California Prison Escapee Described as ‘Diabolical’, Likened to Hannibal Lecter


A prosecutor pursuing a case against one of the three men who broke out of a Southern California prison Friday reacted: “Oh, my God, they let Hannibal Lecter out.”

Hossein Nayeri, a former Marine who had escaped to his native Iran in 2012, faces charges of kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary. Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told The Orange County Register the man is “diabolical… sophisticated, incredibly violent and cunning.”

Brown says Nayeri helped kidnap a marijuana dealer in 2012, burned him with a blow torch and forced another suspect to cut off the dealer’s penis because Nayeri thought the man had buried money in the desert. Soon afterwards, investigators say he left for Iran, but they caught him while he was on his way to Spain to visit family.

“It’s mind-boggling that he was housed in a dorm with such low-level security,” the prosecutor said, comparing him to the serial killer made famous in the novel and movie “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Apparently referencing Brown’s comments, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas responded, “Recently, statements were made by an OCDA prosecutor that were inappropriate, uninformed, and rash. Those statements were not authorized by me or anyone from the OCDA. Those statements do not reflect the position of the OCDA.”

The three fugitives reportedly had a head start of up to 16 hours before officials realized they were missing.

Nayeri, Jonathan Tieu and Bac Duong were last seen and accounted for during the regularly scheduled 5 a.m. prisoner count at the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana, according to The Los Angeles Times. The paper reported that a second check, when the men’s escape was discovered, was delayed until 9 p.m. by a brawl that some investigators suspect may have been used to cover up the escape.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jeff Hallock said Monday that authorities believe the men escaped soon after the 5 a.m. check.

The three men sawed through a quarter-inch-thick grill on a dormitory wall and got into plumbing tunnels before sawing through half-inch-thick steel bars as they made their way behind walls to an unguarded area of a roof atop a five-story building. There, they moved aside razor wire and rappelled to the ground using the bed linen.

The escape has drawn comparisons to last summer’s breakout by two inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. A major difference is that while the search for Richard Matt and David Sweat focused on nearby woods, Nayeri, Tieu and Duong escaped in the middle of densely populated Orange County.

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SOURCE: Fox News