Merle Haggard: 17 Arrests, 17 Breakouts, Hard Time at San Quentin, and the Lonesome Fugitive
Merle Haggard was what authorities liked to call a “repeat offender.” He was arrested for riding trains, for skipping school, for stealing cars, for robbing gas stations, and for attempting to knock over a restaurant – during the Christmas Eve rush. He was committed to juvenile halls, correctional facilities, and reform schools 17 times, and 17 times he escaped. When he was arrested for the final time, he was sent to do hard time at San Quentin. He turned 21 in prison. And it was in prison that he found the freedom he’d been running towards his whole life – freedom that was delivered from an unlikely source.
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