Remember Montana’s Prison Riot Over 60 Years Ago?
The words "prison" and "riot" are scary enough by themselves, but what you get when you put them together is absolutely terrifying. We just passed the 64th anniversary of a prison riot at the (now closed) Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge which started on April 16th,1959 and killed 3 people, according to Wikipedia. Also according to Wikipedia, inmates controlled the facility for 36 hours and order was reinstated "when a brace of National Guard troops stormed the facility."
As for the mastermind behind this dastardly plot, Wikipedia points the finger at a man named Jerry Myles from Sioux City, Iowa. Myles spent time incarcerated at several prison facilities including Alcatraz from 1945 to 1952 and was actually present for the "Battle of Alcatraz" in 1946, though he didn't participate according to Wikipedia.
Here's a detail from the Wikipedia article that'll make you feel lucky to be living in the digital era of humanity: "since the prison at that time was not in the habit of running background checks on incoming prisoners, his previous penal experience went unnoticed, and he was assigned to a cell in the general population." It's nice to know those kinds of slip ups are likely much less common these days.
This quote from a Great Falls Tribune article about the riot really paints a picture of the horrifying reality that was the beginning of the riot:
(Jerry) Myles carefully planned the riot and his escape. Another prisoner tossed gasoline on a guard, and Myles lit a torch made from a mop and thrust it at the drenched guard, who surrendered his key and rifle. He was taken prisoner, along with, eventually, 25 others.
If you somehow needed more motivation to avoid prison time, there ya go. The last inmates were removed from the facility in 1979, according to Wikipedia.