Escaped and Killed New York Prisoner, Richard Matt, Reportedly Wrote Letter to his Daughter Promising to See her ‘on the Outside’

© NY State Police/Splash News/Corbis Richard Matt, one of two prisoners who escaped from a correctional facility in upstate New York and led authorities on a three-week manhunt.
© NY State Police/Splash News/Corbis Richard Matt, one of two prisoners who escaped from a correctional facility in upstate New York and led authorities on a three-week manhunt.

Richard Matt, one of two prisoners who escaped from a correctional facility in upstate New York and led authorities on a three-week manhunt, reportedly planned to see someone after gaining his freedom: his daughter. 

Related: New York prison escape: how a bullet hole and grape gin led to Richard Matt

“I always promised you I would see you on the outside,” Matt wrote to his daughter, a law enforcement official told the Buffalo News. Matt added: “I’m a man of my word.”

The letter was postmarked before the prisoners’ escape on 6 June – it arrived on 9 June.

On 6 June, Matt and David Sweat broke out of the Clinton correctional facility in Dannemora by drilling and sawing through their cell walls and heating pipes – leaving a note telling authorities to “have a nice day” – before emerging through a manhole outside the prison.

Almost three weeks later, Matt was found in the woodlands of upstate New York. He was shot three times in the head by a border patrol agent, after he refused to put down the 20-gauge shotgun he was holding. He died shortly after.

Two days later, Sweat was shot twice in the torso by a New York state police sergeant, close to the Canadian border. He survived and has been questioned about the escape.

According to the official interviewed by the Buffalo News, for a number of months Matt, 49, communicated with his daughter through Joyce Mitchell, 51, who worked at the prison’s tailor shop.

Mitchell, who was to be the getaway driver in Matt and Sweat’s escape, panicked and did not carry out her role. She is charged with providing the escaped prisoners with contrabandsuch as hacksaw blades, chisels and screwdrivers.

Another prison worker, Gene Palmer, has been accused with providing contraband. He has denied the charge and it was reported this week that Sweat had told investigators Palmer had no knowledge of the escape plan.

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Source: The Guardian | Jana Kasperkevic in New York

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