Lamar Fountain Preferred Swamp to Prison

Ray City native Lamar Fountain achieved national notoriety as an escape artist, and stories of his escapades appeared in the news from coast to coast. Previous posts have addressed the  six times he found his way out of incarceration.  Add to that a jailhouse interview after his capture in 1974, which told something of Fountain’s life on the lam:

Perhaps Ray City's original reality survivorman, escape artist Lamar Fountain preferred homeless life the swamp to prison.

Perhaps Ray City’s original reality survivorman, escape artist Lamar Fountain preferred homeless life in the swamp to prison.

The Charleston News and Courier
November 13, 1974

Elusive Prisoner Prefers Swamp, Snakes, Potatoes

      RAY CITY, Ga. – Lamar Fountain, back in jail after his sixth escape, says he eluded police for seven weeks in a Georgia swamp, ignoring snakes, stealing potatoes and fishing.
      Frustrated police officers gave up chasing him and instead hid in the canebrake at night. They caught him on the banks of a fishing hole near Ray City, his hometown.
      The slow-talking, 48 year-old escapee said in a telephone interview Tuesday from the Berrien County jail that he hacked trails deep into the southeast Georgia swamp and built four shelters so he could keep on the move.
      “I had some help. You’ve got to have a little bit of help.” Fountain said, but he refused to elaborate.
      “I got sweet potatoes from people’s fields. Sweet potatoes go a long way with a man,” he said. “I got sugar cane and pecans, and I have eat some palmetto roots.
      “Also, I was fishing and I had an old frying pan I found and some lard. I had a little bit of meal and made some hushpuppies.
      Asked about the poisonous snakes that inhabit the Georgia swamps, Fountain said, “I just walked by them. I never killed a snake or a coon or nothing. I walked past rattlesnakes asleep and past six or eight moccasins laying up by a cyprus root.”
      Since 1969, Fountain has been in-and-out of several Georgia prisons serving a 30-year term for robbery, larceny, forgery and the escape attempt he made prior to his first conviction.
      He escaped from a Lowndes County work camp in 1969 and stayed in California for a year, he said, before heading back toward Georgia and getting arrested for fighting in a bar south of New Orleans, La.
      Fountain said he had been an alcoholic since he got out of the Air Force at the age of 20.
      “I railroaded awhile for the Charleston and Western Carolina out of Augusta,” he said. “Then I worked for a paper mill awhile, but I guess I drove a truck more than anything else.”
      Now, he said, he would like a chance to settle down on land near Ray City which his father left him and raise cattle and hogs.
     “I want out. I’ve never done anything wrong except when I was drunk, and I don’t drink anymore.”
     Fountain claims the original charges against him involved a mixup with a friend’s billfold and the fact that he cashed his girlfriend’s $37 check at a Valdosta, Ga., bar.
     Berrien County Sheriff Walter J. Gaskins, who has had to capture him three times, said Fountain likely will be sent to the maximum security prison at Reidsville, Ga.
     The sheriff is not convinced that is necessary.
    “This boy don’t ever give me no trouble,” he said. “I went and got him (from prison) and brought him to his father’s funeral and to his mother’s funeral and once when his mother had her leg took off.”


Related Posts:

1 Comment

  1. Liz Blackmon said,

    May 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I am Elizabeth Fountain Blackmon and the niece of Uncle Lamar. He was a character. I am looking for his two daughters, Linda and Gail. Lamar divorced their mother, Ruth or Frances, when I was young and they moved away. Does anyone have any information?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.