The Real "Prison Break?"
Don and Bob Hughes believed the story of their prison break was so good, they wrote a manuscript about it. A few years later, the brothers were shocked when FOX Television debuted "Prison Break," which is now in its third season.
"Life was good and then all of a sudden, we're on the run all over the United States. The State is after us, and then they caught him in the Army. The federal government wanted us," said Don.
The fact that the FOX show parallels their own story is no coincidence, the Hughes brothers claim. In fact, the brothers say that the television show is based on that manuscript they wrote eight years ago.
"The money would be nice, its the principle. There you have the KC Star front page. It looks like the TV show 'Prison Break.' They took our manuscript," Don explained.
The brothers say there are too many similarities between their manuscript and one episode of the show, now in its second season.
"They set up a road block at Highway 6 and 53. Well, we live a few blocks from 5 and 52, so it's like they're saying we got your manuscript," Bob said.
However, a judge disagreed with the brothers, ruling in favor of FOX Television. In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Scott Wright said that there were not as many similarities as the brothers would claim between their manuscript and the show itself. Differences aside, the judge ruled, it is not possible to copyright a true story.
"We missed out on selling the story in the first place and now if we try to sell it, someone will say that's 'Prison Break,' and that was our story to start with," Bob explained.
The Hughes brothers are not sure whether they will appeal or not.
Regardless of the origin of the FOX show's premise, the story of the Hughes brothers certainly fits the Hollywood bill. When older brother Don heard what Bob was going through in prison, he decided to come to his brother's rescue.
"The guards brutalized the inmates. It was a hell hole, and if I had to do it all over again, I would," Bob explained.
The brothers ran from the law for four years before they gave up. Both brothers were eventually exonerated for their crimes.