THE ADVOCATE 465
VOL. 77 PART 3 MAY 2019
A ND MISCELLANEA
By Connor Bildfell*
THE GREAT FOOD TRAY ESCAPE OF 1980
The year was 1980. Fred Cadeddu, nicknamed “Foxy Freddy” for reasons
that will soon become apparent, was serving a life sentence in the maximum
security Millhaven Penitentiary near Kingston, Ontario, having been
convicted of second degree murder several years earlier. But Cadeddu had
no intention of spending the rest of his days in prison. Instead, with a view
to regaining his freedom, he hatched a plan that would go down as one of
the most creative prison escapes in Canadian history.1
At the time, inmates at Millhaven were served food on turquoise cafeteria
style plastic food trays. Once finished eating, inmates would stack their
dirty trays on trolleys, which would then be transported by truck to the main
kitchen facility at the neighbouring minimum-security Bath Institution for
Over several months, Cadeddu surreptitiously amassed about 200 trays.
Out of these trays, he fashioned himself a sort of capsule-like pod—he
placed two stacks of trays side by side and cut out the centres using a hacksaw
blade, leaving three sides of the rim intact. (How Cadeddu procured the
hacksaw blade remains a mystery.) This left just enough space for a single
person to crawl inside. A photo of the pod is shown on the next page.
The big day came on May 25. After a nice Sunday dinner, Cadeddu somehow
managed to get his pod onto a trolley and conceal himself inside. (It is
said that Cadeddu lost between 20 and 30 pounds of body weight in order to
fit inside the pod.) Once outside the prison walls and inside the kitchen
building, Cadeddu waited until kitchen staff were busy washing the dishes.
He then emerged from his pod, snuck out of the kitchen, scurried across an
unfenced field and found his way to freedom.
* Connor Bildfell is the Advocate’s copy editor and also a regular contributor.the Advocate.