File This Under "T" For Time Served
It's not everyday we
get to report the latest news concerning a pistol-packing librarian
who sprang her boyfriend from the pokey by hijacking a
helicopter... but after spending seven years behind bars for
hijacking the helicopter and using it to break her boyfriend out of
an Australian maximum security prison, Lucy Dudko was freed from
Dillwynia Correctional Centre in New South
As is typically the case in many similarly ill-considered plans,
Dudko's story is one of what extremes some will go to for love. The
Australian Associated Press reports it was March 1999 when Dudko, a
librarian, brandished a gun during a helicopter flight over Sydney,
and ordered the pilot to land in the exercise yard at Silverwater
The pilot did as he was told, and landed the helicopter so Dudko
could pick up John Killick, who was serving time for armed robbery.
The reunited couple then flew off, to the romantic sounds of
cheering prisoners and a hail of bullets from the guards firing
After spending six weeks on the lamm, the happy couple was
caught by police. Killick was shown back to his cell, and given
additional time by the Department of Corrections to better
appreciate his surroundings; Dudko received a 10-year prison
sentence on charges of helping Killick escape, assaulting the
helicopter pilot, taking a taxi driver hostage, and possessing a
gun -- but later had her sentence reduced three years for good
"I don't call it a love story," said Christine Gyllins, chaplain
at Dillwynia, about Dudko's experiences. "I call it a manipulation
story and I think her strength is that she will never be
manipulated by anyone again."
The chances that Dudko could be again be manipulated by Killick,
at least, are slim. The AAP reports the soonest the couple could be
reunited is 2013, when Killick comes up for parole.
And speaking of parole... under the terms of her freedom, Dudko
cannot visit or telephone Killick under her own parole conditions.
She is, however, allowed to write to him.