The fictional tale of Andy Dufresne is triumphant tale on how one man could overcome wrongful persecution and adversity.
Well, the real story of Frank Freshwaters is about a criminal who was once jailed at the prison used for the classic movie, The Shawshank Redemption and escaped shortly after being transported to another one.
More than a half of century later, he’s back in police custody.
Frank Freshwaters, 79, of Melbourne was arrested Monday afternoon in a case straight out of the prison escape-themed movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Freshwaters, aka William Cox, was arrested less than 24 hours ago. Tuesday afternoon he stood before a judge.
Freshwaters is a name he’s not gone by since escaping from a work farm back in 1959.
At his court appearance where he waived his extradition, the wheelchair-bound man listened to the escape charges that have followed him for 56 years.
That’s where it all began so long ago.
Investigators said he had been on the lam since serving time at Ohio State Reformatory, then escaping from the Sandusky, Ohio Honor Farm after serving just seven months of a 20-year sentence for probation violation of a manslaughter conviction.
Agents of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office GAMEOVER task force paid Freshwaters a visit Monday afternoon at his Jones Road mobile home.
They were acting on a tip from the Cold Case Unit of the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force that Freshwaters might be in the Melbourne area.
“Approached him, showed him the 1959 picture, asked if he’d seen that person. He said he hadn’t seen him in a long time,” said Major Tod Goodyear with BCSO.
Investigators said he even had a valid Florida driver’s license, was receiving social security and appeared to have avoided trouble all this time.
He did get caught in West Virginia in the 1970’s, but the extradition fell through and he was released.
Only in the movies would they let bygones be bygones.
Photo: Brevard County Sheriffs Office