Shawshank Redemption Question...

Is it plausible that Andy could have made it all the way to Mexico without being caught? After all, while innocent of the charges, he was still an escapee…I would think they would have been looking everywhere for him.

Also, would he be able to continue his life in Mexico as Andy Dufresne? Or would he have to take the identity of the person he was posing as at the banks?

Just askin’…

I always assumed he was still posing as Randall Stephens.

Sure they would have been looking for him. But he’s one prisoner from Maine in a country of almost 200 million people (in 1966, when he escaped). He was, as you note traveling under an assumed identity, with all of the appropriate paperwork and documents. And this was not a time when a person’s identity could be relatively quickly and easily confirmed by computer, or even something like a FAX machine. Not to mention the fact that the people primarily responsible for reporting his escape were arrested for their part in the Shawshank prison corruption, which might have slowed the process of getting him caught.

I’m sure he would have stuck with the new name. Even in the not-so-technological 1960s and 1970s, lists of wanted criminals still would have been circulated to law enforcement throughout the country, and using his real name could have caught someone’s attention. I guess things could have been different in Mexico, but why take the chance?

We know Andy was innocent, but the State Of Maine did not know that. The Warden and Hadley were being arrested for corruption. I don’t think they had them for the murder of Tommy. Even if they did, they had no idea what Tommy could offer. The other inmates could offer only 3rd hand information.
They would most definitely be looking for him.

They would be looking for him, but (at least for the first few days) they would be looking in the usual places one would look for an escaped con - someone in hiding, not a well dressed man walking openly around town. The only person who would know of the Randall Stephens identity was the warden, and by the time he realized what Andy had done the officials were already at the prison to arrest him and Hadley. Andy clearly did not make an immediate run from the area - he had to take the time and bury the package for Red. So hiding in plain sight, where no one would think to look for him.

You’d think with all that money, he could hire a good lawyer to clear his name.

You do know the novella and movie are different re: the money. In the novella, Norton was just one of several wardens passing through during Andy’s stay. Andy’s escape money was his from before he was convicted, invested and such by “a close friend” on the outside.

Around that same time, Richard Kimble managed to stay at large for almost four years.

In 1966 there weren’t a dozen 24 hour news stations, the internet, smart phones, Americas Most Wanted type TV shows, and video cameras at every business. At very least it would have been a helluva lot easier for him then than it would be today.

Kimble, Andy and D.B. Cooper were living it up in Cancún; Zihuatanejo was a smoke screen to throw off the heat. Sorry, Red! :wink:

Do we know that for sure or do we just assume it is so because he is the likable protagonist? It’s been a long time since I saw the movie and even longer since I read the story on which it was based.

Andy had money, good clothes and a new ID. He would have been alone, traveling with money. No need to do crimes to support himself. He could have easily made it to Mexico in a week. Most people get caught going back to the hood, robbing/stealing, getting drunk, etc. A business man in a suit traveling south would have been a easy trip.

I don’t think he was innocent…

How can you be so obtuse?


I don’t have any right angles?

You’re not acute?

I’m convinced Duffesne was innocent (I only saw the movie. Didn’t read the novella.)

It’s definitely plausible he made it in to Mexico, and all the way to Zihua. It’s a 1,300-mile drive from Fort Hancock TX (gMap,, but crossing the border into Mexico was super-easy back in the 1960s. It’s the other direction that they’d check more carefully, usually. He would have been put on a watch list, but I think a 1-time murderer would be a lower concern than a life-long hardened criminal with a long history of violent crime.

The paper trail of deposits would lead to this Randall Stevens, so they’d be looking for him, and the money too.

I thought it was pretty clear in both the movie and the novel that Andy was innocent. I believe in both, Tommy shared a cell with the actual murderer who bragged about offing a couple and the murder being pinned on the husband with the details matching Andy’s wife & lover’s murders specifically. When Tommy offered to come forward and bear witness, that’s when the Warden realized it was too dangerous to let Andy become a free man with the knowledge he had of the Warden’s corruption and Tommy was killed to prevent it coming to light that Andy was innocent.

You remember John List? The man who actually did murder his wife, three children and mother, assumed a new identify, and stayed on the run for nearly 18 years?

I wonder if America’s Most Wanted ever did a segment on Andrew Duffesne?

The authorities would have to know that the deposits were made into Randall Stevens’ accounts. Any kickbacks the warden got would certainly be in cash (and pies), not in a check made to “Randall Stevens”. Deposits would be made in a night deposit box (no one had ever seen Randall Stevens, and the warden certainly wouldn’t be making deposits face-to-face). Banks would assume Mr. Stevens was some sort of small businessman running a cash-based business. There’s no reason for Andy to put the name “Randall Stevens” in any of the ledgers he turned over.

He’s a white guy wearing a suit with plenty of money quietly driving across the country in an era where it’s completely normal to use untraceable cash. He’s not going to be committing petty crime or visiting his family or gang buddies, so he’s not likely to get picked up for anything. Why would he be all that likely to get caught?