The Mom Who Became A Famous Escape Artist


It’s not every morning that the Today Show features a suburban housewife bound up in chains and padlocks out on their plaza, but that’s exactly what happened today. The woman, Donna Purnell, may look like a typical 49-year-old mom from Massachusetts, but she also happens to be a very talented escape artist.

She’s been practicing escapes since she was 17, but she only recently went public with her skill. After she and her husband both lost their jobs, he encouraged her to finally start performing. Calling herself “Alexandria the Great,” she’s become a YouTube sensation, and now she’s getting gigs all over the place. Do not let her sweet smile and cute Boston accent fool you; she is a total badass!

In her act called “Leap of Faith,” she casually throws on 55 pounds of locks and chains and dives into a pool. When asked if she can get out, she says, “I am going to get out, yes. I have three kids I have to come back and cook dinner for.” Then using only a bobby pin, she frees herself and emerges from the water in just 60 seconds like it’s no big deal. Just another day at the office for Alexandria the Great!

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