The Faraday Kidnapper Escape

Edwin Eastwood famous for the Faraday School Kidnapping in 1972, and Michael Pantic escaped from the Geelong Gaol on the 16th of December 1976.

The men tunnelled though two doubled skinned brick walls, cut through a padlock to an outside exercise yard and scaled the external wall and were able to steal a car to make their getaway, before the men parted ways.

Eastwood walked into the Wooreen State School in Gippsland on the 15th of February 1977, where he kidnapped a teacher and nine pupils, forcing them into a van. While driving off, he collided with a truck and held the driver and his partner hostage. Soon another log truck came along and Eastwood waved it to a stop, and took the driver and his mate hostage. The next to arrive were two ladies’ towing a caravan, who were also taken hostage.

Once Eastwood had sixteen hostages, he demanded a ransom from the Victorian Government of US $7 million, weapons, 100kgm of heroin and cocaine, and the release of seventeen prisoners from Pentridge.

One of the hostages managed to escape and notified police. Once Eastwood realised that one of his hostages was gone he fled the scene with the remaining hostages, locked in the campervan.

A police block and gunfire at Woodside was enough to stop Eastwood, where he was shot below the right knee and re-captured.

Eastwood was charged and pleaded guilty to 25 charges, including 16 counts of kidnapping and was sentenced on 8 November 1977 to 21 years with a non-parole period of 18 years.

Eastwood was released in 1993 after choosing to decline parole offered in 1991.

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