"Dark Knight" Director's Brother Plotted a Hollywood Escape

The suspect admitted he told an associate to clean out his safe

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Friday, Apr 30, 2010  |  Updated 10:34 AM CDT
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Stephen Vaughan

Batman wouldn't have screwed up his escape.

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Matthew Nolan has been watching too many of his brother's movies.

The 41-year-old convict sibling of "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to pull of a supervillain-style escape from a Chicago prison.

He tried to escape the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a high-rise prison in the heart of Chicago, using a rope made out of bed sheets. 

Nolan admitted that he made the rope to try to escape because he feared possible extradition to Costa Rica, where authorities accuse him of taking part in a homicide.

"If they get me down to the Southern Cross, I won't be coming back," Nolan said in his signed plea agreement, using a code word to refer to the Central American country.

Nolan, appearing before Judge William J. Hibbler in leg irons and handcuffs with a chain around his waist, pleaded guilty to possessing contraband in jail and obstruction of justice. He could face up to 18 months in prison when sentenced July 22.

Costa Rican authorities want Matthew Nolan on aggravated homicide and kidnapping charges in connection with the March 2005 killing of an American businessman, according to an extradition document filed in federal court.

Officers last year found a homemade harness and a 31-foot rope of braided bed sheets hidden in a mattress in Nolan's cell. He planned to rappel down the side of the building.

Officials also found a razor blade hidden in a bar of soap in his cell, the document said.

If sentenced to prison in Illinois, Nolan will serve the term before being extradited to Costa Rica.

Although a Chicago court determined there wasn't enough evidence to extradite him on the homicide allegations, it ordered him back to Costa Rica to face a separate charge of using bogus documents.

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