The men escaped late Saturday from a special unit at Cook County Jail for inmates with disciplinary problems. One guard was on duty instead of two because of staffing shortages, said county Sheriff's Department spokesman Bill Cunningham.
One inmate threw hot water from a shower on the guard and held him at bay with a homemade knife, then handcuffed the guard and put on his uniform, officials said.
That inmate was caught after opening doors to let the other six inmates out. They got over a barbed wire fence and onto the streets.
The inmates who were captured Sunday were identified as Arnold Joyner, 43, charged with theft and battery; David Earnest, 38, charged with murder; and Tyrone Everhart, 28, charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted escape.
One of them was captured in suburban Burr Ridge, about 14 miles from the jail; the others were about seven miles from the jail in Oak Park.
The three at large Sunday were Franciso Romero, 23, charged with murder; Eric Bernard, 22, charged with armed robbery; and Michael McIntosh, 30, charged with aggravated battery.
It was the second jail break since Friday. An inmate facing armed robbery charges broke out Friday by apparently slipping into a laundry truck, but he was arrested Saturday at a suburban motel, authorities said.