top of page

The Folsom Prison Bloody 13: The Big Escape of 1903

Drugs. Violence. Mayhem. 


In 1903, Folsom Prison had only been open for about 20 years and was already one of the toughest and most brutal prisons in the country, but it had a flaw. No walls. 


What caused prisoners to attack their jailers with razors and knives on a hot day in July and make a run for freedom?  Was it the institutionalized violence of the guards who used beatings and straitjackets as punishment? Was it the need to get out so they could get their next drug fix?  Was it a system that exploited prisoners as forced labor for profit?


More than 100 years later, we still don’t know everything but from what we know of the events surrounding July 27, 1903, it included violence, escape, heroism, and stories that still haven't ended as five of the escapees were never recaptured.

Buy The Folsom Bloody 13 now, please visit your local bookstore, or buy from Amazon, or from the publisher.

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California with his wife, and two daughters. You’ll often find him running trails through the gold country, and exploring Northern California where his family has lived since the 1860’s. Josh earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of the Pacific and works at Sierra College.

I'm happy to talk with groups in person and remotely, please contact me directly at

bottom of page