About Carl August Lorentzen

About Carl August Lorentzen

21th of October 1896 - 1st of June 1958


Carl August was born in Frederiksberg in 1896 as No. 2 of a children's flock of four. His parents, Niels Jørgen Carl Lorentzen and wife Caroline Augusta Lorentzen were married on December 3, 1893 in Frederiksberg Kirke. Caroline was 16 years old and Niels Jørgen 11 years old.

In February 1895, Ellen was born, Carl August, October 11, 1896, William in November 1898 and Christine Elise in October 1900.

The father worked at the beginning as a blacksmith at Burmeister and Wain, a big shipyard in Copenhagen. Gradually, his alcohol problems grew, he lost his good job, and later became a laborer at Customs Pier. The problems grew up for the family and in May 1905 Caroline demanded divorce.

The Family Tragedy

The family was scattered for all wins. Ellen joined the mother, Christine Elise, the youngest, came to the orphanages, Carl August's little brother Vilhelm was kidnapped to a Kleinine family.

Unfortunately for Carl August he had to stay with his father who was totally unsuitable to take care of his little son. Carl August lived under poor circumstances, with no real care from the father, even not enough food. He began to "hang out" with his little cousin Lona. The two little children strolled around the streets of Copenhagen, rapeseed raisins on Tolboden. One day they were seized by two elderly ladies in Nyboder as they stole bird feed from a lining board in front of the ladies' house. Later, an officer of the Copenhagen Police caught them as they ran across the wall of the King's Garden with their pockets filled with stolen apples. The police made sure that Carl August, apparently not living under proper conditions, was placed at the Orphanage Godthåb in Frederiksberg.

The mother became an expeditionary after the divorce and later married Marais, her 17-year-old shoemaker Frantz Lauritz Frandsen. It happened on May 1, 1912, but before the marriage ended, it had made it possible for her to get Carl August back home. The mother, Ellen and Carl August lived together in Nansensgade for a while until they moved to Frantz in Fiolstræde 24.

Carl Augusts criminal career begins

Shortly after the mother and father's wedding, Carl August was arrested for theft and extortion of money. His criminal acts resulted in Carl August the very first judgment in 1912, 60 days of ten thousand. It was the start of a long criminal career as burglaries and safes, a colorful series of criminal acts - at times the advent of entertaining character. For example, a safes company had the idea of ​​producing a burglary safe. It challenged Carl August. He broke into the closet, wrote a note saying, "He ku!" And left a larger amount of money untouched in the closet.

Lorentzen was not a simple criminal, the police called him respectfully for a gentleman. He never used weapons and only tried to resist once he was revealed after a long run and was forced into a backyard without further escape. Carl August always ended up being arrested and convicted of the crimes (squeeze, robberies and ordinary burglary.) In prison he was well-intentioned: a polite intelligent prisoner who approached a state of public health in 1949, after several months of misery Work had dug an 18 meter tunnel under the prison yard in Horsens State Prison. It led him into freedom, and above the entrance to the tunnel stood:

"Where there is a will, there is also a way".

Unfortunately, Carl August was only out in the freedom for very few days. A farmer and a couple of men on a farm in Ølsted near Horsens overwhelmed him a late night in the farm's pantry. Carl August had spent several days hiding in a barn and at night, he stole food from the kitchen. Only 7 days after his escape, Carl August was back into Horsens State Prison. PH wrote a chronicle in the danish newspaper, Politiken,  on January 1st, 1950, where he pleaded for Carl August's pardon.  However, it made no difference, Carl August had to spend three months in isolation because of the escape. However, Carl August's extraordinary escape had been so spectacular and unique that he had many sympathizers who congratulated him for the accomplisment. Many people wrote letters and cards to him from near and far. He was among other things a friend of the author Karen Stampe Bendix. It led  to a friendship with a supreme court judge and his wife, with whom he later stayed for a shorter period in 1955.

The Breakout King as an artist

Carl August Lorentzen loved the fame and wanted to be known for his art. In recent years in prison he made exciting drawings and cut pencils with figures in the top among others, of Charles Chaplin. For Carl August, however, the fame had a backside, and finally, in order to become more anonymous, he changed his name  a few years before his death. Kind of ironical, with his developed sense of humor, he changed his name to Carl August Famousman.