lynch was in a Tasmanian prison when all that activity took place. And, with that January 5 status update, he announced to those 57 people that he was leaving prison.
And, on Saturday, January 21, that’s exactly what he did.
Lynch and another man, 22-year-old James Peter Sampson, were noticed missing at regular check at 6:45 PM on Saturday. A statewide manhunt is underway.
Prison officials say that no prisoner has access to Facebook from within the prison. There are two prevailing theories about Lynch’s Facebook access. One is that Lynch had someone open the Facebook account for him, and that person posted the status update. The other is that someone smuggled a smartphone into the prison for him and he did the updates, friend requests/accepts, etc. himself.
It is difficult, but not impossible, for someone to smuggle a phone to a prisoner. But, one way that is not uncommon is for the phone to have been bought from a prison guard.
In late 2010, inmates at seven Georgia corrections facilities in the United States staged major, nonviolent strikes in protest of prison policies about work. Those strikes were coordinated within and between prisons using cell phones that were both smuggled in and bought from prison guards. Inmates reported buying $20 cell phones off guards for $400.