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On this day:

Double Agent George Blake Escapes

The (Sort Of) Great EscapeIt was just like a Jason Bourne film. Except for any stunts, car chases or excessive, extravagant kicking. It was on this day in 1966 that a daring escape was initiated from Wormwood Scrubs by notorious double agent George Blake. Somehow, the former British spy turned Soviet espionage specialist had managed to cut through some window bars and shimmy down a handily placed rope ladder made of knitting needles and completely vanish, thanks (it’s suspected) to some help from the Russians, plus the assistance of a couple of fellow inmates sympathetic to his cause.Blake had served just over five years of his 42 year sentence for breaching the Official Secrets Act by passing information to the Soviet authorities. At the time it was the longest sentence a British court had ever given an individual. After the escape, Blake abandoned his family and emerged in a state owned flat in Moscow, where he still resides today, now in his 90s.