Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:February 4th, 2014 11:06 EST
How Could Michael David Elliot So Easily Escape from the Michigan Department of Corrections in Ionia?

How Could Michael David Elliot So Easily Escape from the Michigan Department of Corrections in Ionia?

By John G. Kays

An add-on of mesmerizing stress, coupled with yesterday`s Wall Street tumble and a phoned-in Super Bowl that caught the Broncos on automatic snooze control, I had to take a grimacing glimpse at the daring and brazen prison escape of Michael David Elliot from the Michigan Department of Corrections in Ionia. The finale turned out benign, Elliot was captured, but not before an abducted woman, barreled up in a Gallops gas station, endured some nail-biting moments, where she cooks up a resourceful scheme, that buffers her from the desperate killer, and forces him on the lam from the law once again!

Well, perhaps it was a canny 911 operator who suggested to her to lock herself in the restroom at Gallops, which is in Middlebury, Indiana, about 100 miles south of the breakout location. The poor woman, who was jacked by Elliot, hasn`t been named yet, but I did find out her husband`s name, it `s Mike Van Wormer. Just so you`re clear, the carjacking of her red Jeep took place in Michigan, fairly close to the Ionian prison (I`m assuming). One item, that`s fairly shocking, is purportedly, Elliot was fairly courteous to the unidentified (traumatized) woman.

Furthermore, we`re hearing, by the time he got around to kidnapping her and stealing her red Jeep, Mr. Elliot had already stolen 3 other vehicles. Why he changed vehicles so rapidly is a bit of a mystery to me, knowing that taking a hostage is a considerably more complicated crime (and a worse felony also). *(I`m just learning, this does not explain accurately the sequence of car thefts).

The details and reasons for this may be revealed in time; in the meantime, Michael David is in solitary confinement in a jail (LaPorte, Indiana), pending a transfer back to his rightful home in Ionia, Michigan. The escapee doesn`t look all that old, but apparently has been incarcerated for better than 20 years. *(Okay, an AP piece in the Detroit News tells me the additional stolen cars occurred after the initial theft of the red Jeep! I didn`t know.)

As such, his crime of murdering four people in cold blood, during a misdirected money robbery (of a drug dealer), that went terribly south, occurred when he was only 20 years of age (in 1993). One of his partners in the failed robbery, that quickly escalated into a multiple victim homicide, said that Elliot laughed about shooting people in the head. This item makes me wonder how (or why) he became so gentlemanly towards this quick thinking woman, once he had successfully busted out of the slammer. Some light is shed on this, since it`s reported by prison officials, Elliot`s behavior has been fairly good over the past few years.

Earlier in his prison sentence he`d chalked up quite a few infractions; more details on these counts are welcome, since as of late, Michael David had hatched up a particularly canny plan to break out of the Big House. As they use to say, the proof is in the pudding; so, we have to admit, his jail break scheme actually worked like a charm, while his plan, once he was on the outside, had some blatant black holes in it. As far as that goes, we see the Michigan Department of Corrections back-pedaling in an effort to put a bandaid on their not so failsafe system. 

The escape itself is textbook criminal mastermind brinkmanship; Elliot sneaks away wearing a white civilian jumpsuit, which goes undetected by prison guards, and (furthermore) is a clever blend with the mounds of white snow. The prisoner simply pulls up the fence and escapes; well, the motion sensors weren`t working properly, so I`m wondering, how did Elliot know they wouldn`t be functioning? He must have received inside information that the faulty motion sensors were ripe for exploitation at this precise time, and at this specific location in the Byzantine fence apparatus. How will the warden explain away this one?