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Fame Is Elusive: Eddie Murphy Impersonator Makes Greatest Escape List

January 26, 2002|Steve Harvey

Amateur Eddie Murphy impersonator Kevin Pullum earns a mention in a list of America's "greatest prison escapes" in the current issue of Stuff magazine.

Pullum, you'll recall, was the inmate who sneaked out of L.A.'s Twin Towers jail with the help of a fake employee ID card that bore a photo of the actor. Stuff salutes Pullum as "the Nutty Prisoner."

The magazine also recognizes the work of Forrest "Woody" Tucker, whose greatest feat was escaping San Quentin, then paddling away into San Francisco Bay on a 14-foot kayak he built in the prison wood shop.

Tucker stenciled the words "Rub-a-Dub-Dub--Marin Yacht Club" on the craft for his 1979 sail-away.

Then there was the time in 1956 when Tucker was taken from Alcatraz to an L.A. hospital for a kidney operation. As he was rolled into the operating room--in handcuffs--he leaped off the gurney and fled to freedom.

Tucker made a reported 18 escapes before he was nabbed robbing a Florida bank in 1999 at the age of 78. (If he busted out again after my deadline Friday night, my figures may be off.)

Unreal estate: Today's puzzling properties (see accompanying) include:

* A house with some macho upgrades. "Does it have a built-in beer keg?" asks Steve Fiechter of Whittier. "Or maybe the whole house is simply an outfitted garage."

* An estate with a golf hole that will delight beginners (F.B. Hogan of Westminster and Phil Gutierrez of Anaheim).

* An apartment best suited for a renter with "nonskid soles," points out Audrey Cowan of Santa Monica.

Anything but pals in Palisades: The Palisadian Post's "Your Two Cents Worth" column of anonymous phone messages from readers included this grumpy missive:

"My advice to Mr. Muscle renting a house in the Wildomar/Junaluska neighborhood: Please close the garage door and turn off some lights. There is an energy crisis and we have all seen your tired old body."

Stupid Criminal Tricks: The Long Beach Press-Telegram's crime log reported that a youth with a knife stole a car from two men who were working on the vehicle. Moments later, the thief crashed the car into a tree, police said. Reason: He was driving it with the hood still up.

What would Philip Marlowe think? While prowling the mean streets of Long Beach the other day, I fell in behind a car with the license plate LA PI. The license frame indicated the driver was a private investigator.

Interesting. I would think that a gumshoe would prefer anonymity while parked on surveillance. Wouldn't the license plate be what is known in the trade as a "clue"? (You can tell I read a lot of mystery novels.)

Letter imperfect: After Cal's basketball team defeated USC, 92-91, on Thursday, the Fox Sports cameras showed the USC cheerleaders smiling and making the V sign. Normally at sports events, the V stands for "victory." I guess in this case it meant "vanquished."

miscelLAny: Regarding the ad that referred to a "spin-it" piano--it should have said "spinet"-- Peter Jacobsen writes: "How did you resist the temptation to call it a 'Wurlitzer'?"

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., 90012 and by e-mail at

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