The Bluffer's Briefing on: Doing a runner

1097: Stephen of Blois (aka Stephen the Funambulist) slid down a rope to escape the Siege of Antioch. On his arrival in England, his wife, Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, sent him back to carry on crusading.

1651: Charles II escaped the forces of Cromwell fleeing to Paris, Cologne, Middelburg, Bruges, Brussels and Breda, in that order. Returned to regain the throne in 1660.

1945: Adolf Eichmann, mastermind of the Holocaust, escaped to Argentina, evading detection until he was joined by his wife in 1961. He was hanged in 1962.

1965: Ronnie Biggs, Great Train Robber, escaped 'Slipper' of the Yard and fled to Rio de Janeiro, where he was last reported to be living in a basement flat, marketing himself as a tourist attraction.

1974: John Stonehouse, former Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, faked his own death off a Miami beach. Found a year later in Australia, convicted of fraud and embezzlement. Died in 1988.

1974: Richard John Bingham, Seventh Earl of Lucan, disappeared after murder of his child's nanny and attack on his estranged wife. Still missing.

1993: Christopher Hatch, Stephen Binch, Gary Salesman, Christopher Johnson, Terence Hyman, Steven Elliott et al 'lost' by a new privatised prison service to become founder members of 'Group 4 for Freedom'.