Introduction: Go-Boy (01:50)
Go-Boy is prison slang for an inmate who tries to break out. Roger Caron was an ex-con who famously wrote about his exploits as a bank robber and his multiple escapes from prison.
Fledgling Criminal and Escape Artist (03:53)
Caron’s life of crime started with robbing a sporting goods store. He was sent to prison for burglary as a youth, and he started to escape soon after. His antics earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”
"Criminal School" (04:33)
Caron’s routine at Kingston Penitentiary was tightly regimented. Prison provided him with an education on how to be a better criminal. Soon he was robbing banks and armored cars.
Inhumane Treatment (07:00)
Caron’s behavior in school suggested he had ADHD. Prisoners were disciplined with leather-strap beatings and were used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. Caron was involved in many fights in prison, and he nearly died after being stabbed multiple times.
Mad Dog on the Loose (04:28)
Caron spent 24 years in prison, doing time in every maximum-security institution in Eastern Canada. He escaped 13 times. He generally used a hacksaw to cut through the bars of his cell.
In the Hole (05:47)
Caron spent long stretches of his time in prison in solitary confinement. He had to endure sensory and social deprivation and torment from guards; the experience was known to produce long-term psychological difficulties.
Prison Riot (05:17)
On April 14, 1971, prisoners at Kingston Penitentiary rebelled, taking six guards as hostages. Caron lost his first manuscript during the chaos, but a teacher found it at the city dump and returned it. Caron worked diligently to get his book finished and published.
From Prisoner to Award-Winning Writer (06:57)
Caron appealed to author Pierre Berton and many others before getting published. “Go-Boy” was an instant success, earning Caron a Governor General’s Award in 1978. He traveled widely talking about his experiences and lived the life of a celebrity.
Drug Abuse (03:16)
Friends and family encouraged Caron to see a doctor, and he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was able to manage his condition with the help of medication, but he had difficulty writing and speaking publicly as the disease advanced.
One More Robbery (03:53)
Caron grew increasingly desperate about writing. On April 1, 1992, he attempted to rob a Zellers department store in Ottawa and was arrested as he attempted to escape by bus. The incident made national news.
Twilight Years (04:10)
Caron was found guilty. His Parkinson’s symptoms worsened, and he returned to Cornwall, Ontario. He lived his final years as a hometown celebrity. He told his wife he had one last escape to make.
Credits: Go-Boy: Memories of a Life Behind Bars (01:01)
Credits: Go-Boy: Memories of a Life Behind Bars
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