Shawshank Style Escape – Glen Stewart Godwin

Bondsman MargieCriminal Law

A Vile Plot

Here’s a made for the big screen plot… Money is a factor that plays a major role in many murders.

It can turn the most mundane person into the most nefarious villain.

Mundane may have been an apt description for Glen Stewart Godwin who was a self-employed tool salesman living in Palm Springs, California with his wife Shelly. Godwin made ends meet as a mechanic and in construction on the side.

In the late summer of 1980, Godwin plotted with his roommate Frank Soto Jr., to rob another friend of theirs: Kim LeValley.

LeValley was a pilot and a drug dealer.

The two men lured the unsuspecting victim to their condominium. After LeValley arrived, Soto held him so that Godwin could beat him up and attempt to strangle him.

This led to LeValley being stabbed 36 times with a butcher knife.

Once LeValley was dead, Godwin and Soto devised a plan to dispose of his body in a way that would leave no evidence connecting them to the murder.

They loaded the body into a truck and drove it out to the desert. Then, Godwin strapped a homemade explosive device to the body in order to blow up the evidence.

The bomb did not have its desired effect, however, and it only managed to burn LeValley’s remains. Police were able to identify his body and found enough evidence to charge Godwin and Soto with first-degree murder.

Soto received a 25-year to life sentence for his role in the murder. Godwin was sentenced to 26-years to life in prison for the robbery and murder.

That could be the end of the movie, but there’s more… or maybe the sequel

A Shawshank-Style Escape

Just four years into his sentence, Godwin attempted to escape from the Deuel Vocational Institute.

For his efforts, he was rewarded with a transfer to maximum-security Folsom Prison.

It is believed that Godwin’s former cellmate, Lorenz Karlic, and Godwin’s wife helped plot the escape attempt.

Hole In Prison WallGodwin was able to successfully escape on June 5, 1987 in a manner that we have seen from Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption.

He cut a hole in a fence with a hacksaw that had been smuggled into the prison.

Then, he dropped down a manhole into a storm drain, where he crawled 750 feet to the American River.

Someone, possible Godwin’s wife or former cellmate, had stashed a raft near the drain for Godwin to use to make his way down the river.

Both Shelly Godwin and Lorenz Karlic were arrested and convicted for their roles in Godwin’s escape.

On the Run

To this day, Godwin has been on the run from United States authorities.

He fled into Mexico where he took part in the drug trade.

He was arrested for drug trafficking in Puerto Vallarta and was sentenced to seven and a half years in Puente Grande prison in 1991.

The US was attempting to get Godwin extradited back to the country when he allegedly killed another inmate, delaying his extradition. This delay was all Godwin needed to escape from prison yet again.

It is believed that Godwin is still in Central or South America taking part in the illegal drug trade.

There is a possibility that he has altered his appearance and uses many different aliases.

The FBI is offering a reward of $100,000 for any information that leads to his arrest.