Prison Break

Ken AshfordCrime1 Comment

Seems like everybody is interested in that prison break from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in New York, with two prisoners on the loose.

Lots of reporting on where they might be, but the bottom line is…. they could be anywhere by now.  Here’s what we know so far:

  • Richard Matt, 48, was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his former boss in 1997. David Sweat, 34, was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff’s deputy.
  • The men are thought to be highly dangerous. Detective Gabriel DiBernardo told The New York Times that “you can never have enough security with” Matt or “turn your back on him” because of his great efforts to elude police. Matt escaped from a jail in Erie County in 1986.
  • The escape was elaborate, as acting state corrections commissioner Anthony Annuci said Saturday at a news conference: “They went onto a catwalk which is about six stories high. We estimate they climbed down and had power tools and were able to get out to this facility through tunnels, cutting away at several spots.” They then reportedly came out of a manhole outside prison walls.
  • Matt and Sweat used hacksaws to cut through steel walls around air vents near their cots to create the hole they would escape through, according to the Daily News. They’d put the vents back in place as they were doing this work, which might have taken place over a period of days or weeks, to avoid detection.
  • To power the tools they used to cut through the steam pipes they crawled through to escape, Matt and Sweat used extension cords and hot-wired electrical junction boxes, according to the Daily News.
  • To keep prison guards from figuring out they were gone, the duo reportedly stuffed their beds with clothes to make it look like they were there. Corrections officers are supposed to do bed checks every two hours, according to The New York Times. The inmates were reportedly discovered missing at a 5:30 a.m. bed check on Saturday.
  • They left a note on one of the pipes. The yellow note had a smiley face and “have a nice day” written on it.
  • Matt and Sweat were being held in an “honor block” of the prison, according to the Daily News. They were reportedly allowed to spend most of their time outside of their cells and working in a shop where they might have been able to gather the tools they used for their escape.
  • jmtillieThe escaped convicts first met Joyce Mitchell aka “Tillie”, 51, in the prison workshop, where she supervised them sewing uniforms for Metro North employees. CNN reports she knew the men “very well.”  At some point, Matt reportedly charmed Tillie, despite being the type of a man whose rap sheet suggests he might kill you at any moment, for whatever reason, just ‘cause, probably.  Tilliem who is married (her husband also works at the prison) has admitted that she was supposed to be behind the wheel of the getaway vehicle—but she chickened out. Instead, she checked herself into a local hospital claiming she was suffering a panic attack or “a case of the nerves,” depending on which outlet you’re getting your news from.

  • Here’s what else we know about Tillie:

    • She’s an elected official
    • She’s a registered Republican
    • She lives in “a two-story gray home with a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Gadsden Flag”
    • She will be charged with, well, something
    • She may have thrown her life away for the chance to have sex with a charming murderer