Stephen Dunn / Hartford Courant
Anthony Germani was a Rhode Island mobster already convicted of two murders when he managed to escape from two Connecticut prisons in one day.
Germani, 37, was being held at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers on July 9, 1992, when he switched clothes and ID cards with his cellmate. The cellmate was scheduled for transfer to minimum-security Camp Hartell for drunk drivers in Windsor Locks.
Germani escaped the Windsor Locks facility over an 8-foot fence. It took about three hours for authorities to realize what Germani had done.
Authorities were bracing for a violent capture, given Germani's record. He had served 15 years in prison starting at age 20, convicted first for shooting a man during a drug robbery, and once in prison, for helping to kill a former police officer who was serving a sentence for selling heroin.
East Granby Constable Andrew Rossetti, 32, recognized Germani on Route 20 two days after the escape, thanks to the convict's red sneakers and a tattoo of a bird with the name "Debbie" on his arm. After two nights in the woods, tired and covered with mosquito bites, Germani gave up without a fight.
There have been 19 prisoner escapes from Osborn, the state's only maximum-security prison, since the state started keeping records in 1968. And state correction officials emphasized that Germani "didn't physically breach the fence or the alarm system."
As a department spokesman explained in The Courant on July 10, 1992, "To me, the way we're looking at it is that it was an erroneous transfer from Somers to Hartell and then an escape from Hartell."